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Research

How does the human genome work and regulate cell function? How do electrons behave in low-dimensional, high mobility quantum materials? How and where do planets form? What drives variability of active galactic nuclei to produce the most powerful astrophysical phenomena ever observed?

With support from NSF, NIH, NASA, and other agencies, these research programs utilize state-of-the-art lab facilities and equipment on Boise State’s campus, as well as astronomical observatories off-campus and off the Earth. Physics majors are actively involved in research with our faculty, contributing scholarly articles and presenting their results at scientific conferences.

Main Research Areas

Applied Physics

The field of condensed matter and solid state physics investigates the quantum behavior and mechanical properties of solid matter. Research in this vein at Boise State focuses on the physics relevant to nanotechnology and runs the gamut from computer modeling of quantum many-particle systems, to the laser spectroscopy of nano-structures for electronic and optoelectronic applications, to the growth of thin semiconductor films by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). Collaborations involve faculty and graduate students from the Micron School of Materials Sciences and Engineering (MSMSE) Department and supports the interdepartmental MSMSE Ph.D. program at Boise State.

For more information, visit Dr. Simmonds’s, or Dr. Tenne’s profile page.

Astrophysics

As the oldest science, astronomy studies the physics, chemistry, and evolution of celestial objects, and Boise State’s astrophysicists explore the universe on planetary and extra-galactic scales. Our active research programs involve monitoring and modeling of extra-solar planets and active galaxies, with observations from Boise State’s own Challis Observatory and NASA spacecraft such as the Kepler mission and the Fermi Gamma Ray Telescope.

For more information, visit Dr. Jackon’s or Dr. Macomb’s profile pages.

Biophysics

The field of biophysics explores the physical machinery of biological systems and developments in biophysics catalyze progress in biology, bio-engineering, drug discovery, clinical diagnostic, disease prevention, and advanced therapies. With active collaborations in the biology and chemistry departments, our biophysicists study the functionality and transport properties of proteins, with a focus on controlled drug delivery, and interface between dynamical systems and thermodynamics in physical and biological systems. This research also supports the interdepartmental Biomolecular Sciences Ph.D. program at Boise State.

For more information, visit Dr. Ferguson’s, Dr. Fologea’s, Dr. Kim’s or Dr. Mainali’s profile page.