Department News

Physics & Astronomy News

  • Waves 2019, Departmental Newsletter, now available (click for pdf).
  • June 2019: Watch Professor Randy Ellingson describing how UT researchers are leading the way in solar panel science.
  • June 2019: Dr. Ishmael Parsai, Professor in Department of Radiation Oncology in collaboration with Dr. Elahinia chair of MIME Department, received a $150K UTRFF grant last year and a $150K TVSF grant this year to manufacture a device they invented from Nitinol shape memory alloy material for a new way to treat prostate cancer more safely (UT News video).
  • May 2019: Professor of Physics & Astronomy, Rupali Chandar, leads the international committee using the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • May 2019: Heidi Kuchta organized a successful Earth and Space Day at Ritter Planetarium on May 18 (UT News article and video)
  • May 2019: Breakthrough in New Material to Harness Solar Power Could Transform Energy by Professor Yanfa Yan's group.
  • May 2019: Nathan Szymanski won the Outstanding NSM graduating senior award.
  • May 2019: National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship was awarded to Nathan Szymanski.
  • April 2019: The Memorandum of Understanding between the Student Green Fund and UToledo to share solar energy benefits was signed April 26th (Faculty Advisor for the SGF, Prof. Randy Ellingson, was in attendance) -- click to view photo.
  • April 2019: Kamala Khanal Subedi won the Best Poster award for the Thin Film Chalcogenide Semiconductor Photovoltaic area at the Spring MRS meeting of 2019.
  • April 2019: U. Toledo physicist, Prof. Yanfa Yan, was awarded $1.1 million to boost the performance of solarcells.
  • April 2019: Congratulations to Jennifer Greco and Kamala Khanal Subedi, award winners at the 2019 Midwest Graduate Research Symposium held April 6! Jennifer won the College of NSM Best Poster award for her work on ultracool dwarf stars, and Kamala won the First Solar Award for her work on a hole transport material for CdTe solar cells.
  • April 2019: Graduate student, Prakash Uprety, working under Prof. Nik Podraza recently won both the "SVC-SVC foundation student sponsorship award" to attend the Society of Vacuum Coaters 62nd Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition and the  "J.A. Woollam Company Scholarship Award" from the Society of Vacuum Coaters Foundation.
  • April 2019: Professor Rupali Chandar was highlighted at the State of the University Address on April 3rd, 2019. (Click link to view the highlight at the 31-minute mark.)
  • April 2019: Professor Yanfa Yan was highlighted at the State of the University Address on April 3rd, 2019. (Click link to view the highlight at the 28:15-minute mark.)
  • April 2019: Dr. Sharon Gaber, President of The University of Toledo highlighted two of our Research Areas of Excellence Astronomy and Astrophysics and Solar Energy at the State of the University Address on the 3rd April 2019. (Click link to view the highlights at the 27-minute mark.)
  • March 2019: Physics Professor Yanfa Yan received the SETO award from the DOE.
  • March 2019: A review article by Physics Professor Yanfa Yan was chosen as the cover story for the February issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Energy & Environmental Science published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • January 2019: Prof. Robert Collins is the recipient of William Fowler Award for Distinguished Research in Physics of the Ohio-Region Section of the American Physical Society. This award is to honor those members of the Society with appreciable connections to the State of Ohio at some time in their life, who have done outstanding research in physics.
  • January 2019: Dr. Kevin Hardegree-Ullman, a recent department graduate,  spoke at an AAS press conference concerning his discovery of a sixth planet, K2-138 g (smaller than Neptune), in the K2-138 system. 
  • December 2018: Discovery of a single material that produces white light could boost efficiency, appeal of LED bulbs.
  • November 2018: Article by Prof. Yan, Prof. Podraza, and coworkers on efficient two-terminal all-perovskite tandem solar cells is highlighted on Nature Energy website
  • November 2018: The First Harold and Helen McMaster Chair selected!
  • September 2018: The University of Toledo hosted the Fall 2018 Ohio Region Section American Physical Society Meeting, Sept. 28-29, 2018. Many thanks to all who participated! Thanks from APS for hosting.
  • August 2018: Lynda Obee won the 2017-2018 Outstanding Staff Member Award for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
  • July 2018: A Blade article describing Dr. Noel Richardson's recent research effort put UT in the News again.
  • July 2018: Dr. Noel Richardson was part of a NASA team which discovered the colliding winds of the supermassive star, Eta Carina, accelerate particles to cosmic ray energies.
  • July 2018AAS Obituary for Armand Delsemme
  • June 2018: UT recognizes Solar Energy, Water Quality and Sustainable Technologies as an Area of Research Excellence. 
  • June 2018: UT recognizes Astronomy and Astrophysics as an Area of Research Excellence.
  • June 2018: P&A department contributes significantly in UT's Annual Report of Success for the 2017-2018 year. See specifically the video at the 1:48, 3:51 and 4:11 minute marks.
  • June 2018: Congratulations to Biwas Subedi and Max Junda for their Best Poster Award on collaborative work between Profs. Yan and Podraza’s research groups at the 2018 World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC-7) at Waikoloa, Hawaii
  • June 2018Congratulations to Dr. Zhaoning Song, Research Assistant Professor in Dr. Yanfa Yan's research group for receiving the Best Poster Award at the 2018 World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC-7) at Waikoloa, Hawaii
  • May 2018: Congratulations to Professor Steve Federman on receiving The Optical Society (OSA) Senior Member Designation
  • May 2018: Congratulations to Professor Yanfa Yan who was recently recognized for his scholarly activity
  • April 2018: Congratulations to Professor Yanfa Yan for winning the Outstanding Faculty Research and Scholarship Award
  • April 2018: Congratulations to Nathan Szymanski for winning the Goldwater Scholarship
  • March 2018: Alum Dr. Anca Sala will receive the John J. Turin Award for outstanding career accomplishments
  • March 2018: Congratulations to Geethika Liyanage for winning the Best presentation in solar and renewable energy at the 9th MGRS
  • February 2018: Dr. Ken Sembach, Director of Space Telescope Science Institute, spoke Feb 22 about Hubble and Webb space telescopes (Blade article)
  • February 2018: Department alum Dr. Dempsey gave a public talk about being the flight director of ISS (Blade article, 13abc interview)
  • January 2018: Congratulations to the department for hosting the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) Jan 12-14December 2017: Dr. Aditya Togi's paper showcasing DCT data featured as cover story in Sept Astronomy & Astrophysics
  • November 2017: Prof. Karen Bjorkman and Prof. Steven Federman elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • November 2017 UT Alum Dr. Robert Cooper talks about 43-year-old mystery of coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering
  • November 2017: Article by Prof. Bo Gao and co-workers on d-wave Feshbach resonances highlighted in Physics Viewpoint
  • October 2017:International research team including Noel Richardson create first ever map of hot spots on a hot star
  • October 2017: Congratulations to Dipesh Niraula and Victor Karpov for receiving the Best Paper award at the 2017 International Comsol Conference in Boston, MA
  • September 2017: Article by Yunsic Shim and Jacques Amar on step instabilities in Fe/Cu growth highlighted in Physical Review Materials
  • August 2017: UT PV group wins multiple awards at the 44th annual Photovoltaics Specialists Conference
  • August 2017: UT Physicists to model and analyze power output from UT's solar panels during eclipse
  • August 2017: Two articles by UT P & A group (technoeconomic analysis of perovskite solar cells and Life cycle analysis of tandem solar cells) have been selected as two of Energy & Environmental Science journal's 2017 HOT articles
  • August 2017: Solar eclipse viewing held at UT
  • June 2017: UT Physics & Astronomy graduate's pictures going on stamp
  • June 2017: Essay by Tom Megeath on UT deep space exploration featured in Toledo Blade
  • June 2017: Article by UT P & A group on perovskite solar cells among most read articles in ACS Energy for month of May
  • May 2017: Congratulations to UT Ph.D. graduate Nava Paudel, Prof. Diana Shvydka, and Prof. Ishmael Parsai for their article on microdosimetry of radiation dose enhancement which has been selected by the Editors of the JACMP for the Award of Excellence for the Best Radiation Measurements Article in 2016
  • April 2017: Article on world-record efficiency for a low bandgap perovskite solar cell obtained by UT researchers published in Nature Energy and highlighted in UT News
  • April 2017: Congratulations to Dr. Robert Collins for receiving the 2017 Outstanding Faculty Research and Scholarship Award!
  • April 2017: Congratulations to Dr. Jillian Bornak for receiving the 2017 University of Toledo Outstanding Teaching Award!
  • April 2017: UT undergrad discovers elusive companion star to Beta Canoris Minoris
  • April 2017: Article by Prof. Heben and co-workers on Perovskite Solar-Cell Stability among the top 20 most accessed papers in 2016 in the journal Advanced Energy Materials
  • April 2017: UT to participate in DOE Sunshot Initiative Community Challenge
  • April 2017: Departmental Awards Ceremony - Spring 2017
  • March 2017: UT Astronomer selected as member of elite group focused on cosmic origins
  • November 2016: Article on probing non-uniformities in perovskite solar cells by UT group has been highlighted by the Journal of Physical Chemistry
  • November 2016: Astronomy Program honored — "Looking for stars is serious business at The University of Toledo"
  • November 2016: Ph.D. student Joseph Booker receives Honorable Mention in competition for 2017 AAS Doxsey Travel Prize
  • November 2016: Ph.D. student Kevin Hardegree-Ullman joins NASA search for Earth-like planets
  • October 2016: Recent medical physics Ph.D. graduate Gregory Warrell wins first place student research award at Penn Ohio Chapter of the AAPM meeting for his work on dual modality thermobrachytherapy
  • October 2016: UT astronomer helps capture the first sharp image of Eta Carinae using Very Large Telescope Interferometer
  • October 2016: Review article on perovskite solar cells by UT group has been highlighted by the SPIE
  • October 2016: Recent published work by UT group on perovskite solar cells has been highlighted by the American Chemical Society
  • September 2016: Prof. Sanjay Khare receives NSF DMREF award to develop hard nitride coatings by design
  • July 2016: Article by Prof. Heben and co-workers on Perovskite Solar-Cell Stability among top 5 most accessed papers in July 2016 issue of Advanced Energy Materials
  • July 2016: Prof. Alvin Compaan receives grant to develop new radiation detector
  • July 2016: Profs. Heben, Phillips, and Podraza receive grant from Ohio Development Services Agency to develop scratch and UV resistant coatings
  • June 2016: UT elected to association of top Astronomy programs (AURA)
  • April 2016: 2016 Undergraduate and Graduate Awards Ceremony
  • March 2016: Waves 2016 Departmental Newsletter
  • March 2016: UT Astronomers discover young Brown dwarf
  • February 2016: UT Astronomy students conduct research with Discovery telescope
  • January 2016: Prof. Nikolas Podraza and Prof. Robert Collins receive a 2-year grant from Office of Naval Research to investigate the deposition of hydrogenated silicon thin-films for photovoltaics
  • December 2015: Congratulations to all undergraduate Physics & Astronomy majors who made the Dean's list in Fall 2015!
  • November 2015: Prof. Victor Karpov has been awarded a three-year grant by Semiconductor Research Corporation to investigate the fundamental physics underlying resistive switching random access memory (RRAM).
  • November 2015: UT REU student Mikhael Semaan (Prof. J. Amar, advisor) receives 1st place Helen Quinn Award for Undergraduate Theory at 2015 APS Far West Section Meeting
  • November 2015: Professor Rupali Chandar receives grant award to study stellar clusters
  • October 2015: Dedication ceremony honors UT planetarium's first director Helen Brooks as well as CNSM Dean Karen Bjorkman, who was named the first recipient of the Helen Luedtke Brooks Endowed Professorship of Astronomy
  • August 2015: Congratulations to Rick Irving for receiving the CNSM Distinguished Service Award!
  • August 2015: UT Astronomer part of research team which discovered lowest mass directly-observed exoplanet.
  • July 2015: UT's PVIC photovoltaic array sets record for daily electricity generation, at 210 kWh.
  • July 2015: Brooks observatory undergoing renovations
  • July 2015: Summer 2014 UT RISE interns’ research in renewable energy leads to honors and awards
  • July 2015: Prof. Ishmael Parsai has been elected a Fellow of the International Organization for Medical Physics
  • July 2015: Prof. Michael Cushing's research on brown dwarfs profiled in UT News.
  • July 2015: Recent paper by UT photovoltaics group on the processing and formation of perovskite materials published in the journal of the Chemistry of Materials has been highlighted as an ACS Editors' Choice.
  • June 2015: Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Paul Roland for his selection as a summer space photovoltaics intern with the Air Force Research Laboratory Scholars program.
  • May 2015: Congratulations to Yanfa Yan for receiving the Dion D. Raftopoulos/Sigma Xi Award for Outstanding Research!
  • April 2015:Distinguished University Professor Lecture Series includes Prof. Collins' lecture:  “Polarized Wave Probes for Thin-Film Photovoltaics: From the Lab to the Production Line”.
  • April 2015:2015 Undergraduate and Graduate Awards Ceremony
  • April 2015: UT Astronomy student Emily Safron discovers youngest protostellar eruption ever recorded!
  • March 2015: Professor Jacques Amar has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
  • February 2015:Waves 2015 Departmental Newsletter
  • February 2015: Congratulations to Jillian Bornak for receiving the UT February Faculty Shining Star Award!
  • February 2015:Congratulations to Yanfa Yan for receiving the UT February Research Shining Star Award!
  • February 2015:UT astronomers breathe new life into venerable instrument.
  • November 2014:Ritter Planetarium establishes production of full-dome planetarium programs.
  • October 2014: UT Dept. of Physics & Astronomy ranked in top six nationally among Ph.D. granting Departments in terms of fraction of undergraduate degrees granted to women.
  • October 2014: Recent work by Wan-Jian Yin, Tingting Shi, and Prof. Yanfa Yan on defects in perovskite solar cells listed as one of the top cited articles in Applied Physics Letters from 1994 - 2014.
  • September 2014: Professor Michael Cushing discusses Ritter Planetarium and Supermoon in Toledo Blade
  • August 2014: Professor Jacques G. Amar receives a National Science Foundation Award for his project "Simulating Non-equilibrium Processes over Extended Time- and Length-Scales using Parallel Accelerated Dynamics."
  • May 2014: Prof. Karpov's work on metal whisker growth highlighted in Physical Review Applied and Science Shot
  • April 2014: 2014 Undergraduate and Graduate Awards Ceremony
  • April 2014: Recent work by Prof. Yan and collaborators on grain-boundary-enhanced carrier collection in CdTe solar cells highlighted in Physical Review Letters
  • February 2014: Prof. Steven Federman elected as first Chair of newly formed Laboratory Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society.
  • February 2014: Prof. Lloyd Knox of UC Davis presented the McMaster Cosmology Lecture on Thursday, February 27 in Driscoll Auditorium.
  • February 2014:Prof. Sanjay Khare nominated as candidate for "Member-at-large" in the APS Division of Computational Physics.
  • November 2013: Professor Robert Collins elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society
  • November 2013: Professor Emerita Nancy Morrison elected a Fellow of the AAAS
  • August 2013:Prof. Bo Gao receives award from NSF China to study atomic interactions and collisions in cold-atom systems.
  • August 2013:Prof. Bo Gao receives NSF award to study quantum theories of atomic and molecular processes.
  • August 2013: Prof. Sanjay Khare receives award from NSF DMREF program (Designing Materials to Engineer our Future).
  • June 2013:Waves 2013 Departmental Newsletter .
  • April 2013: Spring 2013 Student Awards & SPS Induction Ceremony.
  • April 2013: Prof. David Hogg of NYU presented the McMaster Cosmology lecture:  "What and where is the Dark Matter?"
  • December 2012: Prof. Michael Cushing speaks on Dec. 13 meteor shower
  • December 2012: Prof. Michael Cushing interviewed by 13 ABC News on Mayan Myth
  • August 2012: Prof. Yanfa Yan leads $1.9 million collaborative Sustainable Energy Pathways (SEP) project: Earth-Abundant thin-film solar cells as a sustainable solar energy pathway
  • August 2012:Waves 2012 Departmental Newsletter .
  • April 2012: Spring 2012 Student Awards & SPS Induction Ceremony.
  • March 2012: Alumnus Steven Howell receives John J. Turin Award.
  • January 2012: Congratulations to P&A graduate student Sean Tanny for winning the second place award at the American Association of Physicist in Medicine Ohio River Valley Chapter meeting held at OSU.
  • December 2011: UT welcomes two new Physics faculty to photovoltaics research and education.
  • October 2011: Astronomer to explore Milky Way galaxy at McMaster Colloquium
  • October 2011: Ritter Planetarium reopens with new state of the art digital full dome projection system.
  • September 2011:Waves 2011 Departmental Newsletter .
  • August 2011: Professor Ishmael Parsai has been elected a Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine
  • August 2011: Professor Michael Cushing is the lead author on a paper describing the discovery of an entirely new class of stars: Y-dwarfs, which are cool enough to touch.
  • August 2011: Ritter Planetarium is closed for a major update to a new state of the art digital full dome projection system. Reopening scheduled for Oct. 29.
  • August 2011: Undergraduate student Kathryn Hoepfl is lead author on a paper entitled "Solar and Wind Energy Portfolios and Real-Time Pricing", to appear in the J. of Tech. Policy and Mgmt.
  • May, 2011: Graduate student Charles Poteet and Professor Tom Megeath find Crystal 'Rain' in Outer Clouds of an Infant Star, with the research covered in Time Magazine Science.
  • May, 2011: Professor Jacques Amar's research on thin-film growth highlighted by Ohio Supercomputer Center.
  • Spring 2011 Student Awards & SPS Induction Ceremony
  • Jan, 2011: Professor Rupali Chandar's work on M51 featured in NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day.
  • Oct, 2010: Professor emeritus Adolf Witt honored by a conference in his nameWittFest.
  • Former Ph.D. student Bruce Cantor is PI on a joint NASA/ESA mission to Mars.
  • Professional Science Master's degree program in photovoltaics featured in UT News.
  • Oct 2010: Midwest Critical Mass Conference on Relativistic Heavy Ions and RHIC Physics held in McMaster on Oct. 22-23.
  • Aug 2010: Prof. Jacques G. Amar and Prof. Terry Bigioni receive a National Science Foundation Award to study the interfacial self-assembly of nanoparticles and their interactions.
  • July, 2010: The University of Toledo's graduate programs in medical physics have received accreditation from CAMPEP. We thus join an elite group of 24 accredited programs in the USA and Canada.
  • July, 2010: Professor J.D. Smith's work on PAH emission in galaxies selected as the Thomson Reuters Fast Moving Front paper in Space Science for July, 2010.
  • June, 2010: The department's solar power researchfeatured in USA Today.
  • May, 2010: Professor Tom Megeath's Herschel Space Observatory proto-stars project leads to surprising discoveries about the way stars form.
  • May, 2010: The Ritter Planetarium wins grant to extend its interactive exhibits.
  • April, 2010: Professor Bo Gao has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society, for "contributions to the quantum-defect theory of cold atom interactions and the analyses of the associated mathematical special functions.”
  • April, 2010:Waves 2009 Departmental Newsletter .
  • March, 2010: Professor Rupali Chandar's research on the evolution of star clusters profiled in UTNews.
  • November 2009: Eulogy for Adjunct Professor Indrek Martinson
  • November 2009: Graduate student Michelle Sestak wins the Applied Surface Science Division's Best Student Presentation Award for her presentation "Analysis of CdTe and CdS Thin Films and Photovoltaic Device Structures by Spectroscopic Ellipsometry".
  • October 2009: Graduate student Lesley Simanton's research featured in the Chicago Tribune
  • October 2009: Scholars' Celebration and Sigma Xi Student Research Symposium planned for Oct. 24th.
  • October 2009: UT Physicist Ishmael Parsaihonored at international conference
  • September 2009: Professor Reva-Kay Williams receives a National Science Foundation Award for her project "Theoretical and Numerical Investigation of a Unified Astrophysical Rotating Black Hole Model for Active Galactic Nuclei, Microquasars, and Gamma-Ray Bursters".
  • September 2009: Professor Jacques G. Amar receives a National Science Foundation Award for his project "Simulating Nonequilibrium Processes over Extended Time- and Length-scales using Parallel Accelerated Dynamics".
  • June 2009: The department's solar energy research featured (CNBC).
  • June 2009: Professor Rupali Chandar wins a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her project "The Life Cycle of Star Clusters: New Windows into Star Formation and Galaxy Evolution".
  • May 2009: Spring Student Awards & SPS Induction Ceremony.
  • April 2009: Professor and Department Chair Karen Bjorkman has been appointed as a Distinguished University Professor (UTNews).
  • April 2009: Undergraduate Research Symposium. Chad Tabory Award for Oustanding Undergratuate Research goes to Rachell Gestrich ("Extra-galactic star formation: the search for stellar clusters") and Rosa Zartman ("MgF2 anti-reflective coatings").
  • Feb 2009: Professor Sanjay Khare participated in an energy roundtable discussion (13ABC/YouTube).
  • October 2008: Toledo 2008 Solar Tour guide (Green Energy Ohio).
  • September 2008: Professor Robert Collins appointed as Distinguished University Professor (UTNews).
  • September 2008: Professor Xunming Deng wins Toledoan of the Year Award (UTNews).
  • July 2008: Helen Luedtke Brooks Endowed Professorship of Astronomy established (UTNews).
  • May 2008: Astronomers J.D. Smith and Tom Megeath lead searches for answers to questions of cosmic origins (UTNews).
  • May 2008: UT receives funding for Ohio Research Scholars (Regents Ohio).
  • May 2008: McMaster family gives $2M for energy research chair (Toledo Blade).
  • April 2008: Photovoltaics research strengthened by incoming faculty (UTNews).
  • Spring 2008 Student Awards & SPS Induction Ceremony.
  • April 2008: Prof. Karen Bjorkman receives Outstanding Teacher Award (UTNews).
  • April 2008: Prof. X. Deng's Xunlight Corp. receives additional funding (Toledo Blade).
  • March 2008: Prof. X. Deng and Xunlight featured on CNN (video).
  • March 2008: Prof. S. Federman named to Editorial Board of the Astrophysical Journal (Chicago Press).
  • March 2008: Profs. Amar, Curtis and Decknamed APS Outstanding Referees (APS Journals).
  • Jan. 2008: Prof. J. Amar's research featured in Ohio Supercomputer Center 2007 Annual Report. (OSC).
  • December 2007: Hubble holiday news release features image by Prof. Rupali Chandar (HubbleSite).
  • October 2007: Astronomers announce a public lecture series to take place at Ritter Planetarium.
  • October 2007 UT Photovoltaics highlighted in Newsweek.
  • September 2007: Prof. X. Deng's Xunlight Corp. receives NIST ATP Award (Toledo Blade).
  • June 2007: Prof. Sanjay V. Khare receives NSF grant to model surface relaxation on GaAs surfaces
  • January 2007: Prof. Victor G. Karpovreceives a grant from Intel Corporation to explore the physics of chalcogenide phase change memory.
  • May 2007: Prof. James Palmer receives a grant, from the Upper Cervical Research Foundation, for spinal modeling, in conjunction with Prof. Vijay K. Goel of the Department of Bioengineering
  • December 2006: The University of Toledo receives $18,635,238 in Wright Centers of Innovation funds to establish the Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization Center (PVIC).
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    Site contact:J.G. Amar
    Last Updated: 8/28/19