Month: April 2023

Research of Professor Daniel Angles-Alcazar featured in UConn Today

Galaxy clusters are the most massive objects in the Universe: a single cluster contains anything from a hundred to many thousands of galaxies, alongside collections of plasma, hot X-ray emitting gas, and dark matter. These components are held together by the cluster’s own gravity. Understanding such galaxy clusters is crucial to pinning down the origin and continuing evolution of our universe. An article recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describes using of machine learning algorithms to solve a fundamental problem in astrophysics: inferring the mass of galaxy clusters.  “Measuring how many clusters exist, and then what their masses are, can help us understand fundamental properties like the total matter density in the universe, the nature of dark energy, and other fundamental questions,” says co-author and UConn Professor of Physics Daniel Anglés-Alcázar.


For more information about the research, check UConn Today article at

Physics Department runs Women in Science Outreach at the Connecticut Science Center

Promoting gender diversity and inclusion in the field of science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics (STEM), the Connecticut Science Center’s Women in Science Initiative hosted a captivating
outreach event led by UConn’s Sarah Trallero, Aslı Tandoğan, and Aislinn Daniels. This event took place
on April 15th, 2023 at the Connecticut Science Center.

In the outreach event, Sarah, Aslı, and Aislinn engaged children and adults alike to have “Fun with
Physics” and experience physics hands-on. Multiple interactive stations encouraged enthusiastic
participants to “feel” what principles affect rotation, to learn how lightning works by playing with Van de
Graaff generators, and to even build their own simple DC motor.

The Women in Science Initiative at the Connecticut Science Center encourages girls and young women to
pursue studies and career paths in STEM and celebrates the achievements of women in the sciences. By
breaking down gender barriers and inspiring curiosity, such initiatives play a vital role in shaping the
future of scientific discovery and innovation.

From right: Aslı Tandoğan, Sarah Trallero, Aislinn Daniels.

Chapter of Optica, UConn starts up

A University chapter of Optica (formerly known as OSA), the largest professional society for Optics and Photonics, has started at UConn. Physics graduate students Zhanna Rodnova and Kevin Watson, and Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate student Gokul Krishnan started the chapter in the Fall of 2022 to help students, undergraduate, and graduate, learn more about the world of optics and the professional opportunities within the field. Chapter of Optica, UConn is also organizing tours of laser and optics companies to give students further insight into possible careers after graduation. Additionally, the Optica Chapter holds social events, with the next social on Wednesday, April 12th at 6:30 pm at Hops 44, where everyone is welcome to learn more about optics and photonics research.

On April 21st, the Chapter will host its first Traveling Lecturer. Dr. Gregory Quarles, CEO of Applied Energetics, Inc. and former Chief Scientific Officer of Optica, to talk about career paths for students and early-career professionals. The colloquium will be at 3:30 pm in GW-002, with refreshments served in the Gant Light plaza. For any information, contact

Founding members of the UConn Chapter of Optica (from left): Kevin Watson,, Zhanna Rodnova, and Gokul Krishnan