UW News

Charles Marcus

Professor, Department of Materials Science & Engineering and Department of Physics

Engineering and design, Quantum

Expertise: Experimental condensed matter physics, quantum coherent electronics, quantum matter, qubits, quantum chaos, complexity, topology in condensed matter

Charles Marcus was raised in Sonoma, California and was an undergraduate at Stanford University (1980-84). He received his doctorate degree in physics from Harvard in 1990 and was an IBM postdoctoral fellow at Harvard from 1990-1992. He then served on the physics faculty at Stanford (1992-2000) and Harvard (2000-2011) where he also was director of the Harvard Center for Nanoscale Systems (2006-2011). Marcus joined the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, in Denmark in 2012 as Villum Kann Rasmussen Professor, sponsored by the Villum Foundation. He served as Director of the Center for Quantum Devices, a Center of Excellence sponsored by the Danish National Research Foundation. From 2016 to 2021, he was also Scientific Director of Microsoft Quantum Lab–Copenhagen.

In April 2023, Marcus joined the University of Washington faculty as the Boeing Johnson Endowed Chair in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering in the College of Engineering and in the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Marcus is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and foreign member of the Danish Royal Academy of Science and Letters. In 1999 he was awarded the Industry Prize by the Danish Academy of Natural Sciences, and in 2020 was the first non-Dane to receive the H.C. Ørsted Gold Medal, by the Society for the Dissemination of Natural Science, awarded only 20 times since 1909, including to Niels Bohr in 1924.

Marcus’ research interests focus on experimental condensed matter physics, quantum coherent electronics, quantum matter, qubits, quantum chaos, complexity, and topology in condensed matter. A long-term research goal is to explore large-scale interconnected quantum coherent and topological systems for fundamental understanding of complex quantum materials and applications in quantum information.