alford photo

Mark G. Alford

Department Chair

Office Contact Information

358 Compton

Physics Department, CB 1105
Washington University
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899, USA

(314) 935-5034
(314) 935-6219

Research Interest

Professor Alford's research interests center on Quantum ChromoDynamics (QCD), the theory of the strong interaction. Currently he is working on the properties of quark matter. This is the state of matter that occurs at very high density, such as might be attained inside neutron stars or in heavy-ion collisions. Dr. Alford is most active in the area of color superconductivity, a phenomenon that is analogous to superconductivity in metals, but transposed to the more exotic context of quark matter.

One of the main aims of his work is to find signatures of the presence of color superconducting quark matter in neutron stars. His work therefore incorporates aspects of particle physics, nuclear physics, condensed matter physics, and astrophysics. In the past Dr. Alford has worked on numerical lattice QCD calculations, developing improved actions that greatly increase the efficiency of these computations, and also looking for ways to apply numerical methods at high density.





1990 Ph.D., Harvard University, Physics
1988 A.M., Harvard University, Physics
1984 B.A., Oxford University (Exeter College), Honors in Physics, first class


Professional History

2010- Professor, Washington University
2007-2010 Associate Professor, Washington University
2003-2007 Assistant Professor, Washington University
2000-2002 Lecturer, University of Glasgow
1998-2000 Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1995-1998 Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
1992-1995 Research Associate, Laboratory of Nuclear Studies, Cornell University
1990-1992 Postdoctoral researcher, Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara