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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Physics & Astronomy

Physics & Astronomy

News & Highlights

  • 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
    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.

  • 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.

  • Nickolas Williams, 1983-2013
      Nickolas Williams,
    In memoriam:  Nickolas Williams, BS 2013
    We were saddened to learn of the recent loss of one of our physics majors, Nickolas Williams. Nickolas was a double major in mathematics and had been working on his senior thesis in protein folding with Dr. Kingshuk Ghosh. His work was recently published in PLOS ONE. Upon his passing, he was awarded his dual BS degree. Nickolas was an intelligent, charismatic, and compassionate young man who was an important part of our department. We miss him greatly and extend our heartfelt sympathies to his family and friends.

  • Physics professor Kingshuk Ghosh and astronomy
    professor Jennifer Hoffman granted tenure
    The Physics & Astronomy department welcomes two new tenured professors, Dr. Kingshuk Ghosh and Dr. Jennifer Hoffman. Dr. Ghosh, a theoretical biophysicist, joined the department in 2008 and was recently awarded an NSF CAREER grant for cutting-edge work on thermophilic proteins. Dr. Hoffman is an astronomer who uses both observational and computational techniques to study circumstellar material around massive stars and supernovae. She has been a member of the department since 2007.

  • DU P&A congratulates the class of 2013!
    The following outstanding students received physics degrees in 2013:
    • Alaa Bahamran (MS, Siemens): Physics Ph.D. program, University of Denver
    • Gail Cotterill (BS, Zink)
    • Alexa Hart (Ph.D., Stencel)
    • Megan Hess (BA)
    • Xin Jiang (Ph.D., Shaheen, Summer 2013)
    • Jamie Lomax (Ph.D., Hoffman, Summer 2013): Postdoctoral position, University of Oklahoma
    • Michael Malatesta (BS, Hoffman, Fall 2012): Astrophysics Ph.D. program, University of Oklahoma
    • Stephen Ray (Ph.D., Shaheen, Summer 2013)
    • Ajaya Sigdel (Ph.D., Shaheen): Intel Corporation
    • Matthew Westacott (MS, Loerke)
    • Nickolas Williams (BS, Ghosh)