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View from inside the OMEGA laser system's target chamber during a direct drive fusion experiment.

Scientists create new ‘spark plug’ for fusion reactions

Techniques developed with the Laboratory for Laser Energetics’ OMEGA laser system hold promise for sparking fusion at larger scales.

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Illustration depicting five conveyer belts, each carrying different type of cartoon alien and going through an o2 representing the oxygen atmospheric bottleneck with the largest aliens emerging with fire.

Is oxygen the cosmic key to alien technology?

Rochester astrophysicist Adam Frank explores the links between atmospheric oxygen and detecting extraterrestrial technology on distant planets.

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Mixed media illustration showing full chemical complexity of quantum decoherence.

New strategy reveals ‘full chemical complexity’ of quantum decoherence

The findings can be used to design molecules with custom quantum coherence properties, laying the chemical foundation for emerging quantum technologies.

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Stylized image of particle accelerator at Fermilab that produces beam of neutrinos to measure protons.

Rochester research with ‘ghostly’ neutrinos among Physics World’s breakthroughs of the year

Led by researchers from the University of Rochester, scientists from the international collaboration MINERvA have, for the first time, used a beam of hard-to-detect neutrinos to investigate the structure of protons.

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Illustration of a 2D material represented by dots of various colors against a magenta background to help explain phase-change memristors technology.

Straining memory leads to new computing possibilities

“We’ve combined the idea of a memristor and a phase-change device in a way that can go beyond the limitations of either device,” says Stephen Wu, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and of physics.

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Bird perched on large rock against hazy sky.

How do living things use meaningful information to survive?

A team from the Department of Physics and Astronomy has applied the theory of semantic information to a realistic model capturing attributes of living systems—and found the critical point where information matters for survival.

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The Department of Physics and Astronomy is committed to increasing the diversity of its student body, faculty, and staff. We are a partner institution in the APS Bridge and Cal-Bridge programs.

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Ketevan Kotorashvili receives Tsinandli Award in Natural Sciences

Keti Kotorashvili picture

Ketevan (Keti) Kotorashvili, a graduate student in the University of Rochester’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and a Horton Fellow of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE), recently received the Zurab Zhvania Foundation’s 2023 Tsinandli Award in Natural Sciences for her research on the evolution of stars.

photo of avram milder

Avram Milder ’21 (PhD), a scientist in the Laser–Plasma Interactions Group at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, has been selected to receive the Chiyoe Yamanaka Award at the International Conference on Inertial Fusion Sciences and Applications (IFSA). Milder has been selected for his trailblazing measurements of electron distribution functions performed at the Omega Laser Facility that has opened a new avenue for researchers exploring fundamental plasma-physics. 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the University of Rochester nearly $18 million over three years to design and prototype key technologies for EP-OPAL, a new facility dedicated to the study of ultrahigh-intensity laser-matter interactions. Physics professor Antonino Di Piazza is one of the co-principal investigators for the EP-OPAL project.

Professor Antonino Di Piazza

Kelly Douglass gives an interview about AAS Journal article on cosmic voids


Kelly Douglass (University of Rochester) chats about her AAS Journal article on voids, and where we can go from here given the published article.

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Life of a Cosmology Graduate Student

Zachery Brown in the lab

Growing up, I never imagined that I’d become a physicist. I always enjoyed my physics classes, but was convinced that I’d study engineering in college. Yet as a high school senior, I took an electricity and magnetism course that really caught my attention. And as it happened, I attended a small liberal arts college without an engineering program. I made the decision to major in physics instead.

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Physics, Optics, and Astronomy (POA) Library

The POA library houses a comprehensive collection of journals, monographs and online data bases, supporting the research and teaching activities of the department.

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