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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Physics & Astronomy

Physics & Astronomy

News & Highlights

    • Society of Physics Students wins 2015 Blake Lilly Prize for physics outreach
      DU’s Society of Physics Students has been awarded the prestigious 2015 Blake Lilly Prize, given by SPS national to recognize outstanding physics outreach. DU’s SPS was specifically commended for using hands-on demonstrations to share their love of physics with over 1,000 young students in the last year.
      sps outreach

      cameron hickert
    • Undergraduate student Cameron Hickert named the 2015 Truman Scholar
      Cameron Hickert, an undergraduate student majoring in Physics and international studies, was recently awarded the prestigious Truman Scholarship. He is the only one selected in the entire state of Colorado. Congratulations, Cameron!

    • Professor Robert Stencel to deliver the first Herbert Howe Lecture in Astronomy
      Prof. Robert Stencel was selected to be the first Herbert Howe Lecturer in Astronomy. The Herbert Howe lecture series is a public lecture series aimed at promotion of research mathematics and astronomy, organized jointly by the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics of the University of Denver.

    • Professor Jennifer Hoffman gave an invited talk at the UW Space Place about Supernova explosions
      Prof. Jennifer Hoffman gave an interesting talk about supernova explosions for the Space Place program at University of Wisconsin. Check it out, "SUPERNOVA EXPLOSIONS ARE WEIRDER THAN YOU THINK"
      Jennifer at UW Space Place

    • DU alumni was elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society for breaking through in the laser-driven nuclear fusion process
      DU alumni Debbie Callahan was recently elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society in the division of Plasma Physics in 2014. Dr. Callahan received her Bachelor's degree in Science at department of Phyiscs and Astronomy at DU in 1985 advised by Liz Tuttle, Vithal Patel and Herschel Neumann. She is now an associate division leader at Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California. Her team was the first to obtain a "fuel gain" of greater than one in a laser-driven nuclear fusion experiment, which was recently named one of the top 10 physics breakthroughs of 2014 by Physics World. Congratulations, Dr. Callahan.

    • Undergraduate student won an all-inclusive summer research position at the Leiden Observatory
      Sam Kerber, a DU undergraduate student with Physics major and Astrophysics minor, won an all-inclusive summer research position at the Leiden Observatory. He will be carrying out research there with collaborators of his adviser, Prof. Toshiya Ueta. 

    • Graduate students presented posters at the Second Annual Graduate Research and Performance Summit
      Graduate students Rachael Tomasino, Taylor Firman and Rebecca Rattray presented posters at the Second Annual Graduate Research and Performance Summit on Jan. 30, 2015. The Graduate Research and Performance Summit compliments the mission of the Graduate Student Government fostering inclusivity within interdisciplinary research and dialogue among the DU community.
      Tomasino poster Firman poster
    • Professor Jennifer Hoffman awarded the Franklin Research Grant for her research
      Dr. Jennifer Hoffman was recently awarded the Franklin Research Grant for carrying out research at University of Arizona

    • Graduate students featured in an article on
      Former and current graduate students Azure Avery, Rachael Tomasino and Jamie Lomax were featured in an article on, check it out: Women in science, University of Denver: Then and now

    • Professor Emeritus,  Aharon Goldman, recognized by Thomson Reuters
      Aaron Goldman
      Dr. Aharon Goldman is a John Evans Professor at the University of Denver. He was recently recognized by Thomson Reuters as a highly cited researcher in the engineering discipline and one of the World's Most Influential Scientific Minds. See also:, page 8, and
      In May, 2015, Dr. Goldman was recognized by Elsevier as an Outstanding Reviewer for the Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, as he is in the top 10th percentile in terms of the number of reviews completed for the journal in the past two years.

  • Professor Davor Balzar to join the team to bring cutting-edge cancer treatment to Colorado
    Prof. Davor Balzar was invited to join the Colorado-Japan working group led by Professor Jac Nickoloff from Colorado State University to bring carbon ion cancer radiotherapy to Colorado. This kind of treatment offers fewer side effects and less damage to healthy tissues and organs than traditional radiation therapy. This makes it particularly suitable for treating areas in brain, neck, and pancreas. Read more at Colorado Public Radio!

  • Professor Dinah Loerke won the prestigious Cottrell Scholar Award
    Prof. Dinah Loerke recently received the prestigious 2014 Cottrell Scholar Award. This award is presented to early career faculty who are committed to excel at both research and teaching. Research Corporation for Science Advancement, Interim President Jack Pladziewicz, notes, "It may well be that not all research faculty can do this simultaneously and early in their careers, but the very best can." The 2014 Cottrell Scholar Award recoganizes Prof. Loreker's promising research on "Toward a Mechanistic Understanding of Cell lntercalation in Germ-Band Extension" and her innovative undergraduate teaching efforts to use metaphor of ball games to convey complicated biological mechanisms. Read more here!

  • Graduate Student talks about lunar eclipse on WeatherNation
    Rachael Tomasino, a graduate student of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at DU, recently was interviewed by WeatherNation about the "blood moon" lunar eclipse that occurred on October 8, 2014. Check it out! Good job, Rachael!

    Fractions of female undergraduate in PhD institutes Fraction of female PhD in Phd institutes
  • DU P&A Promotes equal opportunities
    The Physics and Astronomy program at DU strives for preparing future female Physcists. According to the recent APS statistics, during the period 2010-2012, we have graduated 42% female undergraduate students, which ranked 10th nationwide, and 67% female phD students, which ranked 3rd nationwide. Congratulations to these students and we are proud of this achievement.