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Chemical Physics Program

A new graduate program track in chemical physics (with Ph.D. in Chemistry) invites qualified students with interests in research areas that involve both chemistry and physics to apply.  Undergraduate preparation with a major in chemistry, physics, or chemical physics is typical. It is desirable that the physics major have a broad knowledge of general chemistry and that the chemistry major have a broad knowledge of general physics. The program provides the flexibility needed for students to take courses from different departments.


Requirements for the chemical physics track are the same as those for the standard Ph.D. in Chemistry with the exception of core courses and research advisor selection.

Students in the program are required to pass six three-credit graduate courses, including four core courses and two electives. Chemistry Ph.D. candidates are required to pass 6 cumes within the first two years in the program.

Chemical Physics Core Courses:

  • Quantum Mechanics I (CHEM 7110 or PHYS 7170)
  • Statistical Mechanics (CHEM 7120 or PHYS 7100)
  • Inorganic Structure and Bonding (CHEM 7210) or other course taught by the Department of Chemistry
  • Chemical Physics (CHEM 7150) or Quantum Mechanics 2 (PHYS 7180) or Electromagnetic Theory I or II (PHYS 7230, PHYS 7240)

The remaining two elective courses can be selected from the graduate level courses offered in the chemistry, physics, and math departments (other than CHEM 7890 & 7900.)

Participating Faculty

Department of Chemistry

Alex Burin Theoretical investigation of transport and irreversible dynamics in molecular and nano systems
Michael Herman Semiclassical approximations to quantum mechanics, modeling isotope fractionation in chemical processes, interchain correlation in the chain motion in polymer melts
Brent Koplitz Laser-induced photochemistry and pulsed laser deposition
Igor Rubtsov Ultrafast multiple-pulse and 2DIR spectroscopies including plasmon-enhanced spectroscopy at nanometer scale; electron and energy transport
Russell Schmehl Photophysics of transition metal complexes
Mark Sulkes Use of molecular beam methods to study complex evolving product chemistries

Department of Physics and Engineering Physics

Lev Kaplan Quantum Chaos and Quantum Information
Ryan Glasser Quantum Information & Nonlinear Optics
Diyar Talbayev Femtosecond & Terahertz Spectroscopy
Jianwei Sun Development of DFT methods

Research Advisors

The students in the program should select a research advisor out of participating faculty within the first 7 months in the program.  The Ph.D. committee for the students in the program should contain faculty from both the chemistry and physics departments.  At least two committee members should be from the Department of Chemistry, with one committee member being in the field of Chemical Physics.

Students in the chemical physics track are embedded into the culture and activities of their research advisors’ home departments.  Students typically attend seminars in both chemistry and physics.

The Ph.D. degree requirements outlined in the Summary of Graduate Program Requirements (Appendix C) apply to the students in the chemical physics track, except for the selection of core courses and a research advisor.

How to Apply

Application to the program should be made through the Graduate School application in Chemistry and selecting Chemical Physics as the Area of Specialization.

Questions should be addressed to Professor Igor Rubtsov, Director of Graduate Studies in Chemical Physics, irubtsov@tulane.edu, (504) 862-8943.