News & Events

Left to right:

Dale Abbot
Tapas Sahu
Jake Shechter
Michael Roberts
Sarah Zuraw
Mehmet Kaplan
Tanya Behrle
missing: Simon Shen

Professors Pocar and Cadonati, with graduate student Keith Otis and the entire Borexino Collaboration report the direct detection of pp solar neutrinos, emitted by the keystone proton-proton fusion in the Sun. The discovery is published on Nature.

To know more:
UMass Press Release     Nature News
Nature Commentary     Science News
Scientific American     Physics World

Prof. Chris Santangelo and postdoc Art Evans recently authored a new paper on origami metamaterials featured in Science Magazine. Find the paper published at the journal Science, here:

Find links to publicity at

Boston Globe:

Washington Post:

Physics Department Office Manager Ann Cairl has been awarded the 2014 College of Natural Science (CNS) Outstanding Staff Award.

Congratulations, Ann!

Professor Ben Brau has received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor. His research focuses on searches of physics beyond the Standard Model in high energy proton collisions. He is a member of the ATLAS experiment at the LHC accelerator at CERN, Switzerland.

Congratulations, Ben!

More News & Events

Dr. Nikhil Malvankar, UMass Physics PhD 2010, has been awarded a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Award.

Congratulations, Nikhil!

Professor Benny Davidovitch has been named one of seventeen 2014 Simons Fellows in theoretical physics. The prestigious fellowship enables Benny to extend his sabbatical leave at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Congratulations, Benny!

The Physics Department will hold a reunion for alumni and friends on Saturday, June 7 in the Lederle Grad Research Tower, Room 1033. Join us to hear the latest news from the department and to network with fellow alumni during Alumni Weekend.

2:00 p.m. Welcome with Department Head Rory Miskimen

2:15 p.m. “Latest News on the HIGGS Boson from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN” with Professor Carlo Dallapiccola

2:45 p.m. “Stories of Startups” with alumnus Paul Silva ‘00, founder and executive director of Valley Venture Mentors

3:15 p.m. Poster session on undergraduate research and faculty/alumni get-together

ACFI faculty Laura Cadonati has been elected Vice Chair of the APS Topical Group in Gravitation (GRR). The group serves as a focus for research in all areas of gravitational physics. … more

Congratulations, Laura!

ACFI faculty Lorenzo Sorbo and collaborators have offered two possible explanations for the discrepancy between BICEP2 and previous experiments: a sudden change in the production of the gravitational waves and the existence of a preferred direction in the sky. (arXiv preprint, New Scientist coverage)

The Simons Collaboration on the Many Electron Problem held its kickoff meeting on March 17. It brings together 23 physicists from around the world (including UMass' Nikolay Prokof'ev and Boris Svistunov) to new ways to solve the quantum mechanical behavior of systems comprised of many interacting electrons, with the goal of revolutionizing our ability to calculate and understand the properties of molecules and solids important in chemistry, physics and everyday life. ...more…

The book "Topics in Advanced Quantum Mechanics" by Professor Emeritus Barry Holstein has recently been reprinted by Dover, two decades after it's first release by Addison-Wesley in 1992.

Good books never expire: well done Barry!

Nikolay Prokof'ev and Boris Svistunov have been awarded a prestigious award (1.67 M$ over 10 years) from the Simons Foundation.

The Simons Collaboration on the Many Electron Problem brings together a group of scientists focused on developing new ways to solve the quantum mechanical behavior of systems comprised of many interacting electrons, with the goal of revolutionizing our ability to calculate and understand the properties of molecules and solids important in chemistry, physics and everyday life. ...more…

Recent physics graduate alum German Colón will start a faculty career at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Cape Cod. He has graduated in 2013 with Prof. Dallapiccola. His doctoral work included sensitive searches for mini black hole production in high energy proton collisions with the ATLAS detector at CERN. Very well done, and good luck on your new position, German!

The EXO-200 experiment has measured the 2-neutrino double-beta decay of Xe-136 with 3% precision. The measurement provides useful information for modeling the Xe-136 nucleus, and places Xe-136 on the front stage in the search for the lepton number-violating neutrino-less double beta decay. The EXO-200 collaboration includes professors Andrea Pocar and Krishna Kumar, postdoc Tim Daniels, and graduate student Sereres Johnston. The result is highlighted on Physical Review C. ( ...more… )

UMass undergrads Jasmine Abdollahi, Kirsten Randle (physics), Sarah Zuraw (physics/math), and Kelsey Krafton (astronomy) have presented their research at the APS-sponsored East Coast Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP 2014), jointly hosted by Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Senior Morgan Opie, a physics/math double major, was awarded one of 14 scholarship offered by the Winston Churchill Foundation for outstanding american students to pursue graduate studies at Cambridge University in the UK (...more...).
Opie was also one of four Fall '13 recipients of the UMass Rising Researcher awards (...more...), and she was runner-up for the Alice T. Schafer Prize, a national prize for excellence in mathematics by an undergraduate woman.
Well done, Morgan!

David Kastor has been named Fellow of the American Physical Society in November 2013. This is an honor conferred on less than one half of one percent of the APS membership. Congratulations, David!
For his influential work on a broad span of topics in gravitational physics, ranging from the formal definition of conserved quantities in General Relativity through new exact black hole solutions all the way to brane architectures relevant for string theory.

Graduate student Jessica McIver has been awarded a Graduate School Dissertation Research Grant (from the UMass Graduate School) for her thesis work on the LIGO project. The award will sponsor an extended visit at the LIGO Laboratory in Louisiana in January 2014. For more, read her blog posts on the EGPA site: here and here.
Graduate Student, Ben Gamari, was awarded the Open Source Software Prize from the Institute for Computational Biology, Biostatistics, and Bioinformatics (ICB3) for his work on open-source hardware and software for photon timing and analysis. ...more...