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Biophysics interfaces physics with biology and medicine and is one of the most rapidly developing areas of physics. Because of their specialized training and knowledge, physicists have made major contributions in revealing the secrets of life and in the treatment of disease. These contributions are of great value to humanity. Moreover, biophysics provides challenging research opportunities for physicists. 

Physics has contributed greatly to biological science both through conceptual advances and through the development of special techniques for studying matter, including X-rays, NMR, synchrotron and laser light sources, to name a few. Physicists have also been leaders in providing the conceptual framework for understanding both interactions among biological molecules and the way in which these interactions affect living systems. Biophysics draws interest also because biological macromolecules and macro-assemblies are a source of novel physics, and because bio-materials are beginning to find application in technological problems.


Researcher:  Areas of current interest

  • Zimei Bu (Chemistry)    
  • Ranajeet Ghose (Chemistry):    Structural biology of signal trans- duction, protein dynamics; NMR methodology
  • Ronald Koder:   De Novo protein design for new energy materials and chemotherapeutics
  • David Rumschitzki (Chemical Engineering):  Reaction engineering; transport and reaction aspects of artery disease
  • Ruth Stark (Chemistry):  Protein-assisted fatty acid transport, melanin and plant biopolymer assemblies; NMR methodology
  • Raymond Tu (Chemical Engineering):  Biomolecular self-assembly using a set of rationally designed peptide-based building blocks

Researcher: Areas of current interest

  • Marilyn Gunner:  Computational studies electron and proton transfers in protein. computational molecular biological physics; electron and proton transfer reactions; solar energy. Electron transfer & proton transfer reactions Computational studies electron and proton transfers in protein. computational molecular biological physics; electron and proton transfer reactions; solar energy. Electron transfer & proton transfer reactions
  • Themis Lazarides (Chemistry):  Modeling of protein-membrane interactions and molecular recognition





Research includes rheology; nonlinear fluids, including liquid crystals, polymers and polymer blends, and yield-stress materials; polymer interfaces; flow instabilities. The Levich Institute

Researcher:    Areas of current interest

  • Joel Koplik:    Theoretical fluid mechanics; molecular dynamics of fluid flow
  • Hernan Makse:    Condensed matter, granular matter; soft condensed matter physics
  • Mark Shattuck:    Experimental fluid mechanics, transport processes, complex fluids

Research includes the development and application of new methods in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy and imaging; transport and magnetic properties of a variety of materials, mostly at low temperatures; magnetic properties of molecular nanomagnets, sometimes referred to as single-molecule magnets; surface reactions of oxygen with crystalline SiC; preparation and characterization of a variety of crystalline and amorphous semiconductor and insulating films; optical spectroscopic techniques to study correlated-electron systems and nano-systems; physical properties of electron systems of reduced dimensionality.

Researcher:    Areas of current interest

  • Lia Krusin:    Complex & multifunctional low--‐dimensional materials/systems. physics of complex nanostructured materials; strong electron correlations; quantum phase transitions; superconductivity
  • Carlos Meriles:    Micro/nano scale magnetic resonance, optical detection and control of nuclear and electronic spins, schemes for polarization enhancement. novel magnetic resonance, optical NMR
  • Myriam Sarachik:    Transport and Magnetic Measurements at Low Temperature, Molecular magnets, Dilute electrons in two dimensions, Topological insulators. physics of solids at low temperatures, MI transitions, magnetic materials, molecular magnetism
  • Sergey Vitkalov:    Quantum Transport in Low Dimensional Electron Systems. experimental condensed matter physics, low temperature physics, microwave physics



Research includes strongly correlated systems in low dimensions; materials science, surface science, sonoluminescence; interaction of light with matter; statistical mechanics; symmetry and symmetry breaking in condensed matter.

Researcher:    Areas of current interest

  • Joseph Birman:    Condensed Matter Theory: Symmetry and Symmetry Breakup, Theoretical Physics - Condensed Matter Theory, Dynamical Symmetry & Symmetry Breaking in Many Body Problem, Coexistence of Competing Collective Effects (Superconductivity and Ferroelectricity), NanoPhysical Effects, Optical Properties of Condensed Matter Systems, Bose-Einstein Condensation Effects
  • Harold Falk:    Statistical mechanics, spin-system techniques and focus on mathematically exact results, the evolution of discrete-time, nonlinear and stochastic models
  • Joel Gersten:    Materials Science, sonoluminescence, surface physics, interaction of light and charged particles with solids, and STEM
  • Hernan Makse:    Structure and dynamics of complex networks, Granular matter and jamming
  • David Schmeltzer:    High Tc superconductors-Tunneling density of states. Quantum wires-The 0.7 conduction anomaly. theoretical condensed matter; many body physics



Researcher:    Areas of current interest

  • David Crouse (Electrical Engineering, Center for Advanced Technology)
  • Stephen O'Brien (Chemistry, Chemical Engineering)
  • Maria Tamargo (Chemistry):    Molecular beam epitaxy growth and characterization of semiconductor materials for photonics and electronics



Research includes stochastic electrodynamics; fundamental problems in quantum theory.

Researcher:    Areas of current interest

  • Timothy Boyer:    Theoretical Physics, stochastic electrodynamics
  • Daniel Greenberger:    Neutron interferometry; quantum theory; relativity; history and philosophy of science



City College has a strong and active research group in atomic and molecular physics. Research in this field has led to the understanding of atomic and molecular structure and interactions. In addition, atomic physics has provided a testing ground for fundamental theories such as quantum electrodynamics and unified gauge theories of the electro-weak interaction.
The central objective of all particle physics research is to understand the fundamental interactions of the basic forms of matter and their ultimate structure. The high energy theory group's activity centers on a quantum-field-theoretical study of these interactions, with specific emphasis on gauge field theories, which are indispensable for the description of all interactions.

Researcher:    Areas of current interest


High Energy Group Topics of Recent Research:
  • Noncommutative geometry and gravity
  • Quark‐gluon plasma (color transport, instabilities, etc.)
  • Twistors and scattering amplitudes
  • Nonperturbative aspects of Yang‐Mills theory
  • Bosonization
  • Alternate theories of gravity
  • String theory
  • Casimir forces
  • Lattice Gauge Theory



Includes Laser Physics, Mediphotonics and Quantum Optics and the Photonics Laboratory.  Laser spectroscopic techniques have been pioneered at City College and are being used to study dynamical properties of a variety of physical and biological systems. Several laboratories cited in the research sections above make extensive use of laser-scattering and laser-based diagnostic techniques.

Beyond this, City College has a comprehensive research program in quantum optics and applied quantum phenomenology.


Researcher:    Areas of current interest

  • Robert Alfano:    Ultrafast optical and Biomedical Physics pico-and femtosecond spectroscopy of solids, liquids, and biophysics; laser optics; medical applications of photonics, Ultrafast laser physics, Biomedical optics, Nonlinear optics, Optical imaging
  • Swapan Gayen:    Optical Biomedical Imaging and Spectroscopy, Probing the Ultrasmall and Ultrafast. photonics, ultrafast laser spectroscopy, optical imaging of biological and turbid media. Biomedical optical imaging, Optical imaging and pulse propagation through turbid media, Nanoscale photonic materials, Tunable solid-state lasers, Ultrafast lasers and spectroscopy, Spectroscopy of impurity ion-doped solids, Nonlinear optics
  • Vladimir Petricevic:    Laser crystals, lasers, optical communications, ultrafast spectroscopy, growth of solid-state laser materials, laser development, photonics, spectroscopy of ions in solids, ultrafast phenomena



Researcher:    Areas of current interest

  • Jiiufeng Tu:    Optical spectroscopy studies of energy related materials. experimental condensed matter physics, optical spectroscopy, optical studies of correlated systems and nanosystems, infrared and Raman studies of superconductors and nanosystemsphysics



● Physics Education Research: Systematic studies on how students learn science in general and physics in particular.
● Innovative Instruction: Student-centered instructional strategies with documented effectiveness.
● Teacher Education: Programs for in-service and pre-service science teachers ranging from elementary shool to high school.
● Community Outreach: Educational and fun interactive physics shows for pre-college classes at all levels, both at CCNY and at area schools.

Researcher:    Areas of current interest



Analysis of federal S&T policies, budgets and regulations and advocacy on specific issues including, R&D budgets, energy, defense, non-proliferation, homeland security, science education and the environment.

Researcher: Areas of current interest

  • Michael Lubell:    Analysis of federal Science and Technology policies, budgets and regulations and advocacy on specific issues including, Research and Development budgets, energy, defense, non-proliferation, homeland security, science education and the environment