Department of Physics and Astronomy
Physics Teaching Innovation at the new STEM Teaching BuildingREAD MORE
Michigan State University's Department of Physics and Astronomy is one of the top-ranked departments in the country. It offers many diverse courses in physics and astronomy. Undergraduate programs are available with different emphases and mixes with other branches of science and engineering. It also offers graduate (M.S. & Ph.D.) degree programs with specializations in many sub-fields.
The new STEM teaching building was dedicated recently with many dignitaries and much emphasis on the critical role of STEM education for the future of the state and country. As the speeches and ribbon cutting were going on outside, Physics faculty were teaching introductory physics using new curricula that take full advantage of the new classrooms in the building. These innovative new curricula were developed using evidenced-based practices to better serve the students in these courses as part of the department's longstanding commitment to MSU's mission of excellence in both teaching and research.
Congratulations to Physics Ph.D. student Justin Lane who has been awarded the 2021 Mossman Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Yale University Physics Department. Justin works in the area of quantum information systems (QIS) with this Ph.D. advisor Johannes Pollanen, the Jerry Cowen Chair of Experimental Physics, and other collaborators at the MSU Laboratory for Hybrid Quantum Systems. They are investigating a wide variety of QIS and condensed matter systems ranging from atomically thin layers of carbon (graphene) to trapped electrons systems floating above the surface of superfluid helium to color-center qubits in diamond with the goal of revealing fundamentally new physical phenomena and developing next generation technologies for QIS.
MSU astronomy PhD student Carl Fields was recently recognized as one of Forbes' "30 under 30" in Science for 2021. Carl is a theoretical and computational astrophysicist specializing in the evolution of massive stars and how they explode as supernovae at the end of their lives. He has published a number of papers on these and related topics.
Congratulations to Professor Alexandra Gade for being elected an AAAS fellow. Prof. Gade was recognized by the AAAS for distinguished contributions to the field of nuclear physics, particularly for gamma-ray spectroscopy of rare isotopes and elucidating the structural properties of nuclei.
The 2020 Fall Meeting of the Division of Nuclear Physics of the American Physical Society will be hosted by the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams at Michigan State University as a virtual meeting from October 29 to November 1, 2020.
After 39 years at MSU, Dr. Gary Westfall will be moving into retirement.