Jason N. Hancock

Professor and University Teaching Fellow

Department of Physics and Institute of Material Science

Research interests

Experimental condensed matter physics: General research interest in quantum effects, including high temperature superconductors, topological materials, strongly correlated electron systems, anomalous mechanical properties like negative thermal expansion, and behavior of bulk matter near structural quantum phase transitions. Studies of charge excitations in novel materials heavily use photon-based spectroscopies including inelastic X-ray scattering, X-ray absorption, infrared, and terahertz spectroscopy.

Applied physics: Novel uses of spectroscopy to address fundamental questions related to additive manufacturing in metal powders which are relevant to aerospace and broader applications. Pandemic-responsive aerosol science related to respirator evaluation and development.

Physics education: Broadly introducing quantum concepts in physics education, development and evaluation of active learning of physics at the university level, advising and mentoring graduate and undergraduate student researchers

CV Hancock (updated 10/2023)

Teaching specialities and interests

  • Calculus-based introductory physics courses for scientists and engineers (Phys 1601Q, 1501Q)
  • Advanced laboratory writing course (Phys 2501W)
  • Quantum Mechanics I (Phys 3401)
  • Quantum materials and condensed matter physics (Phys 4210/6210)
  • Optics with laboratory (Phys 4150)
  • Graduate Electromagnetism I (Phys 5301)

Awards and distinctions

  • Innovative Scholarship Award, University of Connecticut, April 2023
  • University Teaching Fellow, University of Connecticut, April 2020
  • University of Connecticut-American Association of University Professors Excellence Award for Teaching Innovation, April 2020 (shared w/Diego Valente)
  • Official citation, State of Connecticut General Assembly, April 28, 2021, “for outstanding dedication and proven performance in education” (shared w/Diego Valente)
  • National Academies Education Mentor in the Sciences 2016-2017
  • National Academies Education Fellow in the Sciences 2015-2016
  • Life Member, American Physical Society, 2000-present 
  • Department of Physics Service Award, UC Santa Cruz, June 2005 
  • University of California Regents PhD Fellowship, 1998-1999
  • Passed qualifying examinations upon arrival, UC Santa Cruz, August 1998 
  • Graduated with Highest Honors (i.e. summa cum laude), Georgia Tech, 1998 
  • Dean’s List, Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern University, 1995-1998

Professional positions and experience

  • 2018-present: Associate Professor with tenure, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
  • Visiting Scholar, Los Alamos National Laboratory, July-August 2015
  • 2012-2018: Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, University of Connecticut
  • 2008-2012: Maître assistant (scientific staff in Swiss system), Université de Genève
  • 2005-2008: Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University


  • Ph.D., Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2005
  • M.Sc., Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2000
  • B.Sc. w/Highest Honors, Physics, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1998
  • H.S. Camden County High School, 1994

    Selected service activities

    • Chair, National Synchrotron Light Source-II Proposal Review Panel, Soft X-rays, Photoelectrons, and Infrared Beamlines, Brookhaven National Laboratory, February 2020-Oct 2022
    • Lecturer, Department of Energy National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering (NXS), Argonne National Laboratory, 2018-2023
    • Chair, Advanced Photon Source Beamtime Proposal Review Panel, Inelastic X-ray Scattering, Argonne National Laboratory, Dec 2016-Dec 2018
    • Member at Large (elected), Executive Committee of the American Physical Society New England Section, January 2018-August 2022
    • Referee for Nature, Nature Quantum Materials, Science, Physical Review Letters, Physical Review B, Europhysics Letters, Nano Letters, Advanced Materials, Science, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, Superconductor Science and Technology, Journal of the American Ceramics Society, The Physics Teacher, Scripta Materiala
    • Course coordinator, Phys 1501Q Physics for engineers, 432 seats, Fall 2019
    • Chair, Subcommittee on Principles and Values, Teaching and Active Learning Space Committee, October 2018-2020
    • Chair, UConn Physics Department Head Search Committee (elected), Sept 2023-Dec 2023
    • Chair, Condensed Matter Theory Faculty Search Committee, July 2021-May 2022

    Selected publications

    • Erin B. Curry*, Kaitlin C. Lyszak*, Lauren M. Gorman, Donal Sheets, Rainer J. Hebert, Jason N. Hancock, Broadband infrared confocal imaging for applications in additive manufacturing, Review of Scientific Instruments 93, 123702 (2022)
    • Thinh Le*, Eli Curry, Tra Vinikoor*, Yang Liu, Donal Sheets*, Christopher Hawxhurst*, James Stevens*, Jason N. Hancock, Osama Bilal, Leslie Shor, Thanh D. Nguyen, Piezoelectric Nanofiber Membrane for Reusable, Stable, and Highly Functional Face Mask Filter with Long-Term Biodegradability, Advanced Functional Materials, 2113040 (2022)
    • Erin B. Curry*, Kaitlin C. Lyszak*, Donal Sheets*, Connor A. Occhialini*, Michael Rozman, Jason N. Hancock, Soliton generation in negative thermal expansion materials, Frontiers in Materials, 8, 357 (2021)
    • Jason N. Hancock, Michael, J. Plumley, Katherine Schilling, Donal Sheets*, Lawrence Wilen, Comment on “Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks”, ACS Nano 14, 10758 (2020)
    • Erin B. Curry*, Sanjubala Sahoo, Chloe Herrera, Ilya Sochnikov, S. Pamir Alpay, Rainer Hebert, Brian G. Willis, Jie Qi, Jason N. Hancock, Optical response of nickel-based superalloy Inconel-718 for applications in additive manufacturing, Journal of Applied Physics, 127, 24511 (2020)
    • D. G. Mazzone, M. Dzero, M. Abeykoon, H. Yamaoka, H. Ishii, N. Hiraoka, J.-P. Rueff, J. Ablett, K. Imura, H. S. Suzuki, J. N. Hancock, I. Jarrige, Kondo-induced giant isotropic negative thermal expansion, Physical Review Letters, 124, 125701 (2020)
    • Donal Sheets*, Vincent Flynn*, Jungho Kim, Mary Upton, Diego Casa, Thomas Gog, Zach Fisk, Priscilla Rosa, Maxim Dzero, Jian-Xin Zhu, Ignace Jarrige, and Jason Hancock, Exploring itinerant states in the divalent hexaborides using rare-earth L edge resonant inelastic X-ray scattering, J. Phys. Cond. Matt. 32, 135601 (2019)
    • Sahan U. Handunkanda*, Erin B. Curry*, Vladimir Voronov, Jason N. Hancock, Infrared charge dynamics and phonon spectra of single-crystal negative thermal expansion material ScF3, J. Phys. Cond. Matt. 32, 035403 (2019) 
    • Connor A. Occhialini*, Sahan Handunkanda*, Gian Guzmann-Verri, and Jason N. Hancock, Negative thermal expansion near the precipice of structural stability in open perovskites (invited), Frontiers in Chemistry: Physical Chemistry and Chemical Physics, 6, 545 (2018) 
    • Jason N. Hancock, Maxim Dzero, Marco Guarise, Marco Grioni, John Sarrao, Thorsten Schmitt, Kondo lattice excitation observed using resonant inelastic X-ray scattering at the Yb M5 edge, Phys. Rev. B 98, 075158 (2018)
    • Connor A. Occhialini, Sahan U. Handunkanda, Ayman Said, Sudhir Trivedi, Gian G. Guzman-Verri, Jason N. Hancock, Negative thermal expansion near two structural quantum phase transitions, Physical Review Materials 1, 070603R (2017)
    • Sahan Handunkanda, Erin Curry, Vladimir Voronov, Ayman Said, Gian Guzman-Verri, Richard Brierley, Peter Littlewood, Jason N. Hancock, Large isotropic negative thermal expansion above a quantum phase transition, Physical Review B 92, 134101 (2015)
    • I. Jarrige, A. Kotani, H. Yamaoka, N. Tsujii, K. Ishii, M. Upton, D. Casa, J. Kim, T. Gog, and Jason N. Hancock, Kondo interactions from band reconstruction in YbInCu4, Physical Review Letters, 114, 126401 (2015)
    • S. I. Mirzaei, D. Stricker, J. N. Hancock, C. Berthod, A. Georges, E. van Heumen, M. K. Chan, X. Zhao, Y. Li, M. Greven, N. Barišić, D. van der Marel, Evidence for a Fermi liquid in the pseudogap phase of high-Tc cuprates, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 110, 5774 (2013)
    • R. Comin, G. Levy, B. Ludbrook, Z.-H. Zhu, C.N. Veenstra, J.A. Rosen, Yogesh Singh, P. Gegenwart, D. Stricker, J. N. Hancock, D. van der Marel, I.S. Elfimov, A. Damascelli, Na2IrO3 as a Novel Relativistic Mott insulator with a 350 meV gap, Physical Review Letters, 109, 266406 (2012)
    • Jason N. Hancock, J. L. M. van Mechelen, Alexey B. Kuzmenko, Dirk van der Marel, C. Brüne, E. G. Novik, G. V. Astakhov, H. Buhmann, Laurens Molenkamp, Surface state charge dynamics of a high-mobility three dimensional topological insulator, Physical Review Letters, 107, 136803 (2011)
    Contact Information
    PhoneOffice: (860) 486-3556
    Lab: (860) 486-6748
    Mailing AddressDepartment of Physics, University of Connecticut unit 3046, 196 Auditorium Road, Storrs, CT 06269-3046
    Office LocationOffice: GS212, Lab: GS024