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Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has a rich and long history dating back to the latter part of the 19th century. Our faculty and students are exploring nature at all length scales, from the subatomic (quarks and gluons) to the macroscopic (black holes and dark energy), and everything in between (atomic and biological systems).

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Purdue celebrates distinguished professor elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Laura Pyrak-Nolte, Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy, has dedicated her work at Purdue University to understanding fractures with the goal of ensuring environmental safety and enhancing renewable energy production. She is one of the latest members of the National Academy of Engineering, among the highest professional honors accorded to any engineer in the United States.

Scientists Use Weather Radar To Watch Microbes Brew Inside Cells

Scientists are using a radar-like weather system to watch as a storm of pathogens brew inside living tissue. The strategy is entirely novel, according to the authors, and relies on a technique very similar to Doppler radars, which can detect the motion of precipitation and predict upcoming weather patterns. Doppler ultrasounds, which use sound waves to create images of blood flow, are already used in the medical sphere, but this new technique can allow scientists to peek inside individual cells to see how they respond to pathogens like salmonella and E. coli.

Society of Physics Students at Purdue University awarded a Chapter Research Award for liquid rope coiling effect research

Society of Physics Students at Purdue University awarded a Chapter Research Award for liquid rope coiling effect research

Scientists use Doppler to peer inside cells, leading to better, faster diagnoses and treatments of infections

Doppler radar improves lives by peeking inside air masses to predict the weather. A Purdue University team is using similar technology to look inside living cells, introducing a method to detect pathogens and treat infections in ways that scientists never have before. This collaborative research group includes Dr. David Nolte, Purdue’s Edward M. Purcell Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy.

Dr. Mario J. Paniccia elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Physics and Astronomy alumnus Mario J. Paniccia (PhD Physics '94) has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.  Paniccia  was elected to the Academy for “his contributions to integrated silicon photonic devices and their commercialization."

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, 525 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2036 • Phone: (765) 494-3000 • Fax: (765) 494-0706

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