Department News

May 23, 2019 - Schwettmann wins NSF Career Award

OU Physics Professor Arne Schwettmann is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development Program) Award for research on ultra cold atoms.

Collisions between atoms in gases happen all around us, for example in the air that we breathe every day. At room temperature, the collisions are random and very difficult to control. By cooling a gas to ultracold temperatures near absolute zero (below minus 273 degrees Celsius) and trapping it in the center of a vacuum chamber, collisions can be controlled and used to develop new technologies such as quantum-limited sensors for impurities. An ultracold gas behaves like a single quantum mechanical object, a matter wave. Collisions still take place in the matter wave, but they now happen in a predictable fashion. In a sodium matter wave, the collisions can be controlled precisely via microwave radiation. The colliding atoms behave like small magnets with magnetic north and south poles determined by the direction of their atomic spin. During collisions, atoms experience each other's magnetic fields and change their spin directions. As they change directions, the atomic spins become correlated with each other at the quantum level, a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement. Quantum entanglement is useful when atoms are used as sensors. All entangled atoms react to external influences in unison, increasing the sensitivity of a sensor. This research project will use controlled collisions in sodium matter waves to study quantum-enhanced sensing and other quantum technologies. This project will study the role of impurities and will also explore differences and similarities compared to experiments with entangled beams of light. The research will improve our experimental understanding of quantum technologies based on matter waves under realistic conditions, in the presence of loss and impurities. This has practical applications for development of robust quantum-enhanced sensors, for development of quantum-enhanced probes for ultracold gases, and for improving our understanding of how we can control spin in matter waves at the quantum level.

The initial award is $311,908. This is a continuing grant expected to total $500,000 over five years. For more information, go to

https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1846965&HistoricalAwards=false

May 01, 2019 - Professor Kaib to Record Planetary Radio Live with Bill Nye

OU astrophysics professor Dr Nathan Kaib will be taking part in a recording of Planetary Radio Live with Bill Nye on May 8 3-4:30pm at the Science Museum Oklahoma.  Seating is first come, first served.  Additional details about the event can be found here: https://www.sciencemuseumok.org/tps

Apr 25, 2019 - Brad Abbott Named Presidential Professor

OU physics professor Brad Abbott has just been named the recipient of the 2019 Brian and Sandra O'Brien Presidential Professorship http://www.ou.edu/facultyawards/award-recipients  Presidential Professors inspire their students, mentor their undergraduate and/or graduate students in the process of research and creative scholarly activity within their discipline, and exemplify to their students (both past and present) 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; and professional and university service and public outreach.  Congrats Brad!!

Mar 01, 2019 - Theory-Experiment Team Observed Quantum Mechanical Two-Body Collisions One at a Time

To better understand atomic collisions, Qingze Guan of the University of Oklahoma in Norman and colleagues from  Heidelberg University developed a way to watch two atoms crash together. For more information, view Physics - Synopsis: Watching Atoms Bang Together.

Jan 18, 2019 - Branch Awarded Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award

Physics & Astronomy emeritus professor David Branch has been awarded the AAS' Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award, along with J. Craig Wheeler, for their advanced university-level textbook Supernova Explosions.  News about the award can be found here: http://aas.org/media/press-releases/aas-announces-2019-prize-recipients   Congrats David!!

Jan 08, 2019 - Young Planets Orbiting Red Dwarfs May Lack Ingredients for Life

A team of astronomers led by OU's John Wisniewski have used the Hubble Space Telescope to trace giant blobs of material being cleared out from AU Mic's young circumstellar disk.  Read more here: http://hubblesite.org/news_release/news/2019-02

Jan 02, 2019 - Kaib wins NSF Career Award

OU astronomy professor Nathan Kaib is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development Program) Award in the amount of $521,258.  It is thought that protoplanets, the bodies that eventually gave rise to planets, formed by a process known as accretion during the early life of our Solar System. This process cannot, of course, be studied directly. Little is known about how accretion proceeds at different distances from the Sun. Professor Kaib's work will address questions of Solar System development by using sophisticated computer modeling techniques. His team will also reassess the development of the giant planets and the Kuiper Belt of the outer Solar System. He will establish astronomy and planetary science education programs at the Sam Noble Museum, Oklahoma's state natural history museum. He will design classroom programs for visiting school groups as well as adding to the museum's catalog of Discovery Kits, which can be loaned free of charge across the state.

Professor Kaib will use a GPU-accelerated N-body code to directly simulate the construction of rocky protoplanets via runaway and oligarchic growth. The same code will be used to build a self-consistent model of the dynamical evolution of the early outer solar system. Finally, he will use a new N-body algorithm to understand the interplay between planetary and triple star dynamics within the Alpha Centauri and other multiple star systems.

 

Congrats Nate on a well deserved honor!

Jan 01, 2019 - Marino Wins James and JoAnn Holden Faculty Award

Professor Alberto Marino has been named the recipient of the James and JoAnn Holden Faculty award.  The James and JoAnn Holden Faculty Award recognizes outstanding faculty who inspire freshman and sophomore students through their willingness to teach, encourage and support students' transition into higher education.  Congrats Alberto!

Nov 15, 2018 - Faculty Positions in Theoretical and Experimental Quantum Physics Opened

The Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Oklahoma (OU) invites applications for three faculty appointments in the areas of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical (AMO) Physics and Condensed Matter Physics (CMP). The hires are part of an initiative to enhance OU’s presence in fundamental research that enables quantum technology. Planning for the establishment of a Quantum Technology Center is currently under way. Our new state-of-the-art physics building hosts 18,000 square feet of laboratory space that meets NIST-A specifications on vibrations, temperature, humidity, and electromagnetic interference. Campus resources include cleanroom facilities and supercomputer access.

Position 1 (ID # 55427): Homer L. Dodge Professor of experimental AMO physics. Candidates are expected to be internationally recognized leaders in their field. This endowed position comes with an annual research stipend. Start-up funds commensurate with the candidate’s research agenda will be made available. To submit your application for consideration please go to https://apply.interfolio.com/55427.

Position 2 (ID # 55442): Tenure-track Assistant Professor in experimental quantum physics with a research focus in CMP. Appointment at the level of associate or full professor is possible for exceptional candidates. To submit your application for consideration please go to https://apply.interfolio.com/55442.

Position 3 (ID # 55359): Tenure-track Assistant Professor in theoretical quantum physics with a research focus in AMO. Appointment at the level of Associate or Full Professor is possible for exceptional candidates. To submit your application for consideration please go to https://apply.interfolio.com/55359.

Applicants should have earned a Ph.D. in physics or a related field and have post Ph.D. experience. Successful candidates are expected to teach effectively at both the undergraduate and graduate levels (one class per semester), maintain an outstanding record of original published research, and develop an independent, internationally recognized, externally funded research program that complements existing research efforts at OU on ultracold atoms, molecules, and gases; microelectronic, photonic, and quantum devices; quantum optics; precision spectroscopy; quantum information and entanglement; scanning probe microscopy; quantum, topological, and strongly-correlated materials; and photovoltaics.

Applications consisting of a cover letter, CV, list of publications, statement of research interests, and statement of teaching interests should be uploaded directly to the web addresses provided above. Screening of applications will begin December 1, 2018. These positions will remain open until filled. OU is a Carnegie-R1 comprehensive public research university known for excellence in teaching, research, and serving the educational, cultural, economic and healthcare needs of the state, region, and nation. The 277-acre Research Campus in Norman was named the #1 research campus in the nation by the Association of Research Parks in 2013.

Additional Information can be found at the following links:

http://nhn.ou.edu

http://www.ou.edu/publicaffairs/oufacts.html

http://www.ou.edu/content/dam/provost/documents/facultyflipbook.pdf

The University of Oklahoma is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Protected veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Oct 13, 2018 - OU’s new NIST-A Physics Laboratory to Be Dedicated on Oct. 13

The University of Oklahoma will dedicate Lin Hall and the Dodge Physics Complex on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018.

Named in recognition of Chun C. Lin, a professor in the OU Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy from 1955 to 1968, the building will be dedicated on the South Oval of the Norman campus. Funded by Lin and the Avenir Foundation, the new academic building will total more than 18,000 square feet of research laboratory space and will provide world-class research space for AMO and CM physics, including 12 laboratories. Lin Hall will be one of only a few buildings in the world to meet the NIST-A requirements on vibrations, temperature and humidity, as well as electromagnetic interference.

Daylong activities are being planned to celebrate the occasion, which will honor Lin’s outstanding scientific legacy begun at the university, as well as the Avenir Foundation’s continued commitment to scientific research. The celebration will begin Saturday morning with a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of Lin Hall followed by a reception and tours of the building, as well as an evening event honoring Chun Lin and the Avenir Foundation.

If you would like to be included on the department’s mailing list to receive information about these events, please send your preferred email address and street address to: cpack@ou.edu.

Special Event

Dedication Webpage

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