Theoretical Physics

Theoretical Physics: high-energy physics (quantum field theory, the quantization of gravity, the unification of the fundamental interactions of nature, and quantum information theory) and material physics (models and simulations of nano-scale phenomena). 

Topics of interest to high-energy physicists include the phenomenology of elementary particle interactions, quantum field theory, the dynamical breakdown of quantum field theoretical symmetries, the quantization of gravity, string/brane models underlying known-interaction physics, the unification of fundamental interactions of nature, and quantum information theory.  

At the other end of the spectrum, materials physics is a research area that connects physics with chemistry and computational mathematics. The Material Physics group at Western uses computer simulations of nano-scale phenomena to make important discoveries about the properties of materials we use every day.  

If you are interested in graduate work in this research area, direct your application to the Department of Applied Mathematics 

  • Alex Buchel - Superstring theory, quantum gravity, black hole thermodynamics, gauge theory, cosmology. (Joint with Physics and Astronomy.) 
  • Colin Denniston - Soft condensed matter physics, complex fluids, granular matter, theory and simulation of micro and nano-fluidic devices, developing numerical methods and analytical techniques to study the above. (Joint with Physics and Astronomy.) 
  • Chris Essex - Radiation thermodynamics, anomalous diffusion, chaos, dynamical systems and predictability. 
  • Mikko Karttunen - Computational chemistry & biological physics, Multiscale simulation methods, QM/MM and coarse-graining Lattice Boltzmann methods, Polymers, Intrinsically disordered proteins, Lipid membranes and peptides
  • Allan B. Maclsaac - Nanomagnetism, Ultra-thin magnetic films, Phase Transitions and Critical Phenomena, Statistical Mechanics, Computer Simulation, Monte Carlo Simulation, Cellular Automata
  • Volodya Miransky. Elementary particle physics, quantum field theory, dynamical symmetry breaking, materials science. (Joint with Physics and Astronomy.)