Spotlight on Physics and Technology

How do the world and the Universe work?

This is the basic question that drives the natural science of Physics. Through the theoretical and experimental study of energy (motion, light, gravity…) and matter (from sub-atomic particles to galaxies)—and how they interact with each other, physicists seek to formulate scientific laws and test physical phenomena.

Advances in research fields such as Theoretical Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, Cosmology, and Biophysics often lead to revolutions in the way we understand the Universe, as well as in technology and innovation.

Physicists proved the Big Bang Theory by harnessing the technologies that could show how energy and matter interacted billions of years ago. Likewise, a new understanding of electromagnetism led innovators to develop modern-day products such as television, computers and cell phones. Advances in medicine have been made possible by machines such as CAT Scans and MRIs, the technology for which grew out of Physics laboratories. And in future, we look to nanoscientists who have learned to fabricate objects by joining molecule to molecule. Could a single carbon nanotube radio that fits inside the ear canal be in our future?

Suffice it to say, Physics informs not simply the scientific past and present but also the scientific and technological future!

Meet Cal Scientists

What is the focus of these scientists’ research? In what way is their science important to society? Just click on each picture to find out!
Tsu-Jae King Liu Professor Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Dept. Associate Dean for Research, College of Engineering Beate Heinemann Associate Professor Dept. of Physics
Steven Glaser Professor Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society Sara McMains Associate Professor Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Dmitry Budker Professor Dept. of Physics Angie Little Graduate Student Dept. of Physics
Meet more Cal scientists…