University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
Elias Puchner
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A group of researchers at the School of Physics and Astronomy are working to uncover how cells and their signaling networks detect and respond to stimuli. Elias Puchner is new faculty member in the area of experimental biological physics. Through his research he intends to provide “a nano-scale view of cell communication.”


CUWIP focuses on undergraduate women

Lucy Fortson at CUWIP welcome event

One hundred and twenty undergraduate women physicists from the Midwest region participated in the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWIP) hosted by the School in Tate Hall, January 17-19, 2020. More »

Kelly receives grants to study extremely magnified stars

Patrick Kelly

Prof. Patrick Kelly received more than $430,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study extremely magnified stars. Observing a very distant star whose image is being magnified by the gravity of a cluster of galaxies in the foreground, Kelly's group hopes to learn about stars and potentially dark matter in the form of black holes in the foreground cluster. The project will develop several exhibits for the Bell Museum. Kelly also received a grant for more than $447,000 and a large amount of time on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to study dark matter using similar technique. More »

New Traineeship will train researchers at the intersection of astrophysics and data science

Vuk Mandic

School of Physics and Astronomy Professor Vuk Mandic is the principal investigator of a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship designed to train graduate students in data science, in the context of the nascent field of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics. The new training program will be conducted by an interdisciplinary group of faculty, cutting across two Colleges and five programs and will provide a total of 30 annual stipends for graduate students, during 2020-2024, each in the amount of $34,000 plus tuition and fees. More »

First University of Minnesota-built small satellite launches

Jenna Burgett and Kyle Houser with a model of the cubesat satellite SOCRATES

Jenna Burgett a student in the School of Physics and Astronomy is a project leader for a group that will launch the first Minnesota-built 'cubesat' into space. A cubesat is a small research satellite the size of a shoebox. Signal of Opportunity CubeSat for Ranging and Timing Experiments (SOCRATES) will observe gamma ray photons from deep space. Burgett and Kyle Houser, another member of the The Small Satellite Laboratory delivered SOCRATES in person to Houston for launch on November 2. More »

In Memoriam, Professor Cork Johnson


Professor Emeritus Walter "Cork" Johnson passed away in Minneapolis on September 24th at the age of 91. Cork was an expert on precision mass spectroscopy. A native of Minneapolis and a student of Al Nier, he received his BA, MA and PhD in Physics from the University. After a brief stint at General Electric, Cork joined the faculty of the School in 1958 and retired in 1993. More »


Friday, January 24th
12:20 pm:
There will be no sack lunch this week
12:30 pm:
New physics in the Higgs sector —
Daniel Egana-Ugrinovic
2:30 pm:
Galaxy Evolution and Star Formation in the Faint Infrared Grism Survey —
John Pharo, Arizona State University
3:35 pm:
Evolving Plant Populations and the Contingency of Genetic Effects —
Ruth Shaw, Evolution, Ecology and Behavior, University of Minnesota
Refreshments served at 3:25 p.m.
4:40 pm:
The Light Dark Matter Experiment —
Jeremiah Mans
Monday, January 27th
12:15 pm:
Understanding Bursty Star Formation in Dwarf Galaxies, Its Effect on Galactic morphology, and Implications for Reionization —
Najmeh Emami, University of California, Riverside
Tuesday, January 28th
11:15 am:
Nuclear Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Analysis of Recent Supernova Models Using SN 1987A Neutrino Data —
Jackson Olsen, University of Minnesota
Thursday, January 30th
11:15 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Kwang Ho-Hur, UMN
3:35 pm:
Andrew Furmanski, University of Minnesota
Refreshments in atrium after the Colloquium.
Friday, January 31st
12:20 pm:
There will be no sack lunch this week
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