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Physics And Astronomy News

Scientists must reconcile the fundamental components of reality if humankind is ever to comprehend the cosmos.

The Universe As We Know It

November 25, 2015

Sitting in a small French bistro across from Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles, Clifford Johnson held the pumpkin-hued drinking straw parallel to the table. “Essentially, this straw has two dimensions to it. I can…

Life on the Holodeck

Life on the Holodeck

November 16, 2015

When Albert Einstein published his  general theory of relativity 100 years ago, he revolutionized the way scientists perceived the physical world. Redefining the force of gravity as a curvature in the combined fabric of…

Professor of Physics and Astronomy Clifford V. Johnson.

Phantastic Physics?

August 14, 2015

Despite being much anticipated, particularly by Marvel fans, the newest Fantastic Four feature is failing to live up to its name, appearing to flame out at the box office. And as far as critics are concerned, it’s…

Harriet Forster, professor emerita of physics and astronomy, seen here in 1963 at USC, escaped from Nazi-occupied Austria and became a world-renowned nuclear physicist. Photo courtesy of USC University Archives.

In Memoriam: Harriet Herta Forster, 97

October 3, 2014

Harriet Herta Forster, professor emerita of physics and astronomy at USC Dornsife, an internationally known figure in the field of experimental nuclear physics, has died. She was 97. Forster died peacefully of natural causes…

An expert in astronomy, astrophysics, rocket science and deep space exploration, Professor Emeritus Darrell Judge received the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award in 1974. Photo by Dietmar Quistorf.

In Memoriam: Darrell Judge, 79

August 29, 2014

Darrell Judge, professor emeritus of physics and astronomy and astronautical engineering at USC Dornsife, an expert in the fields of spectroscopy, space science and solar physics, and founding director of the USC Space…

Selected as research fellows for 2014 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, USC Dornsife faculty members Christoph Haselwandter (left) and Dion Dickman are tapped to become leaders in the scientific community. Haselwandter photo courtesy of Haselwandter. Dickman photo by Erica Christianson.

Haselwandter, Dickman Earn Sloan Fellowships

February 20, 2014

USC Dornsife faculty members Christoph Haselwandter and Dion Dickman have been selected as research fellows for 2014 by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Haselwandter and Dickman are among 126 researchers from the United States…

To participate in the third annual science film competition, students must register by Oct. 16 at

Cerebral Cinema

September 27, 2013

The deadline is fast approaching to sign up for the third annual USC Science Film Competition. To participate, students must register by Oct. 16 — registration details can be found online at The…

USC Dornsife’s Nicholas Warner will spend a year collaborating with colleagues throughout Europe and exploring the physics of black holes and holographic field theory. Photo by Max S. Gerber.

Warner Named Simons Foundation Fellow

May 8, 2013

Nicholas Warner, professor of physics and astronomy, has been named a 2013 Simons Foundation fellow. This year, 55 mathematicians and theoretical physicists from the United States and Canada received the honor, which provides…

Elena Pierpaoli, professor of physics and astronomy in USC Dornsife, and her team generate the most detailed map to date made of cosmic background radiation — the  oldest light in the universe. Photo by Roger Snider.

The Dawn of Time

March 25, 2013

The universe is 80 million years older and is expanding more slowly than previously believed, according to new findings that still appear to confirm the standard model of cosmology. The data was gathered by the European Space…

From left, USC data analyst Shawn Irish and USC Dornsife undergraduate researchers Matthew Orr, Eric Hotchkiss, and Travis de Ronde stand with mirrors atop the 60-foot solar tower on Mt. Wilson. Photo by Jie Gu.

Black Pearls of the Sun

June 13, 2012

Atop Mt. Wilson overlooking Pasadena, dozens of stargazers peered through telescopes at a celestial wonder. A few people donned T-shirts declaring “I Witnessed the Transit of Venus.”  To mark the event that…