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  • Assistant Professor Tom Iadecola

    Assistant Professor Tom Iadecola wins University Award

    Congratulations to Tom Iadecola for winning the University Award for Early Achievement in Research. This award recognizes a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in research and/or creative activity unusually early in their professional career. Tom is a theorist using diverse analytical and numerical tools to study a variety of topics in quantum condensed matter. We are honored to have him in our department.

  • Belle II International Masterclass 2023

    Annual International Masterclass Programme Connects Students Worldwide

    A great day for particle physics activities, our department hosted students from Ames High School for this year's International Masterclass Programme.

  • Joanne Hewett received her BS in physics and mathematics and her PhD in physics from ISU.

    JoAnne Hewett Named Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory

    UPTON, NY—The Board of Directors of Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) has named theoretical physicist JoAnne Hewett as the next director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and BSA president. BSA, a partnership between Stony Brook University (SBU) and Battelle, manages and operates Brookhaven Lab for DOE’s Office of Science. Hewett will also hold the title of professor in SBU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and professor at SBU’s C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics.

    Joanne received her BS in physics and mathematics and her PhD in physics from ISU.

  • Graduate student Sunil Ghimire

    Sunil Ghimire a DCMP Graduate Travel Awardee for 2023 APS March Meeting


    Sunil was one of the DCMP Graduate Travel Awardees for the 2023 APS March Meeting in Las Vegas.

    Title of Talk: Effect of 2.5 MeV electron irradiation on vortex dynamics of Ca3(Ir,Rh)4Sn13 superconductor

  • Physics Professor Jigang Wang

    Our very own Condensed Matter Professor, Jigang Wang, is keeper of first-in-the-world nanoscope

    “The history of modern scientific research,” wrote Wang and his operations team in a recent research paper, “stands upon cycles of great discoveries enabled by the development of revolutionary new machines.”

  • Graduate students Noah Brenny and Sayan Mitra

    Congratulations to Noah Brenny and Sayan Mitra for being awarded the 2023 Ozaki Fellowship! 

    The fellowship program has been established in honor of the late Dr. Satoshi Ozaki at Brookhaven National Laboratory to strengthen U.S.-Japan scientific collaboration and, in particular, facilitate greater accelerator and particle physics cooperation. Mr. Brenny and Mr. Mitra are graduate students working on experimental particle physics with Professor Chunhui Chen. With the financial support of the Ozaaki fellowship, they will spend one year at the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization in Tsukuba, Japan, to carry out their Ph.D. thesis project using the Belle II detector.

    More details on the Ozaki fellowship are available at:

  • Luke Champion, ISU Sophomore

    Congratulations to ISU Sophomore, Luke Champion!! 

    Luke was presented with the LAS Dean’s High Impact Award for undergraduate research. The research award will cover $3,000 for wages during the summer for the project titled, “Toward Maximum Likelihood Analysis of IACT Observations of the Jellyfish Nebula.” Luke will be mentored by Dr. Amanda Weinstein.

  • ISU Physics and Astronomy Club hosts LAS Week event

    LAS Week (3/27-4/3/2023) is an event to celebrate the college’s diverse academic areas in the Physical and Life Sciences, Math and Computational Sciences, Communications, Arts and Humanities, and Social Sciences.

    On Monday afternoon, the Physics and Astronomy Club served free homemade ice cream and frozen marshmallows using liquid nitrogen. They also performed demonstrations of hair raising with a Van de Graaff generator and the Meissner effect with visible levitation.


  • Professor Jake Simon

    Jake Simon, Assistant Professor in Astronomy, was selected as a 2023 Scialog Fellow for the Signatures of Life in the Universe (SLU) program. SLU is a program involving early-career rising stars, interested in pursuing collaborative, high-risk, highly impactful discovery research on untested ideas applicable to creating breakthroughs in understanding planetary signatures of life and the search for signatures in the Universe. The program has a format in which participants are encouraged to engage in dialog and form new research teams, through interaction with a collection of scientists who approach the problem from different perspectives and disciplines. 


  • Symbol for the Center for the Advancement of Topological Semimetals

    The Center for the Advancement of Topological Semimetals (CATS), an Energy Frontier Research Center under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, has been awarded continuing funding of $12.6 million. CATS’ fundamental research mission is to discover, understand, and manipulate the properties of topological materials, where magnetism plays an essential role. Robert McQueeney, CATS Director, Ames Laboratory scientist, and John and Mary Weaver Professor of Physics at Iowa State University, said that over the past four years, the multi-institutional team had forged much new ground in this frontier area of science. 

    Press release of the Ames National Laboratory

    Website of the Center

  • Professor Rebecca Flint

    The Department of Energy recently announced the winners for the 2022 Chemical and Materials Sciences to Advance Clean-Energy Technologies and Transform Manufacturing (CEM) awards. Among the winners is a project led by Rebecca Flint, Ames National Laboratory scientist and associate professor at Iowa State University. The project is titled, “Exploiting the interplay of mixed valence and magnetic anisotropy in rare earths.” 

    Other professors in the department that participate in the project are Raquel Ribeiro, Ben Ueland, Cai-Zhuang Wang, and Paul C. Canfield.

  • Dr. Iadecola explaining the discovery reported in his recent Nature article.

    Physicists have demonstrated how simulations using quantum computing can enable observation of a distinctive state of matter taken out of its normal equilibrium. Results are published in the journal Nature and are co-authored by Iadecola, an Iowa State University assistant professor of physics and astronomy and an Ames National Laboratory scientist.

    Iowa State Press release
    Nature publication

  • Photo of Saturn

    The Department of Physics and Astronomy is pleased to offer two online astronomy courses during the summer of 2022, ASTRO 102: North Star Astronomy and  ASTRO 120: The Sky and Solar System.

  • Illustration by NASA GSFC/CIL/Adriana Manrique Gutierrez.

    Iowa State's Massimo Marengo is ready to use the newly launched James Webb Space Telescope to study distant clouds of dust in a galaxy with a "primitive environment" that resembles the conditions of the early universe. Webb's data will help Marengo and his colleagues understand the "galactic ecosystem" and the early steps in "the cycle of life of the universe."

    See full press release here.

  • Professor Thomas Iadecola

    Thomas Iadecola, Assistant Professor of Physics, received a prestigious NSF CAREER award for a proposal titled "New Regimes of Coherent Nonequilibrium Dynamics in Quantum Many-Body Systems". The estimated total award amount is $470,000. 

    See news release here.

  • Professor Mayly Sanchez from ISU's department of physics and astronomy.

    Professor Mayly Sanchez is among three professors in Iowa State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) have been honored with an LAS Dean’s Professorship, one of the college’s most prestigious recognitions of faculty excellence. 

    Sanchez studies neutrino physics, a highly specialized branch of particle physics. Her research promotes a deeper understanding of how the universe works and has led to the development of new technologies that detect neutrinos, which are difficult to detect. Sanchez spearheads three neutrino experiments, and she has earned numerous awards for her research. She was elected a 2020 Fellow by the American Physical Society and received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. 

    Please find more information in the press release of the college. 

  • Veronica Canoa Roman, front, and Noah Applegate assembling detector components at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

    Iowa State physicists are contributing their expertise and sending thousands of pounds of Ames-manufactured hardware to the sPHENIX experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. The experiment's particle detector is designed to explore the flowing, liquid-like, quark-gluon plasma. That plasma is an exotic state of matter and part of the universe’s earliest history.

    Full news release

  • Quantum computer: credit to Lars Plougmann and has a Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 license

    As interest in the transformative potential of quantum computing continues to grow, the Department of Physics and Astronomy is excited to offer a new course, “PHYS 422X/ 522X: Foundations of Quantum Computing”. It is taught for the second time in the spring semester of 2022. The course is aimed at advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students, with the goal of understanding how quantum mechanics can be applied to solve hard computational problems.

  • Mayly Sanchez and Rob McQueeney awarded named professorships at LAS.

    Two of our faculty, Robert McQueeney and Mayly Sanchez, have been awarded named professorships at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which are among the most esteemed positions in academia.

  • Sen received DOE Early Career Award

    Sen, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, works in a field called quantum chromodynamics, which is all about the forces that hold quarks together, and therefore hold protons and neutrons together, and therefore hold everything together. Sen’s work in quantum materials has recently won support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Early Career Research Program. She’s one of 83 scientists from American universities and DOE national laboratories selected for the award. She’ll receive about $150,000 per year for five years for salary and research expenses.

    Read more at the press release.

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