September 1, 2012

The initial roll-out of the Computer-Assisted Personalized Approach (CAPA) system, developed by members of the MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy, was 20 years ago this month.

This system, enhanced and merged with other projects, evolved into the current LearningOnline Network with Computer-Assisted Personalized Approach (LON-CAPA) system, which is now used by more than 140 educational institutions worldwide, not only for physics courses, but in many other fields as well.

January 2, 2012

In an investiture ceremony at MSU, Dr. Matthew Comstock was installed as the Department of Physics and Astronomy's second Jerry Cowen Chair of Experimental Physics. Professor Chih-Wei Lai was installed as the first holder of this Chair in 2008 (he continues to hold this Chair). The Chair's donor and Jerry Cowen's son, Randy Cowen, two of Jerry's daughters, as well as his widow Elaine, were in attendance to help celebrate the occasion.

January 1, 2012

After 40 years of searching, physicists have the elusive Higgs boson in their sights. Wade Fisher, Michigan State University assistant professor of physics, presented the team’s results March 7 at a physics conference in La Thuile, Italy.

November 1, 2011

On 18 November 2011, P-A Chair Wolfgang Bauer made the announcement that the following faculty members had received honors from prestigious national scientific organizations.

October 2, 2011

Relics of the Big Bang is a new show designed and produced by researchers in the MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy and the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory in conjunction with Abrams Planetarium staff, with the assistance of MSU students in many fields including graphic design, narrative writing and sound engineering.

October 1, 2011

Physics-Astronomy Professor Michael Thoennessen and a team of students have compiled a new database containing discovery information on all known isotopes of the chemical elements, which makes it easy to see the locations and researchers involved in such discoveries and trends in the technologies involved over the years. This has led to a ranking of labs and researchers for the number of isotopes initially isolated by each.

August 1, 2011

The first annual Joint ATLAS-GRETINA-HRIBF-NSCL-FRIB Users Meeting will be held at the MSU Biomedical & Physical Sciences Building in East Lansing, Michigan, from 18-20 August, 2011. Many scientists in low-energy nuclear physics now carry out experiments at several user facilities, and major equipment such as GRETINA will rotate between the respective laboratories. Hence the time is right to bring the U.S. low-energy user community together to discuss science, plans, and needs within a single user meeting.

June 2, 2011

Physics-Astronomy Professor and former departmental chair Raymond "Chip" Brock was one of 10 MSU faculty members named University Distinguished Professor by the MSU Board of Trustees in recognition of achievement in the classroom, laboratory and community at its 17 June 2011 meeting. This honor is awarded at the MSU President's recommendation to ten faculty members campuswide every two years.

June 1, 2011

MSU has been selected to share a 5-year $25M grant to prepare students for future nuclear security needs. This will involve several MSU units, including the P-A Department and the NSCL.

April 1, 2011

Physics major Fei Yuan was one of 33 graduating students honored by the MSU Board of Trustees for high scholastic achievement at its 15 April 2011 meeting.

January 2, 2011

The MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy is honored to welcome a visit by John C. Mather, who shared the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for his leadership of the team which succeeded in making precise measurements of the black body form of the cosmic background radiation and its anisotropy. He will be with us on Wednesday and Thursday the 19th and 20th of October 2011.

January 1, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) recently announced 68 Early Career Research Program financial awards for young faculty from amongst 1150 applicants for the fiscal year 2011. One of the awardees was Dr. Pengpeng Zhang of the MSU P-A department. Dr. Zhang's project, Utilizing Molecular Self-Assembly to Tailor Electrical Properties of Si Nanomembranes has potential applications ranging from nano-electronics to energy harvesting. It was selected for funding by the DoE's Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES).

December 1, 2010

In 2010, Physics and astrophysics senior Jessica Muir was named 2010 Marshall Scholar.

September 5, 2010

In 2010, Physics graduate student Sarah Heim received one of two Tracy A. Hammer Graduate Student Awards For Professional Development from the MSU College of Natural Science.

September 4, 2010

Physics alumna Dr. Azam Niroomand-Rad (M.S. 1971, Ph.D. 1978) received the 2010 MSU College of Natural Science Outstanding Alumni Award.

September 3, 2010

Nathan Sanders, a Physics/Astrophysics senior, recieved a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

September 2, 2010

Two incoming freshmen to MSU with physics/astronomy majors interview on 1320 WILS.

January 2, 2010

How proteins spontaneously “fold” from wiggling chains of amino acids into a wide variety of functional – or malfunctioning – three-dimensional molecules is one of the biggest mysteries in biochemistry.

Dr. Lisa Lapidus and her research collaborators have found some surprises in investigating the details of this process, which may have consequences in the future study of diseases and genetic disorders.