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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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Chip-based optical tweezers levitate nanoparticles in a vacuum

Researchers have created tiny chip-based optical tweezers that can be used to optically levitate nanoparticles in a vacuum. "By using an ultrathin metalens, we reduced the diameter of the focusing lens from about 25 mm to about 0.4 mm," said research team leader Tongcang Li from Purdue University.

Midwest Cold Atom Workshop (MCAW) to be held at Purdue University

The Midwest Cold Atom Workshop 2021 will be held on the Purdue campus on November 13th, 2021. This annual event has been organized and attended by AMO (atomic, molecular and optical) quantum physics groups around the Midwest region, with topics covering latest quantum science and technology based on cold atoms and molecules. Purdue sponsors include the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Purdue Quantum Science and Engineering Institute.

Three professors to receive Purdue’s most prestigious research awards

Three Purdue professors advancing quantum science and work-life and work-life family research policy have been chosen to receive the university's most prestigious research and scholarship awards. Each recognizes recent accomplishments of high significance and impact. Two of these professors are from Physics and Astronomy. The 2021 Arden L. Bement Jr. Award is awarded to Michael J. Manfra. The 2021 Herbert Newby McCoy Award is awarded to Yong Chen.

U.S. Department of Defense awards $2.8M to Purdue University scientists for quantum education program

The U.S. Department of Defense is awarding $2.8 million to a collaborative group of Purdue University professors in order to develop a quantum education program at Purdue. This grant is supported by the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education, Outreach, and Workforce Initiative Programs. Professors involved in this grant are Mahdi Hosseini, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Courtesy in Physics; Muhsin Menekse, Associate Professor of Engineering Education and Science Education; and Erica Carlson, 150th Anniversary Professor of Physics and Astronomy.

Purdue University research team included in NSF $15M AI award

The newly-created $15 million NSF HDR Institute of Accelerated AI Algorithms for Data-Driven Discovery (A3D3) aims to incorporate AI algorithms with new processors such that they can analyze unprecedented data sets. A team of researchers at Purdue University were selected as part of the A3D3 award. The team will be led by Dr. Mia Liu of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

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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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