Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to Gravitational Wave Pioneers

On October 3, 2017, the Nobel Committee for Physics announced the 2017 laureates for the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics.  Rainer Weiss (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Kip Thorne (Caltech) and Barry Barish (Caltech) have been formally recognized “for decisive contributions to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detector and the observation of gravitational waves.” Weiss will receive one half of the award; Thorne and Barish will share the other half.

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Professor Charles Misner and Gravity

Professor Emeritus Charles Misner, long an expert in the study of gravity, spent a week this summer at the University of Cambridge as an invited participant in the celebration of Stephen Hawking's 75th birthday.  Prof. Misner's daughter Benedicte, who has known Stephen and Jane Hawking since she was a school girl near their home 50 years ago, joined in the festivities.

At a conference called Gravity2017 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Prof. Misner gave two short invited talks.  One was mostly on the early history as the black hole concept was beginning to gel, and one was on the question of what the Einstein equations might believably tell us about spacetime inside black holes.

The third project was writing (with Kip Thorne) an introduction to the forthcoming republication of their 1973 textbook, Gravitation.  After a long life, unrevised but always in print, this classic work was dropped by a publisher who had acquired it after many publishing mergers and acquisitions and mistakenly only advertised it in their Chemistry catalog.  Princeton University Press then obtained rights to the book (popularly called “MTW”, after its authors Misner, Thorne and John Archibald Wheeler) and will reprint it as a $60 cloth bound volume on October 24.

Prof. Misner was also quoted in Nature on the 2017 Nobel Prize announcement.  His student Richard Isaacson (Ph.D., 1967), was noted as an "unsung hero" of LIGO, along with Joe Weber and Alessandra Buonanno, in a separate article in Nature.

In an article published on Oct. 20, 2017, The Baltimore Sun spoke with Prof. Misner about the work of Joseph Weber.

Faculty Positions in Physics and Engineering

The University of Maryland College of Mathematical and Natural Sciences is home to major research efforts in quantum science through the Joint Quantum Institute and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science. As part of a new effort focused on quantum technology, the Department of Physics invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position in atomic, molecular and optical physics. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering seeks candidates for a similar position. 

Only applications accepted through the links below will be considered:



In addition, the Department of Physics' Experimental High Energy Physics group seeks applications for a new position in experimental particle physics:

Manucharyan Cited by DARPA

Vladimir Manucharyan has received a 2017 Young Faculty Award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Prof. Manucharyan's proposal, "Multi-terminal hybrid semiconductor/superconductor junctions", is aimed at developing devices to serve as robust building blocks of a topological quantum computer and act as test beds for topological effects predicted in exotic materials.

Dr. Manucharyan, the Alford Ward Assistant Professor of Physics, received his Ph.D. in 2010 from Yale Univerity and was a Junior Fellow at Harvard University before his 2014 arrival at UMD, where he is a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute and a member of the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials. In 2015, he received a Sloan Research Fellowship and NSF CAREER Award.