Director's Welcome

Christopher Jarzynski
Christopher Jarzynski

The mission of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST) is to foster excellence in interdisciplinary research and education at the University of Maryland. IPST accomplishes this by integrating people, science and technology.

Our selective and highly ranked graduate programs in the fields of

provide specialized training at the intersection of traditional fields, and are a central component of our mission.

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Burgers display at IPST lobby
Jan Burgers display at the renovated IPST building lobby.

News and Special Events

IPST Professor Millard Alexander elected to IAQMS

July 9, 2014. Millard Alexander has been elected to membership in the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science (IAQMS). Alexander is a Distinguished University Professor with a joint appointment in IPST and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. His research focuses on non-adiabatic effects in molecular collisions, in weakly bound complexes and in molecular photodissociation. His previous honors include a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and the Hildebrand Award from the Chemical Society of Washington, among others.

The IAQMS promotes research and international collaboration related to the application of quantum theory to chemistry and chemical physics. According to its website, its members "are chosen among the scientists of all countries who have distinguished themselves by the value of their scientific work, their role of pioneer or leader of a school in the broad field of the application of quantum mechanics to the study of molecules and macromolecules".

IPST Professor Wolfgang Losert Named College's Associate Dean for Research

July 2, 2014. Wolfgang Losert has been named Interim Associate Dean for Research in the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS) effective July 1, 2014. Losert has appointments in IPST, Physics, and the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics (IREAP). His research focuses on discovering emergent dynamic properties of complex systems at the interface of physics and biology, with a special emphasis on cancer biology. To take on this new position in the dean’s office, Losert will step down from his roles as member of the Burgers Board for Fluid Dynamics and director of the Maryland Biophysics graduate program.

“Given Wolfgang's outstanding research contributions, I am confident that he will have a tremendous impact on the college’s research excellence, interdisciplinary collaborations, and industry partnerships," said Jayanth Banavar, dean of CMNS.

Losert assumed the role previously held by IPST professor Dan Lathrop, an innovative experimentalist who assisted immensely in the development of the college during his tenure as associate dean for research.

Back-to-back Phys Rev Letters by IPST Faculty, Postdocs and Student

July 1, 2014. A recent issue of Physical Review Letters features two back-to-back papers on granular materials by Professor Wolfgang Losert (IPST/PHYS/IREAP) and colleagues. The first of these papers, describing numerical work with Professor Michelle Girvan (IPST/PHYS/IREAP) as one of the authors, revisits the problem of “cage-breaking” for a granular system and develops a new method for quantifying how grains move under the influence of their nearest neighbors. The second paper experimentally studies the rearrangement of particles upon impact of a projectile onto a bed of grains. University of Maryland postdocs Mitch Mailman, and Kerstin Nordstrom are first authors on these papers. Graduate student Matt Harrington co-authored both articles.

Expanded autobiographical notes of J. M. Burgers published by J. V. Sengers and G. Ooms

July 1, 2014. Distinguished University Professor Emeritus and Research Professor Jan V. Sengers (IPST) and his colleague G. (Gijs) Ooms, former director of the J. M. Burgerscentrum (JMBC) in the Netherlands, have published a new set of autobiagraphical notes of J. M. Burgers. The notes were composed in 1954 by Burgers. This work appears in the 2013-2014 Annual Report of the JMBC. Professor Sengers has also deposited a copy in the Niels Bohr Library of the the American Institute of Physics, where it appears in its catalogue.

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