News & Events

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

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.

Fulbright U.S. Student Award: graduate student Daniel Hoak

Barry Goldwater Scholarship in Education: Physics and Astronomy major Aaron Dunbrack

UMass Rising Researcher Award: Physics major Javier King

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!

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."

More News & Events

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!

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


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!


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!


Professor Andrea Pocar has received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor. His research focuses on experimental neutrino and dark matter physics

Congratulations, Andrea!


The recent measurement of pp solar neutrinos by Borexino was voted one of the top ten 2014 physics breakthroughs by Physics World (IOP). … more .


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: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/345/6197/647.abstract

To know more:
UMass Press Release     Boston Globe
Washington Post     Phys.org    


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!


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

Congratulations, Nikhil!