Faculty

Full-Time Faculty


Thomas Böttger

Department Chair
(415) 422-5716

Tom Böttger studies optical, dynamical, and magnetic properties of solids, specifically optical materials doped with rare earth ions. This work is centered on understanding the fundamental material physics at the microscopic scale but also geared towards the development of optical materials for optical signal processing, optical memories, quantum computing, and laser frequency stabilization. Tom has been specifically interested in Erbium doped materials as they enable optical devices operating...

Education:

PhD in Physics, Montana State University - Bozeman, 2002

Brandon Brown

Professor
(415) 422-6179

Brandon Brown pursued doctoral training in superconductivity and low-temperature physics, with postdoctoral work in science communication. Once at the University of San Francisco, he shifted his research focus to sensory biophysics. His laboratory, his research students, and various collaborators have explored the electric and magnetic sensory abilities of a variety of creatures. Currently, he is completing a book about the life and work of German physicist Max Planck (1858-1947), to be...

Education:

PhD, 1997, Oregon State University.

Expertise:

High-temperature superconductivity, Sensory biophysics, Science communication, The life and work of Max Planck

Horacio Camblong

Professor
(415) 422-2364

Professor Camblong's research has been centered on miscellaneous topics in quantum field theory, gravitational physics, and many-body theory. His main focus has been on developing general frameworks, with applications to fields as diverse as condensed-matter physics, molecular physics, nuclear physics, elementary particle physics, and quantum gravity. Some of the highlights of his published research over the past decade include collaborative work on: a geometrical and gauge-invariant approach...

Education:

PhD, New York University, 1993

Expertise:

A geometrical and gauge-invariant approach to the quantum effective action, Many-body formulation of magnetotransport for inhomogeneous systems, Nonlinear redefinitions of quantum fields in path integrals, Path integral treatments of singular problems and bound states, Renormalization theory, Quantum anomalies in molecular physics

Seth Foreman

Associate Professor
(415) 422-4510

I am excited about using high-precision control of light to create and control extremely brief pulses of electrons! My main tools are ultrafast lasers and field emission tips. Much of my earlier graduate work concentrated on improving the exquisite control of light fields achieved by the optical clock and ultrafast laser communities. With undergraduate research students at USF, we investigate the ultrafast field emission process. Students have designed, built, and characterized femtosecond...

Education:

PhD, JILA, University of Colorado, Boulder, 2007

Xiaosheng Huang

Associate Professor
(415) 422-6281

My research interests are in observational cosmology. Fourteen years after the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe (Nobel Prize 2011), a standard model of the universe (and its variations) has been established but fundamental questions about the nature of dark energy remain unanswered. Along with collaborators in the Supernova Cosmology Project led by Saul Perlmutter at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, I am working on the following projects and would like to engage...

Education:

PhD, University of California, Berkeley, Physics (2004)

Milka Nikolic

Assistant Professor

Milka Nikolic's research focuses primarily on developing spectroscopy methods for plasma etching technology. She is interested in both theoretical and experimental approaches to solving mysteries of physics. In particular, she works in combining laser diagnostics with widely used optical emission spectroscopy technique to obtain fundamental plasma properties. Understanding these properties plays an important role in surface modification processes. In addition, she's exploring molecular...

Education:

PhD, Old Dominion University

Aparna Venkatesan

Professor
(415) 422-6152

I am currently a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of San Francisco. Please visit my website for more details on my research, undergraduate projects, CV, recent awards and press, etc. Recent awards and grants include a Cottrell College Science Award from Research Corporation (2010-2013), a USF Jesuit Foundation Grant (2012), and a Dean's Scholar Award at USF for 2012-2013. I am USF's Lead Faculty Member in a 3-year $437,883 collaborative grant (2012-2015)...

Education:

MS and PhD, University of Chicago, BA in Astronomy, Cornell University

Expertise:

Theoretical Astrophysics, Cosmology, First Stars and Primordial Supernovae, Cosmological Reionization, Cosmic Element Synthesis, Microwave Background, Dark Stars, Astrobiology

Part-Time Faculty


Aaron White

Adjunct Professor

Aaron White is an adjunct professor focusing on science education and outreach, with specialties in physics and astronomy. He’s worked as a science communicator at several museums, produced and hosted science videos for Youtube, been a panelist at Comicon, and done science advising for video games.  His graduate thesis investigated new approaches for teaching undergraduates cosmology, and how to integrate multimedia tools into instruction. Previous projects involved refining our understanding...

Education:

San Francisco State, MS in Physics (Astronomy), 2019, University of Michigan, BS in Astrophysics, 2011

Expertise:

Astronomy, Physics, Science Communication

Minhua Zhu

Adjunct Professor

Education:

CWRU, Ph.D. In Physics, 2007

Expertise:

Research scientist in KOI, NY , Post-doctor in UCSF, SF