Divisions & Units - Mathematical & Physical Sciences

UC Berkeley, NASA looking for citizen scientists to help find Planet 9

February 16, 2017

Through a new website called Backyard Worlds: Planet 9, anyone can now help search for objects far beyond the orbit of our farthest planet, Neptune, by viewing brief “flipbook” movies made from images captured by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. A faint spot seen moving through background stars might be a new and distant planet orbiting the sun or a nearby brown dwarf.

Berkeley scientist examines how to build an organism

February 13, 2017

Today, scientists can sequence the DNA of nearly any organism they wish. Yet they cannot predict the size, shape, or functions of a developing organism solely based on its DNA sequence.

Berkeley Geologists Discover New Feature of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

February 7, 2017

Using a 3D imaging technique called seismic tomography and data gathered from more than 1,000 on- and offshore seismometers, researchers William Hawley, Richard Allen, and Mark Richards have captured a clearer picture of one portion of the earth’s elusive deep structure. It’s a giant, sausage-shaped accumulation of buoyant material beneath the Juan de Fuca Plate—an oceanic plate nearly the size of Michigan. The plate’s western edge runs from Northern California to Vancouver Island, Canada.

UC, CSU faculty send open letter to Trump on climate change

January 31, 2017

Amid rumors that President Donald Trump will soon pull out of the Paris climate agreement that former President Barack Obama signed last year, more than 2,300 faculty from California universities have signed an open letter to the Trump administration calling for sustained action on climate change and urging the president to honor the country’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions as set forth in the agreement.

Two astronomy postdocs receive fellowships to study exoplanets

January 25, 2017

L&S congratulates Peter Gao on being named the inaugural postdoc fellow in Heising-Simons' "51 Pegasi b" program! Named after the first exoplanet discovered, 51 Pegasi b Fellows are exceptional scientists who will advance planetary astronomy.

Katherine de Kleer, a current Berkeley doctoral candidate, is also an inaugural fellow. Katherine will do her fellowship at Caltech.

Art Rosenfeld, California’s Godfather of Energy Efficiency, Dies at 90

January 27, 2017

Art Rosenfeld, a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Distinguished Scientist Emeritus who is also known as California’s “godfather” of energy efficiency and who has been credited with being personally responsible for billions of dollars in energy savings, died Friday at his home in Berkeley, California. He was 90.

Berkeley scientists unveil new form of matter: time crystals

January 26, 2017

In a paper published online last week in the journal Physical Review Letters, the UC Berkeley assistant professor of physics,Norman Yao, describes exactly how to make and measure the properties of such a crystal, and even predicts what the various phases surrounding the time crystal should be — akin to the liquid and gas phases of ice.

Statistics Ph.D. student speaks out about being undocumented in the Trump era

January 26, 2017

Arturo Fernandez, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in statistics, discusses his experience as an undocumented student at UC Berkeley. 

Berkeley scientists reprogram embryonic stem cells to expand their potential

January 17, 2017

Researchers from UC Berkeley have found a way to reprogram mouse embryonic stem cells so that they exhibit developmental characteristics resembling those of fertilized eggs, or zygotes.

Berkeley astronomers explore the shape of galaxies

January 9, 2017

The astonishing beauty of galaxies visible from Earth has enchanted humanity ever since our ancestors first gazed into the twinkling night and wondrously beheld them. Some galaxies look like elegant whirling spirals or cosmic frisbees, while others look like elliptical blobs or lumpy irregular clumps smeared across the sky. The variety of galactic shapes prompts questions as old as astronomy: why do galaxies form these characteristic shapes? Can elliptical galaxies become spirals, or vice versa?