University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
Clem Pryke at the South Pole with the Keck Array team
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Clem Pryke is a cosmologist who uses telescopes at the South Pole in Antarctica to learn about the origins of the Universe. Over the last couple of decades cosmology has moved from being the domain of mystics and philosophers to being a hard observational science. One of the pillars of this progress has been measurements of the radio "after-glow" of the Big Bang - known as the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB).


Kelly receives grants to study extremely magnified stars

Patrick Kelly

Prof. Patrick Kelly received more than $430,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study extremely magnified stars. Observing a very distant star whose image is being magnified by the gravity of a cluster of galaxies in the foreground, Kelly's group hopes to learn about stars and potentially dark matter in the form of black holes in the foreground cluster. The project will develop several exhibits for the Bell Museum. Kelly also received a grant for more than $447,000 and a large amount of time on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to study dark matter using similar technique. More »

New Traineeship will train researchers at the intersection of astrophysics and data science

Vuk Mandic

School of Physics and Astronomy Professor Vuk Mandic is the principal investigator of a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship designed to train graduate students in data science, in the context of the nascent field of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics. The new training program will be conducted by an interdisciplinary group of faculty, cutting across two Colleges and five programs and will provide a total of 30 annual stipends for graduate students, during 2020-2024, each in the amount of $34,000 plus tuition and fees. More »

First University of Minnesota-built small satellite launches

Jenna Burgett and Kyle Houser with a model of the cubesat satellite SOCRATES

Jenna Burgett a student in the School of Physics and Astronomy is a project leader for a group that will launch the first Minnesota-built 'cubesat' into space. A cubesat is a small research satellite the size of a shoebox. Signal of Opportunity CubeSat for Ranging and Timing Experiments (SOCRATES) will observe gamma ray photons from deep space. Burgett and Kyle Houser, another member of the The Small Satellite Laboratory delivered SOCRATES in person to Houston for launch on November 2. More »

In Memoriam, Professor Cork Johnson


Professor Emeritus Walter "Cork" Johnson passed away in Minneapolis on September 24th at the age of 91. Cork was an expert on precision mass spectroscopy. A native of Minneapolis and a student of Al Nier, he received his BA, MA and PhD in Physics from the University. After a brief stint at General Electric, Cork joined the faculty of the School in 1958 and retired in 1993. More »

Fortson receives Nicholson Medal for Outreach

Lucy Fortson

Professor Lucy Fortson has been awarded the 2019 Nicholson Medal for Outreach by the American Physical Society "for extraordinary work in bringing the excitement and discovery of scientific research to the public through her leadership of the Zooniverse project." More »


Friday, December 6th
12:20 pm:
"Exploring the magnetic properties of Cu2(OH)3Br through first principles calculations". —
Dominique Gautreau
12:30 pm:
The Warped Dark Sector —
Sylvain Fichet (ICTP/SAIFR and Caltech)
2:30 pm:
The Dance of Two Plasmas: the future of radio galaxy/intracluster medium interactions —
Larry Rudnick, University of Minnesota
3:35 pm:
“The Structure of Best Explanations” —
Jonah N. Schupbach, Department of Philosophy, University of Utah
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.
4:40 pm:
to be announced
Monday, December 9th
12:15 pm:
There will be no seminar this week.
Tuesday, December 10th
3:30 pm:
Brain Machine Communication —
Zhi Yang
Wednesday, December 11th
1:25 pm:
Quantifying hidden order out of equilibrium —
Stefano Martiniani, Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, University of Minnesota
Thursday, December 12th
12:10 pm:
No Journal Club this week
Friday, December 13th
2:30 pm:
No colloquium this week
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