Cornell accelerator physicists pursue a broad range of topics in accelerator science and technology, from the operation of the on-campus Cornell Electron Storage Ring, also known as CESR, to the construction of an innovative new x-ray lightsource and the design and construction of future high energy colliders.
Astrophysics, General Relativity and Cosmology
Cornell has long been a leader in theoretical astrophysics—the modeling of phenomena in our solar system, galaxy, distant galaxies and the early universe. In 1967, the late Professor Hans Bethe was awarded the Nobel Prize for his explanation of how stars shine by converting hydrogen to helium.
Biological physics uses the tools and techniques of physics to understand the inner workings of the machinery found in living organisms on length scales ranging from the molecular to the macroscopic.
Experimental Condensed-Matter Physics
Condensed-matter physics concerns atoms in close proximity to one another and interacting strongly, as in the liquid and solid states. Collective and cooperative phenomena that result from these interactions can produce a variety of unusual physical properties as represented by the superfluid phases of 3He or high-temperature superconductivity.
Experimental Elementary Particle Physics
Cornell’s particle physicists are involved with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the International Linear Collider and the Cornell Electron Storage Ring (CESR).
Physics Education Research
Physics Education Research (PER) is the study of how people learn physics and how to improve the quality of physics education. Researchers use the tools and methods of science to answer questions about physics learning that require knowledge of physics.
Theoretical Condensed-Matter Physics
Cornell set in place several keystones of contemporary condensed-matter physics. The renormalization-group approach to critical phenomena, the theoretical description of exotic ordered phases (inspired by the discovery of superfluid helium-3), and the defining textbook of our field (Ashcroft & Mermin), were all developed at Cornell.
Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics
The Standard Model of strong, electromagnetic and weak interactions is the crowning achievement of twentieth century physics. However, despite its many spectacular successes, the Standard Model is inconsistent at high energies and should be superseded by a new, more fundamental theory at the teraelectron-volt (TeV) energy scale.