The Department of Physics at Colorado School of Mines is dedicated to high-quality physics education for undergraduate and graduate students and advancing the world’s knowledge in the areas of condensed matter physics, applied optics, quantum physics, renewable energy physics, and subatomic physics.

Education and Research

Our faculty and students at all levels conduct more than $6 million in externally funded research every year, with many projects associated with Mines’ pioneering research centers.

Research centers with strong connections to Physics include the Mines/NREL Nexus, High Performance Computing (HPC), the Microintegrated Optics for Advanced Bioimaging and Control Center (MOABC), and the Nuclear Science and Engineering Center (NuSEC).

Our faculty are consistently recognized for both their research and their teaching, while our graduate and undergraduate students are often the recipients of awards and grants.

Physics is also heavily involved with Mines’ interdisciplinary graduate programs in Materials Science, Nuclear Engineering, and Quantum Engineering.

Watch the video below to learn more about the varied and exciting physics research taking place at Mines.

Upcoming Events,

Announcements, & Info

Physics Colloquium

For more information, please contact
John Gamble



Abstract: Quantum computing has the potential to revolutionize the way we solve many problems, ranging from analyzing chemical reactions to cryptography. However, building these machines in practice is an incredibly challenging engineering exercise, and many organizations are competing in the race toward practical quantum computers. In this talk, I’ll introduce the core operating concepts of a quantum computer and show how we realize them in ion trap hardware. I will then describe how we measure quantum computer performance and what we have done to boost it at IonQ, focusing on both software error mitigation techniques as well as our latest hardware designs.

Bio: John Gamble is Director, System Performance Optimization at IonQ, where he and his team work to model, characterize, and optimize quantum computers. Before joining IonQ, John carried out research and development on topological quantum computing at Microsoft and spin quantum computing at Sandia National Laboratories, first as a Harry S. Truman Fellow and later as technical staff. John received his PhD in physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. John’s technical work centers on deploying large-scale computer-aided engineering tools to understand and improve qubits, which draws heavily on techniques from condensed matter physics, electrical engineering, quantum information science, machine learning, and quantum chemistry. Throughout his career, he has worked on a broad cross-section of quantum engineering topics: quantum algorithms, semiconductor quantum dot qubits, semiconductor impurity qubits, topological qubits, trapped ion qubits, quantum characterization, verification, and validation, and the optimization of quantum systems.

This lecture will be over Zoom.



Dr. Susanta Sarkar receives a $1.14M 4-year NIH R01 grant

Grant: Single-PI NIH R01 grant of $1.14 million over four years. This is the first single-PI NIH R01 grant at Mines

and the fifth NIH R01 at Mines as the lead ( Getting NIH R01 is a defining moment of a
biomedical career.Title: Allosteric control of collagen fibril degradation by matrix metalloprotease-1Abstract: Fibrils are the extracellular matrix (ECM) components that provide a scaffold for resident cells to maintain tissue integrity. Collagen fibril degradation by matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) is involved in the majority of the top ten causes of death and plays an essential role in normal and pathological tissue remodeling. Despite such overwhelming significance in human health, the mechanism of fibril degradation (as opposed to well-studied monomers) by MMPs is lacking, which limits the full potential of MMP ligands for therapeutics. Additionally, targeting MMPs for improving human health is challenging because MMPs interact with and degrade many proteins in the human body. Due to such diverse functions, any drug used for inhibiting MMPs results in adverse side effects. If we can identify allosteric ligands that bind at distant sites and change the activity, we may alter MMP1 activity on collagen fibrils with higher specificity and fewer side effects. This grant will enable molecular understanding of collagen fibril degradation byMMPs using a multidisciplinary approach and reveal general principles of protein function at the fundamental level.Broader impact for human health: Most drugs target proteins in our body to make us feel better. All drugs have some side effects because they alsoaffect unintended functions. We still do not know how to control protein for a specific function. Over the years, we have developedmethods for precision control that this grant will support testing experimentally. If successful, we will be able to develop drugs with a fewerside effects. Importantly, we will be able to target MMPs for drug discovery in many human diseases, an elusive goal for several decades.  

Moon, Earth, Webb Telescope images, NASA