Department of Physics and Astronomy

Chemistry and Physics Professors Receive NSF CAREER Awards

April 09, 2021
Two rising stars in the sciences have received prestigious CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program recognizes junior faculty who conduct outstanding research, are excellent educators and include education or community outreach in their work.

Army Awards $1.5M to Study Emergent Computation

March 19, 2021
The U.S. Department of Defense's Army Research Office has awarded $1.5 million to James Crutchfield, professor of physics in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, and his colleagues to advance our understanding of how to predict and program emergent behavior.

Simulations Reveal Signs of Galaxy Mergers in Milky Way Disk

March 09, 2021
Some of the Milky Way’s oldest stars have been spotted in a surprising place — the disk that is our galaxy’s youngest region. Supercomputer simulations of their orbits suggest these metal-poor stars came from a smaller galaxy that slammed into the Milky Way more than 7 billion years ago.

Researchers Share in Multicampus Grants in the Sciences and Humanities

February 16, 2021
The UC Office of the President recently awarded around $19 million total for Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives (MRPI) in agriculture, the coronavirus, humanities and culture, state policy on social and economic issues, and the Electron-Ion Collider.

Observing Dusty Galaxies in the Early Universe

October 27, 2020

Astronomers are getting a look at the dusty part of the distant universe with a huge field of  telescopes in the high, dry Atacama desert of Chile. New results are telling us about the structure of the distant universe and yielding surprises about the evolution of galaxies.

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA, collects infrared light, so astronomers can learn more about distant galaxies as well as picking up objects that they could not see at all in the visible or ultraviolet spectrum.

Exploring the Physics of Information

October 05, 2020
Information has become increasingly important in how we understand our world, from sprawling social networks to the tiniest building blocks of matter. The idea that information underlies reality has long fascinated physicist Fabio Anza, a postdoctoral fellow at the Complexity Sciences Center who researches quantum mechanics and quantum information theory.

New Name for Physics Department

September 30, 2020
The Department of Physics has changed its name to the Department of Physics and Astronomy to better reflect its breadth of teaching and faculty expertise.