At present, research in the Department of Physics concentrates on the following areas: photonics/optoelectronics, acoustics, materials physics, and computational/theoretical physics. A list of recent publications in the four areas can be found here .
The main activities in this area include photo-acoustic spectroscopy, interferometry, and laser-doppler velocimetry (LDV). The Department has a photo-acoustic setup designed to measure trace concentrations of ethylene gas. This can be used to study the ripening of fruits and monitor ethylene concentrations in the atmosphere. Applications are varied for interferometry which range from small-vibration measurements to monitoring minute concentrations of water pollutants. LDV is used for measuring fluid flow velocity.
At present there is an ongoing research particularly in measuring acoustic properties of materials (of which two working setups have been developed) and a commercial acoustic analyzer was purchased to measure sound and vibration. This equipment is used for measuring reverberation time to improve lecture halls, theaters, and classroom acoustics. It has also been applied to industry where it was used to assess the noise level of factories as required by DOLE. It is the long-term intention to extend the acoustics research into the direction of medical physics (e.g., development of hearing aids, ultrasound).
The materials physics research is geared towards nanotechnology and its applications in electronics, composite materials, and alternative energy sources (e.g. nanostructured solar cells).
This research area is engaged in projects that support experimental efforts from the other research areas of the Department. Computational/theoretical work on nanostructures, mesoscopic systems, and superconductivity are conducted. Computational modeling and simulation are also used to investigate problems from interdisciplinary fields ranging from biological systems to stock markets. In addition, through the collaboration with the Space Environment Research Center (SERC) in Kyushu University and National Institute in Information and Commuications Technology (NICT), the Department is also engaged in space weather studies and seismo-electromagnetics. SERC installed a magnetometer network, called the MAGnetic Data Acquisition System (MAGDAS) that sends geomagnetic field data online to Japan. NICT has also installed a network of ionosondes in the Southeast Asian region known as Southeast Asia Low Latitude Ionospheric Observation Network (SEALION) to study electrodynamic processes in the ionosphere. Both SERC and NICT are also heavily involved in the International Heliophysical Year (IHY), a coordinated and collaborative research program that studies the processes of the earth-heliosphere-sun coupling.