Upcoming Dates
  • Jul 4: Independence Day
  • Jul 30: Summer Semester ends
  • Aug 22: Fall Semester begins
  • Sep 5: Labor Day
  • Oct 13–Oct 14: Fall Break
  • Nov 24: Thanksgiving
  • Dec 17: Fall Semester ends
  • Jan 16: Spring 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.

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

Diana Dragomir selected for the 2022 Women in STEM awards

Diana Dragomir wins 2022 STEM award

Dragomir’s project, Planets with Two Suns: Probing the Limits of Planet Formation will explore the puzzle of how planets form.

"Humans have long wondered whether there are planets around other stars (exoplanets), whether any are like Earth, whether life has developed elsewhere," she said. "While over 5,000 exoplanets have been discovered to date, this project takes the quest one step further by enabling a search for planets orbiting pairs of stars -- real-life "Tatooines." Developed in conjunction with a student in my research group, this research will help astronomers better understand how planets form."

Dragomir said she’s looking forward to the discoveries ahead.

"This award will provide much needed support for launching this project, the results from which will help determine the direction in which to grow this research."

For more information, see the UNM Newsroom article.

News from the Chair

10 week Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program

Summer REU participants on a refreshing break
Nine students are participating in this year’s National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program

The 2022 cohort started in late May and continues through July, and includes the opportunity to work and conduct research alongside a faculty member on a range of subjects from biophysics to optical sciences to radio astronomy. Students will also hear about career paths, give presentations, go on educational and social outings, and partake in a range of recreational activities and opportunities to experience New Mexico.

Program benefits include travel, on-campus housing, a $5,000 stipend and other activities. For more information, visit UNM Physics and Astronomy REU at physics.unm.edu/reu or see the UNM Newsroom article.

News from the Chair

Summer Program in Quantum Technologies provides Undergrad Research Opportunities

Quantum Undergraduate Research Experience at CHTM (QU-REACH)

The QU-REACH Program at the University of New Mexico is a ten-week summer undergraduate research program run by the Center for High Technology Materials (CHTM) and academic departments on UNM’s Main Albuquerque campus.

The 2022 program runs from May 31 - August 5. See the schedule here.

Projects are available in a broad range of disciplines (Physics, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, etc.) related to the three cornerstones of Quantum Technologies: Quantum Sensing, Quantum Communications, and Quantum Computing. Participants will receive a stipend of $6,000 for the summer.

See the website.

News from the Chair

Andrew Gentry wins NM Space Grant Scholarship

NM Space Grant Scholarship

Andrew Gentry
Andrew Gentry

Andrew Gentry was awarded the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium Graduate Research Fellowship for work towards his PhD on developing radiation-hard silicon particle detectors.

Silicon detectors play a central role in the tracking of high energy particles in experiments like ATLAS at the LHC, as well as in many applications in space, such as the International Space Station, where silicon detectors are used for human dosimetry.

The electronic characteristics of these detectors break down with increased exposure to radiation, until they can no longer be used effectively. Thus, in order to continue to push the frontier of particle and astroparticle research in high radiation environments, it is crucial to develop new technologies that can withstand more radiation. During the fellowship period Andrew will be making measurements to characterize a set 3D sensors, a novel silicon detector design which promises to do exactly that.

The Fellowship award is for $10,000 and will provide partial support for this project for the next two semesters. Professor Sally Seidel is his research advisor.

Congratulations, Andrew!

News from the Chair

Easwar Anand Narayanan has been awarded the Chateaubriand Fellowship

Chateaubriand Fellowship

Easwar Narayanan
Easwar Narayanan

UNM Physics graduate student Easwar Anand Narayanan has been awarded the Chateaubriand Fellowship to participate in a research program offered by the Embassy of France.

The Chateaubriand Fellowship grant supports outstanding PhD students from U.S. institutions who wish to conduct part of their doctoral research in France

Easwar will relocate for 9 months to the Irene-Joliot Curie Laboratory in Paris where he will develop new detectors for operation at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. These detectors will be used to search for new physical processes that may transform our understanding of elementary particles, the building blocks of nature.

Easwar was also selected for the Sigma Xi Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award last year.

Congratulations, Easwar!

News from the Chair

2022 Convocation
Saturday, May 14, 2022

Convocation 2022

The Physics and Astronomy Department celebrated the first in-person Convocation in two years, and the first at the PAÍS building.

Our convocation speaker was David L. Hayes, who received a BS Physics in 2005 and MS Physics in 2007 from UNM. David is now at Honeywell Quantum Solutions where he is the technical manager for the theory and architecture team which is working on a trapped-ion quantum computer. See the talk here.

News from the Chair

P&A Welcomes Three New Staff Members

Three New Staff Members

We recently welcomed three new members of the department staff!

Anca-Monia Constantinescu is settling in as our new Advanced Lab Coordinator. She has a wealth of experience with all kinds of lab equipment and is ready to help our education mission.

Lisa-Marie Johnson is our new Accountant. With over 26 years of accounting experience, Lisa Marie has been with UNM for seven years, previously with the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology department and the Student Financial Aid Office. She is excited to be join P&A and is getting familiar with our staff and faculty.

Our new Journeyman Prototype Machinist, Joseph Reichert, comes to us with many years of experience from Los Alamos National Laboratory. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1978 from UNM School of Law and graduated with a BA in History/Philosophy from Tulane University.

News from the Chair

Job Opportunity at UNM Physics & Astronomy

Join Our Team We’re looking for people to fill the following position:

Postdoctoral fellow position in optical imaging instrument development in the Chakraborty Lab


Upcoming Events


Thu 7/7, 10:00AM in PAIS-3205, Brandon M. Medina, Distance Estimates to Evolved Stars Using Infrared Emission and Verification and Validation of the Plasma Code EMPIRE

Wed 10/12, 12:00PM in La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, Various, Pixel2022


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


Research Experience for Undergrads

REU 2018 program participants
      	                   sitting on the edge at the top of Sandia Mountain

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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