Divisions & Units - Mathematical & Physical Sciences

Walter Alvarez: A geologist ponders the improbability of life

April 25, 2017

His new book, A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves, was inspired by a course Alvarez taught for five years, until his retirement in 2011, called “Big History,” in which he approached human history from a geologic and ultimately cosmic perspective, stretching back to the universe’s origin 13.8 billion years ago. The book is his attempt to make the scientific background of big history accessible to those without a science background, specifically historians and other humanists, through personal stories.

Berkeley Lab astrophysicists develop novel method for finding gravitationally lensed Type 1a supernovae

April 21, 2017

With the help of an automated supernova-hunting pipeline and a galaxy sitting 2 billion light years away from Earth that’s acting as a “magnifying glass,’’ astronomers have captured multiple images of a Type Ia supernova—the brilliant explosion of a star—appearing in four different locations on the sky. So far this is the only Type Ia discovered that has exhibited this effect.

Watch the building of the Simons Observatory! (Video)

April 14, 2017

The Eternal Sky, a short film about building the Simons Observatory, highlights Berkeley research as well as the people behind the development and construction of this world class research facility.

West Coast rollout of updated ‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake warning system

April 12, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey and its university, state and private partners this week announced the rollout of the latest version of the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system, bringing it to all West Coast states.

Don’t Miss the Berkeley Grad Slam Championship!

April 4, 2017

See eight graduate student semi-finalists (including 4 from L&S) compete to be the Berkeley Champion!

$5.8 million grant helps expand radio telescope to study ‘cosmic dawn'

March 7, 2017

A radio telescope array being built in South Africa to explore the period after stars first formed in the early universe has received $5.8 million in new funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Statistics alum working to make Pittsburg a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants

March 20, 2017

Arturo Fernandez, a Berkeley alum, is leading the Pittsburg Sanctuary Organizing Committee currently working  to make Pittsburg a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.

Sloan fellowships awarded to faculty ‘rising stars’

February 23, 2017

Five young UC Berkeley faculty members (two within the College of Letters & Science) have been awarded 2017 Sloan Research Fellowships, coveted grants for scientists and scholars at the beginning of their academic careers.