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

Special Physics Colloquium

Friday, February 10 @ 1:00 PM
CTLM 102
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Abstract: Over the last two decades there has been tremendous interest in the advance of large-scale quantum computers. In particular, superconducting quantum processors has become the leading candidate for scalable quantum computing plat-form. Some of the initial research that paved the way for this field to take off was done at NIST several decades ago. In this talk I will give a summary of how my research in superconductive electronics group at NIST is helping solve some of the issues of scalability that plague this technology. I will also talk about my academic trajectory: my winding path from being an undergrad in Monterrey, Mexico, to a permanent staff scientist at NIST as well as discuss some of the challenges I’ve had in my scientific career.

Biography: Dr. Manuel Castellanos Beltran attended college in Mexico at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (Monterrey, NL.) where he received his BE in Engineering physics in 2003. He then attended the University of Colorado-Boulder where he earned his PhD in physics in 2010 working on developing Josephson parametric amplifiers for Quantum Information applications and quantum limited measurements under the guidance of Dr. Konrad Lehnert. Afterwards, he worked at Yale University as a Post-Doctoral Fellow (2010-2012) under Dr. Jack Harris where he studied persistent currents in normal metal mesoscopic rings using torque magnetometry techniques. Dr. Castellanos-Beltran then joined NIST as a PREP Post-Doctoral Fellow (2012-13) and NRC Post-Doctoral Fellow (2013-2015) working with Dr. Jose Aumentado studying low noise amplification with Josephson parametric amplifier for Qubit Readout. He is currently a researcher for the Superconductive Electronics Group working in the development of a high frequency arbitrary waveform synthesizer using cryogenic superconductive electronics for microwave metrology and quantum computing applications.



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