Welcome

Welcome

Professor Joel Moore will be Interim Chair from January, 2017 - July 2017.

Welcome to the Physics at Berkeley website!

I am pleased to be taking over as Interim Chair of Berkeley Physics, even if only a little while.  I joined the department as an assistant professor fifteen years ago, and I still remember the joy my wife and I felt when we heard a message on the answering machine from Chris McKee confirming that Berkeley would make me an offer.  If all goes well, I will be making a similar phone call before I return to normal service in July, as we are currently searching for junior faculty in all areas of theoretical physics.  I am glad that, whatever the vicissitudes of campus-wide funding, our leaders recognize that Physics is one of the campus's crown jewels and that its continued excellence depends on hiring the best faculty and enabling them to flourish.

A classic example of an assistant professor who rose to academic stardom at Berkeley is John Clarke, whose contributions were honored earlier this week at the kickoff meeting of the Center for Quantum Coherent Science (CQCS).  John has had a remarkable number of students and postdocs become successful physicists in their own right, and it was touching (and highly entertaining) for me to hear their stories of their interactions with John and his family.  The CQCS is the brainchild of Irfan Siddiqi, who is following in John's footsteps not just in terms of their research area (superconducting devices) but as a fantastic teacher and capable administrator; at the same time while directing the CQCS, Irfan is currently Vice Chair of Physics and was recently honored by Berkeley's highest teaching award.

I enjoyed working closely on academic personnel matters with Steven Boggs, who has moved on to be a dean at UCSD, and we all wish him well.  Before that I worked with Frances Hellman on other things, but in my two weeks as Chair I've already learned how much more there is to a department than what faculty usually see.  Most of us have blinders on to some degree, in that we are focused on advancing knowledge through our own research and teaching, and only rarely think about the awesome scale and complexity of the University as an organization.  While there will be challenges in my new position, I have no doubt that Berkeley will remain an exciting and inclusive environment, and that our faculty and students will continue to make the remarkable discoveries that have given Berkeley a unique place in the annals of physics.

—Joel Moore, Ph.D. 2000, Interim Physics Chair

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