University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
Brian Andersson prepares a lecture demonstration
< >

Ask Brian Andersson, assistant education specialist, in charge of the School of Physics and Astronomy lecture demonstration area, what his favorite demo is and he’ll tell you: “anything that explodes.” Which could describe a significant number of the over 1,000 demonstrations that Andersson has in his repertoire.


CUWIP focuses on undergraduate women

Lucy Fortson at CUWIP welcome event

One hundred and twenty undergraduate women physicists from the Midwest region participated in the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWIP) hosted by the School in Tate Hall, January 17-19, 2020. More »

Physics Force brings physics fun to thousands at Northrop

Rafael Fernandes in Physics Force show at Northrop

The Physics Force performed at Northrop to nearly 20,000 K-12 students in a series of ten sold-out shows from January 13-17 and two public performances for over 2500 adults and their families on January 18th. The hour-long Physics Force show brings physics to audiences of all ages in a humorous way, demonstrating that 'Physics is Fun', which is the troupe's byline. Approximately $8000 in busing grants have been awarded to support bringing minority students to the shows. Annual attendance for the Physics Force shows is near 35,000. More »

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 »


Wednesday, January 29th
10:15 am:
MN Institute for Astrophysics seminar in Physics Tate 301-20
Galaxy evolution in the local and the high-z Universe through optical+NIR spectroscopy —
Bhavin Joshi, Arizona State University
1:25 pm:
Shining Light On Quantum Materials —
Nicholas Laurita, California Institute of Technology
Thursday, January 30th
11:15 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Observation of torsinA polymerization at the nuclear envelope —
Kwang Ho-Hur, UMN
3:35 pm:
Neutrino oscillations - the path to new physics? —
Andrew Furmanski, University of Minnesota
Refreshments in atrium after the Colloquium.
Friday, January 31st
12:20 pm:
There will be no sack lunch this week
12:30 pm:
Physics beyond the standard model from Higgs Parity —
Keisuke Harigaya (IAS)
Candidate for SPA Faculty Position
2:30 pm:
Building a comprehensive geologic record of Gale Crater, Mars, from both space-based and in-situ rover observations —
Valerie Fox, University of MN, Earth Sciences
3:35 pm:
Enslaved Histories: Value, Risk, and the Imagination of the Quantifiable Body in the Early Modern Iberian Atlantic —
Pablo Gomez, Medical History and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin
Refreshments served at 3:25 p.m.
4:40 pm:
to be announced
Monday, February 3rd
12:15 pm:
Discovering the Invisible Universe —
Asher Berlin, New York University
Candidate for SPA Faculty Position
Subscribe to Physics Calendar RSS feed | Full Calendar »