Upcoming Dates
  • Oct 12–Oct 13: Fall Break
  • Nov 23–Nov 24: Thanksgiving
  • 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
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

As many of you know, we recently lost one of our own beloved faculty, Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, to lymphoma (see below in News from the Chair).

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.

Saturday, October 14, 2023, 9 am to noon

Annular Solar Eclipse

The Ring Eclipse, photograph courtesy Kevin Baird 2012

This coming October, an Annular Solar Eclipse will take place. Albuquerque will be right in the path; we will be able to see the Moon covering the Sun leaving a narrow ring of sunlight around the dark disk of the Moon.

To enjoy this event, UNM will host a slate of free public lectures at the Physics, Astronomy, and Interdisciplinary Sciences building; and a viewing party on Johnson Field on the morning of Saturday, October 14th.

Visit our website at eclipse.unm.edu. To read more about annular eclipses, see solarsystem.nasa.gov/eclipses/2023/oct-14-annular/overview.

For inquiries, please email observatory@unm.edu.

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

Chakraborty Lab Receives $1.82 Million NIH R35

Tonmoy ChakrabortyTonmoy Chakraborty, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University of New Mexico, has received a five-year, $1.82 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (R35) to further his research on development of new microscope modalities.

Advances in microscopy and imaging technology have spurred important discoveries in biology, both in health and disease. However, current imaging methods have limitations in acquisition speed, spatial resolution, and the number of possible labels that can be imaged which restrict the types of biological questions that can be addressed.

With this grant Chakraborty and his team will develop new user-friendly imaging modalities that will not only improve the spatiotemporal resolution of the current state-of-the-art but will also enable researchers to probe biological questions that span several orders of magnitude in scale.

Read more

News from the Chair

Next Generation Very Large Array unites NRAO & UNM

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)/Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), and the University of New Mexico (UNM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore collaborations in support of future U.S. radio astronomy initiatives.

Read the UNM Newsroom article and the NRAO article.

News from the Chair

Distinguished Professor Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, 1956-2023

Distinguished Professor Mansoor Sheik-Bahae The department is greatly saddened by the passing of Distinguished Professor Mansoor Sheik-Bahae. Mansoor died of lymphoma on July 10. We send our deepest condolences to his wife, Sherry, and his daughter, Anahita.

Mansoor had an incredible research career in laser physics and was internationally renowned. We have lost a greatly valued colleague and friend.

Here is the UNM Newsroom article, UNM Department of Physics and Astronomy mourns the loss of Distinguished Professor Mansoor Sheik-Bahae. Read a heartfelt tribute from two emeritus professors: former chair Wolfgang Rudolph and former Associate Vice President for Research Initiatives Kevin Malloy.

On Saturday, September 30, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm, there will be a special event to honor Mansoor's legacy at PAÍS 1100.

News from the Chair

P&A Celebrates Faculty Promotions and Review Milestones

Drs. Deutsch, Dowell, and Roy

Congratulations to our faculty who have been promoted or passed milestone reviews. What a lot of advancement this year!

The following faculty passed their Midpro reviews:

  • Diana Dragomir
  • Tara Drake
  • Tonmoy Chakraborty

Also thanks to those who served on their promotion/milestone committees.

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 9/29, 3:30PM in PAIS-1100, Dr. Yuhai Tu (IBM Watson Research Center), Nonequilibrium statistical physics in living systems: The role of energy dissipation for biological functions

Other Events:

Tue 9/26, 2:00PM in PAIS-3205, Ralph Massarczyk (LANL), Interesting Isomers - From classic nuclear physics to dark matter -

Wed 9/27, 4:00PM in PAIS-2540, Kianna Wan (Stanford, Matchgate shadows for fermionic quantum simulation


Research Experience for Undergrads

REU 2022 program participants

Make Your Summer Count!

A 10 week internship program in Albuquerque, NM


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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