November 21, 2014
2:45-4:00 pm in Physics 135

LSST: Physicists and Astronomers of the World, Unite!
Željko Ivezic'

November 21, 2014
CGCA Seminar:
1:00-2:00 pm in Physics 481

The First Two Years of Electromagnetic Follow-up with LIGO and Virgo
Larry Price

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UWM Physics Department

Welcome! The Department of Physics has 22 faculty who teach and carry out research in astronomy, biophysics, condensed matter physics, gravitation and cosmology, medical imaging, modern optics, and surface physics.

We offer a variety of undergraduate options to match the interests and needs of each student. These options include various programs of study, scholarships, research opportunities and tutoring sessions.

We have a vibrant graduate program; almost all our graduate students receive stipends as either teaching or research assistants or in the form of fellowships.

Recent news

Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Center Information and Construction Webcam.

(Future Home of the UWM Physics Department)

September 26, 2014
Two Physics Faculty Receive Catalyst Grants

Physics professors Carol Hirschmugl and Valerica Raicu received early-stage research projects backed by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and the Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation. These grants support promising research and development in areas where UWM has the greatest potential to impact the regional economy through commercialization activities.

  • Carol Hirschmugl (Physics) is testing a new material, graphene monoxide, which may have applications in electronics and flexible circuits.
  • Valerica Raicu (Physics), with a previous Bradley Catalyst grant, developed a tool to help assess the structure of a drug target. Building on this idea, he hopes to improve the instrument and make it more cost effective.

September 15, 2014
InCommon Expands Support for Research Through Pilot with UWM

A new pilot scheme between Internet2's InCommon and the identity management team from the Leonard E. Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics (CGCA) will allow astronomers from across the world to use their local university credentials to access three UWM-based services, all services for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). This new approach will not only streamline the access process, but will also save much time and effort for the identity management staff who would otherwise have to create and maintain separate usernames and passwords for hundreds of researchers.

August 4, 2014
UWM Physicists Apply Infrared Technology for Early Malaria Detection

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM)Professor of Physics, Carol Hirschmugl, and postdoctoral researcher, Eric Mattson, are part of an international team attempting to diagnose malaria infected cells. A paper recently published in the journal 'Analyst' describes the application of unique imaging equipment created by Dr. Hirschmugl for investigating strategies to obtain early diagnosis of the disease. The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum causes on of the most deadly diseases in humans, with a mortality rate of almost 1.2 million people a year. The process implemented by Hirschmugl and Mattson utilizes a special detector called a Focal Plane Array (FPA) that is sensitive to the infrared spectrum as part of Dr. Hirschmugl's Infrared Environment Imaging (IRENI) system. Testing of the early malaria detection procedure was performed at the Synchrotron Radiation Center (SRC) at UW-Madison. Although currently limited by the need for a synchrotron-based light source Hirschmugl hopes to see commercial technology improve and allow this technique to be widely used in the future. Further details are presented in the title link.

July 30, 2014
UWM Physicist Collaborates on Identification of the Coldest, Faintest White Dwarf

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Assistant Professor of Physics, David Kaplan, is part of an international astronomical team studying a recently discovered double star system. The system consists of a superdense spinning neutron star which is emitting millisecond pulses of radiation (a pulsar) and a remarkably cool white dwarf companion. The team applied Einstein's theory of general relativity, which first predicted that light (and radio waves) slows in the gravitational field of a massive object. Dr. Kaplan and his colleagues used the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) to study this 11 billion-year-old system. The team next searched for visible and infrared evidence of the companion, using the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope in Chile, and the Keck telescope in Hawaii. Even though the "cool companion" is not visible evidence of its circular orbit indicates that it is a white dwarf rather than a neutron star which would have an elliptical orbit. A paper describing this system was recently published in the Astrophysical Journal. Further details are presented in the title link.

April 10, 2014
International Conference on Women in Physics names UWM Physics Assistant Research Professor as a Delegate

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM) Physics department Assistant Research Professor and American Physical Society Blewett Fellow, Dr. Sujatha Sampath, has been named as a delegate to the upcoming 5th IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics. The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) has long recognized a particular need to foster the participation of women in physics and is sponsoring the 2014 conference to be hosted at the Wilfrid Laurier University located in Waterloo, Canada. The conference gathers delegates from around the world to showcase scientific work in all areas of physics and to promote the participation of women in physics. At UWM Dr. Sampath pursues research in the experimental aspects of Molecular and Materials Physics.

April 2, 2014
UWM Physicists Collaborate in Two Papers on the Topological Insulator Bi2Se3

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (UWM) condensed-matter physicists Dr. Lian Li, Dr. Michael Weinert, and other members of the department, recently published two papers on the properties of the topological insulator Bi2Se3. The research reports were published in Nature Nanotechnology (March 2014) and Nature Physics (April 2014 cover story) Topological insulators form a new quantum phase of matter that is distinct from metals and semiconductors. These materials are expected to produce new functionalities and enable insights into complex phenomena in many scientific areas.