Upcoming Dates
  • Dec 16: Fall Semester ends
  • Jan 15: Martin Luther King Day
  • Jan 15: Spring Semester begins
  • Mar 10–Mar 16: Spring Break
  • May 11: Spring Semester ends
  • May 27: Memorial Day
  • Jun 3: Summer Semester begins
  • Jun 19: Juneteenth
Peer Undergraduate Mentorship Program

Build connections within the physics and astronomy community at UNM


New Campus Observatory Proposed

Support our educational, research, and public outreach efforts

Student Prize Honoring Mansoor Sheik-Bahae

Distinguished Professor Mansoor Sheik-Bahae in 2016

We lost one of our own beloved faculty, Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, to lymphoma in July of this year.

We have begun a fundraising effort for an annual student prize to be named after Mansoor. If you would like to honor Mansoor in this way, we would very much appreciate a donation to make this prize a reality.

You can give here.

Use the "Give in Honor of" option to specify that the gift is in Mansoor's honor.

Chair: Richard Rand

An undergraduate education in physics provides a solid foundation for a lifetime of learning in a variety of disciplines, including science, engineering, math, finance, education, law, and medicine. Find out more.

Meet our Graduate Student Association and get their tips for prospective students

Alumni testimonials: Read success stories from alumni of our department and their reflections on the quality of our programs.

News from the Chair

Dominic Oddo Wins $150K NASA Astrophysics Grant

Dominic Oddo

Graduate student Dominic Oddo won a 3 year, $150,000 NASA Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) Astrophysics grant.

Unlike for other NASA grants, the student participant defines the FINESST project and is the primary author of the research proposal. The selection rate for these awards is just 10%.

As a NASA Future Investigator and a member of Diana Dragomir's research group, Dominic will search for planets orbiting pairs of stars (circumbinary planets) using TESS observations.

Congratulations Dominic!

News from the Chair

October 14 Annular Eclipse

Eclipse crowds by Jim Thomas

Thousands of people gathered at UNM's Johnson Field for an eclipse viewing event put on by the department. It featured a wide range of educational activities, an eclipse viewer giveaway, a balloon launch for the Nationwide Eclipse Ballooning Project, and a popular lecture series in PAÍS which included a live projection of the eclipse from our heliostat in Regener.

See the UNM video and event photos. Thanks to countless people for volunteering their time to make this event such a success!

News from the Chair

Grant Block Authors Geophysical Research Paper

Grant Block Physics and Astronomy graduate student Grant Block has a paper Pressurizing magma within heterogeneous crust: a case study at the Socorro Magma Body, New Mexico, USA, accepted to the Geophysical Research Letters.

This paper explains how magma in the crust is transported and stored within magma bodies (regions that are mostly liquid magma) and "mush" (mostly solid crystals and some liquid magma). Mush zones are thought to be too viscous to be erupted but are likely to be weaker than the surrounding rock.

Read more.

News from the Chair

UNM student recognized by DOE's Science Graduate Student Research Program

Kylar Greene The Department of Energy's Office of Science has selected UNM graduate student Kylar Greene to receive an award as part of its Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program.

This award allows graduate students to perform part of their thesis research at DOE National Laboratories and prepares them to enter jobs of critical importance to the DOE mission and secures our national position at the forefront of discovery and innovation.

As part of this award, Kylar will spend 9 months at Fermilab working with leading experts in theoretical particle physics and cosmology, pushing the frontier of knowledge about the mysteries of the Universe.

See the UNM Newsroom article and the article in the New Mexico Sun. Congratulations, Kylar!

News from the Chair

Long Wavelength Array Field Trip

Greg Taylor at the LWA Distinguished Professor Greg Taylor escorted a group of UNM and Hillsdale College undergraduates to build new antennas at the Long Wavelength Array -- North Arm

In collaboration with physics students from Hillsdale College in Michigan, on Saturday, September 16, 2023, UNM faculty and students placed metal grates, constructed scaffolds, and positioned sensors for new antennas at the Long Wavelength Array's third station.

Once the third station is completed, the LWA will be able to produce higher resolution images of one of the most poorly studied parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The Long Wavelength Array is composed of more than 250 pyramid-shaped antennas close to five feet tall, dispersed across a large area outside Magdalena, New Mexico. It is a low-frequency radio telescope designed to produce high-sensitivity, high-resolution images. This station, combined with others across the globe, allows astronomers the opportunity to learn more about Cosmic Dawn, Active Galaxies, Pulsars, meteors, and the early universe.

See the UNM Newsroom article, photos from the field trip and find out more about the LWA.

News from the Chair

Towards a New Campus Observatory

Observatory Fundraising
We want to make sure our educational, outreach, and research activities are preserved, expanded, and able to continue for a long time to come

The UNM Campus Observatory has initiated a crowdfunding campaign in an effort to raise funds for the planning of a new Campus Observatory. The current Campus Observatory was built in the 1950s and is now outdated among other concerns.

Read the UNM Newsroom article about the planning for this new facility.

Find out how to donate to our goal.

News from the Chair

Join Our TeamJob Opportunities at UNM Physics & Astronomy


Upcoming Events


Fri 12/1, 3:30PM in PAIS-1100, Prof. Carlton Caves (UNM), One Hundred Years After Heisenberg: Discovering the World of Simultaneous Measurements of Noncommuting Observables

Other Events:

Thu 11/30, 2:00PM in PAIS-3205, Rajorshi Bhattacharya, Applications of Machine Learning Algorithms on astronomical datasets

Thu 11/30, 3:30PM in Multiple rooms, A very important Quantum physicist will give a talk, Here is my test event


Interactive Astronomy Apps

Javascript apps

9 Educational Apps

Written by Kevin Dilts for the Astro 101 Lab, these free interactive javascript apps illustrate common astronomy concepts. Enjoy!

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