Li Yang

​Associate Professor of Physics
PhD, Georgia Institute of Technology
BA, Beijing Normal University
research interests:
  • Condensed Matter Theory
  • Material Physics

contact info:

mailing address:

  • CB 1105
  • ST. LOUIS, MO 63130-4899

Professor Yang is interested in applications of quantum mechanics on materials.

With the fast advance of computational capability, Yang's group focuses on developing and employing the large-scale, first-principles simulations without adjustable parameters for understanding electronic structures and excited-state properties of solids and further predicting novel electronic, optical, thermal, and topological properties for applications.

Yang's research tries to answer a few fundamental questions of broad applications: 1) How electrons interact with each other and impact excited states, such as optical properties; 2) How these fundamental excitations, such as quasiparticles, excitons, plasmons, and phonons, interact and couple with each other to form novel excitations that decide electronic, thermal, and optical properties of materials; 3) How these excited states are modified by quantum confinement of reduced-dimensional structures and how to engineer them for novel transport and energy applications; 4) Understanding electrical and magnetic polarization in materials and how to realize them in reduced-dimensional structures for next-generation transistors and memory devices.



Complete publications list

recent courses

Solid State Physics I (Physics 549)

Quantum theory of phonons in solids, thermodynamical properties, band theory of solids, free-electron and tight-binding approaches to electronic structure.

    Solid State Physics II (Physics 550)

    Band magnetism and local moments, Ising models, electron-electron and electron-phonon interactions, superconductivity.

      Classical Electrodynamics I (Physics 505)

      Classical electromagnetism in microscopic and macroscopic forms: electromagnetic fields of and forces between charged particles. Applications to electrostatic, magnetostatic, electrodynamic, and radiation problems.


        2015 The Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) 
        2017 Selected into the Highly Cited Researchers List by Clarivate Analytics


        Professional History 

        2015-present Associate Professor, Washington University 
        2009-2015 Assistant Professor, Washington University 
        2006-2009 postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley