• Outreach

Curious how stuff works? Do a hands-on experiment at home, says physicist Nadya Mason. She shows how you can demystify the world around you by tapping into your scientific curiosity—and performs a few onstage experiments of her own using magnets, dollar bills, dry ice and more.

  • In the Media
  • Research
  • Condensed Matter Physics

There are times when superconductors—materials through which electric current can travel without resistance and thus without losing energy—don’t live up to their reputation. Nadya Mason of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been making strides toward understanding when and how electron energy loss, or dissipation, arises in otherwise superconducting systems. She had planned to share this work in the Edward A. Bouchet Award Talk at the March Meeting of the American Physical Society earlier this month. (The meeting was canceled due to concerns about the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, but Physics is reporting on some of the results that would have been presented.)

Modern technology is largely based on normal conductors, but electrical currents in these materials always dissipate some energy as heat. “Superconductors give us a great opportunity to save energy by reducing dissipation,” Mason says. “But in order to use superconductors, we have to understand how dissipation affects them in particular, and how to minimize [dissipation] and control it.”

  • Accolades
  • Diversity

#90  The former U.S. national team gymnast is now making a difference in the physics lab at the University of Illinois. Through her work and presence, she helps to fill the pipeline of women and minorities who pursue physics.

  • Accolades

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Professor of Physics Nadya Mason has won the 2020 Edward A. Bouchet Award of the American Physical Society (APS). This award recognizes a distinguished underrepresented-minority physicist who has made significant contributions to physics research and the advancement of scientists from underrepresented groups.

The citation reads “For impactful experimental research on low-dimensional superconducting and topological materials and devices, and for the promotion of diversity and inclusiveness in the scientific workforce, enhancing opportunities for underrepresented groups through leadership, service, and mentoring.”

  • In the Media

Acting goofy is a popular way to make science appealing to kids. But Nadya Mason, a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) physics professor, took a whole different route on a recently released web series. “I and Brian Demarco (another physics professor) came up with the basic concept of a scripted series that focused on the process of science,” she says.

  • Accolades

Physics Professor Nadya Mason has been selected a University Scholar by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The highest honor bestowed on faculty by the university, this award recognizes faculty who have made significant contributions in their fields of research and teaching, in line with the university’s reputation for leading-edge innovation and excellence. Mason is one of five faculty members on the Urbana campus to be named to this honor in this selection round.

  • In the News

Physics Professor Nadya Mason has been selected for the 2018-19 Defense Science Study Group (DSSG). The DSSG is a program of education and study that introduces outstanding science and engineering professors to United States’ security challenges and encourages the scholars to apply their talents to these issues.
“It’s a great honor to have been selected for the 2018 DSSG class,” Mason shares. “I’m excited about the unique opportunity to learn more about our nation’s security issues and the technical challenges that face us…and the geek in me also looks forward to seeing some cool airplanes, ships and submarines!”

  • In the Media

Mason says, “there are so few of us, people get the impression that we are like unicorns – either non-existent or magical.” We are far from non-existent, but I find women of color to be quite magical. However, as Jesse Williams says, “Just because we’re magic, doesn’t mean we’re not real.”