Associate Professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Campbell Hall 309
(205) 934 3931

Research and Teaching Interests: Understanding known fundamental principles of physics with depth and finding new principles or laws of physics

Office Hours: : By appointment only


  • Ph.D., Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, Physics

Research Interests

  • Theory of non-equilibrium physics (stochastic processes, irreversible processes, entropy production, fluctuation theorem)
  • Foundation of quantum mechanics (quantum measurement theory, quantum entanglement, quantum information, open quantum systems, quantum thermodynamics)
  • Theoretical biophysics (motor proteins, neurons, coupled oscillators, cellular biology)
  • Computational physics (parallel computing, GPU computation, ab initio electronic structure calculation, molecular dynamics simulation, quantum time evolution)
  • Origin of life and self-organization

Learn more about Ryoichi Kawai's research.

Recent courses taught

  • PH420: Mathematical Methods for Physics I
  • PH423: Computational Physics
  • PH432: Statistical Thermodynamics
  • PH450: Intro. Quantum Mechanics I
  • PH451: Intro. Quantum Mechanics II
  • PH469: Directed Reading: General Relativity
  • PH475: Intro. Biophysics I
  • PH762: Computational Physics I
  • PH715: Advanced Statistical Mechanics
  • PH771: Quantum Mechanics I
  • PH772: Quantum Mechanics II
  • PH773: Application of Quantum Mechanics
  • PH797: Special Topics: Quantum Entanglement

Select publications

  • R Kawai, JMR Parrondo, C Van den Broeck, Physical Review Letters 98, 080602 (2007), “Dissipation: The phase-space perspective”
  • M Esposito, R Kawai, K Lindenberg, C Van den Broeck, Physical Review Letters 105, 150603 (2010), “Efficiency at maximum power of low-dissipation Carnot engines”.
  • C Van den Broeck, JMR Parrondo, R Toral, R Kawai, Physical Review E 55, 4084 (1997).
  • P Reimann, R Kawai, C Van den Broeck, P Hänggi, Europhysics Letters 45, 545 (1999).
  • M Esposito, R Kawai, K Lindenberg, CV Broeck, Physical Review E 81, 041106 (2010).
  • C Van den Broeck, R Kawai, P Meurs, Physical Review Letters 93, 90601 (2004), “Microscopic analysis of a thermal Brownian motor”.
  • R Kawai, JH Weare, Physical Review Letters 65, 80 (1990), ”From van der Waals to metallic bonding: The growth of Be clusters”.
  • PR Taylor, E Bylaska, JH Weare, R Kawai, Chemical Physics Letters 235, 558 (1995), “C20: fullerene, bowl or ring? New results from coupled-cluster calculations”.
  • M Valiev, R Kawai, JA Adams, JH Weare, Journal of the American Chemical Society 125, 9926 (2003), “The role of the putative catalytic base in the phosphoryl transfer reaction in a protein kinase: first-principles calculations”.

See a complete list of Dr. Kawai's publications on his Google Scholar page.

Academic Distinctions & Professional Memberships

  • American Physical Society
  • President's Award for Excellence in Teaching (1998)