Professor Cullen Blake Discusses the Pluto Flyby and "Earth's Twin."

Hunting for Planets


“Pluto is the best known member of a class of objects that lurk in the exterior of our solar system,” says Cullen Blake, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy. “Before the New Horizons photos, we conceived of these planets as big, dirty balls of ice. Now we realize that they are not featureless and barren because they have mountains and canyons on the surface...”


To read the article in full by SAS Frontiers, visit 

Professor Alison Sweeney, "Diving Deep for Alternative Energy"

"When Alison Sweeney, an assistant professor in the School of Arts & SciencesDepartment of Physics and Astronomy, went scuba diving in Palau this summer, she wasn’t on vacation.

We Remember the Life of Emeritus Professor Howard Brody...

To view the obituary in full of Dr. Brody, visit


Contributions in his memory may be made to: The University of Pennsylvania Lisa Lin Brody Foley Fund

Professor Ron Donagi: PI in New Simons Foundation Collaboration

Congratulations to Prof. Ron Donagi, of Mathematics and Physics & Astronomy, who is the deputy Director of a new Simons Collaboration on "Homological Mirror Symmetry”. This collaboration will be directed by Prof. Tony Pantev of the Mathematics department.


Physics Professor Vijay Balasubramanian: PI in New Simons Foundation Collaboration

The Simons Foundation has selected for support the Simons Collaboration entitled, "It from Qubit: Quantum Fields, Gravity and Information", from hundreds of proposals that they received. Professor Vijay Balasubramanian is the Penn PI on this collaboration, which aims to use insights from quantum information theory and quantum computing to make progress on the deep question of reconciling the laws of quantum mechanics and of gravitation.

Nader Enghetta announced as a National Security Science and Engineering Fellow

The Department of Defense (DoD) recently announced the selection of seven distinguished university faculty scientists and engineers forming the next new class of National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellows (NSSEFF).

Congratulations to Ms. Xingting Gong, finalist for APS LeRoy Apker Award

Congratulations to one of our talented undergraduate students, Ms. Xingting Gong, who has been chosen as a finalist for this year’s APS LeRoy Apker Award for achievement in physics as an undergraduate.

Congratulations Roy and Diana Vagelos Science Challenge Award 2015-2016 Recipients

Elizabeth J. Dresselhaus, Physics and Electrical Engineering

 Alex Y. Liao, Physics and Computer Science in SEAS  

Ashley N. Sartoris, Biochemistry and Physics 

Chunzi Song, Biochemistry and Biophysics



Congratulations to Ann Hermundstad for her Burroughs Wellcome Fund Award!

Ann was awarded this grant for her work on emergent neural function and the natural world.

The Department of Physics & Astronomy and School of Engineering Team Up to Show How Liquid Crystals Can Form Compounds Lenses

The study was led by Francesca Serra and Mohamed Amine Gharbi, postdoctoral researchers in theDepartment of Physics & Astronomy in the School of Arts & Sciences, along with Kathleen Stebe, deputy dean for research and a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the