• Physicists puzzle over emergence of strange electron aggregates

    In the 127 years since the electron was discovered, it has undergone more scrutiny than perhaps any other particle. As a result, its properties are not just well known, but rote, textbook material. So it came as a shock last year when a new effect was seen in electrons. The UW's Matthew Yankowitz, assistant professor of both physics and materials science and engineering, and Xiaodong Xu, professor of both physics and materials science and engineering, are quoted.
    05/30/2024 | Quanta Magazine
  • UW graduate and professional disciplines have strong showing on US Newsâ Best Graduate Schools rankings

    The University of Washingtonâs graduate and professional degree programs were widely recognized as among the best in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Reportâs 2025 Best Graduate Schools rankings released late Monday.
    04/08/2024 | UW News
  • Weird new electron behaviour in stacked graphene thrills physicists

    Last May, a team led by physicists at the University of Washington in Seattle observed something peculiar. The University of Washington team reported the FQAHE for the first time, in a specially designed 2D material: two sheets of MoTe2 stacked on top of one another and offset by a twist. Xiaodong Xu, professor of physics at the UW, is quoted.

    03/25/2024 | Nature
  • Ultra-flat optics for broadband thermal imaging

    "The next generation of optical systems demands lenses that are not only lighter and thinner than ever before, but also uphold uncompromising image quality. This demand has fueled a surge of efforts to develop ultra-thin sub-wavelength diffractive optics, known as meta-optics. ... In a new paper published in Nature Communications, a team of researchers, led by Professor Arka Majumdar at the University of Washington, introduced a new design framework termed 'MTF-engineering,'" writes Anna Wirth-Singh, a UW doctoral student in the physics department.
    03/21/2024 | Nature
  • Scientists reveal superconductor with on/off switches

    Researchers led by Jiun-Haw Chu, a University of Washington associate professor of physics, and Philip Ryan, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energyâs Argonne National Laboratory, have found a superconducting material that is uniquely sensitive to outside stimuli, enabling the superconducting properties to be enhanced or suppressed at will. This discovery could enable new opportunities for switchable, energy-efficient superconducting circuits.
    12/19/2023 | UW News
  • Still Fascinated by Physics

    "The questions are long-term questions," emeritus professor Marshall Baker says of his theoretical physics, which he is still pursuing at age 91. 

    December 2023 Perspectives
  • Closing in on the elusive neutrino

    In a paper published Sept. 6 in Physical Review Letters, an international team of researchers in the United States, Germany and France reported that a distinctive strategy they have used shows real promise to be the first approach to measure the mass of the neutrino. Once fully scaled up, their collaboration — Project 8 — could also reveal how neutrinos influenced the early evolution of the universe as we know it.
    UW News
  • Dawg Daze Digest: Planetarium Shows, Art Tours, Trivia, Information Sessions and more!

    Kick off the Autumn quarter and celebrate a return to campus with these can’t-miss recommendations from the College of Arts & Sciences.

    09/08/2023 | College of Arts & Sciences
  • High School Teachers Get Schooled in Physics

    High school teachers spent four weeks at the UW Summer Institute in Physics and Physical Science to improve their understanding and teaching of physics. 

    September 2023 Perspectives
  • Muon g-2 doubles down with latest measurement, explores uncharted territory in search of new physics

    A particle physics experiment decades in the making — the Muon g-2 experiment — looks increasingly like it might set up a showdown over whether there are fundamental particles or forces in the universe that are unaccounted for in the current Standard Model. On Aug. 10, the international team of scientists behind Muon g-2 — pronounced “g minus 2” — released the world’s most precise measurement yet of the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon. Calculating the muon’s magnetic moment at a high precision will indicate whether it is interacting solely with the particles and forces known today, or if unknown particles or forces are out there.
    UW News
  • Acousto-optic beam-steering chip unleashes LiDAR in tiny footprint

    A new type of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system invented by Mo Li, professor of physics and of electrical and computer engineering at the UW, and his team is poised to shake up what's possible within the LiDAR realm. The team built a laser beam-steering device with no moving parts and put it on a chip, which makes it 1000 times smaller than other LiDAR devices currently available. Putting it on a chip also makes the device compact and sturdy, as well as relatively easy and inexpensive to fabricate.
    Laser Focus World
  • Researchers put a new twist on graphite

    A team led by researchers at the University of Washington reports that it is possible to imbue graphite — the bulk, 3D material found in No. 2 pencils – with physical properties similar to graphite’s 2D counterpart, graphene. Not only was this breakthrough unexpected, the team also believes its approach could be used to test whether similar types of bulk materials can also take on 2D-like properties. If so, 2D sheets won’t be the only source for scientists to fuel technological revolutions. Bulk, 3D materials could be just as useful.
    UW News
  • Xiaodong Xu: Then and Now / 2012 Early Career Award Winner

    New electronic devices? New data storage methods? UW Physics & Materials Sciences Professor Xiaodong Xu studies the properties of single atomic layer semiconductors. He looks for new materials and new ways to control electrical conductivity.

    U.S. Department of Energy
  • Researchers make a quantum computing leap with a magnetic twist

    A team led by scientists and engineers at the University of Washington has announced a significant advancement in developing fault-tolerant qubits for quantum computing. In a pair of papers published June 14 in Nature and June 22 in Science, they report that, in experiments with flakes of semiconductor materials — each only a single layer of atoms thick — they detected signatures of “fractional quantum anomalous Hall” (FQAH) states. The team’s discoveries mark a first and promising step in constructing a type of fault-tolerant qubit because FQAH states can host anyons — strange “quasiparticles” that have only a fraction of an electron’s charge. Some types of anyons can be used to make what are called “topologically protected” qubits, which are stable against any small, local disturbances.
    UW News
  • Four Dean's Medalists, Working Toward Change

    The four new graduates honored as College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Medalists for 2023 are all working to improve our world, in different ways. 

    July 2023 Perspectives