Joel E. Moore, Professor of Physics

I am a condensed matter theorist at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. I am currently a Simons Investigator (2013-) and the Chern-Simons Professor of Physics (2015-).

My research seeks to understand how applying the rules of quantum mechanics to systems of many interacting particles leads to a remarkable variety of emergent phenomena.  Some of these phenomena we study because of their potential relevance to real-world problems, including quantum information technology and alternative energy, and some we study simply in order to understand the physical world.  Current interests include topological phases, spin and heat transport, and non-equilibrium coherent dynamics as measured in ultrafast optical experiments and ultracold atomic gases. Most of my papers are available at

I lead the Center for Novel Pathways to Quantum Coherence in Materials (NPQC), a DOE EFRC (2018-present).  At Berkeley, I serve on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Physical Sciences and as a Faculty Link Core Advisor.  I am Chief Scientist of the recently established Quantum Science Center, a DOE National Quantum Initiative Center. 


I regularly teach graduate and undergraduate courses at Berkeley and have taught a number of advanced short courses elsewhere.  I am currently (Fall 2020) teaching undergraduate quantum mechanics.

Two recent courses with online materials are:

Physics 212 (second-semester graduate statistical mechanics).

I experimented with the knowledge management site for Physics 216 (many-body physics).

Research group

Ph.D. Students: Alexander Avdoshkin, Taylor Cookmeyer, Elizabeth Dresselhaus, Nick Sherman, Yanqi Wang, Tianrui Xu.

Postdoctoral Researchers and Visitors: See Berkeley Condensed Matter Theory Center for a current listing.

Short CV (infrequently updated)

Other activities

I recently co-chaired the Department of Energy Basic Research Needs report on Quantum Materials. I frequently visit the Aspen Center for Physics and KITP. Two earlier non-technical readings related to my research are a short review for Nature called “The birth of topological insulators” and the chapter on correlated systems in the DOE Grand Challenges report chaired by Graham Fleming and Mark Ratner.