Physics research can loosely be divided into three areas, which often find common ground and reasons for collaboration. The fields of astrophysics and particle physics, both theoretical and experimental, fall under “Physics of the Universe” while “Physics at the Quantum Scale” is shorthand for the phenomena involving interactions of electrons, nuclei, and photons that form the basis of AMO (atomic, molecular, and optical) and condensed matter physics. The cutting-edge field of “biophysics” encompasses the study of biological systems using physical methods and the description of such systems through quantitative models and fundamental physical principals. 

Physics faculty conduct their research together with postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduate students, and visiting scholars. Research opportunities at Berkeley exist across the full spectrum of theoretical and experimental physics including astrophysics and cosmology, atomic, molecular and optical physics, biophysics, condensed matter, elementary particles and fields, fusion and plasma, low temperature physics, mathematical physics, nuclear physics, space physics, and statistical mechanics. Graduate students also have the opportunity to work with faculty members and researchers outside the department.