The Illinois Physics community strongly rejects antisemitism, racism, and discrimination in all forms

Illinois Physics

Our unique culture of open collaboration—the "Urbana style" of physics—draws talent from around the globe and from every walk of life. The strength of diverse perspectives allows us to attack the most relevant and pressing questions in physics with tremendous breadth of experience, unparalleled innovation, and great synergy. 

"Students, faculty, and staff at Illinois Physics come from different backgrounds and cultures from around the world and speak many languages," says Department Head and Professor Matthias Grosse Perdekamp. "In this diverse environment, success in physics education and research critically depends on a strong culture of inclusion in which all contributions are welcome, and we strongly reaffirm our commitment to respect and tolerance for all."

The Illinois Physics community issues this official statement:

The Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign strongly rejects all hateful acts of antisemitism, racism, and discrimination on campus and elsewhere. As scientists, we recognize that acts of intolerance not only create a climate of intimidation and fear, but also stifle both scientific education and scientific progress. Research consistently suggests that as diversity increases, so do productivity, creativity, and innovation in human endeavors. As a department, we are committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive community at this university. We recognize that it is our responsibility to use our privilege as scientists and academics to create and defend an environment where people of all races, religions, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations are treated with respect and dignity, and where their contributions are welcomed and encouraged.

All members of the Physics community are invited to endorse the statement, please go to:

For more information about Illinois Physics' commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, please visit the department's corresponding web page, which describes our unique culture of open collaboration and lists our diversity-focused organizations.

Recent News

  • In the Media

Albert Einstein was right again. More than 100 years ago, his calculations suggested that when too much energy or matter is concentrated in one place, it will collapse in on itself and turn into a dark vortex of nothingness. Physicists found evidence to support Einstein’s black hole concept, but they’d never observed one directly. In 2017, 200-plus scientists affiliated with more than 60 institutions set out to change that, using eight global radio observatories to chart the sky for 10 days. In April they released their findings, which included an image of a dark circle surrounded by a fiery doughnut (the galaxy Messier 87), 55 million light years away and 6.5 billion times more massive than our sun. “We have seen what we thought was unseeable,” said Shep Doeleman, leader of what came to be known as the Event Horizon Telescope team. The team’s name refers to the edge of a black hole, the point beyond which light and matter cannot escape. In some ways, the first picture of a black hole is also the first picture of nothing.

Institute for Condensed Matter Theory in the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has recently received a five-year grant of over $1 million from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The grant is part of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems (EPiQS) Initiative, which strives to catalyze major discoveries in the field of quantum materials—solids and engineered structures characterized by novel quantum phases of matter and exotic cooperative behaviors of electrons. This is the second 5-year EPiQS grant awarded to the ICMT by the Moore Foundation. The two awards establish an EPiQS Theory Center at the Institute for Condensed Matter Theory.

  • Outreach
  • Accessibility

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign physics graduate student Colin Lualdi quickly realized he was venturing into uncharted territory when he arrived at Illinois Physics at the start of Fall 2017. Deaf since birth and a native speaker of American Sign Language (ASL), Lualdi was now among a very small group worldwide of Deaf individuals working in physics. The exhilaration of performing cutting-edge research was accompanied by a sobering discovery: the lack of a common language model for effective scientific discourse in ASL was going to be a far greater challenge than he’d anticipated. Lualdi has embraced his own accessibility challenges as an opportunity to address a pressing need in the broader Deaf community. He has teamed up with colleagues at other research institutions to develop a robust and shared framework for scientific discourse in ASL. Specifically, Colin has been working with ASL Clear and ASLCORE, two national scientific sign language initiatives that are making good progress.