News & Events

If you are having difficulty registering for any of these Spring 17 Physics classes, please see the Physics Dept. Undergraduate Course/Scheduling Manager, Kris Reopell, in LGRT 1133.
Professor Emeritus William J. Mullin has authored a new book on Quantum Mechanics titled "Quantum Weirdness", that begins with the fundamentals but quickly works its way to discussing issues of entanglement, teleportation and quantum computing. The book is available for pre-order on Amazon. Congratulations, Bill!

The US Department of Energy has renewed a three-year nuclear theory grant to Prof. Ramsey-Musolf for $1.1M, including an increase to support workshop and visitor activities of the Amherst Center for Fundamental Interactions. The supported research will focus on the cosmic matter-antimatter asymmetry and the interplay of fundamental symmetry tests and neutrino studies with searches for new physics at the high energy frontier. Congratulations, Michael!

Robert (Bobby) Johnston, a senior Physics and Engineering major, has been selected to receive the 2016-2017 Rising Researcher award, recognising undergraduates who excel in research, scholarship, or creative activity. Bobby has previously won a Goldwater Scholarship, as well as the William F. Field Alumni Scholar Award. Congratulations, Bobby!

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Prof. Chris Santangelo has been awarded the 2017 GSOFT Early Career Award from the American Physical Society's Topical Group on Soft Matter. He shares this award with MIT's Pedro Reis for their work in extreme mechanics. The citation reads "For seminal theoretical contributions exploiting geometry and topology to understand the elasticity of soft materials". Congratulations, Chris!

Stéphane Willocq has been named Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2016, nominated by the Division of Particles and Fields. Congratulations, Stéphane! The citation reads
For contributions to the physics of heavy flavor in electron-positron collisions; searches for new vector bosons in proton-proton collisions at the highest energies at the Large Hadron Collider; and for exceptional leadership of the exotic physics and technical groups during the first data-collection with the ATLAS experiment.

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.

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!

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.

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...

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.