University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
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Fiona Burnell is a condensed matter theorist who studies exotic phases of matter. These are materials which do not display long-ranged order at low temperatures (which is typical of low-temperature behaviour in many materials, such as magnets), but are also not ordinary metals. One of the most bizarre examples of an exotic phase is a fractionalized system, where there appear to be particles that carry a fraction of the charge of the electron. “This seems very surprising because we know that you can’t subdivide an electron,” Burnell explains.


Knauber wins Ovshinsky Award


Brenda Knauber, a physics Ph.D. candidate in Professor James Kakalios’s research group, has been selected for an Ovshinsky Student Travel Award to present her research at the 2019 March American Physical Society’s (APS) Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. More »

Minnesota physicists receive grant to develop quantum computing

Vlad Pribiag

Professors Vlad Pribiag and Paul Crowell from the School of Physics and Astronomy are part of a group that will receive a $2.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop materials and device knowledge for creating quantum computing. More »

Skillman elected as APS Fellow


Professor Evan Skillman was elected a 2018 Fellow of the American Physical Society. He was cited for his contributions to "observational constraints on the primordial helium abundance and significant contributions to understanding the chemical evolution of galaxies." More »

Shklovskii awarded 2019 Buckley Prize


Professor Boris Shklovskii of the School of Physics and Astronomy and William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute was jointly awarded the Oliver E. Buckley Prize in Condensed Matter Physics. The prize recognizes his "pioneering research in the physics
of disordered materials and hopping conductivity.” More »

Chubukov Awarded Bardeen Prize

Andrey Chubukov

FTPI Professor Andrey Chubukov was a winner of the 2018 John Bardeen Prize for his "seminal contributions to the theory of unconventional superconductivity, including applications to the iron-based superconductors." The prize was given at the International Conference on the Materials and Mechanisms of Superconductivity. More »


Thursday, February 21st
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Development of large-scale networks in visual cortex. —
Gordon Smith, Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, UMN
12:10 pm:
Grantland Hall and Pat Kelly
3:30 pm:
Special Public Lecture in Best Buy Theater, Northrop, University of Minnesota
Why Go to the Moon? Apollo, the Space Race, and the Many Faces of Lunar Exploration —
Roger Launius, Chief Historian for NASA and Senior Curator of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (retired)
Consider attending - invite students! Get more details at
3:35 pm:
Physics and Astronomy Colloquium in Physics Tate B50
Lifting the lid on DUNE, the new international mega-science project in the US —
Flavio Cavanna, Yale
Friday, February 22nd
11:00 am:
Nuclear Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
To be announced. —
Tom Welle, University of Minnesota
12:20 pm:
Broken symmetry states in the N = 3 Landau level of GaAs quantum wells with alloy disorder —
Xiaojun Fu
12:30 pm:
High Energy Theory Lunchtime Seminar in Tate 110 (note location change for this week)
Radu Roiban (Penn State)
2:30 pm:
Exploring the coevolution of magnetic fields and galaxies in different environments —
Anna Williams, Macalester University
3:35 pm:
Einstein in Bohemia: Science and Prague before and after the Habsburgs —
Michael Gordin, History - Princeton University
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.
3:35 pm:
There will be no seminar this week.
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