Michael Pravica

Professor, Physics
Expertise: General Physics, High Pressure Science, Explosives, X-ray Spectroscopies, Accelerator Physics, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Raman and Infrared Spectroscopy, Condensed Matter Experiment, Helium


Michael Pravica is an expert in general physics. He especially enjoys research focused on the study of matter at extreme conditions of high pressure, high temperature, and high radiation flux.

Pravica — well-known for his community activism and dedication to spreading the joy of science to the masses via television, radio, print media, and public forum appearances — has worked to further the field through development of several innovative concepts. They include: a) A new field of science, dubbed "useful hard x-ray chemistry," wherein high energy, penetrating and focused x-rays are harnessed to initiate novel chemistry in isolated and sealed chambers, and b) Ion Beam Nuclear Transmutation Doping, a novel method to dope wide bandgap semiconductors using penetrating, high-energy protrons initiating nuclear transmutation to create dopant layers.

He has also decades of experience using liquid helium for nuclear magnetic resonance (related to MRI technology).


  • Ph.D., Experimental condensed matter physics, Harvard University
  • M.A., Physics, Harvard University
  • B.S., Physics and applied mathematics (honors), California Institute of Technology

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Michael Pravica In The News

The biggest issue you'd face is reaching that speed in the first place.
The Boston Globe
Re “Titan submersible implosion: another safety lesson learned through tragedy” (Editorial, June 24): Despite our ability to adapt and our incredible intelligence, humans can’t live in the extreme conditions of the deep ocean. The use of an experimental submersible that was not tested with the full rigor necessary to operate it as a commercial vessel should never have been allowed.
K.S.N.V. T.V. News 3
Questions still remain after a missing Titanic submersible suffered a 'catastrophic implosion' and left five people dead.
Popular Mechanics
To reverse signals in time, we’ve always used a digital approach. Now, a new analog method could dramatically improve wireless communications.

Articles Featuring Michael Pravica

The Las Vegas strip as seen on Super Bowl weekend (Josh Hawkins/UNLV).
Campus News | March 1, 2024

A collection of news stories and highlights featuring UNLV students and faculty.

Graduation surprise
Campus News | August 1, 2023

News stories from the summer featuring UNLV students and faculty.

A man rests his palm on his face in front of a whiteboard with equations
Research | February 5, 2021

Physics professor Michael Pravica's work on useful hard X-ray photochemistry could reveal novel materials — and possibly an explanation for the origin of life on Earth.

A portrait of U.N.L.V.'s new president Keith Whitfield on campus.
Campus News | August 10, 2020

As summer heats up, so do the accomplishments on UNLV’s campus.