Physics & Astronomy News

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 For the first time a distant spiral galaxy is being observed as it existed roughly three billion years after the Big Bang. "As you go back in time to the early universe, galaxies look really strange, clumpy and irregular, not symmetric," said Alice Shapley, a UCLA associate professor of physics and astronomy, and co-author of the study. "The vast majority of old galaxies look like train wrecks. Our first thought was, why is this one so different, and so beautiful?" Read More
Thursday, July 5, 2012 Astronomers report a baffling discovery never seen before: An extraordinary amount of dust around a nearby star has mysteriously disappeared. "It's as if the rings around Saturn had disappeared," said co-author Benjamin Zuckerman, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy. "This is even more shocking because the dusty disc of rocky debris was bigger and much more massive than Saturn's rings. The disc around this star, if it were in our solar system, would have extended from the sun halfway out to Earth, near the orbit of Mercury." Read More
Thursday, June 21, 2012 Edward L. (Ned) Wright, a professor of physics and astronomy and principal investigator of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, today was named a recipient of the 2012 Gruber Cosmology Prize, along with other scientists who made major contributions to the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP). Wright and his colleagues will be honored in Beijing on Aug. 21 for their observations and analyses that have provided rigorous measurements of the age, content, geometry and origin of the universe. Read More
Friday, June 1, 2012 David Jewitt of ESS and Physics & Astronomy was awarded two prizes during the same week: The 2012 Shaw Prize in Astronomy, which he shares with Professor Jane Luu of MIT, and the Kavli Prize in Astrophysics, also shared with Dr. Luu, as well as Michael Brown of Caltech. Professor Jewitt is recognized for his role in the 1993 discovery of the more than 1 billion objects in the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 Andrea Ghez, professor of Physics and Astronomy has been elected to the American Philosophical Society, the country's oldest learned society, which recognizes extraordinary achievements in science, letters and the arts. Since 1995, Ghez has used the W.M. Keck Observatory, which sits atop Hawaii's dormant Mauna Kea volcano and houses the two largest telescopes in the world, to study the rotational center of the Milky Way and the movement of hundreds of stars close to this galactic center. Read More
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 The April 17, 2012 issue of Scientific American features an article by UCLA professor of physics and astronomy Zvi Bern and colleagues about the ways in which new discoveries of how ordinary particles behave under extreme conditions at the Large Hadron Collider have helped scientists in their search for exotic particles and forces and have breathed new life into the search for a unified theory. Read More