The Catholic University of America


VSL Confirms
Nuclear Waste
Cleanup Method

The process, developed by CUA's Vitreous State Laboratory, will keep the highly volatile radioactive element technetium from escaping when nuclear waste is treated for disposal.

Astronomy Grad
Gazes at Galaxies

Elysse Voyer, a 2011 Ph.D. graduate, interprets data from ground- and space-based telescopes at Laboratoire D’Astrophysics de Marseille in France. During her two-year assignment, she will analyze star-forming galaxies in the Virgo Cluster.

Students Win
Travel Award

A group of undergraduates presented their research results at a recent nuclear physics conference. The students' research is part of the design of the kaon aerogel Cerenkov detector that CUA scientists are building for a strangeness physics program at the Jefferson Laboratory.

CUA Faculty Join
'Evolving Universe'
Conference in Brazil

The conference celebrated the collaboration of the International Network of Catholic Astronomical Institutions with the Vatican Observatory in conducting research on the universe.

Professor Horn Honored
As Outstanding Scholar

She was recognized for her research on the structures of subatomic particles, and for her accessibility to students, interactive style, and service as a mentor.

Welcome to the Physics Department

The physics department is a medium-sized department with 30 regular, research, and adjunct faculty members and approximately 35 graduate students. Programs of study lead to M.S. and Ph.D degrees in both pure and applied physics. The Institute for Astrophysics and Computational Sciences (IACS) also operates through the CUA Physics Department.



Department of Physics
 The 36th Annual Karl F. Herzfeld Memorial Lecture


Optical Tweezers:  Gene Regulation, Studied 
One Molecule at a Time 


Thursday, April 26, 2018

4:00 PM

108 Hannan Hall

Reception Immediately Follows the Lecture




Physics Majors on the Dean's List 

Congradulations to Anna Fitzmaurice (Physics) and Kiera Lyons (Physics) who made the School of Arts & Sciences Dean list with distinction and to Sean O'Connor (Physics) and Mary Zwilling (Chemical Physics) who made the School of Arts & Sciences Dean list. 

Workshop Discusses Business & Science

A recent technology transfer workshop at The Catholic University of America provided valuable insights for researchers interested in commercializing their scientific discoveries. The workshop, which took place Jan. 11-12, was planned by University physics professors Tanja Horn and Ian Pegg, in conjunction with researchers from the Jefferson Lab in Newport News, Va., and the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Orsay, France.  

One objective of the event was to help researchers learn the skills required to monetize their discoveries. 
View Slides from Workshop

Dr. Lucas Paganini featured in Astrobiology Magazine article "Comet Lovejoy Sheds Light on Source of Earth's Water"

“We did ground-based observations to measure water and heavy water (HDO) and compared to measurements before the comet reached perihelion using space and ground-based telescopes,” said lead author Lucas Paganini, a planetary scientist at Catholic University of America and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He also is a research assistant at the Goddard Center for Astrobiology.

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) as seen from nearby Paris, in February 2015. Credit: Fabrice Noel/NASA



Dr. Bruhweiler and Dr. Yashiro Receive Heliophysics Science Division Peer Awards


     Congratulations to Dr. Fred Bruhweiler and Dr. Seiji Yashiro for receiving Heliophysics Science Division Peer Awards. These awards recognize contributions to HSD that are above and beyond job-related duties, including:


            · Providing assistance to other members of HSD

            · Adding to the knowledge base or prestige of HSD

            · Facilitating the work of HSD as a whole


    Congratulations to Fred and Seiji for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions!



Congratulation to Dr. Colin Komar was announced as the recipient of the 2016 Sunanda and Santimay Basu United States Early Career Award in Sun-Earth Systems Science

The award is given annually to one early career scientist by the Space Physics and Aeronomy section of the American Geophysical Union in "recognition of significant work that shows the focus and promise of making outstanding contributions to research in Sun-Earth systems science that further the understanding of both plasma physical processes and their applications for the benefit of society."