Department News

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 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:

Feb 17, 2017 - Nielsen Hall Radio Telescope Online

A group of undergraduate and graduate students, led by OU Astronomy Professor John Tobin constructed a 10 foot radio telescope on the the
 roof of Nielsen Hall last November and December.  The dish was brought fully online in early February. The group followed the small radio telescope (SRT) plans made available by MIT Haystack Radio Observatory and constructed the dish entirely from off the shelf equipment. 

The radio telescope presents exciting teaching and outreach opportunities because it operates in a fundamentally different way from optical telescopes. Instead of observing the light from stars and planets, this radio telescope  observes the matter between the stars, the interstellar medium, through  spectroscopy. The radio telescope specifically observes Hydrogen atoms throughout our Milky Way Galaxy emitting at a wavelength of 21 cm, from which the rotation of the Galaxy can be clearly seen through the Doppler effect. Introductory Astronomy students and those attending outreach events will see the operation of a radio telescope first-hand and observe the spectral line from Hydrogen in real-time. More advanced students will learn the fundamentals of radio astronomy and will carry out experiments such as mapping Hydrogen in space  and measuring the rotational velocity of our Galaxy.

The project had the participation of undergraduate students Brian Stephenson, Lisa Patel and Jacob Gill, and of graduate students Nick Reynolds, Rajeeb Sharma, Hyunseop Choi and Paul Canton. Congratulations!

Jan 09, 2017 - ANL-ASC Graduate Fellowship for OU Graduate Student - Dylan Frizzell

Dr Phillip Gutierrez has been awarded 20,000.00 by the US Department of Energy 

Jan 01, 2017 - An Archival Study of Dust, Gas, and Metallicity of High Redshift Galaxies

Dr Xinyu Dai has been awarded $48,000.00 by Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory 

Jan 01, 2017 - Precovery of Super-flaring G Dwarfs for TESS using PTF and ZTF

Dr John Wisniewski was awarded 50,000.00 by Research Corporation for Science Advancement 

Jan 01, 2017 - WISE Disks Around Cool Stars

Dr John Wisniewski was awarded 74,943.00 by NASA - Goddard Space Flight Center

Nov 22, 2016 - Measuring the Innermost Stable Orbit using Microlensing of the FE K Line

Dr Xinyu Dai was awarded 50,000.00 by Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

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Aug 24, 2017 4:00 pm

Nielsen Hall 170 - No colloquium - 1st week of classes


Sep 07, 2017 4:00 pm

Nielsen Hall 170 - John Wisniewski


Sep 28, 2017 4:00 pm

Nielsen Hall 170 - Alberto Marino