The Department of Physics and Astronomy at UNL features state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities. The Extreme Light Laboratory houses Diocles, one of the most powerful lasers in the world. At the on-campus Student Observatory and Behlen Observatory in Mead, Nebraska, students can study astrophysical phenomena such as quasars and pulsating stars.
Graduate and undergraduate students study nanoscale magnetic materials, perform experiments to "stop" light, research matter waves and unusual behavior of chiral molecules, and study the fundamental constituents of the matter that makes up our universe at some of the world's highest-energy particle accelerator laboratories.
In the Department of Physics and Astronomy, there are countless exciting possibilities to explore!
Physics & Astronomy News
New research by Joan Dreiling and Tim Gay, which UNL Today reports was published in the Sept. 12 online edition of Physical Review Letters, gives support to the principle underlying the Vester-Ulbricht hypothesis that the primarily left-handed spinning electrons in cosmic rays could have preferentially destroyed left-handed precursors of DNA, leaving only right-handed DNA.
A research group led by UNL physicist Axel Enders will prep a material for testing on the International Space Station. The project is funded by a NASA grant awarded to Nebraska EPSCoR. UNL Today reported on the news on September 4, 2014.
NSF issued a press release on August 6, 2014, on the $6-million NSF EPSCoR Track 2 RII grants, each awarded to three pairs of EPSCoR states, including Nebraska-Kansas. The Nebraska-Kansas grant involves atomic, molecular and optical physics researchers in Nebraska and Kansas, who will collaborate on ultrafast processes. Although several institutions in each state are involved, the lead ones are the AMO groups at UNL and at KSU. Nebraska researchers will have $3 million for the next 3 years.
An international team of scientists, including J. D. Burton and Evgeny Tsymbal, has discovered what they called an intriguing and entirely unexpected phenomenon at the surface of a transition metal oxide material. Such materials serve as a hotbed for electrochemical applications like solid fuel cells and oxygen sensors, as well as having potential applications in future electronic devices. UNL Today reported on the article published in the July 24, 2014, issue of Nature Communications.