UC Santa Barbara Physics Department

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The Physics Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara has 58 faculty members.[1] It offers academic programs leading to the B.A., B.S., and Ph.D. degrees.

Faculty Awards[edit]

As of 2011, the department counts three Nobel Prize winners among its faculty: David Gross (2004, Physics), Alan J. Heeger (2000, Chemistry), and Walter Kohn (1998, Chemistry).[2][3] Herbert Kroemer, who won the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics[2] is a member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Materials Departments at UC Santa Barbara. The department's faculty includes 14 members of the National Academy of Sciences: Guenter Ahlers, David Awschalom, Matthew Fisher, David Gross, James Hartle, Alan Heeger, Gary Horowitz, Walter Kohn, James Langer, Stanton Peale, Joseph Polchinski, Douglas Scalapino, Boris Shraiman, and Michael Witherell.[4] Awschalom and Heeger are also members of the National Academy of Engineering.[5]


Undergraduate academics[edit]

The standard program, which is in the College of Letters and Science (L&S), leads to either a B.A. or B.S. degree. The B.S. program is for those aiming for a career in physics, while the B.A. is a more flexible program allowing more courses from other areas. Within the B.S. program there are three possible schedules of courses - a standard track, an advanced track, and an honors track - leading to a degree in four years. These tracks include increasingly more electives and undergraduate research.[6]

Graduate academics[edit]

The graduate program was ranked fifth (or sixth, depending on which method used) among physics program in the 2011 study by the National Research Council.[7] U.S. News & World Report ranked the graduate program tenth in the country across all subfields, third in Condensed Matter Physics, fifth in Quantum Physics, eighth in Elementary Particles/Field/String Theory, and ninth in Cosmology/Relativity/Gravity.[8]

Research Programs and Institutes[edit]

The faculty members conduct and supervise research in Astrophysics, Cosmology, Biophysics, Condensed Matter Physics, Gravitation, and Particle Physics.[9] In 2011 The Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked the UCSB department eleventh in the world, ninth in the United States.[10] In a ranking of physics departments by citations per faculty member, UCSB is first with 178 citations per faculty member.[11]

Physics professor David Gross was Director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) until 2012,[12] and its permanent members are also faculty of the Physics Department. David Awschalom, professor in the physics department, is Director of the California NanoSystems Institute at UC Santa Barbara,[13] and several members of the physics faculty carry out their research program within CNSI. The Institute for Terahertz Science and Technology [14] is the research home for many other faculty members in the physics department.

Four faculty members from the department lead a large UCSB research group working at the Large Hadron Collider using the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS). UCSB Professor Joseph Incandela is the spokesperson for the CMS collaboration. On 4 July 2012, Incandela spoke on behalf of CMS, where the discovery of a previously unknown boson with mass 125.3 ± 0.6 GeV/c2 was announced.


External links[edit]