Joel Moore is a theoretical physicist working on emergent phenomena in quantum materials. His contributions include theories of topological and correlated phases of matter, including their signatures in experiments, and descriptions of quantum dynamics and quantum information in many-particle systems. Moore was born in Washington, D.C., and completed his A.B. from Princeton in 1995. After a Fulbright year abroad, he received his Ph.D. from MIT in physics as a Hertz Fellow and was a postdoctoral member of technical staff at Bell Labs before joining UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2002, where he is Chern-Simons Professor of Physics and Senior Faculty Scientist. He was named a Simons Investigator in theoretical physics and an American Physical Society (APS) fellow in 2013. He previously served as an elected Member-at-Large of the APS Division of Condensed Matter Physics and as member and chair of the science advisory board of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, and has chaired and co-chaired community reports of the US Department of Energy and National Science Foundation.

Research Interests

Electrons in solids form remarkable collective states governed by the relatively simple rules of quantum mechanics and electromagnetism. These collective states range from the ferromagnetism familiar to the ancients, through superconductivity discovered about a century ago, to numerous new examples found since the discovery of topological states in the 1980s. Moore's work explained that topological states are much more common in nature than previously thought and that their signatures include not just unique charge transport processes but many other observable responses such as optical properties. He has also worked with his Berkeley students and postdocs on a number of fundamental questions about quantum many-body physics, such as: how entanglement reveals properties of quantum critical states, and the differences between interacting localized systems ("many-body localization") and non-interacting ones; how the motion of charge, spin, and heat can be richer than standard diffusive or hydrodynamical models would suggest; and how classical and quantum computers can be used to study complex states in quantum materials.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 33: Applied Physical Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 13: Physics