Department of Physics - University of Colorado Foundation

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Department of Physics - University of Colorado Foundation

Creating FuturesUniversity of Colorado at BoulderFundamental, Critical, EssentialDepartment of Physics


Left: Domains of a smectic liquid crystalshowing off their birefringence colors.An ExtraordinaryRecord of SuccessThe Department of Physics at the University of Coloradoat Boulder is internationally renowned for outstandingteaching, research, and service. Strategic investmentby the university and decades of visionary recruitmenthave placed the Department of Physics at the forefront,with accomplished faculty devoted to undergraduate andgraduate research and education.Your support can enhance this program further, andensure the superior quality, value, and impact of CU-Boulder Physics for the future. Our physicists haveprovided fundamental scientific research on which muchof our society depends. An investment in physics is aninvestment in the future.Our strengths include:Excellent Reputation• Top-10 physics program among public universities(U.S. News & World Report), top 20 overall—amongthe highest-ranked of CU-Boulder’s programs• #1 program in the world in atomic, molecular, andoptical physics• Recognized as one of CU-Boulder’s leadingdepartments in research and teachingBuckley Prize-winningprofessor Noel Clark is aleading researcher in theareas of liquid crystal and softcondensed matter physics.Award-Winning Faculty• Three Nobel Laureates (Eric Cornell, 2001; CarlWieman, 2001; John Hall, 2005)• Two MacArthur Fellows (Deborah Jin,Margaret Murnane)• Six members of the National Academy ofSciences (Noel Clark, Eric Cornell, John Hall,Deborah Jin, Margaret Murnane, Carl Wieman)• Since 2000, 14 faculty members have won theleading national research awards in their fieldProgram Growth• One of America’slargest undergraduateand graduate physicsprograms, with 400+undergraduates and200+ doctoral students• CU-Boulder’s largestPhD program• More than 75 percentincrease in undergraduateand graduate enrollmentwithin a decadeMike Dubson, awardwinningphysics educatorBreadth of Programs• Coursework and research that spans most areas inphysics including: atomic, molecular, and opticalphysics, elementary particle physics, condensedmatter physics, plasma physics, geophysics, nuclearphysics, biophysics, physics education research, andhistory and philosophy of physics• Bachelor’s degrees offered both through the Collegeof Arts & Sciences and the College of Engineeringand Applied ScienceCover image: Crossed laser and x-ray beamsreveal how electrons form chemical bonds inmolecules.2Department of Physics


Research with Broad Application• Recent research breakthroughs in lasers, atomicphysics, atomic clocks, liquid crystals, materialsscience, plasma physics, environmental science, highenergyphysics, nuclear physics, DNA dynamics, andphysics learningCollaborations withCenters/Institutes/Federal Labs• Founding partner of JILA, a pioneering collaborationbetween the University of Colorado and the NationalInstitute of Standards and Technology• Shared faculty with the Cooperative Institute forResearch in Environmental Sciences and the Laboratoryfor Atmospheric and Space Physics• Close research collaborations with the NationalInstitute of Standards and Technology, the NationalRenewable Energy Laboratory, the NationalOceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, theU.S. Geological Survey, and the National Center forAtmospheric Research• National research centers led by physics faculty: theLiquid Crystal Materials Research Center, the Centerfor Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology, andthe Colorado Center for Lunar Dust and AtmosphericStudiesPhysics professorand JILA fellowChris Greene wonthe 2010 Davisson-Germer Prize forhis prediction of therecently discoveredlong-range Rydbergmolecule (pictured atleft).Outstanding Teaching• Recognized by the College of Arts & Sciences as thecollege’s best teaching department• Classroom teaching innovations including clickertechnology and peer learning• Leadership in CUTeach to recruit and train tomorrow’sscience teachers• Six faculty honored with national teaching awardssince 2000Service and Community Engagement• CU Wizards, a 34-year tradition of engaging K-12students in science• Saturday Physics Series lectures for adults and highschool students• Award-winning Physics Education Technology Projectprovides online public access to interactive, researchbasedscience simulationsStudent Opportunities• Undergraduates engage in research projects withour faculty, preparing them for graduate school andresearch careers• Leading department in undergraduate research andHonors graduatesCU-Boulder physics professors, JILA fellows, andspouses Henry Kapteyn and Margaret Murnane areworld leaders in femtosecond high-intensity lasers. Theyhave used the technology to create coherent pulsed softx-rays with dozens of physics, chemistry, and engineeringapplications.Impact Regionwide• Our graduates have been integral to the establishmentand growth of companies including Ball Aerospace,Coherent Technologies, CDM Optics, Optical Finesse,Precision Photonics, and Vescent Photonics• Our faculty have been responsible for creatingseveral local companies such as Displaytech, Tech-X,ColdQuanta, and K&M Labs• Local federal laboratories and private sector companiesdepend on the skills and dedication of our graduatesDepartment of Physics 3


Private Gifts Help Maintain QualityCan studentslearn importantphysicsconcepts usingresearch-basedcomputersimulations,or help teachone anotherdifficult class concepts usingthe peer learning method? CU-Boulder physics professor NoahFinkelstein in the PhysicsEducation Research groupexplores these questions.To learn about the many ways youcan make a gift:ContactPat SullivanSenior Director of DevelopmentUniversity of Colorado Foundation1305 University Ave.Boulder, CO 80302303-541-1475pat.sullivan@cufund.org• We compete nationally for top physics students; strong CU-Boulderfellowship offers allow candidates to choose CU-Boulder for advanced degrees• Outstanding faculty are attracted to CU-Boulder Physics because of ourexcellent reputation. Endowed chairs and professorships will ensure that weattract and retain talented professors and researchersNow is the Time• As we enhance our program’s quality, the value of a CU-Boulder physicsdegree increases, enhancing the prestige and stature of the degrees of alumni• Increased support will build on the legacy of excellence established by ouraccomplished faculty and alumniSupporting Excellence• Graduate Fellowships to help us compete for top graduate students• Undergraduate Scholarships to reward top undergraduate talent and helpaspiring physicists regardless of means or circumstance• Endowed Chairs and Professorships to reward and retain our outstandingfaculty, honoring recipient and donor alike• Physics education for tomorrow by supporting permanent funding forthe CU Science Education Initiative and CUTeach, whose goals are to trainthe next generation of scientifically engaged citizens and to recruit and trainfuture science and mathematics teachersYou can make a current or endowed gift or pledge, or a planned gift (such asa bequest, charitable trust or securities gift) that achieves your personal goalsand estate or tax planning priorities. Or you can make a transformative capitalgift that will enhance our classroom and laboratory space for future generations.CU-Boulder physics department leadership and the CU Foundation can workwith you to connect your areas of interest to the department’s strategic priorities.www.cufund.orgAll gifts should be payable to the CUFoundation, specifying the appropriate fund.First observation of a Bose-Einstein Condensate, Anderson,Ensher, Matthews, Wieman, Cornell, 1995.December 2009

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