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 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today the selection of 18 teams from different Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) across the United States to participate in the 2021 Summer Research Team (SRT) program.
K.S.N.V. T.V. News 3
A Wisconsin fire department's warning on social media about leaving sanitizer in a hot car is spreading around the nation.
The List
Phone, wallet, keys. And hand sanitizer; these are the things we take with us, no matter where we go during the pandemic (oh, and a face mask!). If you leave a bottle of hand sanitizer in your car, you aren't alone. After all, that way, this potentially life-saving product is always on hand (pun intended). But according to Yahoo, a lot of people believe that as summer months draw near and with rising temperatures, a hot car is an unsafe place to keep hand sanitizer.
Radio Television of Serbia
While the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on human lives and cause major economic hardship, scientists around the world are struggling to find vaccines against COVID-19. Among them is Michael Pravica, a professor of physics at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas (UNLV).

Articles Featuring Michael Pravica

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 UNLV's new president Keith Whitfield on campus.
Campus News | August 10, 2020

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

Ross Bryant
Campus News | January 5, 2018

A compilation of media coverage profiling just a few of the many people of UNLV who made news in 2017.

Michael Pravica talks to Marshawn Lynch
People | October 31, 2017

Physics professor Michael Pravica teams up with Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch in Bleacher Report web series.