University Scholar Misha Stephanov
Professor of physics
19 years at UIC
What are your research interests?
Quantum Field Theory in Nuclear and Particle Physics
How did you become interested in these topics?
I wanted to learn Quantum Field Theory since I was a student because it is the most comprehensive, precise, versatile and phenomenologically successful description of the world around us, down to the most fundamental forces and constituents of matter.
What do you teach?
I teach graduate courses on Classical Electrodynamics and on Quantum Field Theory.
How do you balance teaching and research?
I find interaction with students stimulating. Especially when inquisitive students, through their questions, help me clarify my own understanding of the topics I teach and, sometimes, the topics I research. We do not truly understand something until we can explain it to a student. And breakthrough research is all about understanding something that no one else has understood yet.
What’s your advice to students who want to focus their future careers on research?
Be curious. Ask questions. Seek answers in books and in conversations with your colleagues. Look beyond the narrow topic you are working on for more interesting questions and answers.