News & Events

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...

As part of a planned expansion of its faculty, the Department of Physics at UMass Amherst invites applications for tenure-track faculty positions in (i) condensed matter theory, with an expected start date of September 1, 2016 for the successful candidate and (ii) experimental particle/nuclear physics, with an expected start date of September 1, 2017. For more information and links to the online applications, visit our job listings page:

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...

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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.

Prof. Andrea Pocar was listed by Business Insider as one of "9 scientists who are changing the way we view space". He was previously listed by the same publication as one of "50 groundbreaking scientists who are changing the way we see the world" for his study of pp neutrinos and the inner workings of the Sun with the Borexino experiment. 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. Jenny Ross, along with co-PIs Michael Rust from the University of Chicago and Rae Anderson of San Diego State Univ have been awarded a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Research Corporation for their innovative proposal to build a self-propelled artificial tissue. They were one of only five teams that received this award at the conference Scialog 2015: Molecules Come to Life held earlier this year in Arizona. More
The Physics Department will host an Alumni Reunion on Saturday June 6th from 2 - 5 pm in LGRT 1033, as part of Alumni Weekend at UMass. The featured speakers are alumna Nathalie Fadel and Assoc. Prof. Jenny Ross speaking about bioscience in industry and academia. The talks will be followed by an undergraduate research poster session. Hope to see you there!

An article by Professor Robert Hallock in the May issue of Physics Today titled Is Solid Helium a Supersolid? discusses the unusual properties of solid Helium. In experiments done in his group (see image) they find that helium atoms flow through a sample of solid helium, but in a fashion dramatically unlike the behavior previously predicted for supersolids. Theoretical work in the department, led by Boris Svistunov and Nikolay Prokof'ev has been instrumental in the development of new understanding of solid helium.

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

The 2015 annual Physics Department awards were presented to graduate and undergraduate students at a luncheon on April 30, 2015 to recognize their achievements in teaching, research, outreach, and academics. More...

Congratulations to all!

Javier King, a senior with Andrea Pocar's experimental neutrino group, is one of six Spring 2015 Rising Researcher awardees for his work on Monte Carlo simulations of the EXO-200 detector. Read more
Congratulations, Javier!

Daniel Hoak, a PhD candidate with Laura Cadonati's Gravitational and Particle Astrophysics group, has won a Fulbright U.S. Student Award to perform research at the European Gravitational Observatory in Cascina, Italy. Daniel is currently working at the LIGO site in Hanford, WA.

Congratulations, Daniel!

A new book by Professors Boris Svistunov, Nikolay Prokof’ev and Egor Babaev, Superfluid States of Matter, presents a modern view of superconductivity and superfluidity. An accompanying review by Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek states that it emphasises "deep unifying concepts of symmetry and topology while maintaining firm connection to concrete physical realities." Nobel Laureate Wolfgang Ketterle says of the book that it "reflects the broad expertise of the authors who have made important contributions to our understanding of many different physical systems."

Professor Michael Ramsey-Musolf was featured in two separate stories in the recent issue of Physics Today. The first discusses his contributions to long-range planning for the Nuclear Physics community in the US. The other features an interview with him as part of an article on the climate for LGBT physicists.

Image Credit J. Hakkarainen

Aaron P. Dunbrack, a sophomore Physics and Astronomy major, is one of four UMass undergraduates chosen to receive the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship in Education. Read more

Congratulations, Aaron!

A recent paper in Physical Review Letters by John Donoghue and Barry Holstein, with colleagues from France and Denmark, is highlighted in Physics. They present new techniques to calculate the quantum correction to the bending of starlight in General Relativity. Though too small to be measured, the result is interesting because it violates some classical formulations of the Equivalence Principle.

Image Credit NASA

Professor Lori Goldner has received tenure. Lori's research focuses on advanced optical methods to study single-molecule biophysics.

Congratulations, Lori!