physics and astronomy

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.
galactic center image

UI undergrads working at forefront of space science

Since the 1950s, the University of Iowa has given undergraduates the opportunity to work with top space scientists to build instruments that have travelled throughout our solar system and beyond. That hands-on experience has landed Hawkeyes jobs with NASA and prepared them for success in many other important industries.
Erin Maier portrait

Graduating UI senior takes ‘roundabout’ journey to astronomy

Erin Maier to pursue graduate studies in astronomy and astrophysics
In her first year at the University of Iowa, Erin Maier took an astronomy class on a whim. Now, after receiving numerous grants and assembling a UI telescope in the Arizona desert, she’s graduating with a Bachelor of Science in physics and astronomy and will soon pursue a doctorate.
artemis mission

Lunar sonic booms

UI scientist gives talk about mini shock waves on the moon at major scientific meeting
University of Iowa physicist Jasper Halekas discussed new findings about the physics surrounding mini shock waves produced on the moon at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco on Dec. 14. The findings come from NASA’s ARTEMIS mission, of which Halekas is the deputy principal investigator.

Honors Howes honored for plasma physics paper

Gregory Howes, associate professor in physics and astronomy, has received an award for his paper published in the journal “Physics of Plasmas.” Howes and collaborators were the first group to run supercomputer simulations of the kinetic turbulence in solar wind. He’ll receive the award on Nov. 2.

Quantum drag

UI physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet
A study by Michael Flatte proposes that a current in one iron magnetic sheet creates a current in a separate sheet. The finding could be important in the emerging field of spintronics, which seeks to channel energy from spin waves generated by electrons to create smaller, more energy-efficient electronic devices.
bill kurth in office with jupiter backdrop and instrument model

Jupiter rendezvous

UI instrument, researchers involved in NASA’s Juno mission
On Independence Day, a NASA spacecraft entered Jupiter’s orbit, and the University of Iowa had an instrument along for the ride. The Plasma Waves Instrument, designed and built at the UI, will sample plasma waves and learn how Jupiter’s intense auroras are produced.
james wetzel portrait

Get to Know...James Wetzel

Physics graduate and research assistant builds miniature replica of world's most advanced particle detector
James Wetzel, a native Iowan and research assistant in physics and astronomy, has been building miniature replicas, to exacting specifications, of the world’s most advanced particle detector. The UI physics graduate used a bank of 3-D printers to create models of the Compact Muon Solenoid detector.

Media Advisory: NASA to announce new findings on fate of Mars’ atmosphere

UI scientist Jasper Halekas is lead investigator on instrument aboard MAVEN spacecraft
Jasper Halekas, a space scientist at the University of Iowa, will be a panelist in a NASA news briefing on Thursday, Nov. 5, in which the agency will provide details of a significant finding in its ongoing exploration of Mars.
Liza Casella, 17, works with University of Iowa physics graduate student Patrick Wilcox (not pictured) at Van Allen Hall on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Casella's research is conducted through the UI Belin-Blank Center's Secondary Student Training Program.

Iowa City Press Citizen 17-year-old student researches telescopes, gamma rays

Telescopes for peeking at showers of light sparked by high-energy gamma rays have been a focus for Iowa City home-schooled student Liza Casella. For the past month, she has conducted research with UI astronomy and physics professor Philip Kaaret as part of the UI Belin-Blank Center’s Secondary Student Training Program.