Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography

Physics Research


Quantum chromodynamicsErik and Maggie at JLab

Quantum chromodynamics (QCD) is the theory of the strong interaction between the quarks and gluons that make up hadronic matter.  As part of the GlueX experiment in Hall D of the Thomas Jefferson Nuclear Accelerator Facility, faculty members Gan, Black, and Daniels test QCD using meson photoproduction.


Neutrino Physics

The 2015 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for the discovery that neutrinos, ghostly weakly-interacting fundamental particles long thought to be massless, oscillate between flavor states and therefore are actually massive.  This surprising discovery has important ramifications for the Standard Model.  


What are the massesof the neutrinos?  Are neutrinos their own antiparticles?  Is lepton number conservation violated?  To address these questions, Professor Daniels searches for neutrinoless double-beta decay, a rare hypothetical nuclear process, as part of the EXO-200 and nEXO collaborations and carries out related nuclear structure measurements at the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL).





Quantum Computation and Quantum Information

Professor Moorad Alexanian's research is concerned with quantum entanglement, which lies at the foundation of quantum mechanics. Erwin Schrödinger highlighted entanglement with his puzzling cat thought experiment and Einstein deriding it as "spooky action at a distance". Nonetheless, quantum entanglement has been verified experimentally and is essential for quantum information communication and processing protocols in quantum cryptography, dense coding, teleportation, and entanglement swapping, which can be used to realize quantum repeaters. Entanglement can be achieved via two interacting quantum systems or by an appropriate joint measurement of two systems. In the development of quantum algorithms and quantum information processing, one attempts to generate states that are maximally entangled in order to maximize the advantage of nonclassical correlations between parts of a given quantum system.