Frequently Asked Questions
A Student's Perspective
Research in the Physics Department
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
People to Talk To
Prof. Connie B. Roth
cbroth @ emory.edu
Research in the Physics Department:
At Emory University there are two major areas of physics research:
Biophysics and Soft Condensed Matter. Theoretical statistical physics spans both areas.
Biophysics seeks answers to physics-based biological problems, such as "What are the physical properties of a particular enzyme?" or "How does protein folding occur?"
Soft Condensed Matter explores physical properties of non-crystallized "soft" matter, such as polymers, colloids, foams, shaving cream, etc. (Theoretical statistical physics can be used here to predict properties of complex liquids and mixtures.)
Ivan Rasnik - Single molecule fluorescence
Dr. Ivan Rasnik conducts research in biophysics using fluorescence resonant energy transfer (FRET) to observe physical and biological processes at the sub-nanometer level.
Kurt Warncke - Protein dynamics
Dr. Kurt Warnke's research is categorized as biophysics, involving four projects: utilizing pulsed-EPR spectroscopy to unveil the inner workings of catalysis in metalloenzymes, studying the beta-Amyloid protein aggragation (associated with Alzheimer's disease), developing solar energy conversion systems on a molecular level by using artificial photosynthesis, and developing software to simulate certain pulsed- and continuous-wave EPR experiments.
John Malko - Medical physics
The main difference between radiology and diagnostic imaging, the two applied physics medical practices, is their work setting. Radiologists work closely with oncologists and focus on treatments (radiology) and cures. Meanwhile, diagnostic imaging focuses on reading the results of x-rays, CT-scans, MRI, etc and the diagnostic side of medicine. (A related course offered at Emory is Physics 227S: Seminar in Modern Medical Physics)
Soft Condensed Matter:
Connie Roth - Polymers
Dr. Connie Roth does research in the field of soft condensed matter, focusing on the effects of temperature and time on the motion of polymers in thin films and blends. Developing ways of understanding and controlling nanoscale interactions that influence motion of polymers in their glassy state. This information can be applied to applications in the microelectronics and nanotechnology industries.
Eric Weeks - Colloids
Dr. Eric Weeks conducts research projects in the field of soft condensed matter. These include the study of random close packing of spheres in frustrated geometries (colloidal glasses), confined colloidal structures, aging of colloidal glasses, and many other studies of the transitions made by gels, foams, and glasses.
Richard Williamon - Planetarium
Located in the Math and Science Center, the planetarium is used for astronomy classes and for public demonstrations. An observatory is located on the top floor of the Math and Science Center, and is used for research and teaching purposes.
Susanna Widicus-Weaver - Astrochemistry
Dr. Widicus-Weaver does research in the field of astrochemistry. By simulating the intersteller medium's environment and conducting spectroscopy, observational astronomy, and chemical modeling, some information about the origins of life on this planet can be drawn on the molecular level.