News: Faculty


​Nearly a decade in the making, exoplanet-hunting instrument installed in Hawaii

October 4, 2019

MAROON-X team members wearing and Gemini Observatory staff wearing helmets standing in front of the Gemini North telescope with the MAROON-X unit.

Jacob Bean, associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Chicago, led a project to build and install an innovative instrument that will scan the skies for new exoplanets—worlds in other solar systems that could potentially host life. Over the past eight years, Bean and his team had designed and built the instrument, called MAROON-X; this summer they finally attached it to a telescope at the Gemini Observatory at the top of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. 

Researchers at the University of Chicago seek to shape emerging field of AI

October 2, 2019

Prof. Willet presenting slides on AI and data science foundations in front of audience

AI technology is increasingly used to open up new horizons for scientists and researchers. At the University of Chicago, researchers are using it for everything from scanning the skies for supernovae to finding new drugs from millions of potential combinations and developing a deeper understanding of the complex phenomena underlying the Earth’s climate. 


Dust from a giant asteroid crash caused an ancient ice age

September 18, 2019

Illustration of an asteroid collision

A new study by a group of scientists including a University of Chicago professor argues that the ice age was caused by global cooling, triggered by extra dust in the atmosphere from a giant asteroid collision in outer space. 

How Will Quantum Computing Change Our Society?

September 18, 2019

Illustration of blue grid lines

Forbes features Prof. Fred Chong's Quora response to the question: how will quantum computing change our society? He discusses possible technological advancements using quantum computing, including providing new means for encrypting and securely communicating data. 

Introducing New Faculty in the Physical Sciences Division

September 16, 2019

Physical Sciences data map logo

Fifteen faculty members across five departments joined the Physical Sciences Division this fall. Read more about their research interests and backgrounds.

Mining historical glass slides for astronomical data

September 12, 2019

Black and white polaroid from 10/6/1901 depicting black splotches, a test image from the pilot study on mining astronomical data from historical glass slides.

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics is partnering with the University of Chicago Library to run a pilot study to determine how to scan 175,000 photographic glass plate slides from Yerkes Observatory in a way that will facilitate meaningful scientific inquiry.  

UChicago mathematician, physicists win $3 million ‘Oscars of science’

September 6, 2019

Headshot of Alex Eskin

Prof. Alex Eskin, a UChicago mathematician who co-proved a “magic wand theorem” has been awarded one of the $3 million Breakthrough Prizes. 

The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, of which the University of Chicago is a partner, received the prize for creating the first image of a black hole earlier this year.  Michael Levin, an associate professor of physics studying quantum condensed matter physics, was also awarded the New Horizons Prize along with three other physicists. 

Computer scientist integrates technology with anatomy

September 4, 2019

Picture of Marco Kaisth, class of 2021, in spacious lab room playing with a theremin.

Asst. Prof. Pedro Lopes reimagines the role of “human” in human-computer interaction. Some of Lopes's projects consider how humans respond to computers being in control of their anatomy.  

Chemist illuminates pacemaker technology

September 4, 2019

3D illustration of human heart

Assoc. Prof. Bozhi Tian develops a less invasive pacemaker--silicon cells that could be injected into the heart and operated using pulses of light. 

UChicago scientists investigate biodiversity question with innovative approach

August 30, 2019

3D image of a Spondylus americanus on the left and a Arctica Islandica on the right

Prof. David Jablonksi addresses a long-standing biodiversity question: why are there so many species at the equator and so few near the poles? In one study, Jablonski, whose research on mollusks has shaped the field, worked with a UChicago bird biologist to understand how species across the world live in different climates. In the second, Jablonski and postdoc Katie Collins used a micro CT scanner to analyze how forms of mollusks change from tropics to poles. 

Quanta Magazine notes friendly wager between Prof. Holz and other physicists regarding black holes

August 30, 2019

Illustration of Black Hole


Researchers discover source of deep-sea methane locked inside rocks between the Earth’s crust

August 29, 2019

A deep-sea hydrothermal vent, also called a black smoker in dim lighting

Postdoctoral Fellow Stephanie Olson comments on new geological discovery of 'massive pool' of methane and posits that it could have astrobiological significance.

Research Asst. Prof. Alexey Galda featured in Chicago Tribune for Wingsuit Flying World Cup

August 29, 2019

Picture of Galda in wingsuit flying back-first down to the ground.


Associate Barry Madore elaborates on discrepancies in the Hubble constant measurement

August 29, 2019

An image of the Large Magellanic Cloud taken with a ground-based telescope.

Live Science interviews Madore to weigh in on why researchers produce conflicting results when attempting to measure the rate of cosmic expansion. 

Mini-EUSO hitches ride on spacecraft, paves way for future experiments

August 28, 2019

photo of mini-EUSO

Mini-EUSO hitched a ride with Russia's Soyuz MS14 to the International Space Station. Mini-EUSO is a prototype for two University of Chicago-led experiments, EUSO-SPB2 and POEMMA, which aim to discover the origin of the highest-energy particles and to study their sources and interactions.