Latest news


Organization for Diverse Leadership in Science is pioneering outreach and inclusivity

As part of efforts to diversify STEM fields, OCDS was created almost ten years in UCLA’s Chemistry and Biochemistry department. It has since become a wide-spread STEM organization to promote multiculturalism and inclusion in the field, especially at the graduate level. It does so by offering resources for networking and career development not only to UCLA students, but to local community college students as well.

Click here to read more about OCDS.

Sensor on glove

UCLA scientists develop fire-retardant sensors for safety gear in harsh environments

Richard Kaner, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, worked with other UCLA researchers and faculty at two other universities to design a self-extinguishing motion sensor and power generator. The device is no bigger than a quarter and may be embedded in shoes or clothing worn by workers in harsh environments.

Click here to read more.

Blue Dawn Team

UCLA students touch space with a microgravity experiment

The Bruin Spacecraft undergraduate student group designed a fluid pump without any moving parts to work in zero-gravity, ideal for moving various liquids on the International Space Station. Their pump was aboard Blue Origin’s reusable rocket when it launched on May 9, making it the first space payload developed and built entirely by a UCLA student group.

Click here to read more.

Click here to read more news stories from UCLA’s Division of Physical Sciences


Physics Colloquium
May 20, 2019: Moossa J. Arman Physics Colloquium: Science and Innovation

Speaker Terrence Sejnowski is a pioneer in neural networks and computational neuroscience, and will speak on ‘A Deep Learning Revolution for Science.’ Sejnowski is the Salk Institute for Biological Studies Distinguished Professor at University of California, San Diego. The event takes place at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) with a reception to follow. For more information, click here.

Inez Y. Fung
May 30, 2019: Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences: Yanai Lecture

Inez Fung will lead a talk titled “From there to here: A brief history of projecting climate and environmental change”. Fung is professor of Atmospheric Science at UC Berkeley, and founding Director of the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center and the Berkeley Institute of the Environment. Join us for a reception at 5 PM and lecture at 6 PM in California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). Click here to RSVP.

Research Week Graphic
May 20-24: Undergraduate Research Week

More than 1,000 from all over campus students present their research and creative work in Pauley Pavilion, Powell Library, the Luskin Conference Center, and many other venues throughout the week, all open to anyone to attend. For more information, click here.

Click here to read about more events from UCLA Physical Sciences


UCLA ranked #1 public university

UCLA was named #1 among U.S. public universities in two significant lists: the 2019 U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings, and the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education survey.

Qualities highlighted by the publications include UCLA’s commitment to top-quality education, fostering a sense of community, and prioritizing inclusion. Click here to read the news announcements.

Student Spotlight: Research on seafloor has great implications for sea levels

Pine Island Glacier

Ken Zhao, a PhD candidate in the department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences published phenomenal research in the Journal of Physical Oceanography. This research focuses on the effects of seafloor sills on melting glaciers.

Ultimately, the research may help scientists create a better approach to mitigate rising sea levels.

Click here to read Zhao’s account of this research and its implications.

The DIYnamics school outreach program

Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences (EPSS) professor Jon Aurnou leads the Simulated Planetary Interiors Laboratory or SPINLab, which studies how the rotation of planets shapes the flow of fluids in their atmospheres and cores.

Fun, hands-on experiments developed by SPINLab students and postdocs are visiting local middle and high schools to teach younger students how Earth’s rotation impacts our day-to-day weather.

Click here to read more about the program and how to bring it to a school near you.

Alumni Spotlight: Christopher Snead, EPSS

Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences alumnus Christopher Snead (Ph.D. 2016) is continuing his passion for research with the Astromaterials Curation Facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

“The research I conducted [at UCLA] on cosmic dust particles prepared me to participate in high-level decisions about how future samples will be collected, curated, and analyzed in a way that maximizes scientific yield,” he says.

Click here to read more about how his time at UCLA and why he encourages students to consider a major within EPSS.

Physical Sciences faculty named fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

2018 AAAS Fellows

Four Physical Sciences faculty were named AAAS 2018 Fellows for their scientifically or socially distinguished work to advance science.

We asked Heather Maynard, Neil Garg, Xiangfeng Duan, and Carla Koehler – all professors of Chemistry & Biochemistry – how they got to where they are and what this fellowship means to them for their future endeavors. Click here to read more about what this recognition means for their career, their students, and their research.