University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
Evan Skillman
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Evan Skillman is an astrophysicist who studies helium abundances in dwarf galaxies to learn more about the very early universe. In the Big Bang theory, within the first three minutes, the material cools sufficiently to form the lightest elements—hydrogen, helium, and a tiny bit of lithium. All of the heavier elements are made later by stars, so the amount of helium relative to hydrogen is a prediction and therefore a strong constraint on the Big Bang theory.


Kakalios video goes viral


Professor James Kakalios of the School of Physics and Astronomy made a video "Physicist Breaks Down The Science Of 10 Iconic Marvel Scenes" that has had 1.6 million views in less than a week. Kakalios has written three popular physics books including the "Physics of Superheroes" making him a much sought-after expert commentator. More »

Scarlata receives Taylor Research Award

Claudia Scarlata

Associate Professor Claudia Scarlata won the College of Science and Engineering George W. Taylor Distinguished Research Award. The award comes with $3,000 to be used in Scarlata's research in astrophysics. The Distinguished Research Award recognizes younger faculty members who have shown outstanding ability in research. More »

Pribiag Named McKnight Land-Grant Professor

Vlad Pribiag

Vlad Pribiag was named a 2019 McKnight Land-Grant Professor. The program is designed to advance the careers of new assistant professors at a crucial point in their professional lives. Pribiag's research is in novel low-dimensional quantum materials and devices for information processing. This research investigates new materials, aimed at transcending the limitations of traditional semi-conductor computers. More »

Gherghetta receives Simons Fellowship

GherghettaWeb Update 2015.jpg

Professor Tony Gherghetta received the 2019 Simons Fellowship. The Simons Fellows program extends academic leaves from one term to a full year, enabling recipients to focus solely on research for the long periods often necessary for significant advances. Gherghetta is a theoretical physicist specializing in physics beyond the standard model. More »

Mandic receives Distinguished McKnight Professorship


Professor Vuk Mandic of the School of Physics and Astronomy has been selected as a 2019 Distinguished McKnight University Professor. The award recognizes Mandic's research in the field of experimental cosmology and astrophysics. Mandic will receive a grant of $120,000 to be used over a five year period. More »


Thursday, August 22nd
1:00 pm:
Thesis Defense in PAN 110
Magnetism in correlated electron systems —
Mengxing Ye, University of Minnesota
This is the public portion of Ms. Ye's thesis defense. Her advisor is Andrey Chubukov
3:00 pm:
Thesis Defense in 120 PAN
Disorder effects and non-equilibrium dynamics on the electronic orders of strongly correlated materials —
Tianbai Cui, University of Minnesota
This is the public portion of Mr. Cui's thesis defense. His advisor is Rafael Fernandes.
Friday, August 23rd
09:00 am:
Astrophysics Cosmology Outreach in University of Minnesota Building, Minnesota State Fair
11:00 am:
Thesis Defense in PAN 110
Electronic Properties of Oxide and Semiconductor Heterostructures —
Michael Sammon, University of Minnesota
This is the public portion of Mr. Sammon's thesis defense. His advisor is Boris Shklovskii.
Thursday, September 5th
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
There will be no seminar this week.
12:10 pm:
No Journal Club this week
3:35 pm:
The Physics of Active Matter —
Cristina Marchetti, UCSB
Friday, September 6th
12:20 pm:
"Kitaev-Heisenberg Model on the Kagome Lattice". —
Yang Yang
12:30 pm:
2:30 pm:
No colloquium today - 1st week of school
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