Department News

Oct 16, 2016 - OU alumnus launches hurricane measurements partnership

OU alumnus and Board of Visitor A. T. Stair, founder/CEO of Tropical Weather Analytics, Inc (TWAI) and Chief Scientist of many space programs, has recently launched a partnership between TWAI and the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University (JHU/APL). Along with Paul Joss, founder/CTO of TWAI, and Professor emeritus of Physics at the Massachusetts institute of Technology, the TWAI team will use space-based data acquisition technologies and analytic tools to develop the world most accurate measurements and forecasts of tropical cyclones to date. This technology will have enormous impact on reduction of loss of life and property caused by hurricanes.

The Johns Hopkins's team has been a prime contractor on several upper-atmospheric and space program at NASA, including numerous missions using low-cost micro satellites. Once fully operational, TWAI will provide proprietary data, including 3D, wide field, high resolution cloud maps and thermal maps with more than 50 meter resolution and 3 degrees Celcius temperature accuracy.

For more information:  news link

Oct 07, 2016 - Alumna awarded prestigious postdoc in Norway

Former student Prachi Parashar has just started a prestigious postdoc at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, funded by a rather large international grant from the Norwegian Research Council. At OU, Prachi worked with Prof. Kim Milton on different projects involving the Casimir effect. Congratulations to Prachi!

Sep 30, 2016 - OU Physicists Developing New Systems for Next Generation Solar Cells

University of Oklahoma physicists are developing novel technologies with the potential to impact utility-scale energy generation, increase global energy capacity and reduce dependence on fossil fuels by producing a new generation of high efficiency solar cells. The OU team hopes to show that quantum-engineered systems can control thermal losses that restrict the performance of conventional solar cells and harness more of the sun’s energy in practical “hot” carrier solar cells.

Ian Sellers and Michael Santos, professors in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, will develop “hot” carrier solar cell architectures and investigate the physics driving the operation of these devices. Sellers and Santos have focused their research on narrow-gap heterostructures, demonstrating the promising potential avenue for the practical implementation of “hot” carrier solar cells.

The National Science Foundation supported this research project with a three-year grant in the amount of $380,000.

Sep 30, 2016 - Confirming the Birth of a New Black Hole

Dr. Xinyu Dai has been awarded $40,485.00 by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Sep 01, 2016 - Warm, Large Exoplanets

Dr Billy Quarles has been awarded 102,674.00 by NASA/UN PENN

Sep 01, 2016 - High Efficiency Flexible Dilute Nitride Solar Cells for Space Applications

Dr Ian Sellers has been awarded 600,000.00 by NASA

Sep 01, 2016 - Numerical Studies of the Dynamical Interplay between the Inner and Outer Planets

Dr Nathan Kaib has been awarded $226,735.00 by National Science Foundation

Aug 25, 2016 - New faculty members

The Department has been joined in the Fall by John Stupak and John Tobin as new assistant professors. Stupak is a new member of the experimental high energy group. Tobin is the new Homer L. Dodge Assistant Professor of Astrophysics. Welcome!

Aug 14, 2016 - Department will be housed in new physics complex

OU President David Boren announced on March 9 two lead gifts that will provide resources to construct a new academic building and research laboratory on the Van Vleet Oval that will house the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy. The new building, Lin Hall, together with Nielsen Hall will comprise a new physics complex. 

The resources are being made possible through major gifts from the Avenir Foundation, and Chun C. Lin, who served on the OU physics faculty from 1955 to 1968.

The new academic building will feature modular design for maximum flexibility in the more than 18,000 square feet of research laboratory space as well as office space for faculty and graduate students and an astronomy observatory on the roof. The laboratories will have advanced temperature control, vibration and acoustic isolation, and electromagnetic shielding in addition to providing critically needed space. The building will be located south of Nielsen Hall, the current home of the physics and astronomy department. Construction of the new physics building will begin in the fall, and is is expected to be completed by spring of 2019.

Aug 02, 2016 - OU permanent member of Apache Point Observatory

Following several years of effort and negotiation, OU is now a permanent member of the Apache Point Observatory (APO). Managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium, the observatory site is located in southeastern New Mexico, roughly 130 miles northeast of El Paso, Texas, near Sunspot at analtitude of 9100 feet. Besides hosting the Consortium’s 3.5-meter and 0.5-meter telescopes, the 2.5-meter Sloan Digital Sky Survey and New Mexico State University’s 1- meter telescopes also are located there. Other Consortium members include the University of Washington, New Mexico State University, the University of Colorado, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Virginia, Georgia State University and the University of Wyoming.

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