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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

planet illustration
Research | April 27, 2022

UNLV astrophysicist Zhaohuan Zhu among featured speakers at international conference at M Resort May 1-6; more than a dozen UNLV faculty and students participating.  

UNLV's first conference tournament championship—and automatic bid to the NCAA Championship—since winning the Big West in 1994. It will be the Lady Rebels first NCAA tournament appearance since 2002. March 9, 2022 (Josh Hawkins/UNLV)
Campus News | April 1, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and student changemakers at UNLV.

A laser beam emitting a blue light is projected into a diamond anvil cell
Research | March 18, 2022

Findings could have implications for our understanding of distant, water-rich planets.

artist conception of fast radio burst
Research | March 17, 2022

New study by international team of scientists identifies polarization as key trait that may reveal the origin of the powerful millisecond-long cosmic radio explosions.  

books inside the UNLV Bookstore
Campus News | February 10, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting the experts and events at UNLV.

Artist rending of James Webb telescope in space with stars behind
Research | January 13, 2022

UNLV astrophysicist Jason Steffen explains key differences between Webb and Hubble.

Physics and Astronomy In The News

Kompasiana
April 23, 2022

A scientist named Jason Steffen conducts computer simulations to facilitate these two processes on flight, which then in 2008 he introduced his method known as The Steffen Perfect and the Steffen Method.

Inverse
April 12, 2022

As kids, you probably learned that matter — the stuff that makes up us and everything else — can come in three different states: solid, liquid, and gas.

Scientias
April 1, 2022

Water ice is water ice, you might say. Okay, you have rockets, pear ice creams and so on. But if you freeze nothing but pure water—that is, molecules made up of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms—you simply get ice—right?

Scientias
April 1, 2022

Water ice is water ice, you might say. Okay, you have rockets, pear ice creams and so on. But if you freeze nothing but pure water—that is, molecules made up of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms—you simply get ice—right?

Medium
March 29, 2022

The global smart space market size is projected to grow from USD 9.4 billion in 2020 to USD 15.3 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.2% during the forecast period. The increasing venture capital funding and growing investments in smart space technology to drive market growth.

Sunday Guardian Live
March 26, 2022

Researchers have discovered a new form of ice, which could have implications for our understanding of distant, water-rich planets. The findings of the study were published in the journal ‘Physical Review B’. Solid water, or ice, is like many other materials in that it can form different solid materials based on variable temperatures and pressure conditions, like carbon forming diamond or graphite. However, water is exceptional in this aspect as there are at least 20 solid forms of ice known to us. A team of scientists working in UNLV’s Nevada Extreme Conditions Lab pioneered a new method for measuring the properties of water under high pressure. The water sample was first squeezed between the tips of two opposite-facing diamonds — freezing into several jumbled ice crystals. The ice was then subjected to a laser-heating technique that temporarily melted it before it quickly reformed into a powder-like collection of tiny crystals.

Physics and Astronomy Experts

A physics professor, whose specialties include high pressure science, explosives, and high radiation flux.
An expert in astronomy, dark matter, and general physics.
An expert in physics and chemistry.
An internationally recognized expert in astrophysics.

Recent Physics and Astronomy Accomplishments

May 13, 2022
Ashkan Salamat (Physics and Astronomy) is the joint recipient of The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Grant, along with colleagues Ranga Dias (University of Rochester) and Audrey Grockowiak (CNPEM, Brazilian synchrotron). The project, “Exploring the Limits of High-temperature Superconductivity,” is funded at $1,624,838 for 48 months (of which $…
May 9, 2022
Jason Steffen (Physics and Astronomy) was the lead organizer for a major international conference on Exoplanets (planets that orbit distant stars). The conference took place the M Resort in Henderson, and brought together more than 500 scientists from around the world for a week of scientific talks, discussions, and collaboration.
April 26, 2022
David Rice, Jason Steffen (both Physics and Astronomy) and their collaborator, Chenliang Huang from the University of Arizona, published an open-source software package that models the interior structures of rocky and water-rich planets. This code was designed to facilitate the collaboration between UNLV astronomers who study extrasolar planets,…
December 23, 2021
Qiang Zhu (Physics and Astronomy) has been honored by the National Science Foundation with a Faculty Early Career Development Program for his proposal "Organic Materials Discovery with the Aid of Digital Crystallography". This CAREER award will support theoretical and computational research and educational activities to advance the understanding…
November 3, 2021
Shichun Huang (Geoscience), Min Li (Physics and Astronomy) and their colleagues published an article, Sulfur Isotopic Signature of Earth Established by Planetesimal Volatile Evaporation, in Naure Geoscience. Using sophisticated ab initio and thermodynamics calculations, they showed that the Earth's sulfur, an important volatile element, budget is…
October 26, 2021
Zhaohuan Zhu (Physics & Astronomy) received a $538,736 grant from NASA Exoplanets Research Program to carry out research on formation of young planets close to their host stars. Co-investigators include James Stone from Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and Nuria Calvet from the University of Michigan.