Lab Tours

Lab tours will take place on Friday, January 20, 2022. All lab tours will meet to begin in the Barus and Holley Lobby.


TimeLab Tours Offered
1:00-1:30 PMTucker, Narain and Heintz
1:30-2:00 PMTucker, Narain and Heintz
2:00-2:30 PMMitrovic, Xiao
2:30-3:00 PMXiao, Li
3:00-3:30 PMMitrovic, Li
3:30-4:00 PMMittleman, Hirth
4:00-4:30 PMMittleman, Hirth, the Observatory
4:30-5:00 PMThe Observatory

Astrophysics Experiment: Prof. Tucker

The observational cosmology and astrophysics group is currently interested in both measuring the Universe at very large scales as well as in understanding exoplanets.. We specialize in developing new techniques to make these measurements.  The group designs and builds special purpose instruments for these measurements and then uses them and analyzes the results.

The group has studied the early universe by measuring the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and by looking at the very earliest galaxies to have formed in the Universe.  More recently the group has been using the 21 cm emission of neutral hydrogen to study, for example, dark energy.

The group is also studying the atmospheres of exoplanets using ballon-borne and space-based telescopes.

High Energy Experiment: Prof. Heintz and Prof. Narain

Heintz studies the fundamental building blocks of matter. Their interactions are described by the standard model of elementary particle physics. Heintz is interested in testing the validity of this model at very high energies. Understanding the behaviour of matter at the highest energies is important to understand how our Universe evolved from the Big Bang to its current state. Heintz has been a member of the CUSB and D0 Collaborations. Presently, Heintz carries out his research as a member of the CMS Collaboration at CERN.

Heintz has carried out a measurements of the W boson mass and of the top quark mass and production cross section, and conducted searches for 4th generation and vector-like quarks, KK resonances, new massive gauge bosons and Higgs pair production. Heintz has lead the development and construction of the Level 2 Silicon Track Trigger for the D0 Experiment and the Frontend Electronics for the phase 1 upgrade of the Forward Hadron Calorimeter for the CMS Experiment. Heintz is interested in development of radiation hard silicon sensors. Presently, he is co-leading the development of silicon modules for the high-luminosity upgrade of the Outer Tracker for the CMS Experiment.

Narain is co-leading the effort to establish the vision and studies for physics and the upgrade of the CMS detector for the High Luminosity upgrade of the LHC in 2023. In 2013, Narain led many of the studies which formed the basis of the snowmass 2013 community study report as input to the P5 committee defining the priorities of US particle physics projects.  Narain is engaged in R&D towards the construction of the tracking detector, made from silicon sensors, which forms the innermost part of the CMS experiment. This detector provides a precise measurement of the momentum of the charged particles produced in the collision. Her lab is one of the sites selected for the construction of silicon strip tracker for CMS operations at HL-LHC.  Media coverage of her role at the LHC in finding the Higgs Boson can be obtained on request.

Narain’s research impacts society on many levels. Addressing questions at the microscopic scale and beyond has always required innovation. The CMS experiment is extremely demanding in terms of equipment design, and  generates novel technical approaches which ultimately benefit society. On a more practical level, research in particle physics drives technology to the edge and many of its spinoffs are commonplace today – to name a few clichés… such as accelerators for cancer therapy and the www protocol. The diverse technological and analytical training spanning engineering, mathematics, computing and electronics obtained in an international and collaborative environment is much sought after in many commercial sectors.  The efforts of the LHC experiments in  distributed computing  link Grid computing with cloud computing, an invaluable tool for big data analysis. 

Condensed Matter Experiment: Prof. Mitrovic

Prof. Mitrovic’s research interests include study of the quantum phenomena arising in strongly correlated electron systems at low temperatures and high magnetic fields using magnetic resonance techniques. 

Quantum Magnetism: Microscopic nature of exotic phases that arise in systems with strong spin orbit coupling, where spin is not a good quantum number, and nature of 2D spin-liquids.  

Superconductivity: What is the role of magnetism and nematicity in establishing unconventional superconductivity? What is the nature of superconducting states formed in fermionic systems with an equal number of two species distinguished by spin? Microscopic nature of superconducting phases in high magnetic fields?

Topological States: Role of spin in transport properties of the topological surface states. 

Condensed Matter Experiment: Prof. Xiao

Professor Xiao’s research is focused on nanoscale magnetism and spintronics, in particular, magnetic tunneling junctions, superlattices, and granular and self-assembled systems. The objective is to investigate and solve outstanding physics problems that are both basic and essential to applications. He has developed reliable fabrication processes leading to excellent magnetic nanostructures. He has explored magnetotransport in these novel magnetic systems, in particular, the properties of magnetoresistance (MR) and extraordinary Hall effect (EHE). These systems have been found to offer enhanced magnetotransport properties. The subject of magnetic interactions has been studied with the purposes of engineering magnetic switching fields and achieving large MR and EHE at low magnetic fields. His research has led to a more comprehensive understanding of properties of nanoscale magnetic systems.

Nanoscale spintronics is important to the future competitiveness of the semiconductor industry in the United States. Professor Xiao’s project has supported many graduate students. He has also investigated magnets and quantum spin dependent phenomena in nanometer sized magnets assembled in arrays through self-assembly processes and embedded in metals. In these new systems, many physical properties defy interpretations using traditional theoretical understanding. His research is designed to foster better understanding of the physics involved and to develop a reliable fabrication process. His research has benefited the high-tech industries, helping them to overcome roadblocks that impede the advancement toward smaller, thinner, faster, and cost-effective devices.

Condensed Matter Experiment: Prof. Li

The Li lab uses the large family of 2D materials as building blocks to assemble designer structure, where novel quantum states of matter could be studied and engineered.  The large phase space and wide range of tunabilities make 2D material heterostructure an ideal platform for investigating the interplay between topology, symmetry and electron correlation.

Besides quantum transport measurement, we develop experimental tools capable of probing electrical and thermodynamic properties of interacting electrons in low dimensional confinement.

Engineering: Prof. Mittleman

Prof. Mittleman’s research involves the use of radiation in the terahertz region of the electromagnetic spectrum.  This range lies between the microwave and infrared, at the boundary between electronics and photonics.  The techniques for generating, manipulating, and detecting terahertz radiation are less mature than those of the microwave, infrared, or visible ranges, although much progress has been made in recent years.  As a result, there are many new opportunities and exciting possibilities in science, technology, and applications.  Our work spans this range, including recent activities in a variety of areas:

Terahertz wireless communications

It is becoming clear that future generations of wireless technology will need to exploit the spectral range between 100 GHz and 1 THz, in order to keep up with the global skyrocketing demand for bandwidth.  However, few of the physical layer components necessary for constructing such a system exist.  As a result, the parameters which will define the system architecture and network protocols remain unclear.  Our group contributes to this fascinating emerging challenge by exploring new device concepts for wave guiding, modulation, multiplexing, beam steering, and wavefront engineering. We have also become involved in test-bed demonstrations of links, for studying the properties of THz wireless channels and investigating the resilience of such links against eavesdropping.

Terahertz spectroscopic studies of condensed matter systems

New techniques for producing very high intensity terahertz pulses have opened the door to a rich array of physical phenomena in this spectral range.  We are exploring the use of these techniques to study novel materials including soft condensed matter systems and complex metal oxides.  In addition, we are pushing the frontiers of spectroscopic techniques with new capabilities for pressure-dependent terahertz spectroscopy. This is of particular relevance in many soft condensed matter and macro-molecular systems, where the low-frequency (THz) vibrational modes are often intimately linked to macroscopic thermodynamic properties such as thermal expansion and Young’s modulus. These modes are also often key to the molecular motions which enable functionality, such as the gate-opening modes of metal-organic frameworks.

Terahertz near-field probes

Our group has been interested for some time in techniques for probing materials and imaging surfaces using terahertz fields on a sub-wavelength scale. Several groups have recently demonstrated powerful new tools based on AFM and STM techniques.  We are now developing a terahertz emission microscope which relies on an apertureless near-field tip. This enables simultaneous reflection and emission measurements with sub-100-nanometer resolution. The optical nonlinearity of the emission process is manifested as an effective sharpening of the near-field tip.

Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Science: Prof. Hirth

Prof. Hirth’s interests are in experimental rock mechanics, deformation mechanisms in both crustal and mantle lithologies, structural geology, application of experimental flow laws to geophysical and geological observations. He also investigates the processes that control the mechanical behavior of rocks using optical and electron microscopy in conjunction with theoretical considerations. He studies the physical and chemical properties of rocks and minerals from a material science perspective.

The Observatory: Bob Horton

Observational astronomy research at Brown is mostly done remotely, but some research is still conducted here in Providence! This lab tour will showcase Brown’s telescopes.