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Prof. Venkatesan and his team published a paper in Nature on September 3rd reporting on an organic electronic device that can make multiple decisions (as many as 71) as opposed to just two for a silicon transistor. Besides consuming ultra- low energy, these devices may enable simpler circuits that would be ideally suited for executing tasks that are suited for artificial intelligence and machine learning or brain- like electronics. To read more, visit "New Molecular Device Has Unprecedented Reconfigurability Reminiscent of Brain Plasticity" at OU's Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships and the corresponding publication, "Decision trees within a molecular memristor" in Nature Magazine.

 

HDL undergraduate students Cora De Francesco and Julianna Voelker were selected as First Prize winners in the Multidisciplinary Research category at the 2021 Undergraduate Research Day. Both are advised by HLD Physics and Astronomy professor Karen Leighly. Cora and Julianna received an award of $500 for their research presentation on the subject of FeLoBAL Quasars. Congratulations!

Joseph Choi & Kellen Lawson are recipients of a 2021-2022 Bullard Dissertation Completion Fellowships from OU's Graduate college.  The fellowship will provide Joseph & Kellen with a semester's worth of GRA support to work on completing their PhD dissertation.

A hot super-Earth in our neighbourhood promises to be a suitable candidate to test rocky planet atmosphere models.

During the recent two and a half decades, astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets made of gas, ice and rock. Only a few of them are Earth-like. However, probing their atmospheres with the currently available instrumentation is challenging at best. Now, astronomers of the CARMENES consortium have published a new study, led by Trifon Trifonov from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, which reports the discovery of a hot rocky super-Earth orbiting the nearby red dwarf star Gliese 486. Despite its small separation from the parent star, the planet designated Gliese 486b possibly has retained a part of its original atmosphere. Therefore, Gliese 486b is uniquely suited to examine its atmosphere and interior with the next generation of space-borne and ground-based telescopes. The results are published in the journalScience.

Dr. Vera Maria Passegger, a postdoc in the Homer L. Dodge Department for Physics and Astronomy, contributed to characterizing the planet by deriving fundamental parameters of the host star. An accurate and precise determination of the star's mass, radius, and temperature is essential for constraining the size of the planet itself, and therefore its bulk density, and as well as for estimating the surface temperature.

More details are here: https://www.mpia.de/news/science/2021-05-gliese486b

 

Adrian Lucy ('14, Astrophysics & History of Science) has accepted a 4-year postdoctoral position at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the soon-to-be-launched JWST. Adrian will divide their time between personal research and functional support for MAST, the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes. While at OU, Adrian worked with Prof. Karen Leighly on quasar outflows. They are currently a graduate student at Columbia University, working with Dr. Jeno Sokoloski on finding symbiotic binaries with visible accretion disks. Their research is funded by an NSF graduate fellowship.

 

Dr. Joseph Tischler joined the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy as an Associate Professor at the beginning of 2021. He holds an Avenir Foundation Chair in Condensed Matter Physics. His experimental research program focuses on light-matter interactions, including the development of photodetectors, lasers, and new quantum technologies. Welcome Joe!

 

Graduate student Kellen Lawson won an external grant from Sigma Xi's Grant in Aid of Research program, that will allow him to purchase a GPU for his dissertation work.  A brief summary of Kellen's proposal:

The light from circumstellar disks (disks of dust and gas around stars from which planets are thought to form) is normally buried beneath the intense light of the parent star. Removing this starlight requires the computationally expensive comparison and manipulation of large sets of images. Tuning of the parameters that govern this process can substantially improve results but is often prohibitively time-consuming using traditional CPUs. Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), however, have been shown to speed comparable calculations by factors of 20–200.  By leveraging modern GPU operations, parameter optimization for direct imaging can be fully realized — maximizing the results of state-of-the-art direct imaging facilities and enabling otherwise unlikely detections.

OU postdoc Qingze Guan and OU faculty member Blume collaborated with Maksim Kunitski, Reinhard Doerner and others from Frankfurt University and the GSI in Darmstadt on the helium dimer. The helium dimer is one of the most weakly-bound “naturally” occurring molecules. Since it’s so weakly bound, the preparation and manipulation of this fascinating molecule are rather tricky. Unless you isolate the dimer and are extremely careful, it tends to fall apart… Maksim and coworkers set up an ingeneous molecular beam experiment and used femto-second lasers to probe the system. The theory calculations by Qingze do not only match the experimental data, without a single adjustable parameter, but additionally provide unique insights. Check out the article entitled “Ultrafast manipulation of the weakly bound helium dimer”, which just appeared in Nature Physics, and the accompanying “News & Views” highlight entitled “Gently stirred not shaken” by Daniel Rolles.

The departmental Community and Inclusion Committee was formed in summer 2020. It currently has eight members: one undergraduate student, two graduate students, one postdoctoral researcher, one staff member, and three faculty members. The committee is proud to launch its website; please check it out at https://ou.edu/cas/physics-astronomy/cic/.

The committee worked on a number of initiatives this semester, including creation and approval of a departmental Code of Conduct (https://ou.edu/cas/physics-astronomy/cic/conduct) and a departmental “Drop Box” (https://ou.edu/cas/physics-astronomy/cic/dropbox). We look forward to receiving your suggestions, ideas, and feedback through the Drop Box or via email (pa-comm-incl@ou.edu). The Drop Box can also be used to submit anonymous comments on a sensitive subject, related to any member/aspect(s) of the department. The committee members would like to thank the faculty for comments and feedback on earlier drafts of the Code of Conduct and Drop Box.

The committee has also been working to promote the concept of shared leadership within the department. We are happy to report that the Undergraduate Studies Committee, the Graduate Studies Committee, and the Graduate Recruiting and Selection Committee now have student representation. Many thanks to Jamie Boyd, AJ Yates, Dave Hill, Geo Jose, Adam Moss, and Joe Muse for agreeing to serve on these committees!

Stay tuned for the first Town Hall meeting of the Community and Inclusion Committee, which will take place at the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester.

This past summer, the American Physical Society’s (APS) Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) formed the Ethics Advisory Committee (EAC). The main goal of the EAC is to propose and oversee the development and implementation of ethics policies for the DPF. They will also participate in training on anti-harassment and anti-racist practices, collect and develop educational materials to support physicists at educational institutions and governmental and industrial research laboratories, and enforce the DPF community guidelines as necessary. Based on her success on many diversity and inclusion initiatives in our department, including organizing the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics in January 2020, being a founding member of our Community and Inclusion Committee, and her work in the DPF Snowmass Process, the DPF Executive Committee and the DPF Ethics Task Force selected Amber Roepe to serve on this important committee. On Nov. 20, 2020, Amber was announced as the sole graduate student member of the APS DPF EAC in the November issue (pdf) of the DPF newsletter. We are very proud of her accomplishment and we know she will do an excellent job serving on this committee!

We are hosting a prospective graduate student virtual open house Tuesday, November 17 and Thursday, December 3. We will have representatives from the admission committee, our Women in Physics group, our Lunar Sooners group, and our physics graduate student association in attendance.  More information about the open house can be found at the Prospective Graduate Student Open House flyer (pdf).

Robert Lewis-Swan has recently joined the AMO group as an assistant professor of physics. Robert has expertise in non-equilibrium dynamics and quantum entanglement. Welcome!

Emeritus faculty Deborah Watson has been nominated fellow of the American Physical Society "for the innovative use of group theory and graphical techniques toward the solution of the quantum many-body problem". Congratulations!

A joint theory-experiment paper by the Blume group from OU and the Engels group from Washington State University (WSU) was selected as an Editors' Suggestion by Physical Review A. The theory efforts were spearheaded by OU postdoc Dr. Qingze Guan and the experimental data were taken by Thomas Bersano and Dr. Sean Mossman, both from WSU. The work explores two realizations of a two-state model in a rubidium Bose-Einstein condensate, realized through Raman coupling of hyperfine states and lattice coupling in momentum space. The difference in the two realizations is highlighted by a particularly important role of interactions in the lattice coupling case. The work can be accessed at the APS website: https://journals.aps.org/pra/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevA.101.063620.

University of Oklahoma graduate student Maria Schutte presented her findings on the discovery of the closest brown dwarf with a disk that is younger than 5 million years old Tuesday as part of a virtual briefing at the 236th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.  Read the full press release at the OU College of Arts and Science research press release.

OU physics professors Arne Schwettmann (PI) and Grant Biedermann (Co-PI) have been awarded $584,418 by the Department of Defense through the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) for their research project titled "Harnessing entanglement in ultracold atomic gases.”

Award Announcement:

https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Releases/Release/Article/2172557/dod-invests-36-million-for-the-defense-established-program-to-stimulate-competi/

 

Experimental condensed matter physicists in the Department of Physics at the University of Oklahoma have developed an approach to circumvent a major loss process that currently limits the efficiency of commercial solar cells.

Members of the Photovoltaic Materials and Devices Group, led by OU associate professor in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ian Sellers, along with theorists at Arizona State University, led by David K. Ferry, have demonstrated a breakthrough toward the development of a hot carrier solar cell.

A hot carrier solar cell is a device that reduces heat losses in the material and could increase the efficiency of solar cells by more than 20%, which would be a significant breakthrough for solar energy. Although this device has been the source of a considerable amount of research over the last 10 to 15 years, the realization of a practical solution to this challenging problem has thus far eluded researchers.

This new approach, recently published in the journal Nature Energy, demonstrates significant progress in the realization of the hot carrier solar cell and the potential for ultrahigh-efficiency single junction semiconductor devices, which would revolutionize the field of photovoltaics and renewable energy generation.

HLD professor Karen Leighly received the Regents' Award for Superior Research and Creative Activity, awarded by the University of Oklahoma.  HLD faculty Alberto Marino and Ian Sellers were the recipients of the Ted S. Webb Presidential Professorship. The award recognizes faculty members who excell in all their professional activities and who relate those acticities to the students they teach and mentor. 

Congratulations!

For more information, see the Regents' Award for Superior Research and Creative Activity announcement.

The European Physical Society has awarded the the CDF and DZero collaborations with the prestigous 2019 High Energy and Particle Physics Prize "for the discovery of the top quark and the detailed measurement of its properties."

Several members of the OU Physics & Astronomy department are members of the DZero collaboration, including faculty members Patrick Skubic, Phillip Gutierrez, Michael Strauss, and Brad Abbott.

Congratulations!

In order to comply with recent public health statements from our Provost, in consultation with OUHSC and the Centers for Disease Control, our departmental offices are closed.

We are not meeting one-on-one with students at this time.

Please contact via email to your individual professor or contact our Student Services Representative, Ms. Ashley Price, ashleykprice@ou.edu, or you are welcome call our offices directly at 405-325-3961 and leave a message.

We appreciate your respect of the rules instituted to keep us all safe and healthy.

 

 A multi-university team of researchers, including OU's John Wisniewski, has validated that a candidate planet signal originally detected by the Kepler space telescope is an exoplanet—a planet orbiting a star outside of our solar system. The planet, called G 9-40b, is about twice the size of the Earth and orbits its low mass host star (an M dwarf star) only 100 light years away, making it the second-closest transiting planet discovered by the K2 mission to date.  Read more at Dr. Wisniewski's research article.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy hosted the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP2020 @ OU) on January 17-19, 2020. The conference was attended by about 130 undergraduate students, mostly women, from Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Following a formal application to the American Physical Society (APS), which coordinates the conference series, OU was selected as one of 12 sites across the US to host CUWiP over the MLK weekend.

OU’s CUWiP was organized under the leadership of third-year physics graduate student Amber Roepe, who spear-headed bringing CUWiP to OU and served as Chair of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC). Doerte Blume served as the Faculty Chair of the conference. The majority of the LOC was made up of undergraduate and graduate students from the Department of Physics and Astronomy. In addition, several staff and faculty members generously donated their time. The feedback from the student participants and presenters was overwhelmingly positive. One student participant wrote after the conference “Thank you so much for such a great weekend. I learned so much.” MacArthur Fellow Prof. Margaret Murnane from the University of Colorado, Boulder/JILA, who gave the after-dinner talk on Friday, said “Terrific conference! I think everyone benefitted from the wonderful exchanges---and it will motivate us to keep pushing for better environments for members from underrepresented groups!"

The conference program touched on all aspects of undergraduate students’ lives, including the challenges and isolation frequently felt by members from underrepresented minorities. The undergraduate student attendees had the opportunity to visit experimental facilities in Nielsen and Lin Halls, to learn about graduate programs and internships, to enjoy talks by internationally renowned speakers, to interact with OU alumni who are now pursuing highly successful careers in academia, to hear about how to cope with mental health challenges, to learn about unique challenges encountered by underrepresented minorities and the LGBTQ+ community, and to engage in networking.

The conference organizers would like to acknowledge the financial support of the conference by the APS, through their NSF and DOE grants; nine OU Departments, Colleges, and Offices; EPSCOR Mississippi; as well as individual donors who donated through OU’s Thousand Strong crowdfunding efforts. 

Congratulations to all!

 

HLD Professor Bruce Mason was a recipient of the 2020 Excellence in Physics Education Award offered by the National Science Foundation. The award was shared with other members of the Open Source Physics Team "for sustained commitment to computational physics education through creating and disseminating programming environments, books, software, simulations, and other tools to support computational thinking, and for research establishing the value of these tools and best practices for their use." Bruce was involved in building and running some of the digital resources of the project, including the ComPADRE Collection of online educational content. Congratulations!

For more info, see APS page.  

The CQRT director Alberto Marino was interviewed by KGOU at the inauguration of the Center for Quantum Technology. The area of quantum physics could generate billions of dollars worth of technology over the next decade. The interview can be found at https://www.kgou.org/post/oklahoma-invests-quantum-technology-research

A second quantum technology revolution is upon us! The first used the laws of quantum physics to design systems in which the energy is “quantized,” to allow only certain values. This idea is at the heart of technology ranging from TV remotes to supercomputers. Now, two other features of quantum mechanics, entanglement and superposition, are becoming accessible to control. To do so we must unite the incredible delicacy and uniformity of single atoms with the robust control and reproducibility of larger devices, forming “quantum hybrid systems.”

This Presidential Dream course will give students competence in the fundamentals so that they may pursue research and careers in this field. As part of the course world experts will come to OU to give lectures and meet with students.

The dedication of the Center for Quantum Research and Technology (CQRT) will take place on Friday, October 25 at 2:30pm. The ceremony will be attended by the Oklahoma governor, OU President, Provost and Dean. The event will be followed by tours in Lin Hall, the state of the art laboratory where the CQRT is housed, and by three lectures in Nielsen Hall. One of the lectures will be offered by Neal Lane, a Senior Fellow in Science and Technology Policy, Professor Emeritus at Rice University and current member of the Board of Visitors of the HLD Department of Physics and Astronomy at OU. All are welcome to attend!  

See press release: http://ou.edu/insideou/articles/2019/october/new-ou-center-to-create-advantage-in-emerging-field-of-quantum-technology

The Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Oklahoma (OU) invites applications for five faculty appointments in the areas of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) and Condensed Matter (CM) physics. The hires are part of an initiative in fundamental research that enables quantum technology. The Center for Quantum Research and Technology (CQRT) has recently been established with support from donor endowments, the state legislature, and the university. A new state-of-the-art physics building hosts 18,000 square feet of laboratory space that meets NIST-A specifications on vibrations, temperature, humidity, and electromagnetic interference. Campus resources include cleanroom facilities and supercomputer access.

Position 1: Director of the CQRT and Homer L. Dodge Chair in AMO or CM physics. Candidates are expected to be internationally recognized leaders in their field. The Center Director will take the lead role in determining the scientific direction of the CQRT through hiring of Center faculty and allocation of Center resources.  This endowed position comes with an annual research stipend. Start-up funds commensurate with the candidate’s research agenda will be made available. Please contact Michael Santos (msantos@ou.edu) if you have questions regarding this position. To submit your application, go to https://apply.interfolio.com/66266

Position 2: Tenure-track Assistant Professor or Associate/Full Professor in experimental quantum physics with a research focus in AMO physics. Exceptional candidates will be considered for an endowed Chair position. Please contact Alberto Marino (marino@ou.edu) if you have questions regarding this position. To submit your application, go to https://apply.interfolio.com/66271

Positions 3 and 4: Tenure-track Assistant Professor or Associate/Full Professor in experimental quantum materials or quantum physics with a research focus in CM physics. Two positions are available. Exceptional candidates will be considered for an endowed Chair position. Please contact Michael Santos (msantos@ou.edu) if you have questions regarding these positions. To submit your application, go to https://apply.interfolio.com/66239

Position 5: Tenure-track Assistant Professor or Associate/Full Professor in theoretical quantum physics with a research focus in AMO or CM physics. Exceptional candidates will be considered for an endowed Chair position. Please contact Doerte Blume (Doerte.Blume-1@ou.edu) if you have questions regarding this position. To submit your application, please go to https://apply.interfolio.com/66276

Applicants should have earned a Ph.D. in physics or a related field and have post Ph.D. experience. Successful candidates are expected to teach effectively at both the undergraduate and graduate levels (one class per semester), maintain an outstanding record of original published research, and develop an independent, internationally recognized, externally funded research program that complements and expands existing research efforts at OU on ultracold atoms, molecules, and gases; microelectronic, photonic, and quantum devices; quantum optics; precision spectroscopy; quantum information and entanglement; scanning probe microscopy; quantum, topological, and strongly-correlated materials. The department is interested in candidates who have a demonstrated commitment to excellence by providing leadership in teaching, research, or service toward building an equitable and diverse scholarly environment.

Applications consisting of a cover letter, CV, list of publications, statement of research interests, and statement of teaching interests should be uploaded directly to the web addresses provided above. Applicants for the Center Director position should submit names and contact information for five references through interfolio. Applicants for all other positions should arrange for the submission of three letters of reference through interfolio. Screening of applications will begin October 20, 2019. These positions will remain open until filled.

 

OU is a Carnegie-R1 comprehensive public research university known for excellence in teaching, research, and serving the educational, cultural, economic and healthcare needs of the state, region, and nation. The 277-acre Research Campus in Norman was named the #1 research campus in the nation by the Association of Research Parks in 2013.

Additional Information can be found at the following link:

https://www.ou.edu/admissions/alumni-ambassadors/facts-faqs/facts

http://www.ou.edu/content/dam/provost/documents/facultyflipbook.pdf

The University of Oklahoma is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Protected veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

The CDF and DZero collaborations, the latter of which includes several current and former OU physicists, were awarded the 2019 High Energy and Particle Physics Prize from the European Physical Society for "the discovery of the top quark and the detailed measurement of its properties."  This prestigious prize is awarded every two years for outstanding contributions to the field.  OU made substantial contributions to the DZero experiment, without which the discovery would not have been possible.  Faculty members Brad Abbott, Phillip Gutierrez, Patrick Skubic, and Michael Strauss oversaw the work of seven PhD students, six postdoctoral research associates, and a research scientist (Horst Severini) on the DZero experiment.

The discovery of the top quark was announced jointly by the CDF and DZero collaborations in 1995.  At the time, the top quark was the only remaining matter particle predicted by the standard model yet to be observed.  Discovery was made challenging by the large mass of the top quark, which necessitated careful analysis of billions of high-energy proton-antiproton collisions produced by the Tevatron at Fermilab in Illinois.  The large mass of the top quark is also what makes it so fascinating; it is the heaviest of all known fundamental particles, with a mass at the electroweak scale.

In addition to discovering the top quark, the CDF and DZero experiments performed a number of important measurements of its properties.  The top quark mass was measured with a precision of 1%.  The cross section for production of a top-antitop pair was measured with a precision of 10%.  The production of a single top quark is much rarer, being mediated by the weak interaction.  However, the CDF and DZero collaborations also later observed this production mode, thanks in part to significant work from an OU postdoc (Supriya Jain). 

The OU group continues to study top quark properties today, using collisions produced by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.  Recently, Phillip Gutierrez and postdoc Muhammad Alhroob published the first 3-sigma evidence for the production of a single top quark in association with a Z boson, which is also mediated by the weak interaction.  Along with graduate student Dylan Frizzell, they are now finalizing a publication with incontrovertible >5-sigma observation of this process.

For more information, see: https://eps-hepp.web.cern.ch/eps-hepp/PrizeAnnouncements/XMhep2019/EPS_HEPP2019_long.pdf

CUWiP, also known as Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics, is an annual conference series that has been running since 2006. Since its start, conference participation has been growing non-stop. In January 2020, twelve different sites across the US will be hosting CUWiP; the Department of Physics and Astronomy at OU’s Norman campus will serve as one of these host sites. A thirteenth conference will be hosted in Canada at the same time.

Being coordinated under the umbrella of the American Physical Society, all host sites share the same goals and mission. During the three-day conference there will be one national keynote speaker that will be live streamed to all thirteen sites. The remainder of the conference program is being developed independently by each of the thirteen local organizing committees.

Conference Website: https://www.ou.edu/cuwip

Donations are gratefully accepted!! Thank you!

 

OU Physics Professor Arne Schwettmann is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development Program) Award for research on ultra cold atoms.

Collisions between atoms in gases happen all around us, for example in the air that we breathe every day. At room temperature, the collisions are random and very difficult to control. By cooling a gas to ultracold temperatures near absolute zero (below minus 273 degrees Celsius) and trapping it in the center of a vacuum chamber, collisions can be controlled and used to develop new technologies such as quantum-limited sensors for impurities. An ultracold gas behaves like a single quantum mechanical object, a matter wave. Collisions still take place in the matter wave, but they now happen in a predictable fashion. In a sodium matter wave, the collisions can be controlled precisely via microwave radiation. The colliding atoms behave like small magnets with magnetic north and south poles determined by the direction of their atomic spin. During collisions, atoms experience each other's magnetic fields and change their spin directions. As they change directions, the atomic spins become correlated with each other at the quantum level, a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement. Quantum entanglement is useful when atoms are used as sensors. All entangled atoms react to external influences in unison, increasing the sensitivity of a sensor. This research project will use controlled collisions in sodium matter waves to study quantum-enhanced sensing and other quantum technologies. This project will study the role of impurities and will also explore differences and similarities compared to experiments with entangled beams of light. The research will improve our experimental understanding of quantum technologies based on matter waves under realistic conditions, in the presence of loss and impurities. This has practical applications for development of robust quantum-enhanced sensors, for development of quantum-enhanced probes for ultracold gases, and for improving our understanding of how we can control spin in matter waves at the quantum level.

The initial award is $311,908. This is a continuing grant expected to total $500,000 over five years. For more information, go to

https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1846965&HistoricalAwards=false

OU astrophysics professor Dr Nathan Kaib will be taking part in a recording of Planetary Radio Live with Bill Nye on May 8 3-4:30pm at the Science Museum Oklahoma.  Seating is first come, first served.  Additional details about the event can be found here: https://www.sciencemuseumok.org/tps

OU physics professor Brad Abbott has just been named the recipient of the 2019 Brian and Sandra O'Brien Presidential Professorship http://www.ou.edu/facultyawards/award-recipients  Presidential Professors inspire their students, mentor their undergraduate and/or graduate students in the process of research and creative scholarly activity within their discipline, and exemplify to their students (both past and present) and to their colleagues (both at OU and within their disciplines nationwide) the ideals of a scholar through their endeavors in teaching; research and creative scholarly activity; and professional and university service and public outreach.  Congrats Brad!!

To better understand atomic collisions, Qingze Guan of the University of Oklahoma in Norman and colleagues from  Heidelberg University developed a way to watch two atoms crash together. For more information, view Physics - Synopsis: Watching Atoms Bang Together.

Physics & Astronomy emeritus professor David Branch has been awarded the AAS' Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award, along with J. Craig Wheeler, for their advanced university-level textbook Supernova Explosions.  News about the award can be found here: https://aas.org/grants-and-prizes/chambliss-astronomical-writing-award   Congrats David!!

A team of astronomers led by OU's John Wisniewski have used the Hubble Space Telescope to trace giant blobs of material being cleared out from AU Mic's young circumstellar disk.  Read more here: http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2019-02

OU astronomy professor Nathan Kaib is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development Program) Award in the amount of $521,258.  It is thought that protoplanets, the bodies that eventually gave rise to planets, formed by a process known as accretion during the early life of our Solar System. This process cannot, of course, be studied directly. Little is known about how accretion proceeds at different distances from the Sun. Professor Kaib's work will address questions of Solar System development by using sophisticated computer modeling techniques. His team will also reassess the development of the giant planets and the Kuiper Belt of the outer Solar System. He will establish astronomy and planetary science education programs at the Sam Noble Museum, Oklahoma's state natural history museum. He will design classroom programs for visiting school groups as well as adding to the museum's catalog of Discovery Kits, which can be loaned free of charge across the state.

Professor Kaib will use a GPU-accelerated N-body code to directly simulate the construction of rocky protoplanets via runaway and oligarchic growth. The same code will be used to build a self-consistent model of the dynamical evolution of the early outer solar system. Finally, he will use a new N-body algorithm to understand the interplay between planetary and triple star dynamics within the Alpha Centauri and other multiple star systems.

 

Congrats Nate on a well deserved honor!

Professor Alberto Marino has been named the recipient of the James and JoAnn Holden Faculty award.  The James and JoAnn Holden Faculty Award recognizes outstanding faculty who inspire freshman and sophomore students through their willingness to teach, encourage and support students' transition into higher education.  Congrats Alberto!

The Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Oklahoma (OU) invites applications for three faculty appointments in the areas of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) Physics and Condensed Matter Physics (CMP). The hires are part of an initiative to enhance OU’s presence in fundamental research that enables quantum technology. Planning for the establishment of a Quantum Technology Center is currently under way. Our new state-of-the-art physics building hosts 18,000 square feet of laboratory space that meets NIST-A specifications on vibrations, temperature, humidity, and electromagnetic interference. Campus resources include cleanroom facilities and supercomputer access.

Position 1 (ID # 55427): Homer L. Dodge Professor of experimental AMO physics. Candidates are expected to be internationally recognized leaders in their field. This endowed position comes with an annual research stipend. Start-up funds commensurate with the candidate’s research agenda will be made available. To submit your application for consideration please go to https://apply.interfolio.com/55427.

Position 2 (ID # 55442): Tenure-track Assistant Professor in experimental quantum physics with a research focus in CMP. Appointment at the level of associate or full professor is possible for exceptional candidates. To submit your application for consideration please go to https://apply.interfolio.com/55442.

Position 3 (ID # 55359): Tenure-track Assistant Professor in theoretical quantum physics with a research focus in AMO. Appointment at the level of Associate or Full Professor is possible for exceptional candidates. To submit your application for consideration please go to https://apply.interfolio.com/55359.

Applicants should have earned a Ph.D. in physics or a related field and have post Ph.D. experience. Successful candidates are expected to teach effectively at both the undergraduate and graduate levels (one class per semester), maintain an outstanding record of original published research, and develop an independent, internationally recognized, externally funded research program that complements existing research efforts at OU on ultracold atoms, molecules, and gases; microelectronic, photonic, and quantum devices; quantum optics; precision spectroscopy; quantum information and entanglement; scanning probe microscopy; quantum, topological, and strongly-correlated materials; and photovoltaics.

Applications consisting of a cover letter, CV, list of publications, statement of research interests, and statement of teaching interests should be uploaded directly to the web addresses provided above. Screening of applications will begin December 1, 2018. These positions will remain open until filled. OU is a Carnegie-R1 comprehensive public research university known for excellence in teaching, research, and serving the educational, cultural, economic and healthcare needs of the state, region, and nation. The 277-acre Research Campus in Norman was named the #1 research campus in the nation by the Association of Research Parks in 2013.

Additional Information can be found at the following links:

https://www.ou.edu/admissions/academics/arts-sciences/public-affairs-administration

http://www.ou.edu/content/dam/provost/documents/facultyflipbook.pdf

The University of Oklahoma is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Protected veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

The University of Oklahoma will dedicate Lin Hall and the Dodge Physics Complex on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018.

Named in recognition of Chun C. Lin, a professor in the OU Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy from 1955 to 1968, the building will be dedicated on the South Oval of the Norman campus. Funded by Lin and the Avenir Foundation, the new academic building will total more than 18,000 square feet of research laboratory space and will provide world-class research space for AMO and CM physics, including 12 laboratories. Lin Hall will be one of only a few buildings in the world to meet the NIST-A requirements on vibrations, temperature and humidity, as well as electromagnetic interference.

Daylong activities are being planned to celebrate the occasion, which will honor Lin’s outstanding scientific legacy begun at the university, as well as the Avenir Foundation’s continued commitment to scientific research. The celebration will begin Saturday morning with a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of Lin Hall followed by a reception and tours of the building, as well as an evening event honoring Chun Lin and the Avenir Foundation.

If you would like to be included on the department’s mailing list to receive information about these events, please send your preferred email address and street address to: cpack@ou.edu.

 

The faculty in the Department of Physics and Astronomy will be joined in the fall by two new members, Ferah Munshi, who will be the new assistant professor in the Astronomy group, and Dan White, the new assistant professor with expertise in physics education research.

Welcome!

Physics & Astronomy students Logan Abshire and Tristan Thrasher recently returned from a summer (2018) spent performing research on the effects of high irradiation environments on thin-film solar cells at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). Prior to leaving for GRC, both Logan and Tristan had been working on solar cells for space power applications within the Photovoltaic Materials and Solar Cells Group (Sellers) here at OU. This research program within Sellers' group is specifically focussed on developing novel solar cells for missions to outer planetary systems. Tristan and Logan's work has made a signifciant contribution to this effort!

The HLD department of Physics and Astronomy has launched a new Facebook page. Please feel free to LIKE it (link below) and email the link to all of your contacts, students and post doc's!

The new page has an 'Alumni & friends' group. Click 'visit group' on our facebook page and join our Alumni group. Please feel free to pass the word along to ALL ALUMNI!   

https://www.facebook.com/University-of-Oklahoma-Homer-L-Dodge-Department-of-Physics-and-Astronomy-617157708667843/?modal=admin_todo_tour

The celebration and dedication of The Homer L. Dodge Physics Complex and Lin Hall will take place Oct. 12 and 13 2018. The activities will begin with a public lecture titled “Football: Its Physics and Its Future” by a guest speaker Timothy Gay at 7:30 p.m on Friday. Gay is currently a Willa Cather Professor of Physics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Light refreshments will be provided just prior to the 10 a.m. dedication of the research building on Saturday, followed by heavy hors d’oeuvres on the patio and tours of the building. A banquet is planned Saturday evening at 6 in the Sam Noble Museum. Be sure to register to attend the Lin Hall gala by October 1!

Lin Hall is a state-of-the-art research facility named in recognition of Chun C. Lin, an OU physics professor from 1955 to 1968. Professor Lin recently retired as the John and Abigail Van Vleck Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lin Hall boasts more than 18,000 square feet of world-class research space, allowing for 12 research laboratories for AMO and CM physics experiments. It is one of only a few buildings in the world to meet the NIST-A requirements on vibrations, temperature and humidity, as well as electromagnetic interference. The roof will be used for astronomical research and teaching, and includes one 14-inch telescope along with smaller telescopes for student use. Together, Nielsen Hall and Lin Hall are collectively named “The Dodge Physics Complex,” in recognition of Homer L. Dodge, who served as chair of the OU physics department from 1919 until 1944.

OU physics professor Alberto Marino is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development Program) Award in the amount of $500,000. Alberto will study new possibilities for the use of the spatial degree of freedom in applications ranging from long-distance quantum communications to quantum imaging. The use of that degree of freedom in long-distance quantum networks can bring about a revolution to the field of quantum information science by making it possible to transmit large amounts of information through a quantum channel. The implementation of a source with such capability has a wide range of transformative applications, such as secure communications, information processing and distributed quantum computing.

This research will be integrated with an education program that will develop the problem-solving skills of undergraduate students through participation in research and teaching laboratories. Another outreach opportunity will involve high school teachers from the NSF Research in Engineering and Teaching Program. Efforts will be made to involve underrepresented groups in the research program. 

Congratulations!

HDL student Collin Dabbieri has been named one of the 2018/19 Astronaut Scholars of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). This scholarship recognizes an elite group of students in the US with exemplary academic performance, ingenuity and unique aptitude for research.

The incoming Astronaut Scholars are invited to attend the ASF Innovators Gala in Washington DC in September, where they will receive the Neil Armstrong Award of Excellence, recognizing their achievements. An astronaut will present all Astronaut Scholars with their award on stage during the Saturday night gala.  

Congrats Collin!

A University of Oklahoma astrophysics team led by Matt Clement explains why the growth of Mars was stunted by an orbital instability among the outer solar system's giant planets in a new study on the evolution of the young solar system.  Read more about the Mars press release

OU physics/astronomy major Matthew Peters has been named a 2018 Goldwater Scholar.  Read more about Matthew's success at this article.  Congrats Matthew!!

Physics & Astronomy undergraduate alumnus Jodi Berdis recently won a prestigious NASA Jenkins Fellowship, described in more detail at the official NASA Jenkins Fellowship page.  Congrats Jodi!!

Neal Lane, a member of the department's Board of Visitors, recently coauthored an op-ed article in the New York Times. The piece alludes to the dangers of public policies that are not anchored in solid scientific advice, and notes that the White House has not nomimated a presidential science advisor yet. Neal Lane was the science advisor to President Bill Clinton and is a senior fellow in science and technology at the Baker Institute at Rice University. The complete article can be found at:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/opinion/trump-disdain-science.html

Like many things worth observing in astronomy, the University of Oklahoma is bringing back a lecture series that seemed to dazzle the last time around.  Read more about the upcoming lecture series here

OU Professor and VIDA Fellow Ferah Munshi will be interviewed live on "CNN's Eclipse of the Century" alongside former astronaut Mark Kelly on Monday August 21st.  CNN will present the solar eclipse from multiple locations, coast to coast, in an immersive two-hour 360° live-stream experience starting at 12pm CT.  Coverage will be available all around the world in 4K resolution at CNN.com/eclipse, CNN’s mobile apps, Oculus Rift via Oculus Video and through CNN’s Facebook page via Facebook Live 360.  More information can be found here: http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2017/08/14/cnn-volvo-solar-eclipse-360-virtual-reality-vr-live-stream/

Lunar Sooners will be hosting a solar eclipse viewing for the August 21st eclipse on the South Oval of campus from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Two solar telescopes, 500 solar glasses, and a few pinhole projectors will be set up for public viewing. The event will be co-sponsored with the Collage of Arts and Sciences. The eclipse will occur on the first day of classes, so spread the word!

Professor Nate Kaib and graduate student Matt Clement will be interviewed on the weekly television show Discover Oklahoma. They will be answering questsions on "Great Balls of Fire", a new exhibit on asteroids, comets, and meteorites at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The segment will air on KFOR (channel 4) this Saturday 8/5 at 6:30 PM. The segment can also be viewed at www.youtube.com/user/DiscoverOklahoma the week after airing.

 

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is pleased to welcome Kuver Sinha and Doerte Blume as new faculty members. Kuver is the new assistant professor of the high energy physics group. Doerte will join the AMO group as a professor of physics. Both will join the department early in the fall. Welcome!

HDL student Matthew Peters has been named one of the 2017/18 Astronaut Scholars of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). This scholarship recognizes an elite group of students in the US with exemplary academic performance, ingenuity and unique aptitude for research.

The incoming Astronaut Scholars are invited to attend the ASF Innovators Gala in Washington DC in September, where they will receive the Neil Armstrong Award of Excellence, recognizing their achievements. An astronaut will present all Astronaut Scholars with their award on stage during the Saturday night gala.  

Great job Matthew!

Grants

Dr. Ferah Munshi was awarded $120,000 by the NSF to study self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) with cosmological simulations of dwarf galaxies. This is part of a 3 year continuing grant, amounting in total to $360,000.

 

Dr. Arne Schwettmann (PI) and Dr. Grant Biedermann (Co-PI) have been awarded $584,418 by the Department of Defense through the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR).

Dr John Wisniewski has been awarded $87,267 from SAO/Chandra.

Dr John Wisniewski has been awarded $307,745 from NASA's Exoplanet Research Program.

Dr John Wisniewski has been awarded $36,743.00 from NASA-HQ.

Dr John Wisniewski has been awarded $244,471.00 by the National Science Foundation.

 

Dr. Arne Schwettmann has been awarded $311,908 by the National Science Foundation. This is a continuing grant expected to total $500,000 over five years.

 

Dr. Sellers awarded $674,000 by Department of Energy

Dr. Ian Sllers has been awarded $48,000.00 by the State of Oklahoma, Regents for Higher Education

 

Dr. Nathan Kaib has been awarded $287,987.00 by the National Science Foundation

Dr. Doerte Blume has been awarded $95,380.00 by the National Science Foundation

Dr. Michael Santos has been awarded $45,000.00 by OCAST-OARS

Dr. Alberto Marino has been awarded $105,401.00 by the National Science Foundation.

Dr. John Wisniewski has been awarder $77,000.00 by the Space Telescope Science Institute

Dr. Muk Kilic has been awarded $12,750.00 by NASA Headquarters.

Dr. John Tobin has been awarded $24,858.00 by the Space Telescope Science Institute

Dr. John Wisniewski has been awarded $68,685.00 by the Space Telescope Science Institute

Dr. John Wisniewski has been awarded $11,034.00 by the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Dr. Karen Leighly has been awarded $84,102.00 by the Space Telescope Science Institute

Dr. Michael Santos has been awarded $125,000.00 by OCAST-OARS

Dr. John Tobin has been awarded $29,064.00 by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

Dr. Phillip Gutierrez has been awarded $16,380.00 by Brookhaven National Laboratory

Dr. Nathan Kaib has been awarded $50,000 by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Kimball Milton has been awarded $70,000.00 by the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Mukremin Kilic has been awarded 24,811.00 by the Space Telescope Science Institute

Drs. Bumm and Huang have been awarded $442,000 by the National Science Foundation.