News

Prof. Prem Kumar Recieves Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service
February 8, 2017

After four years of service as Program Manager, Defense Science Office, Prem Kumar has been recognized for Outstanding Public Service.

Conditions right for stars, planets near Milky Way’s supermassive black hole  
February 1, 2017

Blobs of gas near the Milky Way’s center may be just the right mass to harbor young stars and possibly planets, too. Any such budding stellar systems would face an uphill battle, developing only about two light-years from the galaxy’s central supermassive black hole with its intense gravity and ultraviolet radiation. But it’s not impossible for the small stars to survive in the hostile place, a new study suggests.

Graduate Student Katie Breivik Receives Chambliss Graduate Student Prize Honorable Mention
January 31, 2017

Supernova News from Assistant Professor Raffaella Margutti
January 24, 2017

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory featured the work of Raffaella Margutti in a press release on the significance of supernova SN 2014C, a "chameleon supernova."

Eric Dahl Receives PCASE Award
January 9, 2017

Senior Daniel Kinch Named 2016 Marshall Scholar  
December 6, 2016

Senior Daniel Kinch has been named a 2016 Marshall Scholar. He will explore the relationship between physics and math as it applies to string theory when the scholarship takes him to England for two years.

Written in the Stars: Couples Podcast Featuring Vicky Kalogera and Fred Rasio  
December 5, 2016

Astrophysicists Fred Rasio and Vicky Kalogera actively avoid collaborating on research. That decision once came into play in the announcement of one of the biggest discoveries in modern science.

Adilson Motter Receives Scialog Collaborative Innovation Award
October 20, 2016

This award will support study of the temporal order of gene knockouts. Prof. Motter will collaborate with systems biologist Kimberly Reynolds of the University of Texas-Southwestern.

Brian Odom Named Faculty Director of Research Shop
October 20, 2016

Associate Professor Brian Odom will direct the Research Shop, a modernized core facility scheduled to open in summer 2017.

Rebecca Diesing Selected as Oliver Marcy Scholar for 2016-17
September 28, 2016

CIERA Postdoctoral Fellow Laura Sampson Selected for L'Oreal Women in Science Fellow
September 26, 2016

Earlier this summer we received the news that CIERA Postdoctoral Fellow Laura Sampson was selected as a 2016 L’Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellow. This is a competitive and prestigious honor, and, we believe the first at Northwestern.

Three Physics and Astronomy Faculty Members Make the ASG Honor Roll
September 13, 2016

Three faculty members from the department made the ASG Honor Roll for 2016-2017. Professors Jens Koch, Andrew Rivers and Michael Smutko were the recipients of this year's award. Please join the department in congratulating our professors.

Northwestern University’s Physics and Astronomy Department is rising in impact and visibility  
August 1, 2016

Over the last 15 years, Northwestern’s Department of Physics and Astronomy has emerged as a force in the field, with new researchers pushing innovative projects, compelling collaborations and groundbreaking discoveries that have elevated the standing and reach of the department.

Dearborn Observatory Featured in the Weinberg Magazine
June 24, 2016

The universe may be vast, but many of its secrets have been revealed by an 18.5-inch lens housed within Northwestern’s own Dearborn Observatory.

2016 Undergraduate Department Honors
May 24, 2016

Graduate Student Kyle Kremer to Perform in Solar System Symphony
May 18, 2016

Graduate student Kyle Kremer created a Solar System Symphony, combining his love of music and physics.

Kristian Hahn Receives DOE Early Career Award
May 6, 2016

Kristian Hahn, Assistant Professor in Physics & Astronomy, has received a $750,000 DOE Early Career Award. His work at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN focuses on the search for dark matter, the material that comprises 85% of the universe.

Prof. Jens Koch Awarded WCAS Distinguished Teaching Award
May 4, 2016

Jens Koch has been awarded the WCAS Distinguished Teaching Award. Each year Weinberg College recognizes three faculty for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

Kevin Kelly Awarded Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award
May 4, 2016

Kevin Kelly has been selected to receive the WCAS Outstanding Student Teaching Award. He was nominated by many students in his sections of Physics 135, Astronomy 101, Astronomy 111, and Astronomy 120, and strongly supported by faculty in the Department. Kevin works with Prof. André de Gouvêa.

Bennett Goldberg, New Director of Searle Center, to Have Joint Appointment in Physics & Astronomy
April 28, 2016

Bennett Goldberg has been appointed Director of the Searle Center and Associate Provost for learning and teaching. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and formerly a Professor of Physics at Boston University. He will have a courtesy appointment as a professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy.

Dan Baxter Receives DOE SCGSR Award
April 20, 2016

Graduate Student Dan Baxter has received an Office of Science Graduate Student Research program award. Supported by this award, Dan will be working at Fermilab for the next year with Hugh Lippincott to study electron recoil backgrounds in a LZ-style Xenon Time Projection Chamber. Dan is in the research group of Eric Dahl.

Alumnus Yoni Kahn Wins APS DFP Dissertation Award
April 13, 2016

Yonatan (Yoni) Kahn received the 2016 J.J. and Noriko Sakurai Dissertation Award in Theoretical Physics from the American Physical Society. The award will be made at the Division of Particles and Fields Meeting in Salt Lake City on April 17, 2016. Yoni is a 2009 graduate of the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, BA in Physics. His undergraduate research at Northwestern was under the direction of Prof. Michael Schmitt. Kahn's dissertation was with Jesse Thaler at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, and the APS award cites the work "For proposing a novel method to detect dark photons, for developing halo-independent techniques of direct dark matter detection, and for finding a new viable supersymmetric extension of the standard model." This is the second J.J. and Noriko Sakurai Dissertation Award to go to a Northwestern alumnus in the past five years. The 2014 Award went to Ph.D. graduate Roberto Vega-Morales.

Daniel Case wins Presidential Fellowship
April 5, 2016

Graduate Student Daniel Case has been awarded a Presidental Fellowship, the most prestigious fellowship awarded to gradute students at Northwestern. It is funded by the President of the University and awarded by The Graduate School. Awardees are nominated by their academic programs as individuals who combine outstanding intellectual or creative ability with the capacity to play an active part in the life of the Society of Fellows. Daniel works in the research group of Prof. Adilson Motter.

Yang Yang Wins Student Speaker Award
March 25, 2016

Yang (Angela) Yang received the Student Speaker Award in Statistical and Nonlinear Physics at the APS March Meeting 2016, held in Baltimore, MD. She was selected from the 5 finalists invited to present at the meeting. The award includes a certificate, travel support, and a cash prize. Yang is a PhD Candidate in Prof. Adilson Motter’s group. Her talk at the meeting was titled “Hamiltonian-Based Model to Describe the Nonlinear Physics of Cascading Failures in Power-Grid Networks”.

Assistant Prof. Nate Stern Awarded Prestigious ONR Young Investigator Award  
March 15, 2016

Nate Stern's proposal "Multi-Dimensional Control in Laterally Confined Atomically Thin Nanostructures" received funding through the Office of Naval Research's Young Investigator Award. Only 47 investigators received this prestigious early career award nationwide. Read the Northwestern News article here.

Profs. Adilson Motter and Takashi Nishikawa Awarded $3.2M Award to Study North American Power Grid  
March 7, 2016

Adilson Motter and Takashi Nishikawa have received a Network Optimized Distributed Energy Systems (NODES) grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) to study power grid architecture related to utilization of renewables. Prof. Motter and Nishikawa are members of the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN). Read the news release here.

Northwestern Alumnus Jay Jones Supports APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research
February 26, 2016

The American Physical Society awarded it's first Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research to Ed Witten on January 28, 2016. This medal was established through the generosity of Jay and Mary Jayne Jones. Jay graduated with an undergraduate degree in physics in 1948. He is an entrepreneur and founder of the Olympic Medal Corporation.

Assistant Prof. Nate Stern Featured in Northwestern Research Annual Report  
February 16, 2016

Nate Stern's work on the quantum properties of materials was featured in the 2015 Annual Report from the Office for Research. Read the report here. Prof. Stern is featured on page 47.

Three faculty members from the department made the ASG Honor Roll for 2016-2017. Professors Jens Koch, Andrew Rivers and Michael Smutko were the recipients of this year's award. Please join the department in congratulating our professors.