Richard Scalettar

Headshot of Richard Scalettar

Distinguished Professor and Chair
Office: 409 Physics Building
Phone: (530)752-9706

Personal Professional Website:

Research Interests:

Professor Richard Scalettar joined the faculty at UCD in 1989. His research activities are in the area of magnetism, superconductivity, and metal-insulator transitions in solids, and related quantum phase transitions in ultracold atomic gases on optical lattices. He has over 200 publications in these fields. His most recent research focuses on the role of spatial inhomogenieties on quantum phases of matter which exhibit the effect of strong interparticle interactions.

Funding for this work has come from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Most of Professor Scalettar's work uses Quantum Monte Carlo simulation techniques, and he has significant expertise in numerical algorithm development. In this area he has worked with colleagues in the Applied Mathematics and Computer Science groups at UC Davis, with grants from the NSF Information Technology Research and the DOE Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing Programs.

Research Areas

Career History

  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1988
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1987-88
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1988-1989
  • Assistant Professor of Physics, University of California, Davis, 1989-1993
  • Associate Professor of Physics, University of California, Davis, 1993-1997
  • Professor of Physics, University of California, Davis, 1997-Present
  • Vice Chairman, Physics Department, University of California, Davis, 1998-2003; 2008-present
  • Project Coordinator, DOE Computational Materials Science Network, 2003-2009 ''Predictive Capability for Strongly Correlated Electron Materials'


  • Outstanding Referee, American Physical Society, 2014
  • Chancellor's Outstanding Undergraduate Mentor Award, University of California, Davis, 2009.
  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 2004
  • Fellow, Associated Western Universities, 1988
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1983
  • University of California Reagents
  • David Saxon Award, 1983
  • Dupont Fellowship, 1982