UCLA Physical Sciences
UCLA Physical Sciences Departments


Gyroscope molecules by García-Garibay and HoukNew type of molecular machine designed by UCLA researchers could have wide-ranging applications in technology and science

Led by Chemistry & Biochemistry professor and dean of Physical Sciences Miguel García-Garibay, UCLA researchers have formed a crystal out of molecules with a solid exterior and containing moving parts. The new crystal, described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first proof that a single material can be both static and moving, or amphidynamic. Click here to read more.

UCLA professor’s research on ancient fossil microorganisms indicate that life in the universe is common

Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences professor J. William Schopf led a study published in PNAS announcing how new analysis of the oldest known fossil microorganisms provides strong evidence to support an increasingly widespread understanding that life in the universe is common. Click here to read more.

Professor of cosmochemistry receives 2018 J. Lawrence Smith Medal from Council of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences

Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences professor Kevin McKeegan is being awarded the Smith medal in recognition of his “contributions to understanding of the processes and chronology of the early solar system as recorded by primitive meteorites, for innovation in analytical instrumentation, and for showing that the oxygen isotopic compositions of the Earth and rocky planets and meteorites are distinctly different from that of the Sun.” Click here to read more.

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Student Spotlight

Chemistry & Biochemistry graduate student Nako Nakatsuka illustrated the children’s chemistry book “A is for Atom”. Available now on Amazon, the book was co-authored by UCLA alumnus Heidi McMahon.

Nakatsuka, a dissertation year fellow, received a competitive travel award earlier this year for her presentation at the “Brain in Flux: Genetic,

Physiological, and Therapeutic Perspectives on Transporters in the Nervous System” meeting in France.

She also starred in a “Kids Teach Science” video produced by BuzzFeed for Pfizer (watch it here).


January 30, 2018: Lecture by Kip Thorne

2017 Nobel Prize Laureate Kip Thorne will present a talk as part of the Department of Physics & Astronomy’s Bhaumik Lectures at 4:00 p.m. in UCLA’s CNSI Auditorium.
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February 12, 2018: Public Talk by Margaret Kivelson

A free presentation and Q&A with UCLA EPSS Professor Emerita Margaret G. Kivelson, recipient of the 2017 Kuiper Prize of the American Astronomical Society for outstanding contributions to planetary science. Read more and RSVP

March 8–10, 2018: Latinx in the Mathematical Sciences Conference

UCLA’s Institute of Pure & Applied Mathematics (IPAM) will host a conference showcasing the achievements of Latina/os in the mathematical sciences.
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