Department News

May 17, 2017 - Board of Visitors Adds Two New Members

Two new members, Benton Clark and Bob Slocum, recently joined the department Board of Visitors.

Benton C. Clark, the chief scientist for Flight Systems at Lockheed Martin Astronautics, earned his doctorate in biophysics from Columbia University in 1968. He chairs the External Advisory Committee for the NASA Center for Research and Training in Exobiology at the University of California, San Diego, and Salk Institute. Among many accomplishments, he has been honored with the NASA Public Service Medal, Wright Brothers Award and Air Force Service Medal, and he has been selected Inventor of the Year for Martin Marietta Corp. and Author of the Year for Martin Marietta Astronautics.

Robert E. Slocum is chairman of Polatomic Inc. and founder of Slocum Geophysics and Integrated Photonics. Slocum founded Polatomic Inc. in 1982 and serves the company as chairman and chief technical officer. He is also founder of Integrated Photonics, the world’s largest manufacturer of synthetic garnet used in optical isolators for the Optical Internet, and founder and CEO of Slocum Geophysics, a geophysical exploration company that applies Navy sub-hunting technology to oil exploration. Slocum was born in Oklahoma City, grew up in El Reno and received his bachelor of science degree in 1960 and master’s degree in 1963, both in engineering physics, from the University of Oklahoma. He received his doctoral degree in atomic Physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1969. He is the inventor of the diode laser pump source for helium magnetometers, the nuclear-free precession helium-3 magnetometer and the Planar Thin-Film Polarizer, and has published numerous papers on ultra-high-performance optical magnetometers for space, Navy and geophysical applications, as well as strategic planning for small businesses.

May 05, 2017 - Graduate student wins NASA award

Disk Detective team lead by graduate student Steven Silverberg has been awarded NASA's Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement Outreach Award. Disk Detective is a citizen science project that leverages the talents and efforts of people across the globe to identify new debris disks, which are systems where planets are likely to have formed recently.  Steven served both as one of the primary liaisons to the project's citizen scientists and was the leader for most of the science output of the project. Congratulations!

May 01, 2017 - REU/RET Physics Site at the University of Oklahoma

Dr. Michael Strauss has been awarded $193,639.00 by the National Science Foundation

Apr 17, 2017 - HLD faculty receives OU Presidential award

Professor Bruno Uchoa was recently awarded with the Ted and Cuba Webb Presidential Professorship. The Presidential Professorships were established to recognize those faculty members who excel in all of their professional activities and exemplify to their students and to their colleagues (both at OU and within their disciplines nationwide) the ideals of a scholar through their endeavors in teaching, research and creative scholarly activity. Congratulations!

Apr 13, 2017 - HLD Faculty receive Patent Award

In a recent tribute to OU faculty, HLD faculty Mike Santos and Matt Johnson received a Patent Award for their work in helping develop a tunable diode laser.  Working in collaboration with a team of OU physicists and electrical engineers, they developed a semiconductor laser where the infrared emission wavelength is strongly dependent on bias voltage. A key feature of the design is that negative and positive charge carriers are located in adjacent quantum wells. Tunable infrared lasers are enabling components for gas sensing systems that can detect multiple types of molecules.


Apr 01, 2017 - Modeling the Atmosphere of Solar and Other Stars: Radiative Transfer with PHOENIX-3D

Dr Eddie Baron has been awarded $155,551.00 by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Apr 01, 2017 - Exploring the Final Stages of Gas Giant Formation

Dr John Wisniewski has been awarded $220,498.00 by NASA-Headquarters

Mar 31, 2017 - TASK B: From Colliders to Cosmology in the LHC Era

Dr. Howard Baer has been awarded $45,000.00 by the US Department of Energy

Mar 21, 2017 - OU Alumni Reunion

The department of Physics and Astronomy will host a Retirement Banquet and Alumni Reunion on Saturday May 06. The reunion will honor some of the faculty who have contributed to the department over many years. The honorees include professors emeriti Dick Henry, Ron Kantowski, Kim Milton, John Moore-Furneaux and Deborah Watson, and the current department chair Greg Parker. The event will also honor retired staff Andy Feldt, Bill See, Adrianne Wade and Joel Young. 

The retirement banquet will be held in the OU Sam Noble Museum. 

More info and registration:

Mar 17, 2017 - Testing the Torus Origin of the Broad Absorption Line Outflow in WPVS007

Dr. Karen Leighly was awarded $34,040.00 by Space Telescope Science Inst.

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Faculty Research Seminar

Oct 25, 2017 6:00 pm

Nielsen Hall 303 - Profs. Abraham & Blume

CMP Journal Club

Oct 26, 2017 1:30 pm

Nielsen Hall 103 - Colin Brown


Oct 26, 2017 4:00 pm

Nielsen Hall 170 - Manfred Cuntz
Habitability around Single Stars and in Multiple Stellar Systems