Department News

Aug 18, 2017 - HLD faculty will be interviewed by CNN

OU Professor and VIDA Fellow Ferah Munshi will be interviewed live on "CNN's Eclipse of the Century" alongside former astronaut Mark Kelly on Monday August 21st.  CNN will present the solar eclipse from multiple locations, coast to coast, in an immersive two-hour 360° live-stream experience starting at 12pm CT.  Coverage will be available all around the world in 4K resolution at, CNN’s mobile apps, Oculus Rift via Oculus Video and through CNN’s Facebook page via Facebook Live 360.  More information can be found here:

Aug 15, 2017 - Advances in Casimir-Polder interactions between atoms and substrates

Dr. Kimball Milton has been awarded $70,000.00 by the National Science Foundation.

Aug 02, 2017 - Solar Eclipse Viewing on the South Oval

Lunar Sooners will be hosting a solar eclipse viewing for the August 21st eclipse on the South Oval of campus from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Two solar telescopes, 500 solar glasses, and a few pinhole projectors will be set up for public viewing. The event will be co-sponsored with the Collage of Arts and Sciences. The eclipse will occur on the first day of classes, so spread the word!

Aug 01, 2017 - HLD members to be Interviewed on Discover Oklahoma

Professor Nate Kaib and graduate student Matt Clement will be interviewed on the weekly television show Discover Oklahoma. They will be answering questsions on "Great Balls of Fire", a new exhibit on asteroids, comets, and meteorites at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History. The segment will air on KFOR (channel 4) this Saturday 8/5 at 6:30 PM. The segment can also be viewed at the week after airing.

Jul 28, 2017 - Doerte Blume and Kuver Sinha join faculty

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is pleased to welcome Kuver Sinha and Doerte Blume as new faculty members. Kuver is the new assistant professor of the high energy physics group. Doerte will join the AMO group as a professor of physics. Both will join the department early in the fall. Welcome!

Jul 01, 2017 - Connecting Variability and Metals in White Dwarfs

Dr. Mukremin Kilic has been awarded 24,811.00 by the Space Telescope Science Institute

Jul 01, 2017 - Advanced Real-Space Measurements with Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

Drs. Bumm and Huang have been awarded $442,000 by the National Science Foundation.

Jun 02, 2017 - OU student named astronaut scholar

HDL student Matthew Peters has been named one of the 2017/18 Astronaut Scholars of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). This scholarship recognizes an elite group of students in the US with exemplary academic performance, ingenuity and unique aptitude for research.

The incoming Astronaut Scholars are invited to attend the ASF Innovators Gala in Washington DC in September, where they will receive the Neil Armstrong Award of Excellence, recognizing their achievements. An astronaut will present all Astronaut Scholars with their award on stage during the Saturday night gala.  

Great job Matthew!

May 22, 2017 - Alison Roeth Named Goldwater Scholar

University of Oklahoma honors student Alison Roeth has been named a 2017 Goldwater Scholar. The prestigious scholarship is awarded on the basis of potential and intent to pursue research careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering.

Roeth, a junior pursuing dual degrees in physics and Chinese, is from Charlotte, North Carolina. She is working with Ian Sellers, OU assistant professor of physics and astronomy, to research intermediate band solar cells. She has presented her work with Sellers at the American Physical Society March Meeting 2017. In addition, Roeth participates in ongoing projects with Kate Scholberg, professor of physics and Bass Fellow, Duke University, to research supernova neutrinos. Her work with Scholberg has produced two publications presentations at the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment collaboration meetings in September 2016 and January 2017, and the 2016 Fall meeting of the Conference Experience for Undergraduates/American Physical Society Division of Nuclear Physics. This past January, she joined researchers from the collaboration to continue work on her project at Fermilab. Her summer plans are to complete an intensive Chinese language immersion program in Taiwan. Upon graduation from OU, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physics and conduct research in experimental particle physics and teach at the university level.

Roeth is a member of the OU Honors College, president of the Chinese Language Club, and has been active in several organizations, including the Society of Physics Students, the Society of Undergraduate Philosophers, and Honors College reading groups. A National Merit Scholar, Roeth’s honors and awards include the William Schriever Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Physics and Astronomy, the Lowell and Frances Dunham Scholarship from the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, and the J. Clarence Karcher Scholarship for the study of Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics and Engineering Physics, which she has won twice. She also is proficient in Mandarin Chinese.

The national scholarship competition is conducted by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. This year, 1,286 college sophomores and juniors across the country competed for the 240 scholarships. 307 students received Honorable Mentions. The one- and two-year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.


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.

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