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Physics and Astronomy


Department of Physics and Astronomy hopes to address some of these questions in Physics for Everyone, a fall public lecture series that debuts at 10 a.m. Saturday.

“We invite the public to come to campus to hear some of our faculty talk about the fundamental building blocks of the universe, weird and mysterious quantum world, and Einstein’s revolutionary ideas,” said Kranti Gunthoti, program director.

Read more about the series and view a schedule of the speakers.


Steven Johnston and his colleagues suggest, sometimes they can actually be a pleasant surprise.

In a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, Johnston and his collaborators report on how extra energy costs associated with the movement of electrons in lithium copper oxides reveal more about these materials, and in turn help scientists better understand their electronic properties.

The researchers focused on insulators, materials that make it virtually impossible for electric current to flow. They noted that the way current moves is a key property of insulators, semiconductors, and superconductors, which could drive the electronics industry.

Continue reading on the Department of Physics and Astronomy’s website.


Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The institute is a partnership between ORNL and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

“Neutrons are the future in characterizing materials, especially soft matter,” said Taylor Eighmy, vice chancellor for research and engagement at UT. “With Alan as director, we can begin to establish deep thought leadership at UT and ORNL in this growing field.”

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