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Students are studying in the physics library

The National Research Council rankings of graduate programs has placed UH Mānoa Department of Physics and Astronomy in the top 12 of all US programs.  The department has an extensive laboratory and classroom building, Watanabe Hall.  It has about 37,000 square feet of research and teaching laboratories, shops, classrooms with special demonstration facilities, and student study rooms.  The Institute for Astronomy building, located above the Mānoa campus, is a greatly expanded facility for research in astronomy and astrophysics.

Latest News

Robert Cence

Emeritus Professor Robert (Bob) John Cence passed away peacefully at home on April 17, 2023.

Emeritus Professor Robert (Bob) John Cence, aged 92 of Honolulu passed away peacefully at home on April 17, 2023 after a brief illness. He was recruited in 1961 to help build the newly formed Physics PhD program at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. He was one of the first hires to this program after statehood. Bob is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, Helena, his son Alan and daughter Lynda, his additional children Ann Mulhauser, Mats Wallin, Lars Wallin, and Helena Wallin-Miller, and by his numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

To honor Bob’s legacy, the family suggests donations to the Robert J. Cence Equity and Access Fund at the University of Hawaii Foundation to support first generation college students. Please direct check donations to Fund #130-2770-4 or give directly online at UH Foundation.

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Artist's impression of a supermassive black hole

UH Mānoa Astrophysicists Prof. Duncan Farrah and Affiliate Graduate Faculty Dr. Kevin Croker of the Physics and Astronomy department publish the 1st observational Evidence linking black holes to dark energy

UH Mānoa Astrophysicists Prof. Duncan Farrah and Affiliate Graduate Faculty Dr. Kevin Croker of the Physics and Astronomy department led this ambitious study, combining Hawaiʻi’s expertise in galaxy evolution and gravity theory with the observation and analysis experience of researchers across nine countries to provide the first insight into what might exist inside real black holes.

Links to news articles

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San Fu Tuan

Emeritus Professor San Fu Tuan passed away peacefully in California on August 5, 2022.

Emeritus Professor San Fu Tuan passed away peacefully in California, on August 5, 2022, with his wife of 59 years, Loretta Kan Tuan by his side. He built the High Energy Theoretical Physics in the department and taught for 35 years. San Fu is survived by his loving wife Loretta; four children: Kathy Tuan-MacLean, Melinda Tuan Groeneveld, Priscilla Tuan Tomikawa, and David Tuan; sons-in-law: Scott MacLean, Peter Groeneveld, Collin Tomikawa, and daughter-in-law Caroline Tuan; 11 grandchildren: Ling, Kai, Sonia, Ren, Tai, Micah, Mei Mei, Kainoa, Evan, Amaya, and Nathan; sister-in-law Manlin Tuan and sister Sylvia Chen.

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neutron monitor station

Associate Professor Veronica Bindi receives $2.5M NSF grant

UH Mānoa Associate Professor Veronica Bindi of Department of Physics and Astronomy will receive $1.2 millions of the $2.5 million grant from National Science Foundation (NSF). The project will construct a space weather station center on the UH Mānoa campus and deploy a neutron monitor on Maui. Associate Professor and her team will collaborate with researchers from the University of New Hampshire and the University of Arizona on the project.

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Dr. Geoffrey Bowers

Dr. Geoffrey Bower’s team produced the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of our Galaxy

Dr. Geoffrey Bower, Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Project Scientist and University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Physics and Astronomy Affiliate Graduate Faculty Member, is a leader of the team that imaged the supermassive black hole at the center of our Galaxy. Geoff has been a P&A affiliate graduate faculty since 2019. Geoff is also Chief Scientist for Hawaii Operations for Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

More details on the EHT breakthrough are available at Astronomers Reveal First Image of the Black Hole at the Heart of Our Galaxy.

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Assistant Professor Jeremy Sakstein

Professor Jeremy Sakstein Awarded Prestigious Cosmology Prize

Professor Jeremy Sakstein has been awarded the 2021 Buchalter Cosmology Prize for his pioneering work in cosmology, proposing novel methods to search for dark energy on Earth. For his work, Professor Sakstein was awarded third prize and $2500 alongside his collaborators Sunny Vagnozzi (University of Cambridge), Luca Visinelli (Shanghai Jiao Tong University), Anne-Christine Davis (University of Cambridge), and Philippe Brax (University of Paris-Saclay).

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