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Department News and Colloquium

Department News

Nobel Prize

2017 Nobel Prize in Physics

    This year’s Nobel prize is awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves. This is a field closely related to the research of Prashanth Jaikumar of our department and our latest hire, Thomas Klaehn. Have a look at the official Nobel Prize page. Congratulations to the remarkable vision and courage in pursuing this endeavor!


MS Alumn co-author of a Science paper!

    Alumn Sam Hedges (MS in Applied Physics, 2015) is coauthor of a paper in Science Magazine entitled "Observation of coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering", (Science, Vol. 357, Issue 6356, p. 1123, Sept. 15, 2017, DOI: 10.1126/science.aap9023). The paper made the cover of the prestigious journal. We are proud of your achievement Sam!


Z. Papp and the department celebrate!

    We celebrated the 60th birthday of one of our most popular colleagues Zoltán Papp on Sept. 29. Boldog születésnapot!


2018 Conference on Undergraduate Women in Physics

    A Conference of Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWIP) will be held January 12 – 14, 2018 at Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona College, and Harvey Mudd. See the website of the conference for more information.


PhysTEC Open House 2017

    Saturday Sept. 23, 2017 the PhysTEC team C. Kwon, L. Henriques, G. Pickett and this year's teacher in residence (TIR) T. Araya organized the event. A talk on spintronics, hands-on experiments, a brunch with panel discussion with undergraduate and graduate students and a visit of experimental labs. It was a great experience and a large gathering. Twelve visiting physics high school teachers with their students for a total of about 60 participants.


2017 KEMP Symposium

    The afternoon following the CNSM Student Research Symposium the departments of Physics & Astronomy and of Chemistry & Biochemistry hosted the Keck Energy Materials Program (KEMP) symposium. There were thought provoking talks on the physics and chemistry of nanodes and cathodes for new batteries for energy storage, the physics of magnetic topological insulators, the chemistry & physics of catalysts, and thermoelectricity.


CNSM Student Research Symposium 2017

    116 CNSM students presented their research results and a total of 675 students and faculty participated in the Symposium. The department of Physics & Astronomy was well represented for this size of its faculty members. 17 posters from 8 groups presenting the research with 25 students as co-authors. To all who have contributed: Thank you!


Solar Eclipse at CSU Long Beach

    Join us in viewing the 2017 North American Solar Eclipse! Solar telescopes will be located at the border between Parking Lot 16 and Hillside College lawn. Eclipse viewing glasses will also be available. Contact the department office for more information.


Not everything has equal value

    Sound history, sociology, psychology, religion, science and not the least our own department's living example all make clear that nazis, white supremacists, racists are no alternative. They are unequivocally wrong.

Irene Howard and grandson

Irene Howard, Our Department Coordinator, Retires

    Irene Howard was a faithful servant to our department and University for the last 39 years. Her last day was Friday June 30, 2017. On May 12, the department faculty, students, and staff expressed their gratitude to Irene during a luncheon at the CSULB Japanese Garden. It has been a great pleasure to have her lead the department office for so many years. Irene has not only been very efficient and knowledgeable. She has also greatly influenced the mood and atmosphere of all by her positive attitude, her ability to always be friendly irrespective of the person who addressed her, to search for solutions and walk the additional mile rather than complain about additional work, to have an open ear to all. These are remarkable features of her personality that few can claim to have. Thank you Irene! We wish you a fulfilling and joyful retirement!

CSULB graduates

Congratulations to our new Alumni!

    We have again beaten our own graduation record and remain one of the largest Master's granting institution in the nation. Congratulations to all students and best wishes for their future!

Prashanth Jaikumar

Congratulations! Prof. Prashanth Jaikumar receives the 2016-17 CSULB Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award.

    This is a prestigious award that only one or two members of our University receive each year. Prof. Jaikumar joined the department in 2009 and has been remarkably prolific in his research. He is also recipient of multiple research grants, the most recent being one from the National Science Foundation. (see earlier news). He advised many students for their Master's thesis and is a great mentor of the APS Bridge Program and the Cal-Bridge Program. He presently is director of graduate studies and associate chair of the department.

Dany Atallah

Congratulations! Dany Atallah receives the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

    Dany Atallah received the very competitive Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Dany is finishing his undergraduate studies at our department and is a Cal Bridge Student (mentors: Prof. T. Gredig at CSULB, Prof. A. Barth at UC Irvine). Dany received multiple offers from Ph.D. programs and has decided to join the prestigious department of Physics at Northwestern University (Chicago, Illinois) this coming Fall. Please congratulate Dany when you see him!

Chuhee Kwon

Professor Kwon is APS Woman Physicist of the Months

    The American Physical Society conferred to Professor Chuhee Kwon, former department chair, the Woman Physicist of the Month Award in December 2016. The program highlights exceptional female physicists. The award recognizes female physicists who have positively impacted other individuals' lives and careers. More information can be found on the APS webpage.

Nobel Prize

2016 Nobel Prize in Physics

    This year's prize is a surprise, though clearly deserved! It was awarded to D.J. Thouless, F.D.M. Haldane and J. M. Kosterlitz for their theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter. This is a field closely related to the research of Michael Peterson in our department. Have a look at the official Nobel Prize page. Congratulations to these outstanding physicists!

Society of Physics Students

Society of Physics Students New Leadership

    The SPS 2016-2017 Administration list has been updated. Joseph Guzman is now the SPS President and Dion Blackshire the new Vice President. For more information on these and other officer positions please visit the SPS website at or click on the SPS tab at the top.

Chuhee Kwon

Thank you to Professor Chuhee Kwon!

    Professor Chuhee Kwon has led with great abilities, energy and sensibility the department of Physics & Astronomy at CSU Long Beach from 2010 to 2016. We are very grateful for her involvement and leadership in this position. Prof. Kwon started a well-deserved difference in pay leave for the academic year 2016-2017. She will use this time to design the next chapter of her life, with new research projects and responsibilities. Thank you for serving the department so well. Andreas Bill is taking over the task as chair of the department.

The Cosmos

Observatory Open House - Friday Aug. 26

    You are invited to observe the night sky with the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Whether permitting come and join us on Friday, August 26th, from 8:00 - 9:00 pm. We will be viewing planets, binary stars, and seasonal deep sky objects with telescopes on the roof of the hall of science. You can access the HSCI roof by using the outdoor staircase on the west end of the building. Family members are welcome.

students taking a test

Southern California Physics GRE Boot Camp

    This year for the first time the CPAPC Physics GRE Boot Camp will not take place at CSULB. You are invited to join for the boot camp organized at UC San Diego on August 13-14, 2016. Further information can be found on the website. Registration deadline is July 29, 2016.

Prashanth Jaikumar

Prof. Prashanth Jaikumar obtains an NSF research award to study neutron star oscillations

    Prashanth Jaikumar obtained a highly competitive research award in Nuclear Theory and Astrophysics from the National Science Foundation. The award supports theoretical and computational research on neutron star oscillations and gravitational waves, as well as related outreach activities. He will study how quark matter inside neutron stars affects their spectrum of oscillation modes. The department congratulates Prashanth Jaikumar for this award!

Amethyst Radcliffe

Recent CSULB Physics Department Alumni Amethyst Radcliffe featured in APS News for her thin film discoveries

Physics graduates, class of 2016

Largest B.S. and M.S. graduating classes in Physics

    The undergraduate and graduate programs of the department of Physics & Astronomy are thriving! This year about 50 students will graduate with a Bachelor in Science and 20 students will graduate with a Master's in Physics. For three years in a row the Master's program has the largest graduating cohort in Physics of the United States and this year's cohort almost doubled. The undergraduate cohort is also the largest of all the 23 CSUs. It is the fifth most productive program of all Universities in California, only behind Berkeley, UCLA, UCSB and UCSC. For the success of the program, the department of Physics & Astronomy obtained this year's "Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education" from the American Physical Society.

Zack Hall III

Physics student Zack Hall III receives the CSULB Graduate Research Fellowship

    Zack Hall III (Physics & Astronomy, APS Bridge student) received this year's Graduate Research Fellowship. Zack is a student of the graduate program and a Bridge Student of the American Physical Society. Zack is doing research in the group of Professor P. Jaikumar on "Non-Radial Oscillations of Compact Stars in General Relativity". Congratulations on this achievement!

Jessica Asbell

Jessica Asbell wins the 30th Annual CSU wide Student Research Competition

    Jessica won first place for her research on "Non-Radial Fluid Pulsation Modes of Neutron Stars and Strange Quark Stars" in Physical and Mathematical Sciences (Graduate) at the statewide competition that took place in Bakersfield, April 30-May 1, 2016. Jessica Asbell is a graduate student in the group of Prof. P. Jaikumar. Congratulations to Jessica and her advisor for this outstanding achievement!

Galen Pickett

Galen Pickett wins the Mayfield Award

    Each year the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Student Council hosts the Mayfield Balloting event to allow students to recognize and vote for a favorite faculty member. Our faculty member, Galen Pickett, has won this year's award. Please congratulate Dr. Pickett when you meet him!

M. Peterson obtains an NSF research award to study topological ordered phases of matter

    Michael Peterson obtained a highly competitive research award in Condensed Matter & Materials Theory from the National Science Foundation. The award supports theoretical and computational research and education on new electronic states of matter in two dimensions. He will study the strange collective behavior of strongly correlated electrons that are for example foreseen as possible building blocks for the construction of quantum computers. Congratulate Mike Peterson for this award!

Katy Wimberly

Congratulations! M.K. Wimberly received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

    Katy Wimberly received the very competitive Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Katy is a Cal Bridge Student and in our Master's program. She did her undergraduate studies in our department. She will join the PhD program of the department of Physics & Astronomy at UC Irvine this coming Fall. Please congratulate Katy when you see her!

Making Physics Fun, More Diverse

    Inside CSULB published an article March 15, 2016 featuring the department and some of its students. The article shows ways in which the department makes physics not only a serious but also a fun activity and how we work to increase the number of women and minorities who successfully study Physics. Read the Inside CSULB article here.

CSULB Student Research Competition: Congratulations!

    Congratulations to all 7 Physics students who presented at the competition for their excellent presentations. In addition, Congratulations to Jessica Asbell (group of P. Jaikumar) who won the Competition in the Physical Sciences & Mathematics, to Daniel Diaz (Z. Papp) who won third place in the same category, and to Brendan Kawata (group of J. Kiesel; Science Education) for his third place in the category Education. (See the complete comment on LinkedIn, CSULB Physics Alumni Group).

LIGO detects colliding Black Holes, confirms Einstein's prediction of Gravitational Waves!

ORSP Student Research Assistantships - Deadline March 7.

    ORSP and Academic Affairs announce the scholarships to encourage student participation in a broad range of scholarly and academic activities during the Summer 2016.

David Ronquillo in the News!

New Undergraduate Advisor

    Since the start of Spring 2016 Dr. Jiyeong Gu is the new undergraduate advisor of the department. She replaces Dr. Galen Pickett who had this role for many years. We are grateful to Dr. Pickett for his work towards improving our undergraduate studies both in the department and the College and University level! We welcome Jiyeong Gu in her new role! Click here to make an appointment.

APS Far West

Annual Meeting of the APS Far West Section

2015 Future Science Teacher Award

    Congratulations to Justin Fournier, an alumni of our department (B.S. 2014), of the department of Science Education (Physics & Chemistry credential 2015) and of the College of the Arts (B.A. in theater arts 2006) received the 2015 Future Science Teacher Award from the California Science Teachers Association. Read the article here.

Nobel Prize in Physics

    T. Kajita (Tokyo University, Japan) and A. McDonald (Queen's University, Canada) share this year's Nobel prize in Physics for their experimental work on neutrino charge identity. Congratulations!

SoCal GRE Boot Camp Aug. 28,29 at CSULB

    The now traditional southern California GRE Boot Camp organized by CSU Long Beach and CPAPC will take place on August 28, 29, 2015. The camp is organized primarily for under-represented groups of the population in physics. Please see the website of the meeting for more information.

Claudia Ojeda-Aristizabal New faculty: Claudia Ojeda-Aristizabal

    We are pleased to welcome Professor Ojeda-Aristizabal among the faculty members at our department! Claudia is coming from UC Berkeley where she was a postdoc. She did her PhD at the Université Paris XI (Orsay) and is a native from Colombia. Claudia is an experimental physicist working in the field of quantum phenomena in nanoscale layered structures. We are glad about this much needed addition to our department faculty!


    The department of Physics together with the department of Chemistry has obtained substantial funding to create the Keck Energy and Materials Research Program (KEMP). This interdisciplinary program focuses on Materials Research and the development of a Materials Science Degree Option. Congratulations to T. Gredig and M. Peterson who are co-PIs of the grant with X. Bu, S. Derakhshan and Y-S. Shon from Chemistry!

The Koondies Learning Platform Featured in Online Journal.

    The Koondies learning platform developed by Profs. Hlousek, Gredig, and Pickett was featured in a recent issue of online journal Campus Technology.

Prof. Kwon is one of nine recipients of the 2015 Alumni Grants Program

    sponsored by the CSULB Alumni Association to purchase solar telescopes for Astronomy classes.

Tony Torres - 40 years on staff at the department

    The Faculty members and students wish to congratulate Tony Torres for his years of service at CSU Long Beach and at the department of Physics & Astronomy in particular. Tony started in 1975 and witnessed the transformation of the University over the years to its present form. If you meet Tony in the corridors or the issue room, don't forget to congratulate him for his service to the department and University!

Natalie Brown Rocked the APS Presentations

    Natalie Brown, masters student, wins 1st place for the Kenny Reed Award for graduate theory at the recent APS Far West section meeting in Reno, NV. Congrats, Natalie!

Wendy Chavez and Maria Rodriguez present their summer research at the CAMPARE symposium

    The CAMPARE program provides paid summer research opportunities in the field of Astronomy and Astrophysics for motivated undergraduate students from under-represented groups in Physics. Contact Dr. Jaikumar for details.

Melynda Jaramillo, John McCord and Kevin Ngo selected for NASA internships

    Student Independent Research Internships (SIRI) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory give our students cutting-edge research experience in space research as a component of their academic program, while helping them make informed career choices.

Our Own Dr. Andreas Bill was quoted in a Physics Today Article.

    Click the above title to read it for yourself.

GRE Bootcamp, Hosted by CSULB Phsycis and Astronomy Department

    The 4th annual CPAPC/CSULB GRE Boot camp is meant primarily for under-represented students in Physics from CSU campuses in their junior/senior year who intend to apply for PhD programs. However, it is open to all students at local CSU and UC campuses.

The department of Physics & Astronomy has been selected... one of four APS Bridge Sites by the American Physical Society. The other sites are Florida State U, The Ohio State U, and the U of South Florida who join bridge programs preexisting the APS Bridge Program of Columbia U, Fisk-Vanderbilt, MIT and U. of Michigan. The project aims at building bridges between our Master's and undergraduate program with PhD schools across the country for students belonging to underrepresented groups of the population in Physics. Funding has been supplied to both CSULB and FSU for the development of the Bridge Program, read the whole ASP article.

CSULB Physics and Astronomy Department Tops National Ranking

An excellent news!

    The Physics & Astronomy Department is recognized as the largest physics Master's-Granting Departments in the U.S. Table 1 in the page 4 of the report shows that the department awards the annual average of 12 MS degrees in classes of 2010, 2011 & 2012 combined.

Undergraduate physics major Stephanie Sodergren has won the Alumni Association's 2014 CNSM Outstanding Graduate Award
Stephanie Sodergren

In addition to a 4.0 GPA, Stephanie has also completed honors thesis "Switchable Plasmonic Circuits using VO2 Metal-Insulator Phase Transition" in the Nano-optics group (advisor Y. Abate). The Nano-optics group and the department of physics and astronomy congratulates Stephanie for a fantastic job well done!

William Hutzel won the first place and Khang Nguyen received the honorable mention in the CSULB student research competition.

    William will represent the university in the CSU research competition, May 2-3, CSU East Bay.

Roy Ready is the winner in the Annual Internship Essay Competition

    A compitition sponsored by the CSULB Career Development Center. As the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics winner, he receives the $500 award at the Essay Contest Awards and the certificate.

Galen Pickett's origami art

    Professor Galen Pickett's two origami art pieces are accepted to the 2014 Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM) Exhibition of Mathematical Art to be held in Baltimore, Maryland, January 15-18, 2014.

Congratulations to Thomas E. Baker

    (former student of Prof. Bill). He won the Kennedy Reed Award for Best Theoretical Research by a graduate student (Nov. 2013). The research has been done during his Master's thesis in our group and is related to the work submitted recently.

CSULB in the Orange County Register

Nobel Prize in Physics:

    François Englert and Peter W. Higgs receive the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.

In Memoriam of Slobodan Bob Stankovic
Slobodan Bob Stankovic

It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of our colleague and friend Slobodan Bob Stankovic, Faculty Lecturer at the department of Physics and Astronomy. Bob unexpectedly passed away on Friday May 31, 2013. Read the epitaph here.

Physics GRE Bootcamp (Aug. 23,24)

Public Talk (Aug 15, 16): Curiosity's First Year on Mars

    Ashwin Vasavada, Mars Science Laboratory Deputy Project Scientists, Thursday, Aug. 15 at von Karman Auditorium (JPL, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena) and Friday, Aug. 16 at Pasadena City College's Vosloh Forum. (1570 E. Colorado Blvd) 7 p.m. von Karman Lecture Series for more information.

Peer to Peer Instruction Summer Workshop - July 11, 2013 - 11:30am-3:30pm - HSCI-102

    The departments of Physics & Astronomy and Science Education invite you to the Peer to Peer Instruction Summer Workshop. The workshop is free, and lunch is provided. Please register at: More information is found on the calendar.

Southern California Condensed Matter Theory Meeting

    This meeting is organized by Drs. A.Bill, M. Peterson and S. Haas (USC) Friday April 12, 2013 from 12-6pm in HSCI-102. Eight talks will be given, among which one by Dr. Peterson. The program, abstract and other information can be found on the meeting webpage.

Spring Fellows Colloquium

  • Dr. P. Jaikumar is one of two featured guest speakers at this years fellows colloquium on, Cosmic Secrets Unlocked - The Bright and Dark Sides of Our Universe, Thursday March 14, 2013, RSVP online by March 9th at

PhysTEC Open House:


  • The mission of the Cal-Bridge program is to increase the number of California State University (CSU) students completing their bachelor's degree and successfully entering a PhD program to study astronomy or a closely related field (e.g., planetary science).
    Click here to obtain more information on Cal-Bridge


  • The CAMPARE program is a network of Community Colleges and comprehensive universities in California from which students are recruited to participate in undergraduate research projects for 10 weeks in the summer. Students are paid a stipend; travel and housing expenses are also included.
    Click here to obtain more information about CAMPARE

5th CNSM Faculty Research Symposium:

Congradulations to our Faculty:

Congratulations to our Alumni:

  • Firuz Demir, Alumni of our department just finished his PhD in Physics at Simon Fraser University, Canada.
  • Joe Day, Alumni of the department and PhD student at University of Graz, Austria will come give the colloquium talk on February 11, 2013!

Congratulation to our SPS!

  • The CSULB Society of Physics Students (SPS) is recognized as 2012 Outstanding Chapter! Congratulation to the president Julia Meiner, all participating students and the SPS advisor Dr. T. Gredig for a lively SPS and for all its activities!

New PhysTEC teacher in residence.

Congratulations to our students for obtaining the following awards:

  • Tom Baker won the 2012 CSU wide Student Research Competition in Physical Sciences & Mathematics.
  • Sarah E. Grefe - CSULB Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Sam Koshy - 2011, NASA Graduate Student Award.
  • Jill Pestana, Stephanie Sodergren - NASA summer research internship.
  • Tom Baker - CSULB Graduate Research Fellowship and Philip Ord Johnson awards.
  • Brandon Kawata - John and Terry Milligan award.
  • Chris Safranski - Philip Ord Johnson award.
  • Daniel Javier - Richard and Florence Scalettar Scholarship.
  • Matthew Werber and Anastasia Woo - Richard Scalettar Special Scholarship.
  • Ralph Damato - Simon George Physics Scholarship.
  • Brian Flores, Victoria Marsh, Hanming Yuan, Ramsey Noah and Ryan Hashi - Physics Department Scholarship Fund.
  • Daniel Javier – Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Fellow

GRE Boot Camp, 2012.

  • The department hosted its second Physics GRE Boot Camp on May 19-20, 2012. The weekend was organized by the California Professoriate for Access to Physics Careers (CPAPC). Thirty-two students attended the preparation camp and faculty members from UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, UC Riverside, UC Irvine and UC San Diego came to present their respective PhD programs and participated in a Question & Answer session with students.

Nasa Graduate Award, 2012.

  • Graduate student Sam Koshy obtained for the second time a NASA Graduate Student Award. Sam is the only student from a non-PhD granting University to obtain this award this year!

CSULB Faculty recieved Award of Excellence, 2011.

  • One of our faculty, Andreas Bill, was awarded the 2011 Faculty Award for Excellence (aka the "Pretty Darn Good Professor award") of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Cali, Colombia, June 29-July 1, 2011.

Poster of international workshop co-organized by two faculty of the department (T.Gredig and A.Bill).

In 2010 the department had the largest number of Physics Master's students graduating among Master's granting institutions in the nation! See more news in our Physics & Astronomy Department Newsletter.

This Year's Nobel Prize

Nobel medal for the Nobel prize winners 2011The Nobel prize in Physics has been given to Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, and Adam G. Ries for "the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observation of distant supernovae". See the official website of the announcement.

The Nobel prize in Chemistry has been given to D. Shechtman for "the discovery of quasicrystals." See the official website of the announcement. Note: this topic is one of the semester projects offered in our Intro. to Solid State Physics class (PHYS-470/569).

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