College of Science, Department of Physics
Physics is a discipline that studies the basic features of nature with the aim of understanding complicated systems. Physics provides the foundation for many other fields such as engineering and life sciences and offers an explanation in quantitative terms of how advanced technologies work.
For the past 50 years, Korea University has been leading Korea's physics education and research, nurturing more than 1,700 bachelors, 600 Master and 150 doctoral graduates. KU's Department of Physics covers a variety of areas from pure physics that probes into the most fundamental questions to various theoretical and experimental applications of physics. Our research groups, which cover high-energy physics, nuclear physics, atomic physics, optics, solid state physics, statistical physics etc., are well known for their world-class achievements in all research areas.
The High Energy Physics Lab studies basic particles in nature and their interactions, or, in other words, explores the symmetry of nature through observing the collisions of light particles (hadrons) and searching for new particles. This type of research requires a heavy-ion linear accelerator located at KEK (Japan), Fermi Lab (US) and CERN (Switzerland).
The Theoretical Particle Physics Lab validates the theoretical hypotheses of standard models by comparing them with experiment results. Researchers are currently establishing effective models for particle interactions and applying them in a variety of experiments.
The Nuclear Physics Lab studies how quark-gluon plasma, which is presumed to be the state of the Universe immediately after the Big Bang approximately 15 billion years ago, was created through the phase transition of compressed nuclear matter. Researchers create and study high-temperature and high-density matter at the lab by generating heavy irons through the relativistic heavy-ion collider at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (US) and the large hadron collider at CERN and observing the results of their collision with one another at the speed of light.
The Laser Spectroscopy Lab studies the impact laser beams have on the energy levels of atoms and their external kinetic conditions. Researchers freeze and gather alkali metal atoms such as rubidium and cesium by cooling them to within hundreds of μK and create slow atomic beams from the accumulated atoms. Since the interactions of slow atomic beams improve spectroscopic precision, experiments previously impossible with fast atomic beams created in an oven can now be undertaken.
The Computation Physics Lab studies a variety of non-equilibrium systems while The Spinning Kinetics Lab studies carbon nanotube, ferroelectrics, molecular self-assembly and organic matter to improve FRAM processes, which in turn are expected to complement the shortcomings of existing DRAM.
The Semiconductor Nano-patterning Lab studies the low-dimensional heterostructures of semiconductors such as quantum wells, quantum wires and quantum dots. Each structure is only a nanometer long and thus is often termed "semiconductor nano-patterning." The lab conducts research into the manufacture of nano-patterning for electric-optical applications and also studies resulting physical phenomena that were previously unobserved.
The Nano Optics Lab conducts research into technologies for transmitting solitons for optical communications and optical integrated circuits using nano-structured photonic crystals and identifies solutions to problems of large-scale parallel computing simulations and quantum optics.
The Nonlinear Dynamics Lab conducts experiments and computational simulations on various non-linear phenomena witnessed across many complex systems (example: chaos, turbulent flows, etc.). The lab covers a wide spectrum of subjects: liquid crystal coating, non-equilibrium liquid dynamics, chemical reaction-diffusion systems and "neuro chips" that use biological neurons. In particular, studying computational functions of the nerve networks from a non-linear dynamics perspective is drawing attention as a new research paradigm.
Major Research Centers
The Korea Detector Lab was established in 1997 with the aim of developing and applying particle detectors. This lab is also responsible for developing and constructing a forward RPC for installation in the large-scale hadron collider at CERN (completed 2005). It continues to seek industrial and medical applications of particle detectors that were originally designed for basic science. Currently, three full-time professors and three full-time researchers are working at the lab (Director: Park, Sung-geun).
The Neuro Network Dynamics Lab was established in 1998 to study the functions of the neuro network that comprise the brains of organisms from a perspective of non-linear dynamics and non-equilibrium patterning. The lab has been sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology as part of its creative research support initiative. Currently, three full-time researchers are conducting joint projects with three professors from other disciplines (Director: Lee, Kyeong-jin).
The Nanoscience Lab was established in 2000 to investigate carbon nanotubes and other relevant research as part of the Ministry of Science and Technology's national research center development project. The lab is currently conducting joint research in organic matter with a focus on the physical characteristics of enzymes with the Biochemistry Lab of the School of Biosciences and Biotechnology at KU.
Website : http://physics.korea.ac.kr
- Tel. 02-3290-3090
- Location: Room 436B, Asan Science Hall