Theoretical Physics

With 21 faculty members conducting research in Theroetical Physics, our department offers a tremendous variety of research opportunities that span the gamut from Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology, Gravity and Relativity, String Theory, High Energy Physics, and Condensed Matter Theory, to Quantum Information and Biophysics. Research techniques include exact methods, field theoretic and perturbative approaches as well as numerical methods and computer simulations that make extensive use of Canada's High Performance Computing networks. The "Theory Centre" offers an ideal venue for group meetings and frequent interaction between faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows.

The Condensed Matter Theory group is pursuing research at the forefront of many of the most exciting current developments: high-temperature superconductivity, quantum dots, polaron physics, spintronics, topological insulators, transition metal oxides, large scale quantum phenomena, quantum magnetism, superfluidity and cold atomic gases, geometrical phases of strongly correlated particles, quantum information, nonequilibrium statistical physics of disordered solids, and protein folding.

The Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics is an international research institute located in the department. It facilitates interactions between theorists all over the world and operates a visitor center for scientific exchanges.

Faculty Engaged in Theoretical Physics Research

Ian Affleck University Killam Professor,
Condensed Matter Theory
Research Website
Topics include: Superconductivity, Quantum Magnetism, Quantum Impurities, Topological Materials, Field Theory Methods in Condensed Matter Physics
Mona Berciu Professor,
Condensed Matter Theory
Research Website
Research Field: Strongly correlated systems
Topics include: polarons, bipolarons, correlated electrons, spintronics, magnetic and transport properties
Matthew Choptuik Professor,
Relativity/Computational Physics
Research Website
Marcel Franz Professor,
Condensed Matter Theory
Research Website
Jeremy Heyl Professor,
Astronomy/Theoretical Physics
Research Website
Research Field: High-Energy Astrophysics
Topics include: Compact Objects, Cosmology, Dynamics, Strong-field QED
Joanna Karczmarek Associate Professor,
Theoretical Physics
Research Website
Research Field: String theory
Topics include: Matrix models, emergent spacetime, noncommutative geometry, time dependence
Steven Plotkin Associate Professor,
Biological Physics
Research Website
Research Field: Theory, Computation, and Experiment
Topics include: Evolutionary Developmental Biology, Protein Misfolding & Aggregation, Molecular origins of neurodegenerative disease, Genetic networks, Coarse-graining in biomolecular modelling
Robert Raussendorf Associate Professor,
Quantum Information
Research Website
Research Field: Quantum computation, quantum error correction
Topics include: measurement-based models for quantum computation, fault-tolerant quantum computation under geometric constraints, quantum cellular automata,
Joerg Rottler Professor,
Condensed Matter/Computational Physics
Research Website
Research Field: Soft Condensed Matter
Topics include: Nonequilibrium statistical physics, polymer science, deformation and flow of disordered solids, nanoscale transport phenomena, computational materials physics
Moshe Rozali Professor,
Particle Theory
Research Website
Research Field: String Theory
George Sawatzky Professor,
Condensed Matter Theory
Research Website
Kristin Schleich Associate Professor,
General Relativity
tructiepbongda Douglas Scott Professor,
Research Website
Research Field: Cosmology
Topics include: Structure formation, Cosmic Microwave Background, Early Universe, High redshift galaxies, Sub-mm Observations, Astro-statistics
Gordon Semenoff Professor,
Particle Theory
Research Field: Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics
Topics include: String Theory, quantum field theory, quantum gravity, statistical mechanics
Kris Sigurdson Associate Professor,
Theoretical Physics and Cosmology
Research Website
Research Field: Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology
Topics include: Particle Dark Matter, Early Universe Cosmology, Particle Cosmology, Cosmological Perturbation Theory, Dark Energy, Inflation, Cosmic Microwave Background, Cosmic 21-cm Fluctuations
Philip Stamp Professor,
Condensed Matter Theory
Research Website
William Unruh Professor,
Research Website
Research Field: Gravity, Quantum Gravity, Quantum Foundations, Quantum Computing, Cosmology
Mark Van Raamsdonk Professor,
High Energy Theory/String Theory
Research Website
Research Field: String Theory, Quantum Field Theory, Quantum Gravity
Ariel Zhitnitsky Professor,
Particle Theory/Astrophysics/Cosmology
Research Website
Topics include: Axions, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Vacuum energy in gauge theories
Fei Zhou Professor,
Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics
Research Website
Research Field: Quantum Magnetism/Quantum Many-body Physics/Applications of Quantum Fiield Theory/CFT
Topics include: Ultra-Cold Quantum Matter, Quantum-Fluctuation Driven Phenomena, Strong-Coupling Fixed Point Physics, Far-away From Equilibrium Quantum Dynamics, Quantum entanglement

Postdoctoral Fellows & Research Associates

Jason Pollack Postdoctoral Fellow,
Research Website
Dongsheng Wang Postdoctoral Fellow,
Quantum Information
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Faculty of Science
Department of Physics and Astronomy
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Tel 604.822.3853
Fax 604.822.5324

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