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Department of Physics and Astronomy News

Physics and astronomy are two of the most basic and fundamental sciences. Physics is the study of matter, energy, motion, and force. Its concepts help us understand how the universe behaves. Astronomy studies the universe beyond the earth’s atmosphere, including celestial objects and the formation and development of the universe.

Current Physics and Astronomy News

Campus News | November 5, 2020

A collection of news stories highlighting UNLV’s commitment to community, health care, and research.

Image of telescope amidst dark sky
Research | November 4, 2020

UNLV astrophysicist Bing Zhang contributes to understanding the physical mechanisms of fast radio bursts in three papers published in Nature.

UNLV professor Ashkan Salamat in his lab on UNLV's campus
Research | October 14, 2020

The discovery, reported in the journal Nature, opens door for reimagining the energy grid, technology, society

artist rendering of neutron star merger
Research | October 13, 2020

UNLV astrophysicist Bing Zhang contributes to study offering new, most complete start-to-finish view of neutron star merger.

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.

A UNLV banner on campus.
Campus News | July 2, 2020

A collection of news stories featuring the people and programs of UNLV.

Physics and Astronomy In The News

November 6, 2020

Fast radio bursts, or FRBs - powerful, millisecond-duration radio waves coming from deep space outside the Milky Way Galaxy - have been among the most mysterious astronomical phenomena ever observed. Since FRBs were first discovered in 2007, astronomers from around the world have used radio telescopes to trace the bursts and look for clues on where they come from and how they're produced.

November 6, 2020

Magnetars, short for “magnetic stars,” are ultra-dense corpses of dead stars surrounded by intense magnetic fields. And according to new research, magnetars also appear to be the cause of at least some mysterious fast radio bursts, or FRBs, which astronomers have detected for more than a decade. So, by studying FRBs, scientists think they might be able to peel back the onion on magnetars.

CBC News
November 5, 2020

For more than 13 years, astronomers have been trying to determine the source of extremely powerful radio bursts that can travel billions of kilometres through space but only last a fraction of a second.

November 5, 2020

For the first time ever, astronomers have linked an actual object to those mysterious radio bursts they’ve been detecting since 2007. The culprit in this case, as suspected, is a super-dense object known as a magnetar, but the finding has prompted an entirely new set of questions.

Popular Science
November 5, 2020

For around a decade, mysterious flashes from deep space have puzzled radio astronomers. The explosions of radio waves last for just a few thousandths of a second, and they appear to shine from galaxies billions of light years away—too far to get a good look at what’s making them. Researchers have detected about 120 such “Fast Radio Bursts” to date, and have come up with nearly half as many explanations. Theorists have floated ideas including exotic stars collapsing, neutron stars crashing into black holes, and even alien civilizations pushing starships around on energy beams.

November 4, 2020

Mysterious superpowerful blasts of radio waves once seen only outside the galaxy have for the first time been detected within the Milky Way, new studies find.

Physics and Astronomy Experts

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An expert in astronomy, dark matter, and general physics.
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Recent Physics and Astronomy Accomplishments

November 19, 2020
Rebecca Martin (Physics and Astronomy) was awarded a NASA Exoplanets grant for $541,460 to study planet formation in binary star systems.
October 22, 2020
Daniel Proga (Physics and Astronomy) was awarded one of NASA's most prestigious research grants through the Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics Networks (TCAN) program. The grant totals $1,547,537 and will be shared with four other major research institutions: the Institute for Advanced Study, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the...
October 21, 2020
Chao-Chin Yang (Physics and Astronomy) was awarded a multi-institutional research grant by NASA through the Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics Networks (TCAN) program. Led by New Mexico State University, other collaborators include UNLV, University of Arizona, Iowa State University, and SETI Institute in the United States, and Max Planck...
October 15, 2020
Ashkan Salamat (Physics and Astronomy) and a team of researchers have made a breakthrough in the long-sought-after quest for a room-temperature superconductor, what they call the “holy grail” of energy efficiency. The research team, which includes Ranga Dias from the University of Rochester, established room temperature superconductivity in a...
September 14, 2020
Zhaohuan Zhu (Physics and Astronomy) coauthored the article "A Triple-Star System with a Misaligned and Warped Circumstellar Disk Shaped by Disk Tearing," which has been published in Science. 
July 6, 2020
Zhaohuan Zhu (Physic & Astronomy) has been selected as the editor for the Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan (PASJ). The first term is two years and began July 1.  Established in 1949,  PASJ is an international journal that publishes the results of original research in all aspects of astronomy, astrophysics, and fields closely...