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.


SPS Named Outstanding Chapter

Levi Walls at the Family Fun Fair outreach event

The School's chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) was named "Outstanding Chapter" by the national organization. Chapter President Levi Walls said that "despite being confined to Shepherd Labs due to the Tate remodel, SPS was able to increase the number of opportunities for members to volunteer within the department and community at large." More »

Minnesota space physicists make discovery that may help improve space weather predictions

Aaron Breneman

Dr. Aaron Breneman, researcher in the School of Physics and Astronomy, was lead author on a paper which helps explain the mechanism which causes highly energetic electrons that reach the Earth’s atmosphere. Such particles can cause the auroral displays--the Northern Lights in Northern Minnesota, for example, and can damage satellites and other spacecraft. One of the goals of this research is to help predict space “weather” which can adversely affect human activity and technology. More »

Real rocket science for undergraduates

Lindsay Glesener

Professor Lindsay Glesner and her research group were featured in an article about young scientists working on a NASA satellite project called EXACT. The article focuses on Abi Valero, a junior majoring in aerospace engineering and mechanics, who is part of Glesener's space physics research laboratory. More »

Wick wins Reichert Award

Kurt Wick

Senior Scientist, Kurt Wick will receive the American Physical Society 2018 Jonathan F. Reichert and Barbara Wolff-Reichert Award for Excellence in Advanced Laboratory Instruction. Wick has guided the Methods of Experimental Physics courses in the School of Physics and Astronomy for thirty years. More »

Olive to receive Bethe Prize

Keith Olive

Professor Keith Olive was named as the recipient of the 2018 Hans A. Bethe Prize from the American Physical Society (APS). Olive received the prize for his research across a number of disciplines including nuclear physics, particle physics, theoretical and observational astrophysics, and cosmology, and Big Bang nucleosynthesis and the properties of Dark Matter. More »


Wednesday, January 17th
3:35 pm:
To be announced.
Thursday, January 18th
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in PAN 120
Paths to biological polymers: an insight from virus infections and origins of life —
John Yin, University of Wisconsin
3:35 pm:
Quantum Bayesianism (QBism): the way to understand the quantum world —
Harvey Brown, Philosophy of Physics, University of Oxford
Friday, January 19th
10:10 am:
Nuclear Physics Seminar in Tate 201-20
To be announced.
12:20 pm:
Spin Transport in Superconducting Spin Valves —
Evan Moen
2:30 pm:
No colloquium this week.
3:35 pm:
"How Einstein Came to Use the Action-Reaction Principle in Promoting his Theory of Gravity" —
Harvey Brown, Philosophy of Physics, University of Oxford
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.
4:40 pm:
SuperCDMS - searching for dark matter —
Priscilla Cushman, University of Minnesota
Monday, January 22nd
1:25 pm:
To be announced.
Tuesday, January 23rd
2:30 pm:
Nuclear Theory Seminar in Physics 301-20
Going with the flow— the nuclear phase diagram at the highest temperatures and densities —
Chun Shen, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Candidate for the Nucear Theory Assistant Professor position
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