Upcoming Dates
  • Jul 25: Summer Semester ends
  • Aug 17: Fall Semester begins
  • Oct 8–Oct 9: Fall Break
  • Dec 12: Fall Semester ends
  • Jan 18: Spring Semester begins
  • Mar 14–Mar 20: Spring Break
  • May 15: Spring Semester ends
  • Jun 7: Summer Semester begins

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.

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

Graduate - Physics
Graduate - Optical Science and Engineering

Limited Operations This Summer

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNM has reduced services. Most employees are still working remotely. See President Stokes's statement on our phased return.

The Physics and Astronomy office and building are closed. If you need to speak to anyone, leave a message at 505 277-2616. We will respond as soon as possible.

News from the Chair

2020 Convocation - a video celebration

Screenshot of the 2020 Physics and Astronomy Convocation video

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from getting together for our usual convocation ceremony this year. So we decided to make a video instead to mark the occasion.

Hear about highlights of the year for the department, find out our award winners and Departmental Honors recipients, and see our graduates recognized. Some of them recorded their own segments for the video.

The video would not have been possible without the excellent production skills of Mark McKee and Carol Silverman of UNM's Center for Digital Learning. You can also download the program for the convocation.

Read about the graduating Physics and Astronomy majors and where they plan to go next.

News from the Chair

Two UNM Physics and Astronomy faculty selected for 2020 UNM Women in STEM awards

Drs. Drake and Roy

Congratulations to Professors Tara Drake and Mousumi Roy! Both have won Women in STEM awards from Advance at UNM.

Dr. Drake's proposal was "Construction of a Fast Optical Frequency Sweeper for Managing Thermal Instabilities in Microresonator Frequency Combs".

Dr. Roy's proposal was "Destroying Continental Plates: The Role of Thermal and Chemical Disequilibrium During Melt-Rock Interaction".

Read more details in the UNM Newsroom article.

News from the Chair

What's going on underneath volcanoes?

Mt. Fuji is a classic cone shaped volcano

Many of the most disastrous volcanic incidents in human history, like the eruptions of Mt. Vesuvius, Mt. Pelée, and Mt. St. Helens, were deadly because they were so unpredictable.

Katherine CosburnKatherine Cosburn

Katherine Cosburn, a physics PhD student, is leading a team to make those predictions more accurate.

The team includes Regents' Lecturer Mousumi Roy and several undergraduate researchers who use UNM Center for Advanced Research Computing systems to predict how magma moves underground.

Cosburn will present this project, along with her related research, at several upcoming forums in the Southwest and as her Ph.D. dissertation.

Read more details in the UNM Newsroom article and on Phys.org.

Research Highlight

NASA's TESS, Spitzer Missions Discover a World Orbiting a Unique Young Star

NASA's rendition of an exoplanet
A planet about as large as Neptune circles the young star AU Mic

Diana DragomirDiana Dragomir

Research Assistant Professor Diana Dragomir played a part in discovering a planet about the size of Neptune which circles a young star, AU Microscopii.

The new planet, AU Mic b, is described in a paper co-authored by Bryson Cale and Peter Plavchan, at George Mason University. Their report was published June 24 in the journal Nature and titled, "A planet within the debris disk around the pre-main-sequence star AU Microscopii".

Read more details in the UNM Newsroom article.


Upcoming Events


Fri 10/23, 3:30PM in 1100, Professor Paul Steinhardt Princeton University, Physics Colloquium

Other Events:

Thu 7/9, 9:00AM in Zoom, Juan Diego Urbina, Quantum Chaos 2020 Series: Universal signatures of many-body chaos and integrability: semiclassical theory of quantum interference in Fock space

Thu 7/16, 9:00AM in Zoom, Ana Maria Rey, Quantum Chaos 2020 Series: Entanglement dynamics and scrambling in a trapped ion quantum magnet


Physics & Astronomy and Interdisciplinary Science building

The Physics &
		    	   	                   Astronomy and Interdisciplinary Science building

The Physics and Astronomy department is at 210 Yale Blvd NE as of November 2019


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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