Department of Physics and Astronomy News

Space.com: They’re Full of Stars! Students Find Densest Galaxies in the Universe

Space.com recently featured graduate student Michael Sandoval in this story. He and a colleague found what appear to be the densest galaxies ever seen–cosmic realms where the night sky would appear ablaze with stars from the surface of a planet. The duo discovered ultracompact dwarf galaxies while looking through archives of astronomy observations by several different observatories. They conducted the

Read more

Big South Fork hosting program to celebrate ‘blue moon’

Paul Lewis, director of UT’s planetarium and space science outreach, will lead an exploration of the blue moon–the second full moon in a calendar month–later this week. Lewis, along with rangers from the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will celebrate this occurrence during an 8:00 p.m. program July 31 at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center.

Read more

Teachers test egg drop, model rockets at UT aerospace workshop

Knoxville News Sentinel

The News Sentinel recently featured UT’s summer aerospace workshop that aims to help teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade bring STEM education into the classroom through hands-on activities such as egg drops, and building model planes and rockets. The paper also interviewed Paul Lewis, director of UT’s planetarium and space science outreach who teaches astronomy and model rocket

Read more

Physics Professor Finds that Phonons Boost Superconductivity in Iron Selenides

Assistant Professor Steven Johnston and his colleagues have found that given the right environment, an underdog superconductor can set records. The results of those efforts were published November 13 in a Nature Letter entitled “Interfacial mode coupling as the origin of the enhancement of Tc in FeSe films on SrTiO3.” To read more about the

Read more