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  • greyscale scanning electron micrograph of graphene nanoribbons that looks like an intricate fingerprint. has also been described as a "zen garden"

    Flexible, easy-to-scale nanoribbons move graphene toward use in tech applications

    From radio to television to the internet, telecommunications transmissions are simply information carried on light waves and converted to electrical signals. Silicon-based fiber optics are currently the best structures for high-speed, long distance transmissions, but …

  • a colorful graph showing degrees of sky on a graph's axes and plots of data indicating where gravitational waves may have come from

    Searching for Sources of Gravitational Waves

    The entire astrophysical world was blown away by the first-ever binary neutron star collision seen in August 2017 (called ‘GW170817’). This event, identified as a kilonova, was the first to be seen in both gravitational waves, …

  • Ellen Zweibel elected to the National Academy of Sciences

    Astronomy and physics Professor Ellen Zweibel has been honored with membership in the National Academy of Sciences. Zweibel is among 120 new members — and one of 59 women, the largest group ever — elected …

  • a hand writing on a chalkboard

    Three department members earn teaching accolades

    Congratulations to the following Physics Department members who recently earned teaching awards: Dr. Daniel Thurs won a 2021 Alliant Energy James R. Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award. These awards are funded by an endowment from …

  • Bucky Badger in a lab coat holding a prism with a rainbow coming out, and Welcome to Physics! above

    Introducing the Physics Ph.D. Class of 2021

    After record-breaking application numbers and the most unique recruiting season yet, the Department of Physics is pleased to introduce the 30 students of the incoming Ph.D. class of 2021!    “This year’s incoming Ph.D. class is a …

  • profile photo of gage siebert

    Gage Siebert named 2021 Goldwater Scholar

    Three University of Wisconsin–Madison students, including junior Physics and Math major Gage Siebert, have been named 2021 winners of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, considered the country’s preeminent undergraduate scholarship in the natural sciences, mathematics and …

  • a cylindrical shape made up of blue lines has a cone of red lines emanating from its center within the cylinder, like it's heading toward exiting out the base of the cylinder

    CMS Group publishes new study on Lepton flavor in Higgs boson decays

    Neutrinos mix and transform from one flavor to the other. So do quarks. However, electron and its heavier cousins, the muon and the tau, seem to conserve their flavor identity. This accidental conservation of charged …

  • profile picture of Gage Bonner

    Gage Bonner earns 2020 Teaching Award

    Congrats to physics grad student Gage Bonner for earning a 2020 College of Letters & Sciences Continuation of Study teaching award! This new award category recognizes graduate students in L&S who provided exceptional continuity of …

  • A camera and some iridescent shells

    New nondestructive optical technique reveals the structure of mother-of-pearl

    Most people know mother-of-pearl, an iridescent biomineral also called nacre, from buttons, jewelry, instrument inlays and other decorative flourishes. Scientists, too, have admired and marveled at nacre for decades, not only for its beauty and …

  • a false-colored and abstract-looking image of star clusters

    Highest-energy Cosmic Rays Detected in Star Clusters

    For decades, researchers assumed the cosmic rays that regularly bombard Earth from the far reaches of the galaxy are born when stars go supernova — when they grow too massive to support the fusion occurring …

  • a colorized simulation of the detection event indicating where energies took place and were transferred

    IceCube detection of a high-energy particle proves 60-year-old theory

    On Dec. 8, 2016, a high-energy particle hurtled to Earth from outer space at close to the speed of light. The particle, an electron antineutrino, smashed into an electron deep inside the ice sheet at …

  • image says: Department of Physics is offering the following courses for Summer 2021: Physics 103: General Physics (includes lab) 4 credits. Principles of mechanics, heat, and sound (non-calculus, uses algebra & trigonometry). Physics 104: General Physics (includes lab) 4 credits. Principles of electricity and magnetism, light, optics, and modern physics (non-calculus). Physics 202: General Physics (includes lab) 5 credits. Electricity, magnetism, light, and sound for Engineering students (calculus based). View course meeting times here: https://enroll.wisc.edu/search Enrollment beings the week of April 5th.

    Summer 2021 courses have been announced

    The Department of Physics is offering the following courses for Summer 2021: Physics 103: General Physics (includes lab) 4 credits. Principles of mechanics, heat, and sound (non-calculus, uses algebra & trigonometry). Physics 104: General Physics …

  • profile photo of Susan Coppersmith

    Congratulations to Professor Sue Coppersmith on her retirement!

    With the best of wishes — and some sadness — the Department of Physics says “Happy Retirement” to Professor Sue Coppersmith. Her last day at UW–Madison was February 14. Coppersmith, the Robert E. Fassnacht Professor …

  • Victor Brar awarded prestigious Sloan Fellowship

    University of Wisconsin–Madison physics professor Victor Brar has been named a 2021 Sloan Research Fellow, a competitive award given to researchers in the early stages of their careers. “A Sloan Research Fellow is a rising …

  • profile photo of Deniz Yavuz

    Deniz Yavuz announced as Vilas Associate

    The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education has announced 23 faculty winners of the Vilas Associates Competition, including physics professor Deniz Yavuz. The Vilas Associates Competition recognizes new and ongoing research of …

  • Physics alum, professor emeritus Barney Webb remembered for his many contributions to the University and his field

    University of Wisconsin–Madison Professor Emeritus Maurice Barnett “Barney” Webb passed away January 15, 2021 in Middleton, WI. He was 94. Born and raised in Neenah, WI in 1926, Professor Webb earned his both his bachelor’s …

  • profile photo of Moritz Muenchmeyer

    Welcome, Professor Moritz Münchmeyer!

    On January 1, assistant professor Moritz Münchmeyer joined the UW–Madison physics department. He specializes in theoretical and computational cosmology. His research combines theoretical investigation, the analysis of data from different observatories, and the development of …

  • profile photo of Ke Fang

    Welcome, Professor Ke Fang!

    By Madeleine O’Keefe, WIPAC When you think of scientific meccas throughout the world, Madison, Wisconsin might not be the first place that comes to mind. But for astroparticle physicist Ke Fang, Madison is the place …

  • Welcome, Professor Lu Lu!

    New UW–Madison assistant professor of physics Lu Lu’s research program combines the past with the future. Her research looks for sources of ultrahigh energy particles, which is done by analyzing data that has already been …

  • a mostly-black photo of space with white and off-white dots of stars, a small galaxy halo in the left middle, and a larger aura-like glow in the center

    Dark Energy Survey makes public catalog of nearly 700 million astronomical objects

    Note: this post is adapted from this article, originally published by Fermilab The Dark Energy Survey, a global collaboration including researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, has released DR2, the second data release in the survey’s …

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