News & Events

Colloquium: Dennis Overbye, New York Times

Abstract:  From your lips to the front page. For the last several years I have carried on business as the "Cosmic Affairs Correspondent" of the New York Times. That's what it says on my business card. How did I wind up with this, well, cosmic-sounding title and what do I do with it? What is the role of science at the Times? How do we get it right? What do we do wrong?

Colloquium: Dan Stamper-Kurn, UC Berkeley

Abstract: Ultracold atomic gases are perhaps the coldest matter in the universe, reaching temperatures below one nano-kelvin.  At these low temperatures, noise is ironed out and the quantum mechanical properties of atoms, not only of their internal atomic states but also of their center-of-mass motion, become accessible and visible.  I will describe applications of this ultracold quantum material in the areas of quantum simulation, sensing, and computation.  Specifically, I will show how quantum gases far from equilibrium allow us to probe geometric singularities in band structure, a quantum simulation of condensed matter.  I will describe how single atoms, trapped tightly within optical tweezers, can be serve as quantum sensors within a scanning-probe microscope of optical fields.  Finally, I will explain how cavity-enhanced detection allows us to make mid-circuit measurements within an atoms-based quantum computing platform, a step toward quantum error correction.  And what's next?  Feedback control of quantum systems?  Electromagnetic vacuum fluctuations serving as a chemical catalyst?  Telecom-frequency optical clocks?  Simulation of flat-band ferromagnetism?  Perhaps all of the above.

Colloquium: Ali Sulaiman on "A life in the day of outer solar-system exploration"

 A life in the day of outer solar-system exploration

Abstract: Jupiter and Saturn’s internal magnetic fields carve out a cavity in the interplanetary medium to form two of the largest magnetospheres in our solar system. Embedded within are geologically active moons continuously loading plasmas into their magnetospheres: Io’s volcanoes at Jupiter and Enceladus’ geysers at Saturn. These internally sourced plasmas interact with the surrounding planetary magnetic fields, giving rise to electrodynamic processes that drive the magnetospheric dynamics. One obvious manifestation is their powerful auroras. In 2016, NASA’s Juno spacecraft undertook the first polar orbits of Jupiter, and in 2017, NASA/ESA’s Cassini spacecraft performed its final orbits, which were highly inclined and adjusted to pass through the gap between Saturn’s atmosphere and innermost ring - both providing unprecedented coverage and proximity to their planets. Plasma and magnetic field measurements have proven to be critical in establishing how these planetary systems operate on a global scale (e.g. atmospheric coupling, rings, satellite, etc.) as well as understanding the fundamentals of space plasma processes in a parameter space vastly different from the near-Earth and inner heliosphere environment.  I will highlight past and present observations enabled by planetary explorers that have revolutionized our view of the solar system. Further, I will introduce the future ESA Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (set to launch in April 2023) and NASA Europa Clipper (launch 2024), as well as a proposed orbiter to the Uranus system, which was listed as the highest priority during in the 2023-2032 Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey.

Physics Force Public Shows Cancelled

A portion of the roof of Northrop auditorium collapsed on Wednesday evening and the building and garage are closed while the situation is addressed. Tickets for the public shows will be reimbursed. Further information can be found on the Physics Force Website.


Colloquium: Peter Littlewood, University of Chicago


Colloquium: Ethan Neil, University of Colorado


Colloquium: Sheldon Goldstein, Rutgers


Karlis Kaufmanis Lecture

The Weirdest Galaxies in the Universe

Dr. Julianne Dalcanton (Director, CCA, Flatiron Institute)

The Universe is filled with wonders, great and small.  In many cases, these wonders arise out of the order that the laws of physics imprint on the stars and galaxies that populate our universe.  But sometimes, this remarkable order is disturbed, producing truly outlandish departures from what astronomers consider to be “normal”.  In this talk, Dr. Dalcanton will highlight some of the weirdest galaxies in the universe, many of which are best revealed with the Hubble Space Telescope and its successors.

Register for the event

Colloquium: Zhen Liu, Physics, UMN


Think Global, Act Local: Demographics of the Space Sciences


School News

Patrick Kelly

Kelly Receives Borja Award

Assistant Professor Patrick Kelly of the School of Physics and Astronomy has received the Guillermo E. Borja Award from the College of Science and Engineering.
Nadja Strobbe

Strobbe gets grant to study machine learning

Nadja Strobbe, Assistant Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy will receive $232,000.00 as part of a $4.3 million grant awarded by the Department of Energy to improve machine learning in
Robert Pepin holding up a sample of meteorite in his laboratory

Robert O. Pepin, 1933-2023

Professor Emeritus Robert Pepin of the School of Physics and Astronomy passed away on January 6 at the age of 89.
Amartya Saha, Rafael Fernandes, Turan Birol

University theorists help shed new light on superconductivity in two-dimensional materials

University of Minnesota Physics Ph.D. student Amartya Saha, working under the guidance of Prof. Turan Birol, from the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science department, and Prof. Rafael Fernandes
Light from supernova

Kelly leads study of Red-supergiant supernova images

School of Physics and Astronomy Professor Patrick Kelly led a team that has measured the size of a star dating back more than 11 billion years ago using images that show the evolution of the star
Sauviz Alaei

Alaei named Apker Finalist

Sauviz Alaei, B.S. Physics, 22 was named a 2022 Leroy Apker Award Finalist by the American Physical Society. The LeRoy Apker Award recognizes outstanding achievements in physics by undergraduate
Vlad Pribiag

Pribiag group creates first few-mode multi-terminal Josephson junction

Professor Vlad Pribiag from the School of Physics and Astronomy led a group effort that has experimentally realized a long-theorized few-mode multi-terminal Josephson junction.
Marie Lopez del Puerto

Lopez Del Puerto wins Excellence in Physics Education Award

Marie Lopez del Puerto, (Physics PhD, ‘08), currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, was a recent recipient of the American Physical
Maxim Pospelov

Pospelov named APS Fellow

Maxim Pospelov, Professor of the School of Physics and Astronomy, has been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

School of Physics and Astronomy Seminar Calendar