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
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.
Alex Stamm won a "Best Student Poster" prize at Stanford University's 2014 Advanced Accelerator Concepts Workshop at Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose, CA, on July 15, 2014.
Donna Kunkel won the prestigious Nottingham Prize at the Physical Electronics Conference in June 2014. The Nottingham Prize is awarded to one student each year and recognizes the best student paper presentation at the conference. Kunkel presented part of her thesis research, which focuses on organic nanomaterials that possess useful electronic properties. This is the first time a UNL student has received the award, which comes with a $1,000 stipend.
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.
Several news outlets have reported on the announcement regarding the new High Energy Physics award for the CMS pixel upgrade. These include: the Lincoln Journal Star, the Omaha World-Herald, KOLN/KGIN (10-11), KFOR (1240 AM), KLIN (1400 AM), KNOP-TV (North Platte), and Nebraska Radio Network. The news release also appeared on the CIC's Big Science Newswire.
A team of UNL physicists led by Aaron Dominguez has been selected to lead a five-year, nearly $11.5-million research collaboration involving eight universities to improve the effectiveness of a critical component of the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest atom-smasher. Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Prem Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development, celebrated this research success in Jorgensen Hall on July 8, 2014. UNL Today reported on the news.