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News & Events



In the mystery of positrons, dark matter is leading suspect

November 16, 2017

In 2008, satellites detected an unexpectedly large presence of high-energy positrons in our neighborhood of the galaxy. These positrons—antimatter particles with the same mass as an electron, but with a positive charge—have since puzzled scientists with the cosmic mystery of their origins.


Collaboration with the Rochester Museum and Science Center to explore light and nature

November 13, 2017

On August 21st, our SPS chapter teamed up with the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC) to give campers and the public an unforgettable experience viewing the partial solar eclipse and exploring hands-on demonstrations about Earth, space, and light. During the summer, the museum offers Curiosity Camps for kids aged 5 to 15 years old. In the morning, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., these 180 campers were sent in groups to explore exhibits by the museum as well as participate in the hands-on demonstrations we conducted in the lobby. We were thrilled to be able to provide a pair of free solar eclipse glasses to each camper thanks to the grant we received from SPS!


Quantum magic makes quick work of measuring frequency

November 8, 2017

Just as in the macrocosm of space, in the microscopic quantum world, particles exhibit unique properties that do not align with the classical laws of physics as we know them.


Climate change for aliens

September 7, 2017

In February NASA astronomers discovered­­ seven Earth-like planets, potentially harboring life, orbiting the star TRAPPIST-1, not too far from Earth.


Rochester leads new multi-institutional effort to study “extreme matter”

September 7, 2017

The University of Rochester is leading a seven-institution collaboration that promises to significantly broaden human understanding of “extreme matter”—matter that exists under pressures far higher than either on or inside Earth. The collaboration that includes such institutions as Cornell, Michigan, Idaho State, Iowa, Princeton, and Stanford, will develop an instrument called a high amperage driver for extreme states, or HADES, which will allow scientists to produce and study extreme matter.


When and how to see the partial solar eclipse in Rochester

August 17, 2017

On Monday, August 21, 2017, the entire United States will experience a rare summer phenomenon: a solar eclipse in which the moon will block out all or a portion of the sun, depending on where you are standing. This is the first time since 1979 that every state, including Hawaii and Alaska, will witness at least a portion of the eclipse, although the amount of this blockage will vary.


Physics students keep their cool in summer labs

July 31, 2017

Each year, the Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a range of research opportunities for undergraduate students—from federally funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) to University-supported research projects. As a result, undergraduates who conduct research at Rochester work alongside faculty and graduate students, and contribute to our understanding of the world, while building their academic portfolios


Researchers use lasers to display ‘true’ 3-D objects

June 30, 2017

In an iconic scene in Star Wars, R2-D2 delivers a three-dimensional projection of a desperate Princess Leia pleading, “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” The 3-D display that was once only a mainstay of science fiction is now closer to reality, thanks to technology developed by a team of researchers at the University of Rochester.


Physics and Astronomy professors awarded research leave fellowships

March 23, 2017

Two professors in the Department of Physics and Astronomy—Alice Quillen and Andrew Jordan—have been awarded prestigious Simons Foundation Faculty Fellowships in theoretical physics. 


Andrew Olivier Wins NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

March 17, 2017

Andrew Olivier has been awarded the 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship! Andrew is a University of Rochester teaching assistant finishing his first year with the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He plans to pursue research in the field of High Energy Physics. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. Andrew's selection for the NSF Fellowship was based on demonstrated potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise. Congratulations Andrew!