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The Department of Physics begins seminar offerings with an annual poster session where faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students show off their research work. This is meant to give students an overview of the kind of research that is happening, and also entice them to join one of the research projects. The department has put together a Canvas site where students can view the posters or brief videos. Please reach out to the poster presenter for more information or if you are interested in joining a research project.

Computational Physics

The Computational physics group at Miami is pursuing research programs at the undergraduate and Master’s levels in scientific visualization, image processing and analysis, and the use of computer graphics and animation to enhance comprehension of physical phenomena.

The research at the Mirza Quantum Information Group is of theoretical nature with typically 50% analytical work and 50% numerics. We develop theoretical quantum optical models with direct applications in the field of quantum computation, quantum communication and quantum metrology. To help perform numerical work, Mirza Quantum Information Theory Lab is equipped with up-to-date computation facilities for students with capabilities of performing efficient numerical simulations using computer programming languages such as MATLAB, Python, Mathematica and others. For advanced computational tasks that require high performance computational resources (for example for large scale parallel computing tasks) we work closely with Redhawk Cluster within the Miami University and Ohio Supercomputer as the state-level computational resource.

Theoretical: Dr. Imran Mirza

Physics Education

The Physics Education groups at Miami are pursuing research programs at the undergraduate and master’s levels in the development of effective strategies for teaching scientific reasoning and problem-solving skills in introductory physics classes, physics education at the elementary school level, K-12 science education and teacher preparation.

The physics education group has a lab space that is divided into several different rooms. We have a conference room, with a hexagonal table and six chairs - and an observation room with a one-way mirror, looking into the conference room. The observation room also has storage with a sink and a mini-fridge! There is also a large room with several student desks, well-stocked with office supplies and large windows overlooking a patio outside the student center. Finally, we have a library of reference books and a spacious storage closet.

Dr. Jennifer Blue


The Astrophysics group at Miami is pursuing research programs at the undergraduate levels in theoretical astrophysics using numerical simulations with gravitational N-body codes.

Theoretical: Dr. Steve Alexander

Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

students in physics lab

AMO physics groups at Miami are working on implementation of quantum noise-enabled cold atom nano-ratchets in optical lattices to simulate biomolecular motors; studying the light-matter interaction at the atomic and molecular level in order to explore critical scientific questions using state-of-the art lasers, along with various spectroscopic techniques such as laser spectroscopy, time-resolved pump-probe spectroscopy, quantum-beat spectroscopy, quantum optics and laser induced fluorescence; and studying Bose-Einstein condensation of dilute alkali gases, dynamics of quantum vortices in BECs and superfluidity, atom trapping with painted potentials.

Dr. Bali's research occupies 1100 square feet of laboratory space equipped with four optics tables, several home-built and commercial external cavity-tunable diode laser systems, two home-built laser amplifier systems, a sensitive imaging system built in-house for taking precisely timed millisecond exposures, several acousto-optic modulator systems, Faraday isolators, single-mode fiber-optics, a spatial light modulator system,, an ultrahigh vacuum system comprising a 26-window steel vacuum cell with anti-reflection coated windows, a triple mumetal layer magnetically shielded enclosure, in addition to optics, detection equipment, and computers necessary for conducting experimental research in cold atoms and information storage in coherently prepared warm alkali vapor.

Experimental: Dr. Samir BaliDr. Burçin BayramDr. E. Carlo Samson


Biophysics and Soft Condensed Matter Physics

lab equipment being used to take samples

Researches in the Biological and Soft CM Physics groups at Miami develop techniques to study, model and understand complex materials such as living biological systems and nano-materials using physics-based approaches with an emphasis on optical sensing. Active areas of research include fluorescence-based metabolic monitoring, microscopy imaging of living cellular systems, modeling impact of high pressure on biomolecules and cellular physiology, developing methods for quantitative sensing in scattering turbid materials using computational, theoretical and experimental approaches.

Experimental: Dr. Paul Urayama

Dr. Vishwanath runs the optical spectroscopy and imaging methods (OSIM) lab. Our pursuit is to understand light propagation in complex media such as biological tissues and exploit this understanding for non-invasive sensing of morphological and function information in living tissues using optical approaches. Research interests span theoretical, computational and experimental approaches of diffuse optical spectroscopy and imaging. Specifically, we develop both static techniques (to measure tissue contrast as intrinsic absorption, scattering and fluorescence) as well dynamic light scattering and correlation spectroscopy techniques (to measure tissue contrast using flow-velocimetry). Our work is highly interdisciplinary and deeply collaborative with active projects spanning departments within and outside of Miami.

The OSIM lab has two lab-spaces. The first is a 900 sq. ft. room containing the majority of resources for  optical development while a second smaller room (100 sq. ft.) for wet chemistry and basic stoichiometry. The main lab has 3 optical tables with vibration isolation with standard optical hardware, several different lasers (CW and picosecond pulsed systems), LEDs and halogen lamp sources, cooled spectrometers, time-correlated single photon counters, single photon avalanche diodes (gated and ungated), fiber optic cables, and multi-channel correlators. The main lab has several desktop, laptop and micro PCs (Raspberry Pis). The wet-room contains a chemical fume-hood, refrigerator and a shared low-pressure electric furnace.

Theoretical/Computational: Dr. Karthik Vishwanath

Condensed Matter Physics

physics research lab equipment

The Condensed Matter Physics groups at Miami are pursuing experimental research programs at the undergraduate and master’s levels in fabrication and optical characterization of nanoscale materials and devices using a variety of methods including sputter epitaxy, electron beam lithography and photolithography, magnetoresistance in nanodevices at cryogenic temperatures, nanoscale magneto dynamics in reduced dimensional systems, angular correlation spectroscopy of ceramic materials, electronic and thermal properties of novel solid state materials, electron and magnatic scanned probe microscopies, and vibrational tunneling spectroscopy.

  • Magnetic materials
  • Topological materials
    • Skyrmions
    • Weyl Semimetals & Insulators

Experimental: Dr. Mahmud KhanDr. Perry Corbett

Quantum Optics and Quantum Information

atom trap

The Macklin Quantum Information Sciences (MQuIS) group at Miami pursues research programs at the undergraduate and master’s levels in quantum coherence studies using Bose-Einstein condensates, quantum information storage in atomic vapor using electromagnetically induced transparency and twisted light, cavity QED, theoretical and computational modeling of light and matter for generating nonclassical or entangled states of light and atoms; applications include quantum teleportation, quantum error correction, quantum key distribution, and general quantum algorithms. Relativistic quantum information theory. Affiliate of Southwestern Quantum Information and Technology (SQuInT) network, an internationally renowned network of universities, national laboratories, and industry.

Theoretical: Dr. Imran Mirza

Experimental: Dr. Samir BaliDr. E. Carlo Samson



Foucault Pendulum

Major funding for the remodel of Kreger Hall came from the state of Ohio, committing to use 1% of the total appropriation for art. Following a national call, 23 artists submitted their visions and three finalists presented their designs to a selection committee. The department art display is a Foucault pendulum demonstrating simple, direct evidence of Earth’s rotation. The Foucault Pendulum is on the second floor of Kreger Hall, adjacent to a study area and across the hall from the physics office.

The winning depiction for the pendulum combines the forces of the universe with a sense of regularity; a keeper of time. The fixed point is an illuminated glass cone etched with images from the Hubble space telescope. At the end of the mass rod is a bob of brass weighing 230 pounds. At the end of the bob are three tiers of lit up and etched glass, each representing different and equally important ideas to physicists.

The first layer is an astronomical clock reporting the time, date, and season based on a 365-day cycle. The middle layer is a map of Oxford from the 1800s with a square silhouette tracing the location of Miami University. The bottom layer depicts the constellation figures of the Northern Hemisphere. The base of the pendulum is a traditional compass rose, appropriately positioned by its location in the building and embedded in the floor with three colors of water-jet cut granite.

History of Kreger Hall

Kreger Hall was the only academic building constructed with state appropriations on Miami's campus in the 1930's. The central portion of the building was completed in 1931 for use as a chemistry building. The east wing was finished in 1937 and the west wing in 1939.

The building was originally named Hughes Hall after Raymond M. Hughes, professor of chemistry 1898-1911 and university president 1911-1927.

In 1968, the building was renamed in honor of Clarence W. Kreger, a professor of chemistry who developed many of the technical programs that led to the creation of the School of Applied Science.

Most recently, Kreger housed the School of Engineering and Applied Science (now College of Engineering and Computing) until their move in 2006 to the present day engineering building and reconstructed Benton Hall.

The Department of Physics moved from Culler Hall, home to the department since Culler was built in 1961, to Kreger Hall in 2014. Physics settled in Kreger and enjoys the newly renovated facility with state-of-the-art laboratory spaces, contemporary classrooms, and advanced teaching labs.

Kreger Hall renovations included new instructional and research laboratories, up-to-date departmental offices and classrooms; modernized mechanical, electrical, data, and fire-suppression systems; addition of accessible restrooms; a revamped elevator; and enhancements to the exterior.

The project was supported with state capital funds. A small amount of local reserves were used in the design phase.


Since the Department of Physics moved to Kreger Hall, instructors are teaching introductory physics courses in an active, student-centered learning mode known as SCALE-UP (Student Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs). This approach of teaching combines traditional lecture and lab classes, while students perform hands-on activities and problem solving under the guidance of a professor supported by teaching assistants. Each group has a computer and work can be projected from any station in the room to one of several white boards. The students work collaboratively on laboratory projects, computer modeling and paper-and-pencil problem solving. The activities are interspersed with short lectures.

Physics Introductory courses integrate lab and lecture into a studio environment. Students work collaboratively on laboratory activities, computer modeling, and paper-and-pencil problem solving. These activities are interspersed with short lectures.


Research Specalities

Research Specialties, Level 100

  • Bose-Einstein Condensates Lab, room 138
  • Biological Physics, rooms 121 and 125
  • Condensed Matter and Nanoscience, rooms 126, 129, 133
  • Flex Lab, room 117, used for collaboration
  • Optical Spectroscopy and Quantum Optics, rooms 115, 128

Research Specialties, Level 200

  • Physics Education Research, room 228
  • Quantum Information and Quantum Computing, room 232
  • Theoretical Astrophysics, room 203
  • The Starkey Family Room made possible by a generous contribution from Russ Starkey ‘64

SCALE UP, Level 300

  • DIL (Director of Instructional Labs) Mark Fisher ’80 - The DIL is instrumental to student success. He manages, assists with, and builds lab experiments and teaching demonstrations for the department.
  • The Edwards Seminar Room, named in honor of Ray L. Edwards, made possible by a donation from the Carl A. ’28 & Harriet Frische.

Department of Physics

217 Kreger Hall
500 E. Spring St.
Oxford, OH 45056