Mathematical physics is an interdisciplinary subject where theoretical physics and mathematics intersect. The University of Iowa has held an ongoing mathematical physics seminar for over forty years, in which faculty from both the mathematics and physics departments actively participate. Topics of interest include relativistic quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, general relativity, representation theory of groups and quantum groups, theory of dynamical systems, quantum information theory, phase transitions, quantum chaos, lattice gauge theory and C* algebras.
Our program in Mathematical Physics is one of the few in the U.S. that is fully interdisciplinary, combining both physicists and mathematicians in a working relationship. Every semester the mathematical physics seminar includes talks given by students, faculty and distinguished visitors, including a fields medalist. Zoom has allowed us to include many talks by distinguished faculty from external institutions. The seminar often features topical talks on subjects of interest to the participants. Quantum information theory and machine learning were recently featured topics.
Students may work on interdisciplinary research topics involving mathematics and theoretical physics. They can obtain a Ph.D. in the Department of Physics, Department of Mathematics, or through the University's Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences program, in which a physicist and a mathematician jointly supervise the dissertation. Students in mathematical physics often work closely with faculty in both the physics and mathematics departments. Several students have recently completed PhD dissertations in related areas of mathematical physics.