physics

Quasars may answer how starburst galaxies were extinguished

Observations suggest quasars may starve galaxies of energy needed to form stars
University of Iowa astronomers have located quasars inside four dusty starburst galaxies. The discovery may explain why this type of galaxy, where huge numbers of stars were once created, ceased making stars.
Usha Mallik portrait

A quark like no other

UI physicist Usha Mallik searches for ‘bottom quark’ that could confirm existence of ‘God particle’
University of Iowa physicist Usha Mallik is at the forefront of the search to confirm the existence of a particle believed to give mass to all matter. Her group helped build and operates a sub-detector to search for bottom quarks, which are thought to appear when a Higgs boson decays.

Honors UI alumnus and climate scientist James Hansen honored by BBVA Foundation

University of Iowa alumnus and climate science pioneer James Hansen has received the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Climate Change for his contributions to climate science. He and Princeton University scientist Syukuro Manabe were jointly recognized for constructing the first computational models to simulate climate behavior.
cassini instrument

UI readies for Cassini finale

Radio and plasma instrument designed and built at UI may provide clues about Saturn’s auroras, thunderstorms
University of Iowa space scientists are readying for the final phases of NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn. They hope to learn more about Saturn’s auroras, thunderstorms, and rings from a radio- and plasma-wave instrument designed and built at the UI.
aurora borealis, northern lights

Bringing Earth's light show down to earth

UI graduate student in physics and astronomy builds instrument to study how northern lights are produced
Jim Schroeder, a graduate student in physics and astronomy, has built an instrument to study the physical principles that produce the northern lights. Schroeder will use his $126,000 fellowship from the National Science Foundation to test his instrument this month at UCLA.
big bang illustration

Universe’s birth just a detection away

UI researchers design and build high-energy detector to learn about hot plasma after the Big Bang
A high-energy physics group, led by Yasar Onel and Jane Nachtman at the University of Iowa, has designed and built a sub-detector to better understand what happened immediately after the universe’s birth. The Zero Degree Calorimeter measures particles’ shower, which mimics hot plasma created right after the Big Bang.
Jake McCoy in clean room

Master tinkerer

UI graduate student lands NASA fellowship to create sophisticated space X-ray instrument
A University of Iowa physics graduate student has won a coveted NASA fellowship. Jake McCoy is building a sophisticated tool that may help astrophysicists locate missing matter in the cosmos through X-rays emitted by dark, distant areas in space.
TBD

What caused Martian desiccation?

University of Iowa researchers involved in NASA announcement of what happened to Mars' water and atmosphere
Mars has been all over the news, from the finding of seasonal water on the Red Planet to the successful film “The Martian.” Now, researchers, including those at the UI, have learned more about what happened to Mars’ climate since it was a warm, watery planet billions of years ago.

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