Department News

Augustana University Awarded More than $450,000 in Physics Research Grants

 October 8, 2020.  Augustana is awarded three research grants from the National Science Foundation in the 2020 cycle.

Augustana students present molecular physics research at national meeting

July 15, 2019:  Charles Schwartz, Naoki Iwamoto, and Shitong Zhao presented their undergraduate research at the 50th annual DAMOP meeting this summer.  

Zhao First Author of Article in Physical Review A


June 3, 2019.  Shitong Zhao is the first author of an article examing laser-induced bond rearrangement in triatomic molecules. 

Morin-Baxter, Waldrop Named 2019-20 Rossing Physics Scholars

March 29, 2019.  Josh Morin-Baxter and Trey Waldrop are named 2019-2020 Rossing Physics Scholars.  This is the second consecutive year Augustana has received two awards which recognize outstanding physics majors at ELCA colleges and universities.

Zhao, Waldrop Named 2018-19 Rossing Physics Scholars

Augustana students named Rossing Physics ScholarsMarch 19, 2018.  Augustana University junior Shitong Zhao and sophomore Trey Waldrop have been selected as 2018-19 Rossing Physics Scholars. 


Augustana Earns Major Grants from National Science Foundation for Physics Research

October 6, 2018.  The Augustana University Physics Department is the recipient of three major grants from the National Science Foundation. The grants, totaling $294,000, will provide opportunities for AU undergraduates to engage in cutting edge physics research on campus, and at labs around the world, over the next several summers. 

Augustana Physics Professors Prepare for Eclipse.

August 17, 2017:  Nathan Grau talks with KELO about the upcoming eclipse.

Physics Research by AU Alumni, Professor Published on National Site

June 30, 2017.  Research findings by an Augustana physics professor and AU alumni are featured in Scientific Reports, a nationally recognized online repository for life, physical, chemical, applied science and clinical research.

STEM Composite Major Announced

The STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) composite major is an interdisciplinary program in the natural sciences which may be declared as a second major in conjunction with another course of study. Pairing a strong background in math and/or science with a degree in journalism, business or secondary education, for example, will strengthen the resumes of future graduates.

Senior Named 'Outstanding Student' for Work in Nuclear, Radiochemistry Program

May 2, 2017.  Senior Emily Kaufman received the "Outstanding Student" award from the Brookhaven National Laboratory for her work during a six-week Summer School in Nuclear and Radiochemistry. 

Augustana Physics Society Earns National Recognition

January 17, 2017.  Augustana's Society of Physics Students has earned a Distinguished Chapter designation from the SPS National Council. 

Froiland Science Complex Dedication

September 27, 2016 - The Froiland Science Complex is dedicated.  

Professor Engages Local Youth in Computer Programming

December 4, 2015. Associate professor of physics Dr. Drew Alton received a Project Innovation Grant from the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium to partner with Harrisburg North Middle School in order to bring computer programming, robots and drones to middle school students.



Wall Street Journal Features Physics Professor's Research

February 19, 2015.  International research on dark matter conducted at Italy's Gran Sasso National Laboratory and featuring work by Dr. Drew Alton, chair and associate professor of physics at Augustana, is detailed in a new article by the Wall Street Journal.

Three-Dimensional View Helps Laser in Building New Molecules

December 5, 2013.  Research by Augustana physics students and their international collaborators is published in Nature Communications.

'Fermilab Today' Features Augustana Physics

Fermilab Today

Tuesday, April 16, 2013. Fermilab Today, an online publication by the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), the only U.S. laboratory dedicated to high-energy physics, recently featured Augustana among the worldwide universities it collaborates with.



Burkart Recieves Physics Leadership Award

June 3, 2013.  Audrey Burkart, a junior physics major, has been awarded a $2,000 Society of Physics Students (SPS) Leadership Scholarship for the upcoming 2013-2014 academic year. 

Augustana Society of Physics Student Chapter Recognized

Society of PhysicsMonday, February 4, 2013. Augustana's Society of Physics Student Chapter has been recognized as an “Outstanding Chapter” by the national Society of Physics Students (SPS). The honor recognizes chapters who show a commitment to community outreach and service, contributions related to student recruitment and retention, and interaction with alumni.


Augustana Mourns Loss of Professor Emeritus Dr. V.R. Nelson

V.R. NelsonSUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2012.  Dr. V. Ronald Nelson, long-time professor of Physics and Aeronautics, passed away on Saturday, April 28.  He was 91. 


Zetterlund Named Goldwater Scholar

Goldwater Scholar awards 2012TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 2012.  Physics and religion major Erika Zetterlund, a junior from St. Cloud, MN was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship for academic year 2012-13.  Zetterlund's research work has been done in collaboration with Dr. Drew Alton and has involved experimental searches for Dark Matter.


Wussow-Grau Article in Physical Review C

PHENIX collision simulation TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2012.  "Determination of the Quark Content of Scalar Mesons Using Hydrodynamical Flow in Heavy Ion Collisions," a paper by Matt Wussow, a senior physics and mathematics major from Eden Prairie, Minn., and Augustana's Dr. Nathan Grau, was recently published in Physical Review C, the nuclear physics journal of the American Physical Society.


Society of Physics Students Chapter Receives Award

2010-11 SPS photoTUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011.  Augustana's Society of Physics Students (SPS) chapter has been named one of the Midwest's Outstanding SPS Chapters for its efforts to "spread the joy of science" to local high school students, the campus community and the general public.


Argus-Leader:  'Augie Grad Joins Physics Elite'

Physics Honor Society logo MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2011.  Read the Argus Leader story on Bethany Jochim, class of 2011, a recipient of the prestigious Leroy Apker Award, the top undergraduate honor awarded by the American Physical Society (APS).  Related news items from APS and Kansas State.


Jochim wins APS LeRoy Apker Award

Physics Honor Society logo THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2011.  The American Physical Society awards 2011 graduate Bethany Jochim the LeRoy Apker award for outstanding achievement by an undergraduate physicist. 


Alexander-Alton Article Appears in Physical Review D

Physics Honor Society logo TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011.   An article authored by Belview, Minn., native Tom Alexander, class of 2011, and Dr. Drew Alton, assistant professor of physics, is featured in the June issue of Physical Review D.


Physics Major Zetterlund Receives Sophomore Honors Award

Physics Honor Society logo FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2011.   Rising juniors Kimberly Homan, Hannah Kuelbs, Brennan Olson, and Erika Zetterlund have been selected to receive the prestigious Sophomore Honors Award, an honor that recognizes outstanding achievement, scholarship and character.


Undergraduate Research Participation Jumps 54 Percent

Physics Honor Society logo MONDAY,JUNE 27, 2011.   This summer, 92 Augustana students are working alongside faculty members and mentors throughout the U.S., exploring and researching everything from platelet-biogenesis to the impact of ultrafast laser pulses on molecular fragmentation – an increase of 54 percent from last year.


Alumna Returns to Campus to Present Research Seminar

Kelsie at MPQTHURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2011.   Alumna Kelsie Betsch, class of 2005, will speak about her award-winning Ph.D. research at 1:30 p.m. in the Gilbert Science Center. Betsch, who recently graduated from the University of Virginia, has studied the control of molecular dynamics using ultrafast laser pulses.


The Augustana:  Summer 2011

Physics Honor Society logo MONDAY, JUNE 20, 2011.   The summer issue of The Augustana, the magazine for alumni and friends of the College, features recent graduate Bethany Jochim and her impressive undergraduate career.


12 Students Inducted into National Physics Honor Society

Physics Honor Society logo TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011. Twelve students were recently inducted into Augustana’s inaugural class of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national Physics Honor Society, an organization developed to honor outstanding scholarship in physics, celebrate service and the encouragement of exploration and discovery and, provide fellowship.


Alexander Honored With Covenant Award for Liberal Arts

Bethany JochimFRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2010. Thomas Alexander, a senior communications and physics major from Belview, Minn., was honored with the Augustana Covenant Award for Liberal Arts. The award was presented at the 2010 Boe Forum on Public Affairs, featuring former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.


Jochim Named Rossing Physics Scholar

Bethany JochimWEDNESDAY, JUNE 23, 2010. Senior Bethany Jochim, a physics major, has been named a Rossing Physics Scholar for 2010-2011. Jochim will receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Thomas D. Rossing Fund.


Student Research Appears in Physics Publication

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2009.   Augustana students Russ Averin, Neal Gregerson, and Bethany Jochim are co-authors of a paper published in the January 14, 2010, issue of the Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics.


Augustana Students Co-author Article in Physical Review A

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2009. Four current Augustana students join two alums as co-authors of a paper published in the December 2009 issue of Physical Review A, a section of the Physical Review journal dedicated to atomic, molecular, and optical physics research.


Augustana Physics Major Receives Rossing Scholarship

Bethany JochimMONDAY, JULY 27, 2009.  Augustana junior Bethany Jochim from Pierre, SD, has been named a Rossing Physics Scholar for 2009-2010. Jochim will receive a $10,000 scholarship from the Thomas D. Rossing Fund for Physics Education Endowment within the ELCA Foundation.


Alumna Receives Fulbright to Study in Germany

THURSDAY, JULY 9, 2009. Nora Johnson, a 2005 Augustana graduate and currently a graduate student in physics at Kansas State University, has been awarded a 2009 Fulbright Scholarship to study at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany.


Four Students Chosen For Sophomore Honors

TUESDAY, JULY 7, 2009.  Four Augustana students have been selected to receive sophomore honors. Sophomore Honors recognizes students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement at an early stage of their college career.



Student Research Presented at National Physics Meetings

WEDNESDAY, MAY 6, 2009.  On May 21, research work completed by current and former Augustana students will be delivered at an invited talk at the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (DAMOP) meeting in Charlottesville, VA.



Sophomore Published in Physics Journal

FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2009. Bethany Jochim, a sophomore physics major from Pierre, SD, is the lead author of an article published in the Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, published by the Institute of Physics.


Two Augustana Students Receive Goldwater Scholarships

FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2009. Augustana students Nick Bleeker and Bethany Jochim have been awarded the prestigious Goldwater Scholarships for the 2009-2010 academic year.


Student, Mentor, Co-author Article in Physics Letters B

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2009. Augustana junior Russ Averin and faculty mentor Dr. Drew Alton's work from the past two summers has now been published in the most recent Physics Letters B journal by Elsevier Science.

Previous news items are available in the department news archive.