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Department of Physics and Astronomy

Altering pH Bumps Prions Out of Danger Zone

Monday, March 20, 2017
Lisa Lapidus

Prion diseases are scary, incurable and fatal. They first gained notoriety when cows became infected by prion proteins and, in turn, infected people. Fervor surrounding mad cow disease…

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Star Discovered in Closest Known Orbit Around Black Hole

Monday, March 13, 2017
Black hole

Astronomers have found evidence for a star that whips around a black hole about twice an hour. This may be the tightest orbital dance ever witnessed for a…

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MSU’s Donahue Elected American Astronomical Society President

Friday, March 3, 2017
Megan Donahue

Megan Donahue, Michigan State University professor of physics and astrophysics in the College of Natural Science (NatSci), has been elected president of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). The…

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MSU Physicist Chomiuk Named Cottrell Scholar

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Laura Chomiuk

Laura Chomiuk, MSU assistant professor of physics, has been named a 2017 Cottrell Scholar. Awarded by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, the Cottrell Scholar program recognizes early…

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Examining Exploding Stars through the Atomic Nucleus

Monday, February 20, 2017

Imagine being able to view microscopic aspects of a classical nova, a massive stellar explosion on the surface of a white dwarf star (about as big as Earth)…

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Top Michigan State Researchers Named MSU Foundation Professors

Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Joey Huston, Christopher Klausmeier, Elena Litchman, Barry Pittendrigh, Michael Thomashow

Michigan State University recently named six new MSU Foundation Professors, a designation given to outstanding faculty who demonstrate excellence in research and teaching, while enhancing the prominence of…

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Piecuch Named Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Piotr Piecuch

Piotr Piecuch, University Distinguished Professor of chemistry and adjunct professor of physics and astronomy in MSU’s College of Natural Science, has been named a Fellow of the Royal…

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Galactic ‘Rain’ in Black Holes Regulates Star Formation

Thursday, June 9, 2016
An artist's rendering of cool gas clouds raining into a black hole located within a galaxy cluster known as Abell 2597. In a paper published in the journal Nature, astronomers detail this phenomenon, the first time researchers have detected the clouds plunging toward a black hole. Image credit: NRAO / AUI / NSF / Dana Berry / SkyWorks / ALMA / ESO / NAOJ.

For the first time ever, astronomers are watching a black hole, located in the center of a galaxy cluster 1 billion light years from Earth, prepare to feast…

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New Superconducting Magnetic Memory Element Developed

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
(L to R): Physics and Astronomy Professor Norman Birge, graduate students Bethany Niedzielski and Joseph Glick, and Scientific Instrument Facilities Coordinator Reza Loloee, Ph.D., stand next to the high-vacuum sputtering system used in the project.

In a research project funded through the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) organization, several Michigan State University researchers, as well as scientists from Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation,…

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Solving the Mystery of Evaporating Black Holes

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Chris Adami

For decades physicists across the globe have been trying to unravel the mysteries of black holes – those cosmic monstrosities that devour everything in their paths, from various…

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