Department News

Physics Professor Duncan Lorimer named Associate Dean for External Research and Development

Stepping down from his role as associate chair of the physics department, Duncan Lorimer has now been named Associate Dean for External Research and Development! He will take up this role from Spring 2019. You can read further about his appointment here:

2018 Physics Nobel Illuminates us with “Tools made of light”

 Article by physics Professor Alan Bristow

American Association of Physics Teachers Appalachian Section Meeting 2018

The American Association of Physics Teachers will be holding its 2018 Appalachian Section Meeting at the department of Physics and Astronomy from 12-13 October this year. To register or read about this event, please follow this link. 

A Triple Star System: Putting Gravity to the Test

WVU professor Duncan Lorimer, along with an international team of astronomers, have used a triple star system consisting of a neutron star and two white dwarfs to test Einstein's age-old theory of gravity, general relativity. Read the full article here:

Yet again, Einstein's theory passes the test with flying colors

WVU graduate physics program ranked 100th in U.S. News graduate rankings

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.— The Department of Physics and Astronomy at West Virginia University is ranked no. 100 in the U.S. News & World Report’s latest rankings of graduate programs.

Will Armentrout Wins 3-Minute Thesis Competition

William Armentrout won the Office of Graduate Education and Life’s annual Three-Minute Thesis Competition, in which 12 doctoral students from across the University competed.  Will's talk was titled  “A User’s Guide to Mapping Our Galaxy Far, Far Away.”  He is advised by Loren Anderson.  As part of Will's dissertation, he has conducted numerous surveys of Milky Way HII regions, the ionized nebulae surrounding massive stars.  During the course of these surveys, he discovered a population of extremely distant star formation regions at the edge of the Galaxy.  Will has led numerous followup observations to characterize this distant population with telescopes around the world, including the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii, the Large Magellanic Telescope in Mexico, the Very Large Array in New Mexico, and the Green Bank Telescope here in West Virginia.  He will defend his thesis this summer before beginning a postdoctoral position at the Green Bank Observatory.

U.S. Energy Dept's $7M promotes ZAPP to CAPP, benefitting ongoing WVU Physics and Astronomy research

A dozen scientists gather each afternoon on Albuquerque’s Kirtland Air Force Base, in Sandia National Laboratories, awaiting the bright flash and unmistakable floor jolt that accompanies the daily lightning bolt known as a Z shot. WVU physics professor Mark Koepke, his postdoc, and his students take advantage of approximately twenty Z shots per year to feed their passion for studying the physical principles that govern extreme astrophysical environments through the laboratory study of high-energy-density physics. 

Ned Flagg Wins Eberly College Outstanding Teacher Award

This year, Prof. Ned Flagg of the Physics department has been awarded with the Eberly College Outstanding Teachers Award. See the official announcement by following this link.