University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
Professor Robert Lysak
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The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights have long been a subject of fascination in folklore and for those of us lucky enough to see them in northern latitudes. Professor Bob Lysak is a theoretician who has been studying the unique physics of aurora since the 1970’s. The classic model of the Aurora is that electrons trapped in the Earth’s magnetosphere are accelerated by quasi-static electric fields that form parallel to the Earth’s magnetic field and cause the light display.


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 24th
1:30 pm:
Signatures of gapless boundary modes in Kitaev spin liquids —
Fiona Burnell (University of Minnesota)
3:35 pm:
To be announced.
Thursday, January 25th
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Rapid and scalable characterization of CRISPR technologies using a cell-free transcription-translation system (TXTL) —
Ryan Marshall, UMN
3:35 pm:
There will be no colloquium this week
Friday, January 26th
10:10 am:
Nuclear Physics Seminar in Tate 201-20
There will be a special nuclear physics seminar on Tuesday this week.
12:20 pm:
Magnetic Field tuned superconductor-metal transition in InOx —
Nicholas Lewellyn
12:30 pm:
Late Kinetic Decoupling and Self-Interacting Dark Matter —
Jorn Kersten (Bergen U., Norway)
2:30 pm:
No colloquium this week.
3:35 pm:
"’Recovery’ as Concept, Model, and Movement in the Mental Health Field: the Challenge of Writing a ‘History of the Present’" —
Nancy Tomes, Department of History, Stony Brook University
Refreshments served at 3:15 p.m.
3:35 pm:
Instructor beliefs about homework —
Miranda Straub
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