Picture of Karunakar Kothapalli

Karunakar Kothapalli


Assistant Professor of Physics


College of Arts and Sciences

Office Location:

Bristol Campus: WH 109

Office Phone:



“Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? Where is the Life we have lost in living?"  – T.S. Eliot

"The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love." – Henry Scougal


I received my PhD from New Mexico State University. I lived in Southwest, East and Midwest before coming to King University and I am enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Tennessee. I have always wanted to be in a place like King University and I feel blessed that I can be here. 


Ph.D. in Physics, December 2010, New Mexico State University.

M.S. in Physics, December 2007, New Mexico State University.

M.S. in Physics, August 2003, University of Hyderabad.

B.S. in Mathematics, Physics & Chemistry June 2001, Andhra Loyola College.

Recent Publications and Presentations

"Strong cooperative coupling of pressure-induced magnetic order and nematicity in FeSe."  K Kothapalli, AE Böhmer, WT Jayasekara, BG Ueland, P Das, A Sapkota, V Taufour, Y Xiao, E Alp, SL Bud’ko,  PC Canfield, A Kreyssig, AI Goldman. Nature communications 7, 12728 (2016)

"High pressure effects on U L3 x-ray absorption in partial fluorescence yield mode and single crystal x-ray diffraction in the heavy fermion compound UCd11." Farzana Nasreen, Daniel Antonio, Derrick VanGennep, Corwin H Booth, Karunakar Kothapalli, Eric D Bauer, John L Sarrao, Barbara Lavina, Valentin Iota-Herbei, Stanislav Sinogeikin, Paul Chow, Yuming Xiao, Yusheng Zhao, Andrew L Cornelius. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 28(10), 105601(2016).

"Nuclear forward scattering and first-principles studies of the iron oxide phase Fe4O5."  Karunakar Kothapalli, Eunja Kim, Tomasz Kolodziej, Philippe F Weck, Ercan E Alp, Yuming Xiao, Paul Chow, C Kenney-Benson, Yue Meng, Sergey Tkachev, Andrzej Kozlowski, Barbara Lavina, Yusheng Zhao. Physical Review B 90(2), 024430 (2014).

Current research

I investigate the structural and magnetic properties of correlated electron systems. I use x-ray and neutron diffraction, and spectroscopic techniques such as Mössbauer spectroscopy. Over the last four years, I have been specially interested in high pressure physics using diamond anvil cells.  A couple of the main goals of my experiments have been to understand the relationship between magnetic and structural phase transitions and to investigate new materials that have potential to reveal new phenomena or that have the potential for technological applications.

Courses recently taught

IDST 4500 LECT Interdepartmental Science and Mathematics Seminar
PHYS 2210 LAB General Physics I Lab
PHYS 2210 LECT General Physics I
PHYS 2220 LAB General Physics II Lab
PHYS 2220 LECT General Physics II
PHYS 3010 LECT Theoretical Mechanics
PHYS 3052 LECT Optics
PHYS 3060 LECT Introduction to Modern Physics
PHYS 3072 LECT Heat and Thermodynamics
PHYS 3500 LAB Computational Physics
PHYS 3500 LECT Computational Physics
PHYS 3502 LAB Experimental Methods Lab
PHYS 3502 LECT Experimental Methods
PHYS 4080 LECT Introductory Quantum Mechanics
PHYS 4201 LAB Advanced Topics Lab
PHYS 4201 LECT Advanced Topics
PHYS 4900 LECT Special Topics: Particle Physics