• Research
  • Condensed Matter
  • Condensed Matter Theory

Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed an algorithm that could provide meaningful answers to condensed matter physicists in their searches for novel and emergent properties in materials. The algorithm, invented by physics professor Bryan Clark and his graduate student Eli Chertkov, inverts the typical mathematical process condensed matter physicists use to search for interesting physics. Their new method starts with the answer—what kinds of physical properties would be interesting to find—and works backward to the question—what class of materials would host such properties.

  • In the Media

Scientists recently announced the discovery of a subatomic particle that made its way to Earth from an event that occurred 3.7 billion light-years away. Sensors buried within Antarctic ice detected the ghostly cosmic particle, called a neutrino, and traced its origin to a rapidly spinning galactic nucleus known as a blazar. Physical sciences editor Lois Yoksoulian spoke with physics professor Liang Yang about the significance of the discovery.

  • In the Media

Paul Kwiat asks his volunteers to sit inside a small, dark room. As their eyes adjust to the lack of light, each volunteer props his or her head on a chin rest—as you would at an optometrist’s—and gazes with one eye at a dim red cross. On either side of the cross is an optical fiber, positioned to pipe a single photon of light at either the left or the right side of a volunteer’s eye.

Even as he verifies the human eye’s ability to detect single photons, Kwiat, an experimental quantum physicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, and his colleagues are setting their sights higher: to use human vision to probe the very foundations of quantum mechanics, according to a paper they submitted to the preprint server arXiv on June 21.

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Saturday Physics for Everyone

Saturday Physics for Everyone

Free Saturday-morning lectures on modern aspects of the physical sciences for high school students and the general public! Learn about recent advances in the physical sciences from world-class scientists and researchers and gain an understanding of how physics affects development in modern technology and influences your daily life. Select Saturdays in the fall, 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at Loomis Laboratory of Physics in Urbana. Click for full schedule!

Dark Matter, a Physics Illinois video

Dark Matter, a Physics Illinois video

Hear leading-edge scientists explain what we know about one of the greatest mysteries of our time. What could it be? How do we know it’s there? And what ingenious methods are scientists, working in different subdisciplines of physics and astronomy around the globe, using to detect dark matter? Astrophysicist Jeff Filippini, astronomer Felipe Menanteau, experimental nuclear physicist Liang Yang, theoretical particle physicist Jessie Shelton, and experimental particle physicist Ben Hooberman provide an accessible overview of some of the most exciting scientific research that is ongoing today.


Apparently gravitational waves were record very recently and hit the news today. They were recorded at two different locations in the United States 7 milliseconds apart. This seems too slow. I have read that gravitation is 20 billion times faster than light. What am I missing?

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