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  • Dr. Srimoyee Sen

    Congratulations are in order for Dr. Srimoyee Sen, who has been selected for the 2023-24 LAS Award for Early Achievement in Research. Dr. Sen has undoubtedly demonstrated outstanding accomplishments and we are honored to have such a talented individual in our department.

  • Paul Canfield, Distinguished Professor Robert Allen Wright Professor Condensed Matter

    Dr. Paul Canfield honored by AAAS

    Paul Canfield, a Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Robert Allen Wright Endowed Professor in Physics and Astronomy, a senior scientist at the Ames National Laboratory and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    He’s being honored, “For distinguished contributions to the field of materials physics, particularly for his ability to cook up new intermetallic alloys with exotic properties that provide fundamental understanding.”

  • Distinguished Professor James Vary

    Congratulations to James Vary on being named Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University.  Few colleagues achieve this distinction.  Thank you for your many contributions to our university!

  • solar eclipse

    Iowa State Daily: Essential information for the upcoming solar eclipse

    Read what Professor Steve Kawaler has to say about the total solar eclipse happening on Monday.

  • Costas Soukoulis

    Costas M. Soukoulis, the Iowa State University Frances M. Craig Endowed Chair and a Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy, died March 14 at the age of 73. He was also a Senior Scientist at Ames National Laboratory and served at both institutions from 1984 until his retirement in 2020. 

    At Ames National Laboratory, Soukoulis led the research efforts in metamaterials for close to two decades. At Iowa State University, Soukoulis was a dedicated teacher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and held courtesy appointments in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering. 

  • Undergraduate Kira Richards loves physics

    Cool Collisions

    Kira Richards (undergrad) shares her love of physics — and what she learned while helping commission a two-story, 1,000-ton particle detector. Also pictured in the article is undergrad Roman Sapp and graduate Pedro Nieto Marin.  

  • Congratulations to Adam Kaminski who has been named the Harmon-Ye Professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Named faculty positions are among the highest recognitions for scholarly excellence at U.S. research universities.  Adam is being recognized for his expertise in experimental condensed physics, especially for his pioneering contributions to ARPES (Angle Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy).  He is an internationally recognized leader in the study and discovery of materials using photons to probe the electronic structure of materials including high temperature superconductors.  Adam has built and he operates one of two ARPES systems worldwide with unprecedented tunability and precision.

  • ISU graduate student Samuel Hauser

    Samuel Hauser was honored with the Best Poster Award during the annual meeting of the Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center. Sam is presently a graduate student with Professor Jigang Wang.

    The Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center, led by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, is one of five research centers funded by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of a national initiative to develop and deploy the world’s most powerful quantum computers and sensors.

  • Advanced Materials Vol. 35, No. 21

    Scientists from the Department of Physics and Astronomy discovered surprising role of magnetic defects in topological insulators. By performing “inelastic neutron scattering” (INS) experiments at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the team identified the magnetic interactions in dilute magnetic systems. More importantly, the interactions are found to be generally applicable to a wide range of topological insulators and explains the evolution of magnetism in such systems. The research is now published in Advanced Materials. Congratulations to Farhan Islam, Yongbin Lee, JinSu Oh, Lin Zhou, Liqin Ke, Robert J. McQueeney, and David Vaknin of Ames National Laboratory and Iowa State University; Daniel M. Pajerowski, Jiaqiang Yan, and Wei Tian of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

  • Postdoc Daniel Carrera wins NASA grant

    Postdoc Daniel Carrera has won a NASA grant with Professor Jake Simon to study physical processes at work in the early Solar System. This award, which amounts to approximately $547,000 over 3 years, will use a novel approach to study both the growth of small grains and the gravitational collapse of these grains simultaneously in order to address one of the largest open questions in planet formation study: how are small bodies such as asteroids and comets formed?  Congrats to Daniel!

  • Citizen Scientists Lead Iowa State Astronomer to Mystery Objects in Space

    The Department of Physics and Astronomy is pleased to offer two online astronomy courses during the summer of 2023.  ASTRO 102: North Star Astronomy is a one-credit hour course that covers a diverse set of subjects, such as how astronomers describe the position of objects in the night sky, the cause of the seasons, sundials, ancient astronomy, the constellations, and other topics.  ASTRO 120: The Sky and Solar System is a three-credit hour course that addresses these topics in more detail, as well as covering modern solar system exploration, the search for extraterrestrial life, and extrasolar planets.  ASTRO 120 students will have the opportunity to use the ISU planetarium, located in Physics Hall.  Both courses are taught by Prof.

  • 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 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. 


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