Professor Alford's research interests center on Quantum ChromoDynamics (QCD), the theory of the strong interaction. Currently he is working on the properties of quark matter. This is the state of matter that occurs at very high density, such as might be attained inside neutron stars or in heavy-ion collisions. Dr. Alford is most active in the area of color superconductivity, a phenomenon that is analogous to superconductivity in metals, but transposed to the more exotic context of quark matter.
One of the main aims of his work is to find signatures of the presence of color superconducting quark matter in neutron stars. His work therefore incorporates aspects of particle physics, nuclear physics, condensed matter physics, and astrophysics. In the past Dr. Alford has worked on numerical lattice QCD calculations, developing improved actions that greatly increase the efficiency of these computations, and also looking for ways to apply numerical methods at high density.