Research by Faculty and Students in our Physics Program

The research of the Physics Department falls into four broad areas:

  • Soft Matter Physics including Liquid Crystals, Complex Fluids, and Active Matter;

  • Condensed Matter Physics, including Correlated Electron Physics and Superconductivity;

  • Nuclear and Hadronic Physics; and

  • Biophysics

The listings below give a classification of our faculty members according to research area, and further information on their interests can be found on their individual pages.  These classifications are largely determined by our experimental programs, and some of our faculty have research interests that are broader than indicated.

Another way to survey our active areas of research is to consult an alphabetical list of the physics topics and research techniques that we study.  Additional information on our research activities can also be gleaned from our slide show on graduate student research and our nascent virtual tours page.

Are you interested in graduate-level research?  We invite you to consider applying to our Ph.D. or Master's program.  Are you currently an undergraduate at Kent?  If so, please see our page on undergraduate research.

Research Area

Faculty (Experimental)

Faculty (Theoretical)

See Also



Phil Bos

James Gleeson

Antal Jakli

Oleg Lavrentovich

Elizabeth Mann

Samuel Sprunt

Deng-Ke Yang

Hiroshi Yokoyama

Jonathan Selinger

Robin Selinger

Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute



Mina Katramatou

Declan Keane

Spiros Margetis

Makis Petratos

Veronica Dexheimer

Michael Strickland

Center for Nuclear Research



Carmen Almasan

Brett Ellman

Almut Schroeder

Benjamin Fregoso

Maxim Dzero

Khandker Quader

Almasan Lab

High Temperature Superconductors



Hamza Balci

Elizabeth Mann

Thorsten-Lars Schmidt

Samuel Sprunt

John Portman

Balci Biophysics Lab

Portman Biophysics Group

Protein Folding Video Frame

Facilities and techniques in experimental condensed matter physics at Kent State University include nonlinear optics, electro-optics, tunneling and atomic force microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, electron paramagnetic resonance, x-ray scattering, light scattering, microcalorimetry, milli-Kelvin refrigeration, SQUID magnetometry, and magnetoresistance and Hall effect measurement. Theoretical research in condensed matter at Kent is centered on problems in the main two areas above, as well as independent work in computational physics, and techniques for the quantum many-body problem.

Several of the condensed matter faculty at Kent State University are affiliated with the Glenn H. Brown Liquid Crystal Institute (LCI), the only institute of its kind in the United States. The National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Advanced Liquid Crystalline Optical Materials (ALCOM) is based at Kent State University's LCI.

The nuclear physics faculty perform experiments or perform theoretical calculations relevant to the experimental programs at national laboratories, especially Jefferson Laboratory (JLab) in Virginia and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in New York. Some of the specific areas of interest to the nuclear physics faculty at Kent include development of neutron detectors and polarimeters, field-theoretical modeling of the quark-gluon structure of hadrons, experimental and theoretical studies of relativistic nuclear collisions, experimental and phenomenological studies of baryon resonances, and measurements of fundamental structure functions of the neutron and proton. The activities of the nuclear physics faculty are promoted by the Physics Department's Center for Nuclear Research (CNR).

A number of faculty take a specific interest in Physics Education and innovative methods to improve the process, sometimes assisted by external funds. Faculty who have the most direct experience in such efforts include John Barrick, Matthew Bryant, Stan Christensen, Brett Ellman, Tom Emmons, Mina Katramatou, Elizabeth Mann, and John Portman.


The Physics Department is located in Smith Hall in the heart of Kent State University's Science Complex.  A Machine Shop staffed by an expert machinist is located on the main floor of Smith Hall.  On the third floor, there is an Electronics Shop staffed by a Departmental Research Engineer.  Many additional facilities of relevance to experimental work in soft condensed matter physics are available in the Liquid Crystal Institute