Cornell University hosts over 20 government-, corporate-, and university-sponsored research centers and programs, many of which are utilized not only by Cornell scientists and engineers, but also researchers from around the country and around the world. These centers and programs provide equipment and expertise unavailable at most institutions. They enhance the interdisciplinary nature of many of Cornell's graduate programs by facilitating exchange of information and ideas and promoting cooperative research efforts. The research centers and programs most frequently used by faculty and students in Applied Physics are described below.
The Center for the Study of Pulsed-Power-Driven High Energy Density Plasmas at Cornell University has been established to study exploding wires and their applications. This work is being carried out by the Laboratory of Plasma Studies (LPS) at Cornell in collaboration with researchers at Imperial College, London, the University of Nevada, Reno, the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow.
The Center on the Microenvironment and Metastasis (CMM) at Cornell is a Physical Sciences Oncology Center (PS-OC) supported by the National Cancer Institute. The CCM's research is designed to deconvolve cancer’s complexity and to understand the interaction of mechanical forces and chemical cues in cancer metastasis. The CCM is pursuing experimental and theoretical approaches, derived from the physical sciences, to address major questions and barriers in our understanding and treatment of cancer. This innovative approach is unlike any prior studies on the tumor environment and will enable a fundamental level of understanding that will yield new pathways to intervene in the progression of cancer.
The Cornell University Center for Advanced Computing (CAC) is a leader in high-performance computing system, application, and data solutions that enable research success. As an early technology adopter and rapid prototyper, CAC helps Cornell researchers accelerate scientific discovery.
The CCMR was established in 1960 as one of several federally-sponsored interdisciplinary laboratories devoted to the study of materials. Primary funding is provided by the National Science Foundation; members of the CCMR also receive support through individual grants and contracts from federal agencies, from foundations, and from industrial sources.
Supported by the National Science Foundation, CHESS is a national laboratory that supplies synchrotron radiation capabilities to users in many scientific fields from throughout the United States. It is the highest-energy synchrotron source currently available in the United States.
The CNF is a research center for nanostructures science, engineering, and technology. It is supported by the National Science Foundation, the university, and industrial affiliates. It is one of the few American university laboratories with a proven processing capability of a quarter-micron and below, and the only national resource with this capability that is open to visiting researchers from other universities and from corporate and government laboratories. CNF is housed in Duffield Hall, one of the country's most sophisticated research and teaching facilities for nanotechnology. It supports research and instruction in electronic and photonic devices, microelectromechanical devices, advanced materials processing, and biotechnology devices.
The mission of emc2 is: Advancing the science of energy conversion and storage by understanding and exploiting fundamental properties of active materials and their interfaces. emc2 develops long-term partnerships with industry leaders to speed the development and adoption of novel materials into solutions for advanced energy technologies
The Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics is a major center for research in the area of condensed matter physics. It was founded in 1959, and there are currently 29 faculty members of the Department of Physics associated with the Laboratory. Current research areas cover nonlinear phenomena, liquid state physics, soft condensed matter physics, disordered and glassy systems, low temperature physics, nano-structures and quantum transport, phonons and two level systems, spectroscopy, charge transport, protein crystals, biophysics, general condensed matter theory, many-body theory, density functional theory, mesoscopic systems, liquid and solid helium, quasicrystals, superfluid helium, magnetic ordering, percolation, quantum computing, foundations of quantum mechanics, multiscale dynamics, and cellular biophysics.
The LPS operates facilities for experimental work in magnetohydrodynamics, the science of electrically conducting fluids, and plasma physics, its sister science of high-temperature ionized gases. Specialties of the experimental program are the physics and technology of intense charged-particle beams, and studies of near-earth space plasmas.
The Nanobiotechnology Center partners the academic community with industry and others to forge a linkage between nanotechnology and biology. Nanobiotechnology has led to substantial new insights into how biological systems function and led to the design of entirely new classes of micro- and nanofabricated devices and systems.
Research Laboratories, Support Services, and Other Facilities
Due to the interdepartmental and interdisciplinary nature of the Field of Applied Physics, the facilities available for graduate research are much more extensive than generally provided by a single department. The individual research laboratories are notable, moreover, for their high level of advanced instrumentation-in keeping with the emphasis the faculty places on staying at the leading edge of research technology.
Equally notable is the quality and breadth of research-support facilities at Cornell. These include machine shops in which custom research apparatus is built; a glass shop that makes commercially unavailable glassware; and stockrooms that stock thousands of the materials and chemicals required in research laboratories.
A variety of computer facilities is available for graduate student use. Cornell maintains a state-of-the-art network infrastructure, with a high-speed campus backbone that provides international connectivity campus-wide. Most of the research laboratories of applied physics faculty members also include advanced computer work stations and labtop computers for experimental control, data analysis, reduction, and display.
The Cornell campus includes sixteen libraries. The Engineering Library, which houses over 290,000 volumes and subscribes to over 4,000 technical journals, is heavily used by applied physics researchers. The Physical Sciences Library is a virtual library.