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NOvA neutrino detector records first 3D particle tracks

The most powerful neutrino detector in the United States has recorded its first three-dimensional images of particles.Using the first completed section of the NOvA neutrino detector, scientists have begun collecting data from cosmic rays—particles produced by a constant rain of atomic nuclei falling on the Earth’s atmosphere from space. More »


Chen receives TGF Fellowship

School of Physics and Astronomy Graduate Student Ke-Jung Ken Chen has received the 2013 Gruber Foundation (TGF) Fellowship. This prestigious fellowship in the amouont of $50,000 is awarded to only one applicant per year. Chen will use the award to fund his post-doctoral research at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Ken Chen is a student in astrophysics, studying supernovae with supercomputers, under the direction of Graduate Faculty member Alexander Heger. The Gruber Foundation is a part of the International Astronomical Union.

SPS Officers

U SPS Group Named Outstanding Chapter

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) at the School of Physics and Astronomy was named an "Outstanding Chapter" by the national organization. Fewer than 10% of SPS chapters nationwide are given the honor. The group will receive a certificate for display and will be featured in the magazine, The SPS Observer. Among the accomplishments cited by the national organization were recruiting efforts, and outreach programs such as the The Mystery Science Room, the group puts on every year at the College of Science and Engineering's Family Fun Day. More »

EBEX Balloon Launch Image 72dpi.jpg


The EBEX balloon flight was launched on December 29, 2012 from McMurdo Base in Antarctica. A video of the beautiful launch is available here. More »

Undergraduate Scholarship Opportunities

Applications for undergraduate scholarships for the 2013-2014 school year are now being accepted. The deadline for applications is March 25, 2013. Find more information here on scholarships for physics majors. More »


Super-Tiger Establishes New Balloon Endurance Record of 55 days+

The Super-TIGER (Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder) balloon flight was launched on December 8, 2012, and floated at an altitude of about 125,000 feet. The flight was ended on February 1, 2013. This flight, after nearly three orbits around the pole, established a new endurance record of 55 days, one hour and 34 minutes. The instrument was dropped by parachute 350 nautical miles from McMurdo. More »


Kakalios made Fellow of American Association for Advancement of Science

James Kakalios Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science and Engineering was elected in the Section on Physics "for distinguished contributions to the field of condensed matter and materials physics, particularly for experimental studies of amorphous semiconductors, and for innovative efforts in science communication."

Joseph Kapusta

Kapusta weighs in on apocalypse

School of Physics and Astronomy Professor Joseph Kapusta added his expertise to an article on a possible apocalypse in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. More »

Kenneth Heller

Heller made Fellow of American Association for Advancement of Science

Kenneth Heller, Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science and Engineering was elected in the Section on Physics for distinguished contributions to the field of experimental high energy physics for investigations of spin dependent strong interactions and neutrinos, and to physics education research in the field of teaching problem-solving in college level introductory physics.

Prisca Cushman

Cushman named APS Fellow

Professor Priscilla Cushman, School of Physics and Astronomy, has been named a 2012 Fellow of the American Physical Society. She was cited for her "outstanding contributions in the design and execution of experiments probing beyond the Standard Model especially the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search and the precise measurement of the muon magnetic moment, and the development of photodetection and low radioactivity instrumentation to advance the capabilities of high energy physics experiments."

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