Research Interest

Physics Research Interest

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

Examining and manipulating matter at the scale of the atom and molecule. Attosecond to femtosecond processes, quantum properties of atoms and photons, testing fundamental physics.

Research in atomic, molecular, laser and X-ray physics at college takes place in the Physics Departments.

Astrophysics and Cosmology

Current research in observational astrophysics and cosmology at departement covers a wide range of approaches to tackling the most important frontiers. Major topics include direct detection of dark matter, probes of dark energy (via gravitational lensing, surveys of galaxy clusters and supernovae), sources of gamma rays (pulsars, blazars, supernova remnants, dark matter annihilation or decay), the structure of clusters of galaxies and their use as probes of cosmology, the development of next generation detectors of photons (radio through gamma-ray), the origins of solar variability on a wide range of time scales, and experiments in gravitation (detection of gravitational waves, probes of gravity at short distance scales).

Matter Physics

Measuring the behavior of electrons in material systems. Semiconductor nanostructures, superconductivity and low-temperature physics, atomic and molecular measurement and control, novel quantum materials.

 Theoretical Physics

Research in the department spans a wide range of topics from understanding the fundamental nature of forces, particles and space-time geometry, to condensed matter physics and quantum information

Biological Research Interest

            Chemistry Research Interest


Many analytical chemists study chemical systems for their theoretical, industrial or biological importance. Naturally, these people find much in common with physical chemists, organic chemists, inorganic chemists, and biochemists. Still others who concentrate on the problem of improving chemical measurements become deeply involved in the optics, electronics, automation, and physical chemistry of measurement systems. In short, it is a most satisfying area of chemistry for those of us who are intrigued by the processes of experimentation and discovery.


Inorganic chemistry is one of the most exciting and rapidly expanding areas of chemical research. Recent discoveries of the active site of nitrogenase, metal-mediated selective oxidations, and high temperature superconductors emphasize the vital importance of inorganic research in the development of new technologies.

Interdisciplinary research is a hallmark of modern inorganic chemistry, and many chemists today are applying the methods and concepts of modern inorganic chemistry to problems in areas such as biochemistry, catalysis, energy conversion, and materials chemistry. Follow the links to learn more about inorganic chemistry research and graduate study at MU.


Organic chemistry is most commonly and simply defined as the chemistry of carbon compounds, but its importance and broad impact on our lives cannot be overstated. Organic compounds are the essential substances of life itself, and make up the bulk of the materials that feed, clothe and shelter us. Our faculty and students investigate and study a wide range of topics, including polymers, enzymes and other biological compounds, organometallic compounds and catalysts, photochemistry, reaction mechanisms, new synthetic methodology and the total synthesis of complex natural products.


Physical Chemistry is concerned with the structure and dynamics of atoms and molecules and, in particular, with the development of quantitative descriptions for processes which occur at the submicroscopic level. Typical of the kinds of questions which physical chemists address are the arrangement of electrons in chemical bonds, the rate at which molecules rotate, the position and rate of attainment of equilibrium in mixtures of different chemical species, and the three dimensional structure of enzyme molecules. One of the most rewarding aspects of physical chemistry is that the approach used to answer these types of questions is general and can be applied to a wide variety of chemical systems. Thus at college of science, and graduate students in physical chemistry are at work in problems ranging from those encountered with isolated atoms and small molecules, through large molecules of biological significance such as proteins and nucleic acids, to systems which contain several phases.


Biological chemistry is the chemistry of biological molecules. These can be proteins, nucleic acids, polysaccharides or any bioactive or biologically relevant small molecule (vitamins, cofactors, hormones, drugs, sugars, etc.). Our faculty and students study a wide variety of these molecules using a wide range of techniques., the program includes a broad spectrum of research programs. Our interests include ultra-fast laser spectroscopy applied to the study of biological photosensors and protein folding, protein design and color vision, protein crystallography and NMR spectroscopy.

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