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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

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.

Campus News | February 3, 2021

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

Professor Ashkan Salamat in his lab at UNLV
Research | December 29, 2020

A yearlong collection of UNLV faculty making the news for their discoveries and contributions to the community.

Campus News | December 10, 2020

A collection of news stories highlighting the election, COVID-19, and scientific discovery at UNLV.

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.

Physics and Astronomy In The News

KNPR News
February 10, 2021

Las Vegas has its share of celebrities, including one who works at the UNLV Physics Department.

U.S. News & World Report
January 30, 2021

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Friday toured a University of Nevada, Las Vegas lab researching technology that could allow for the transmission of electricity over long distances, something the Democratic governor said could potentially grow Nevada’s energy industry.

Las Vegas Sun
January 30, 2021

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Friday toured a UNLV lab researching technology that could allow for the transmission of electricity over long distances, something the Democratic governor said could potentially grow Nevada’s energy industry.

Associated Press
January 30, 2021

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Friday toured a University of Nevada, Las Vegas lab researching technology that could allow for the transmission of electricity over long distances, something the Democratic governor said could potentially grow Nevada’s energy industry.

Ars Technica
January 23, 2021

Jason Steffen studies planets in other solar systems. His most famous work—OK, second-most famous work—was with NASA’s Kepler Mission, a survey of planetary systems. But you’re more likely to have heard of Steffen, a professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, in a very different context: as a student of the airplane boarding process. Years ago, after waiting in yet another line on a jam-packed jetway, the physicist thought to himself, “There has to be a better way than this.”

Wired
January 22, 2021

Jason Steffen studies planets in other solar systems. His most famous work—OK, second-most famous work—was with NASA’s Kepler Mission, a survey of planetary systems. But you’re more likely to have heard of Steffen, a professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, in a very different context: as a student of the airplane boarding process. Years ago, after waiting in yet another line on a jam-packed jetway, the physicist thought to himself, “There has to be a better way than this.”

Physics and Astronomy Experts

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

Recent Physics and Astronomy Accomplishments

December 18, 2020
Ashkan Salamt (Physics and Astronomy) was awarded a grant from the Air Force office of scientific research. The grant, "The synthesis of supernitride compounds via extreme (pressure, temperature) conditions: a new generation of high-energy density materials," is for $452,184. Modern calculations reveal a novel group of binary metals materials with...
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.