Research areas

Working Groups

Hadron Physics and Fundamental Interactions

The group Hadron Physics and Fundamental Interactions is focused in different topics related to nuclear and particle physics: Different formalisms are applied to the study of the non-perturbative regime of Quantum chromodynamics (QCD) including ab-initio approaches as Lattice QCD, other quantum field theoretical methods and phenomenological descriptions based on chiral effective models and relativistic hadronic models. This allows for studies of QCD Green functions, hadron spectroscopy and structure, symmetries of the Dirac equation and relevance to nuclei and condensed matter, and to investigate the Phase Diagram for Strongly Interacting Matter and the nature of the respective phase transitions. Novel four-dimensional regularization tools are addressed for precision calculations in and beyond the Standard Model with the aim of gaining efficiency in the subtraction and cancellation of infrared and ultraviolet singularities in higher order computations in quantum field theories. This is essential to meet the accuracy of experimental data foreseen at the Future Circular Collider. Phenomenology of Particle Physics is used to explore particle physics beyond the Standard Model (neutrino masses, axions and the strong CP problem, supersymmetry, composite Higgs, extra-dimensions, grand unified theories, etc.).

Astrophysics and Cosmology

This group gathers researchers working on astrophysics and cosmology topics. It covers theoretical, computational and observational skills, potentiating synergies between them to tackle a number of problems of current interest in the field. The main research areas are the physics of white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes, the equation of state of dense hadronic matter, radio astronomy, detection and characterisation of exoplanets, dynamics of stellar and planetary systems, celestial mechanics, computational astrophysics, interplay between particle and gravitational physics, the origin of dark matter, dark energy, inflation, and the baryon asymmetry.

Multifunctional Materials

This group gathers researchers working on topics of hard condensed matter physics dealing with electrical, optical and magnetic properties of matter in several forms, from atomic clusters and isolated molecules to crystalline solids. It combines a good balance between theory, computational and experimental skills, potentiating synergies between such approaches to tackle a number of problems of current interest in condensed matter physics. A number of experimental techniques are available in-house for sample preparation and characterization (XRD, PAC, Mossbauer spectroscopy, positron annihilation, SEM, transport properties, specific heat, magnetometry, etc.).
 This group is a frequent user of large-scale facilities (ILL, ISIS, ESRF, PSI, TRIUMF) for neutron-scattering, synchrotron radiation and muSR work. Topics currently being investigated include: multiferroic compounds, topological insulators, novel superconduting materials, exotic 4f and 5f compounds (heavy-fermion, multi-k), low-dimensional molecular magnets, high-k oxides and semiconductors, new efficient materials for non-linear optics, and explaining the mechanisms of colour emission in chromophore molecules of biological systems from TDDFT ab-initio calculations.

Chemical and Applied Condensed Matter Physics

The group gathers researchers with a common interest in the use of diffraction and other techniques such as neutron and Raman scattering, muSR and Mossbauer spectroscopies to investigate a wide range of materials, such as semiconductors, OLEDs and engineered materials. X-ray diffraction (XRD) is a key technique for a significant part of the research developed in the group; being widely used across a number of disciplines, it promotes a variety of interdisciplinary collaborations on a regular basis with experimental and theoretical research groups. Long standing collaborations are established with computational physics groups of the Physics Department, as well as with several chemistry and pharmacy groups of the UC. Partnerships with industry are active, namely with pharmaceutical and electromechanical companies. Multidisciplinary research, in close connection with teams from the Arts Faculty and other Institutions like national museums and other universities (Universidade da Beira Interior and University of Florence, Italy).

Soft and Biological Matter

This group works in soft condensed matter physics with a direct application to biological systems, aiming at a far-reaching impact in science and society. The research developed has a strong focus on cellular morphology and movement, tissue irrigation, and tumor and vessel growth. Within the topic of vessel growth, we explore the consequences of physical mechanisms in the development of complex processes in both health and disease such as organogenesis, wound healing, inflammation, endometriosis or diabetes. We collaborate with several multidisciplinary international teams and bring together the know-how of researchers with proven expertise in theoretical, computational and experimental tasks.

Transfer and Outreach Groups

Physics Education and Science Outreach

The Working Group manages our outreach and physics education efforts. We promote physics and excellence in science education in primary and secondary schools, not only by engaging scientists in visits to schools but also bringing students to the Physics Department and our research facilities. We are responsible for the school of excellence in Physics "Quark!" for high-school students from all over the country and for the coordination of the National Physics Olympiad. In addition, CFisUC collaborates on the outreach activities of the Department of Physics, Museum of Science and Centro Ciência Viva Rómulo de Carvalho.

Physics in World Heritage

The GPWH is characterized by its interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary dimension, intending to promote the cooperation of researchers from various faculties of UC and other universities, allowing the development of scientific studies on rich primary fonts of the History of Science in Portugal. The Working Group collaborates with the UC, which is an UNESCO World Heritage site, studying the History of Science in Coimbra and contributing to the rehabilitation of buildings and equipments.

Physics for Industry

CFisUC collaborates with industry and will further improve the already existing interaction. The technological platforms (TAIL-UC and LCA- UC), under the leadership of CFisUC members, will provide high-quality specialised services to the research community, both at the industrial and academic level, with new agreements being pursued and extended. We will pursue our collaboration with Chemical, Pharmaceutical, and Electromechanical industries, finding solutions for scientific or technological problems, proposing new ideas (co-crystals for medicines, organometallic luminescent compounds for OLEDs, technology for hydrogen storage) resulting from our research. MSc and PhD projects done in collaboration with industry are cherished.