News & Events

The Physics Department welcomes the new Fall 2016 class of 15 graduate students.

The Physics department is delighted to welcome three new faculty members:


Assistant Professor Chen Wang is a condensed matter experimentalist specialising in quantum phenomena in mesoscopic systems. Read more


Assistant Professor Tigran Sedrakyan is a condensed matter theorist and expert on new states of quantum matter. More


Assistant Professor Patrick Draper is a particle theorist focused on physics beyond the Standard Model. More

The new Massachusetts Center for Autonomous Materials (MassCAM) has been selected for funding by the UMass President’s Science and Technology Initiatives Fund. Co-directed by Professors Jenny Ross and Tony Dinsmore, the Center will focus on research and the development of technology in soft, biological and quantum materials. More

Recent research from our newest faculty member, Assistant Professor Chen Wang, who joins UMass in Fall 2016, has been published in Science. Wang et al show that a "Schrodinger Cat" state can be created simultaneously in two electromagnetic cavities. With the resultant consequences for quantum computing, this got a lot of media attention, with articles in Science Daily, Science News and New Scientist.

More News & Events

The Department is proud to host three upcoming events:

We congratulate our graduating class of Physics majors, and wish them the best for the future!

We regret to announce the death of a distinguished alumnus, Ernest A. Seglie, who graduated from the department with a PhD in theoretical Nuclear Physics in 1972. He taught at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Yale University before moving to the Institute for Defense Analyses, and later the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Our condolences to his family.

Robert (Bobby) Johnston, a junior Physics and Engineering major has been chosen to receive the prestigious Barry S. Goldwater Scholarship, awarded nationally to a select group of science and engineering students. Bobby has also won the William F. Field Alumni Scholar Award for 2016. Read more

Congratulations, Bobby!

The 2016 annual Physics Department awards were presented to graduate and undergraduate students at a luncheon on April 29, 2016 to recognize their achievements in teaching, research, outreach, and academics. More...

Congratulations to all!

Prof. Mort Sternheim, Professor Emeritus of Physics, has received the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Award for Distinguished Service to Science Education. These awards honor members who, through active leadership and scholarly endeavor over a significant period of time, have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of education in the sciences and science teaching. Congratulations, Mort!
Professors Ben Brau, Carlo Dallapiccola and Stephane Willocq have had their grant titled "High Energy Physics Research on the ATLAS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider" renewed for $2.7M by the US Department of Energy. Congratulations Ben, Carlo and Stephane!
The LIGO collaboration announced on Feb 11 that they had successfully detected the gravitational wave signal from the violent merger of two black holes. The author list of the article published in Physical Review Letters includes UMass students Dan Hoak, Alex Lombardi, Kalina Nedkova and Sarah Zuraw. Former UMass Physics professor and Chair of the LIGO Data Analysis Council Prof. Laura Cadonati spoke about the discovery at the Physics department colloquium on Wednesday Feb 17, 2016.

Aaron P. Dunbrack '17, a major in Physics, Astronomy, Math and Philosophy, is one of five undergraduates chosen to be UMass Amherst Rising Researchers for their achievements in research, scholarship or creative activity. Aaron previously received a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. He is currently engaged in research on baryogenesis with Physics Prof. Michael Ramsey-Musolf. Read more

Congratulations, Aaron!


Physics professor Chris Santangelo's work on the interplay between geometry and the mechanical properties of materials as seen in techniques of origami and kirigami is featured in the Dec 15th issue of Physics World. Chris is also featured in a monthly professor spotlight interview.

A new paper by Ph.D. student Jaime Hopkins, Prof. Adrian Parsegian, adjunct Prof. Rudi Podgornik and collaborators is featured on the front cover of the journal Langmuir. It describes a complete mesoscale theory of van der Waals molecular interactions that has been incorporated into an open-source software tool called Gecko-Hamaker, allowing for new insights on how molecules can self-assemble. more...

Prof. John Donoghue has been invited to be the 2015 Erwin Schroedinger Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna. This position is in honor of Erwin Schroedinger, and the Visiting Professor gives one lecture to a wide audience and three specialized lectures to advanced physicists. Prof. Donoghue will lecture on General Relativity as a Quantum Field Theory during October and November of 2015.

In a new cover article for Nature Materials, physics experimentalists Paulsen and Menon, theorists Démery, Davidovitch and Santangelo, and polymer scientist Russell have shown that ultrathin sheets can be used to package droplets of fluid. The wrapped droplets have unusual, but simply-explained shapes that maximize the efficiency of the wrapping. Link. Postdocs Paulsen and Démery have gone on to faculty positions at Syracuse University and ESPCI, Paris, respectively. more...

Assistant Professor Jun Yan was one of two UMass faculty awarded $20,000 for his project titled "Detecting quantum flows in reduced dimensions". More

Prof. Andrea Pocar was listed as one of "50 groundbreaking scientists who are changing the way we see the world" by Business Insider for his study of pp neutrinos and of the inner workings of the Sun with the Borexino experiment.
… more ...