Quantum Science Research Areas

Condensed Matter Physics

Condensed Matter Physics explores the exotic behaviors that emerge when many quantum-mechanical particles interact with one another. Exciting theoretical questions range from the origins of high-temperature superconductivity to properties of topological quantum materials and beyond. While many experimental efforts aim to validate these theoretical models, condensed matter techniques have applications across quantum science, from device development and information processing to quantum simulation.

Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics has its origins in spectroscopy, and has produced an extremely exciting set of tools for creating and probing many of todays most exciting quantum systems. From quantum simulation and materials science using ultracold atoms in optical lattices and photonic Landau levels on cones, to coherent x-ray science, AMO is an extremely active area at the University of Chicago.

Physical Chemistry

Physical chemistry is the study of how matter behaves across a wide range of length-scales spanning atomic and molecular dimensions and extending to macroscopic systems. It encompasses quantum phenomena at essentially all levels such as the electronic structure of matter and its interaction with optical fields, energy and charge flow, the statistical and thermodynamic behavior of complex ensembles, as well as the quantum chemical dynamics of time-evolving systems.

Quantum Information

Quantum Information Science explores how computation, along with the storage and transmission of information, change once quantum effects come into play. This includes theoretical topics including computation models and error correction, as well as experimental topics such as practical implementations of quantum computers in semiconducting, superconducting, and cold atomic systems.

Quantum Optics

Quantum Optics is a field of research that harnesses interacting photons and atoms to explore the fundamental limits of the physical world; the focus is on observing aspects of the world which are uniquely quantum mechanical, including squeezing, entanglement, and the transition from quantum-to-classical as quantum dynamics compete with dissipation.

Quantum Sensing

A quantum sensor is a device that exploits quantum correlations, such as quantum entanglement, to achieve a sensitivity or resolution that is better than can achieved using only classical systems. A quantum sensor can measure the effect of the quantum state of another system on itself. The mere act of measurement influences the quantum state and alters the probability and uncertainty associated with its state during measurement.


Nanomechanics is a branch of nanoscience studying fundamental mechanical (elastic, thermal and kinetic) properties of physical systems at the nanometer scale. Nanomechanics has emerged on the crossroads of classical mechanics, solid-state physics, statistical mechanics, materials science, and quantum chemistry.

Topological Physics

In condensed matter physics, systems such as fractional quantum Hall states, string-net condensed states, and other strongly correlated quantum liquid states, are described possess topologically ordered on a global scale as opposed to that of local symmetries.

Device Physics

The study and development of the physics of devices based on electron, spin, photonic, and phononic transport for use in detectors, information processing, and the study of fundamental properties of matter.


With 27 faculty, quantum sciences is one of the most exciting areas at the University of Chicago. We pride ourself on collaboration between departments and across fields of quantum science.

Timothy Berkelbach

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Fred Chong

Seymour Goodman Professor of Computer Architecture in the Department of Computer Science

Andrew Cleland

John A. MacLean Sr. Professor for Molecular Engineering Innovation and Enterprise

Greg Engel

Professor of Chemistry

Giulia Galli

Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering

Supratik Guha

Professor of Molecular Engineering and Director of Center for Nanomaterials at ANL

Philippe Guyot-Sionnest

Professor of Chemistry and Physics

Alexander High

Assistant Professor of Molecular Engineering

Peter Littlewood

Professor of Physics

Shinsei Ryu

Professor of Physics

Erik Shirokoff

Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Steven Sibener

Carl William Eisendrath Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry

Paul Wiegmann

Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor of Physics

Tian Zhong

Assistant Professor of Molecular Engineering

We are looking for excellent students, postdocs, and industrial partners to work on cutting edge research. If you would like to get involved, checkout the group websites by clicking on the picture of the faculty member.