University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy
Claudia Scarlata
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Claudia Scarlata is an astrophysicist who studies the formation and evolution of galaxies. One question her research examines is the effect of galaxy formation on the so-called “reionization problem.” In the early universe, about 380,000 years after the Big Bang, free protons and electrons combined to form neutral hydrogen. This process produced a photon after-glow known as the Cosmic Microwave Background. A few hundred million years later, the neutral hydrogen was reionized—i.e. it absorbed high energy photons, released its bound electrons and became ionized hydrogen.


SPS Named Outstanding Chapter

Levi Walls at the Family Fun Fair outreach event

The School's chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) was named "Outstanding Chapter" by the national organization. Chapter President Levi Walls said that "despite being confined to Shepherd Labs due to the Tate remodel, SPS was able to increase the number of opportunities for members to volunteer within the department and community at large." More »

Minnesota space physicists make discovery that may help improve space weather predictions

Aaron Breneman

Dr. Aaron Breneman, researcher in the School of Physics and Astronomy, was lead author on a paper which helps explain the mechanism which causes highly energetic electrons that reach the Earth’s atmosphere. Such particles can cause the auroral displays--the Northern Lights in Northern Minnesota, for example, and can damage satellites and other spacecraft. One of the goals of this research is to help predict space “weather” which can adversely affect human activity and technology. More »

Real rocket science for undergraduates

Lindsay Glesener

Professor Lindsay Glesner and her research group were featured in an article about young scientists working on a NASA satellite project called EXACT. The article focuses on Abi Valero, a junior majoring in aerospace engineering and mechanics, who is part of Glesener's space physics research laboratory. More »

Wick wins Reichert Award

Kurt Wick

Senior Scientist, Kurt Wick will receive the American Physical Society 2018 Jonathan F. Reichert and Barbara Wolff-Reichert Award for Excellence in Advanced Laboratory Instruction. Wick has guided the Methods of Experimental Physics courses in the School of Physics and Astronomy for thirty years. More »

Olive to receive Bethe Prize

Keith Olive

Professor Keith Olive was named as the recipient of the 2018 Hans A. Bethe Prize from the American Physical Society (APS). Olive received the prize for his research across a number of disciplines including nuclear physics, particle physics, theoretical and observational astrophysics, and cosmology, and Big Bang nucleosynthesis and the properties of Dark Matter. More »


Monday, February 26th
12:15 pm:
There will be no seminar this week.
Tuesday, February 27th
12:20 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in Tate 301-20
Practice Talks for the upcoming Chapman Conference on Particle Dynamics in the Earth's Radiation Belts.
3:30 pm:
High temperature superconductivity and strange metal behavior near a metallic quantum critical point —
Samuel Lederer, MIT
Wednesday, February 28th
1:30 pm:
Joint seminar with the Quantum Materials Seminar (Tuesday) this week only.
3:35 pm:
To be announced.
Thursday, March 1st
10:10 am:
Biophysics Seminar in 120 PAN
Development of a Serial Optical Coherence Scanner for Visualizing and Mapping the Brain with Microscopic Resolution —
Tanner Akkin, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota
12:05 pm:
Evan Tyler
4:00 pm:
Mapping the Nearest Stars for Habitable Worlds —
Sara Seager, MIT
Joint Colloquium with Earth Sciences (Nier Lecture). Note later start time.
Friday, March 2nd
10:10 am:
Nuclear Physics Seminar in Tate 201-20
To be announced.
12:20 pm:
To be announced.
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