NYU Arts & Science
Graduate Student Research Opportunities
Browse list of available research assistant opportunities by Physics faculty.
Contact faculty directly if interested.
Faculty:Javad Shabani
Project Description:Recent superconducting qubit experiments have demonstrated single and two-qubit gate operations with fidelities exceeding 99%, placing fault tolerant quantum computation schemes within reach. Semiconductor based devices have their own merits: fast manipulation, low-power consumption and a more direct path toward scalability. We aim to study hybrid superconductor and semiconductor devices that could have advantages of both systems. This project investigates quantum devices and qubits to study the Andreev states, measure and tune charging and Josephson energy in direct current and microwave frequency regimes.
Funding Source:Army Research Office / Air Force Office of Research / Start up
Funding Term:3 years +
Eligibility Requirements:1st or 2nd year graduate student with good academic record and good communication and teamwork skills
Faculty:Aditi Mitra
Project Description:My research area is quantum condensed matter theory. There is typically a lot of flexibility in choosing problems. A possible project could be to work on topological insulators. These are systems that are insulating in the bulk, and have edge states that are protected by time reversal symmetry. (An analogous system in the absence of time-reversal symmetry are quantum Hall systems). Topological insulators are well understood only for non-interacting fermions. The project would involve understanding what happens when the fermions are interacting, and also driven out of equilibrium. A second possible project is related to nonequilibrium dynamics in closed quantum systems with applications to cold-atomic gases and ultra-fast phenomena in strongly-correlated systems.
Funding Source:NSF or DOE
Funding Term:3+ years starting Fall 2016
Eligibility Requirements:Core courses or QFT-1. First-year and Second-year students preferred.
Faculty:Maryam Modjaz
Project Description: I have a number of potential observational projects in time-domain astrophysics. They range from understanding the deaths of massive stars as Supernovae and Gamma-ray Bursts - by investigating the explosion properties (from light curves and spectra) and/or their environments - to improving photometric selection techniques for upcoming, large-scale transient surveys. For most of the data sets, the data are all in hand and already reduced and for some cases constitute the largest data sets every gathered.
Funding Source:Start-up and/or NSF grant
Funding Term:3 years +
Eligibility Requirements:1st or 2nd year graduate student with good academic record, strong work ethic & communication skills and some background in astrophysics. Strong coding skills a plus.
Faculty:Jasna Brujic
Project Description:The project will involve studying liquid-liquid phase separation of lipids on the surface of oil-in-water emulsion droplets. The student will observe the phase separation in 3D using confocal microscopy, analyze the lipid domain trajectories and thus deduce the interaction potential between the domains. From this data, the student will derive the physical origin for the stability of the domains in terms of electrostatics, curvature and line tension. The patterns on the droplet surfaces will then be used for controlling the self-assembly of droplets into well-defined geometries.
Funding Source:NSF start-up
Funding Term:summer 2014
Eligibility Requirements:1st or 2nd year graduate student with good academic record, strong work ethic & communication skills and a strong interest in experimental physics - either in soft matter or biophysics. Strong coding skills are a plus for image and data analysis and interpretation.
Faculty:David Pine
Project Description:Building colloidal crystals with a photonic bandgap and exploring their optical properties. We made a major breakthrough recently for creating colloidal particles with valence, which is described in a recent publication: Nature, 491, 51–55 (November 1, 2012). This opens up a wide spectrum of new research opportunities. This project is primarily experimental and will involve learning how to prepare samples and characterize their optical properties. There will also be some numerical (computer) work to calculate the optical response of these materials.
Funding Source:Army Research Office
Funding Term:3 years
Eligibility Requirements:1st or 2nd year graduate student with good academic record and a strong work ethic.
Faculty:David W. Hogg
Project Description:Reverse-engineering an imaging spacecraft for time-domain astrophysics: We have all the photon detections (times of arrival and focal-plane positions) for every photon detected by the NASA GALEX satellite. The information in these photon data about spacecraft orientation is much greater than the sum of all the spacecraft pointing calibration data. If we can reverse engineer the three-axis orientation of the spacecraft from the photon data and recalibrate the detector plane, we can deliver the first ever large-scale ultraviolet time-domain data set in astrophysics. We expect to be able to discover planets around white dwarfs, tidal disruption events at supermassive black holes, and other valuable time-domain phenomena.
Funding Source:NASA
Funding Term:2 years +
Eligibility Requirements:solid coding abilities; ability to communicate with engineering teams; probability and inference

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