Physics and Astronomy students selected as 2021 Dean's Scholars

Congratulations to CAS senior Adam Konkol and December graduate Abigail Timmel for being selected as 2021 School of Arts and Sciences Dean's Scholars! This honor is presented annually to students who exhibit exceptional academic performance and intellectual promise.

Eleni Katifori, Associate Professor, described Konkol as “a phenomenal student researcher, one that comes by once every several years.”

Department research featured as part of the Physical Review B 50 Year Milestone Collection of work

Research from department faculty and graduates, past and present, has been selected to be featured by Physical Review B in honor of the journal's 50-year anniversary. The journal selected papers "that have made lasting contributions to condensed matter physics." Two of the more than fifty papers selected were published by faculty and students from the department.

The Department is pleased to announce the winners of the Physics and Astronomy Student Awards for 2021. Congratulations to all the winners!

The Elias Burstein Prize – Zhuoliang Ni, Wei-Shao Wei

Provided from an endowment established by friends, colleagues, and students of Elias Burstein, upon his retirement as Mary Amanda Wood Professor of Physics on June 30, 1988. Awarded to the graduate student in Condensed Matter Physics judged by the Physics Department to have a made a significant contribution to our understanding of the subject.


Prof. Randall Kamien Selected for Provost's Award for Distinguished PhD Teaching and Mentoring

Randall Kamien, Vicki and William Abrams Professor in the Natural Sciences, was selected as one of two recipients from across the University for the Provost’s Award for Distinguished PhD Teaching and Mentoring. The award is given based on a variety of rigorous criteria and reflects Prof. Kamien's many contributions to the Department of Physics and Astronomy. In particular, it recognizes not only all the work Prof.

Two Penn Physics Majors selected for prestigious Churchill Scholarship

December graduate Abigail Timmel and Penn senior Adam Konkol have both been selected for prestigious Churchill Scholarships to support a year of graduate study at the University of Cambridge in England. Both Timmel and Konkol have had impressive careers at Penn. After completing a co-op at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Timmel worked with Eugene Mele, Christopher H.

Bo Zhen announced as a winner of a 2021 Sloan Research Fellowship

Bo Zhen, Assistant Professor, has been selected for a 2021 Sloan Research Fellowship as one of "128 early-career scholars [who] represent the most promising scientific researchers working today." 


Arjun Yodh named 2021 Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award Recipient by The Optical Society

Arjun Yodh, James M. Skinner Professor of Science and former Director of The Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM), was announced as the 2021 recipient of The Optical Society Michael S. Feld Biophotonics Award. He was selected for his "pioneering research on optical sensing in scattering media, especially diffuse optical and correlation spectroscopy and tomography, and for advancing the field of biophotonics through mentorship."

Charlie Johnson leads effort to develop an "electronic nose" to track COVID-19

Charlie Johnson, Rebecca W. Bushnell Professor of Physics and Astronomy, is leading a team of researchers "to develop rapid and scalable handheld devices that could spot people wit COVID-19 based on the disease's unique odor profile."


Liang Wu leads studies using pioneering theories by Charlie Kane and Eugene Mele

Liang Wu, Assistant Professor, leads two studies that "demonstrate how two related metal alloys, cobalt monosilicide and rhodium monosilicide, can convert light into electric current efficiently thanks to their topology. These findings utilize the pioneering theories of Charlie Kane, Christopher H.

Liang Wu selected for 2020 OCPA Outstanding Young Researcher Award (Macronix Prize)

Liang Wu, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, was selected for the prestigious Outstanding Young Researcher Award (Macronix Prize) by the International Organization of Chinese Physicists and Astronomers (OCPA). The award "is given annually to one to two physicist(s) and/or astronomer(s) of Chinese ethnicity working in North America, Europe, or other regions outside Asia, to encourage and recognize the young researcher’s contributions in physics or astronomy." Prof.