Illinois Physics | The Grainger College of Engineering | UIUC

Nigel Goldenfeld elected to Royal Society

Nigel Goldenfeld, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Physics at University of California San Diego and the Swanlund Endowed Chair Emeritus of Physics and research professor at Illinois Physics, was elected to the Royal Society, the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. Fellowship is granted to individuals who have made a "substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science."

Chitambar, Covey bring quantum expertise to DOE InterQnet initiative

Electrical & computer engineering professor Eric Chitambar and physics professor Jacob Covey are bringing their quantum knowhow to InterQnet, a three-year initiative to demonstrate that quantum computers separated by large distances and even based on different hardware architectures can work in tandem. By leveraging their expertise in quantum protocols and neutral-atom quantum computing, respectively, they and their research groups will help solve important problems in the realization of such “distributed quantum computers.”

Illinois Physics Alumnus Ramon Lopez elected to UTA Academy of Distinguished Scholars

The University of Texas at Arlington has elected two longtime professors to the Academy of Distinguished Scholars, considered the University’s most prestigious research and scholarship honor.

Ramon Lopez, professor of physics, and Michael D. Nelson, associate professor of kinesiology, are being recognized for their sustained and significant contributions to research and creativity. Ramon Lopez received his bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1980, before earning a PhD in physics from Rice University in 1985.

Spotlight on New Faculty: Pengjie Wang joins Illinois Physics

The Department of Physics welcomes Professor Pengjie Wang, an experimental condensed matter physicist who brings extensive experience in quantum matter and quantum information science. His research primarily focuses on strongly correlated quantum phenomena and emerging topological quantum physics within two-dimensional (2D) crystals and semiconductors.


Research Highlights 

Click on a research highlight to vote for your favorite submission to the Research Highlight Science Writing Contest for graduate students.

Donor support for undergraduate research is funding student participation in cross-disciplinary study of dark matter

Donor support for undergraduate research is funding student participation in cross-disciplinary study of dark matter

Illinois Physics rising junior David Balut, the 2024 A.C. Anderson Undergraduate Research Scholar, has been a member of the Peter Abbamonte research group since November 2022. This summer, his donor-supported research includes collaborating with the Yoni Kahn group on the physics of dark matter, using organic scintillators for anisotropic detection. He will also continue to study strange metals in the Abbamonte lab. In addition to the AC Anderson Award, Balut is a recipient of the T.R. Schlaeder Engineering award, the Robert M. Stephens Engineering award, and has been a James Scholar since Fall 2022.

The A.C. Anderson Undergraduate Research Scholar award is made possible by Illinois Physics donors. The award is named for Ansel C. Anderson, an alumnus (PhD, 1961), faculty member (1962-1992), and department head (1986-1992) who  made seminal contributions to low-temperature physics, particularly on the thermal properties of metals and glasses. 

Learn more about how to become a donor and support initiatives like undergraduate research opportunities!

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Give to the Engineering Visionary Scholarship.

EVS attracts the brightest students, ensures a diverse and talented class, and helps reduce student debt.

“I love cosmology—the study of the large structures of the universe, the Big Bang, and the questions of dark energy and matter. I have a strong interest in developing astronomy instrumentation—telescopes, satellites, and sounding rockets. The Engineering Visionary Scholarship freed me up to pursue these interests while exploring the fundamentals of the universe through physics.”

— Kayleigh Excell, Class of '24, EVS Scholarship recipient

Learn More

Kayleigh Excell
Kayleigh Excell, Class of '24


Watch Illinois Physics and Astronomy Professor Charles Gammie on The UIUC Talkshow. From the origins of black holes to the nature of time itself, enjoy this captivating odyssey through the cosmos, guided by a brilliant scientific mind. 


Watch "The Physics PhD," a parody of the Barbie movie's "I'm just Ken" scene, created by graduate students in the Fahad Mahmood research group with support from the Illinois Physics graduate student community. Earning a PhD in physics is long road that can leave one feeling like they are living in a world of plastic... or maybe a graphene lattice.




I am working on my science fair project- I am freezing orange juice and soda to see which will freeze faster. My orange juice froze before the soda- is it because of the carbonate water in the soda or the sugar?

Molly (age 10)

Find Out Now

The Illinois Physics Van is a traveling science show for kids! Visit the Physics Van

Upcoming Events


Thesis Defense: "Tidal Signatures in Gravitational-Waves and Systematic Biases Due to Waveform Inaccuracies"

Rohit Chandramouli, Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

276 Loomis

9:00 AM


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Physics Careers Seminar: "Viewing Display Technology Through the Eyes of a Physicist"

Dr. Man-Hong Wong, Hardware Development Engineer, Apple

276 Loomis

12:00 PM

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