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Department Highlights

The Department of Physics invites you to review our latest highlights and updates.

  • Distinguished Professor Andrei Slavin was just honored as a ScholarGPS Highly Ranked Scholar.  Read more on their website ScholarGPS
  • The Department of Physics has a Facebook page.
  • Oakland University distinguished physics professors, Drs. David Garfinkle Andrei Slavin, Gopalan Srinivasan, and Yang Xia, and Prof. Emeritus Brad Roth, were recently named among the top 1% of scientists according to a citation database published by Stanford University.

  • Emeritus Professor Abraham Liboff passed away on January 9, 2023.  He was a professor in the physics department from 1972-2000.  Read more on the Official OU Newsletter.

  • Emeritus Professor Paul Tipler passed away on October 26, 2022.  He was a professor in the physics department from 1962-1983.

  • The first physics summer program for high school students took place on June 27 - July 8, 2022. Read more on the program webpage and in the Oakland University News.

7/8/21: Emeritus Professor Norman Tepley passed away on July 6, 2021.  He was a professor in the physics department from 1969-2006, and department chair from 1983-1996.

2/23/21: Prof. David Garfinkle was appointed to the rank of Distinguished Professor, effective August 15, 2021.

1/8/21: Long time staff member, Clarence Bennett, has passed away at the age of 91.  He worked in the Department of Physics as an electronics engineer from 1977 - 2000.

10/14/20: The Research Office announced that the Physics department is the winner of the Outstanding Research Department award for 2020.

10/14/20: The Research Office announced that Dr. Andrei Slavin will be recognized as Researcher of the Year for his accomplishments and success with funding as a PI.

10/14/20: The Research Office announced that Dr. Wei Zhang is being awarded both the Most Research Active and Outstanding Junior Investigator awards, highlighting his high number of grants for this year.

1/6/20: Prof. Wei Zhang has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (five years, $388,707). Prof. Zhang will be studying quantum spintronic device building blocks with magnetically ordered materials.

10/24/19: The Oakland University Research Office awarded Prof. Gopalan Srinivasan "Researcher of the Year" and Prof. Wei Zhang "Most Research Active".

9/5/19: OU Physics researchers were highlighted by an article published in Physics.

3/28/19: Prof. Wei Zhang and his research team's work earns recognition in leading scientific journal.

5/3/18: Dr. Rao Bidthanapally, Adjunct Associate Professor of Physics, was one of the recipients of "The Order of the Plume - 2018".

Prof. Andrei Slavin has been awarded a $210,829 grant from the National Science Foundation.

4/27/17: Prof. Wei Zhang was awarded the first ever "IEEE Magnetics Society Early Career Award".

4/19/17: Prof. Yang Xia recognized as Distinguished Professor for 2017.

11/16/16: Biomedical Sciences: Medical Physics graduate student Afua Dankwa won an award at the 2016 Sigma Xi Student Research Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

7/8/16: Michael Chopp wins the World Stroke Organization's Barbro B. Johansson Award. 

2/26/16: Ph.D. - Biomedical Sciences: Medical Physics graduate student Ranjeeta Thapa is the winner of the International Students and Scholars Office’s Scholarly Achievement Award for 2016. The $500 scholarship is awarded annually to one qualified Oakland University international student whose scholarly excellence is clearly recognized within the academic community.

2/22/16: Professor Emeritus Robert Williamson passed away on February 9, 2016.  He was a professor in the Department of Physics from 1962-1991.

1/12/16: Prof. Evgeniy Khain will be the keynote speaker at the next Michigan Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (MIAAPT) meeting; the Spring MIAAPT meeting will take place on April 9th at Cranbrook High School (Bloomfield Hills). The title of his talk is "Physics of clustering and invasion of living cells".

11/12/15: Marie Smirman, a graduate student in Physics working with Prof. Ken Elder, won an award at the Sigma Xi Student Research Conference, held in Kansas City, Missouri on October 22-25. Her poster described "Simulations of Strained Graphene Films on Triangular Substrates."

Distinguished Professor Michael Chopp, of the Department of Physics, is the recipient of the 2015 Thomas Willis Lecture Award, given annually by the American Heart Association. As the Thomas Willis Lecture recipient, Chopp will present a plenary lecture in February at the International Stroke Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

9/2/14: Oakland University undergraduate physics major Bradley Terry has been awarded the Breitmoser scholarship for 2014. This scholarship is funded by a generous gift from Carol Breitmoser in memory of her husband William A. Breitmoser Jr, who received a BA in physics from OU and was a proud and successful OU Alumnus. Professor Alberto Rojo, who oversaw the selection process for this scholarship, says that “this award not only provides financial assistance, but stimulates the student to pursue their goals and passions in science.” Terry is from Waterford, Michigan. After graduation, his goal is to attend graduate school in astrophysics and investigate the wonders of the cosmos.

8/27/14: Professor Emeritus John McKinley passed away on July 25, 2014.  He was a professor in the Department of Physics from 1966-1992.

7/7/14: Matthew Solt, a recent physics graduate, gains internship in world-renowned particle physics lab.

5/9/14:Professor Alberto Rojo collaborated with the Detroit Pistons to produce a video about the physics of dunking a basketball.

4/9/14: Assistant Professor Yeujian Wang received the New Investigator Research Excellence Award at the 2014 Founder's Day luncheon.

4/9/14: Professor Ken Elder was recognized in the area of Research at the 2014 Founder's Day luncheon.

4/3/14: Professor Michael Chopp is the 2014 Abraham White Distinguished Science Award for his discovery of the role of thymosin beta4 in the treatment of brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases.

1/3/14: Ph.D. Medical Physics student, Sunil Kandel, was named Student of the Month by the International Student and Scholars Office.

8/19/13: Article in the Summer 2013 edition of the Oakland University Magazine about Professor Andrei Slavin's research.

8/19/13: Article in the Summer 2013 edition of the Oakland University Magazine about Professor Gopalan Srinivasan's NSF grant award.

7/8/13: Professor Gopalan Srinivasan earns NSF grant for medical research.

4/3/13: Physics chair Andrei Slavin was named 2013 Distinguished Professor.

3/29/13: OU physics alum Vanessa Punal was awarded NSF graduate fellowship.

3/29/13: Physics major Matthew Solt was named as an honorable mention for the Goldwater Scholarship.

Physics major Fabio Sanches was awarded the Oakland University 2012 Undergraduate Distinguished Achievement Award for his research with Professor Ken Elder that was published in Physics Review Letters.

Professor Yuejian Wang's work may lead to major industrial innovation.

Professor Alberto Rojo was awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant in Physics Education at the National University of Rio Negro, Argentina. Professor Gopalan Srinivasan was named a recipient of the President's Council of the State Universities of Michigan (PCSUM) Fifth Annual Distinguished Professor of the Year Award.

Professor Andrei Slavin was named Fellow of American Physical Society for contributions to the understanding of linear of nonlinear spin wave dynamics in magnetic films and nanostructures, microwave magnetic envelope solitons and magnetization dynamics induced by spin momentum transfer.

Professor Yang Xia received a best paper award at OU-Beaumont Biomedical Research Symposium for his paper "Detection of Load-Induced Changes in Articular Cartilage Using a Whole-Body MRI System".

Professor Gopalan Srinivasan was awarded rank of Distinguished Professor by Oakland University’s Board of Trustees.

Professor Bradley Roth received a $722,000 award to establish the Core Center for Quantitative Biology at Oakland.

Professor Ken Elder received a $242,000 from NSF to explore molecular patterns that form while various materials undergo change in states.

Benjamin Buller, a doctoral candidate in Medical Physics PhD program, was awarded a prestigious American Heart Association fellowship for his research on stem-cell dynamics.

Distinguished Professor Michael Chopp averages a paper per week.

Assistant Professor Evgeniy Khain was appointed Member of OU Center for Biomedical Research.

Professor Andrei Slavin was a recipient of the 2009 Award in Research Excellence.

Professor Brad Roth assumed the position of director of Oakland University's Center for Biomedical Research.

The Department of Physics proudly received the first Outstanding Research Support Achievement Award.


This summer, Dr. Clara Kapila Castoldi will teach the celestial physics class, PHY 105: Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies.

Nachaat Mazeh, a December 2008 graduate of the Medical Physics PhD program, has his dissertation research appear on the cover of Heart Rhythm.

Professor David Garfinkle was recognized for his inspiring and innovative contributions to academia at the fourteenth annual Faculty Recognition Luncheon in April 2009.

A new book, Three Steps to the Universe: From the Sun to Black Holes to the Mystery of Dark Matter, co-authored by Professor David Garfinkle, has been published by the University of Chicago Press.

In 2008, Professor Michael Chopp published 43 scientific papers and gave 21 invited lectures. Chopp's research is supported by four ongoing grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Professor David Garfinkle has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. 

Professor Yang Xia received a five-year, $2,225,456 research award from the National Institutes of Health.

Michael Chopp
  • On October 4, 2008, Professor Chopp appeared on WXYZ Channel 7 in the program "Minds of Medicine: Preventing Stroke."
David Garfinkle
Ken Elder
  • Phase Field Crystal Modeling of Non-Equilbrium Structures, November 2008
    • Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, France
    • Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden, Germany
    • University of Poitiers, Poitiers, France
    • ONERA (French Aerospace Lab), Paris, France
  • Modeling Microstructure Formation from Atomic to Mesoscopic Scales, July 2008
    • RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
    • Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
  • Phase Field Modeling, 4.5 hour lecture
  • Periodic Phase Field Models, 4.5 hour lecture: SPP1296-Summer School 2008 "Heterogeneous Nucleation and Microstructure Formation: Steps towards a system- and scale-bridging understanding," Herzogenrath, Germany, July 2008
  • Phase Field Modeling from Atoms to Dendrites, The 15th International Conference on Crystal Growth, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Phase Field Crystal Modeling in Material Science, Material Science and Technology 2007 Conference and Exhibition, Detroit, MI
Evgeniy Khain
  • Driven granular gases: complex physics in a sandbox, Sigma Xi (the national scientific research society) seminar, Oakland University
  • Pattern formation of glioma cells: effects of adhesion, Physics Department Condensed Matter Seminar, Wayne State University
Andrei Slavin
  • Generation line width of a spin-torque auto-oscillator, International Symposium "Dreikoenigstreffen Magnetismus 08: New Concepts in Spin Dynamics," Bad Honnef/Bonn, Germany, January 2008
  • Coherence of spin-torque microwave oscillators, March 2008 Meeting of the American Physical Society, session D-32, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 2008
  • Spin-torque oscillator in the presence of thermal noise, International Magnetics Conference INTERMAG-08, Madrid, Spain, May 2008
  • Influence of Thermal Noise on a Nonlinear Auto-Oscillator, International Conference on Microwave Magnetism, Ft. Collins, Colorado, September 2008
  • Nonlinear spin-torque auto-oscillator under the influence of deterministic and stochastic signals, International Colloquium on Magnetization Dynamics, Irsee, Bavaria, Germany, September 2008
  • International Conference "Functional Materials" (ICFM 2007), Crimea, Ukraine
  • Department of Physics, National University of Singapore
  • Theory of Current-Driven Magnetization Oscillations in Magnetic Nano-Structures, Sixth Metallic Multilayer Symposium (MML 07), Perth, Western Australia
Yang Xia
  • Towards the Early Detection of Cartilage Degradation by Microscopic MRI Imaging, Henry Ford Medical Group Distinguished Seminar Series, Detroit, MI, January 2008
  • OU researchers explore cartilage
Michael Chopp: Invited Lectures in 2008
  • Plasticity in the spinal cord after stroke, 20th Annual Winter Conference on Neural Plasticity, St. Lucia, Caribbean, February 9-16, 2008
  • Stimulating recovery of function after neural injury with cell and pharmacological restorative therapies, The Department of Biomedical Engineering Seminar Series, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, March 4, 2008
  • Session Co-Chair, Angiogenesis and Microenvironment, NIH/NINDS Workshop - Biology of Vascular Malformations of the Brain, Washington, D.C., March 13-14, 2008
  • Brain originating signals affecting angiogenesis, Angiogenesis and microenvironment, NIH/NINDS Workshop - Biology of Vascular Malformations of the Brain, Washington, D.C., March 13-14, 2008
  • What are the real mechanisms or intended goals of cell therapy? 26th Princeton Conference on Cerebrovascular Disease, Houston, TX, March 27-30, 2008
  • Remodeling injured brain with cell therapy, 1st Midwest Conference on Stem Cell Biology and Therapy, Oakland University, Rochester, MI, May 9-11, 2008
  • Induction of brain plasticity and functional recovery after stroke by cell and pharmacological therapy, 5th International Conference, Neuroprotection and Neurorepair-Cerebral Ischemia and Stroke, Magdeburg, Germany, May 17-20, 2008
  • Cell therapy for neurological diseases, Department of Clinical Trials Unit & Translational Research, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, May 29, 2008
  • Cell-based treatment of neurological disease-induction of brain plasticity and recovery of function, Technical Workshop (W03): Pre-clinical evaluation of stem cell therapy in stroke, Federation of European Neuroscience Society Forum, Geneva, Switzerland, July 11-16, 2008
  • Extending the therapeutic window for thrombolytic therapy, Lecturer and Session Co-Chair, 4th International Stroke Summit (4th ISS-2008), Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, July 25-27, 2008
  • Consultant. Scientific Advisory Board. Johnson and John Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Newark, NJ, September 18-19, 2008
  • Co-Organizer and Chair, Main Theme 5: Brain Repair and Recovery, Restorative therapies for Stroke, 6th World Stroke Congress, Vienna, Austria, September 24-27, 2008
  • Restorative Therapies for Stroke. Main Theme 5: Basic Science Brain Repair and Recovery, 6th World Stroke Congress, Vienna, Austria, September 24-27, 2008
  • Mechanisms underlying cell-based and pharmacological neurorestorative therapy for stroke, 1st Brain Ischemia and Stroke Conference (BIS08), (Member, International Advisory Board.) Rome, Italy, October 1-3, 2008
  • Neurorestorative treatment of neurological disease: neurogenesis, angiogenesis and MRI. Signaling processes and systems biology in neural stem cells. 5th Int'l Stem Cell School in Regenerative Medicine, Berlin, Germany, October 20-22, 2008
  • Novel treatment of glioma, North China Coal Medical University, Tangshan, Hebei, P.R. China, November 5-10, 2008
  • TACE inhibition reduces glioma tumor volume, Chinese Conference on Brain Tumors, Tangshan, Hebei, P.R. China, November 5-10, 2008
  • Brain remodeling: Treatment of stroke with cell and pharmacological therapies, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, November 12, 2008
  • Remodeling the brain-novel restorative treatments for neurological disease, MichBio Career Day, hosted by Oakland University, November 20, 2008
  • Stimulating brain plasticity and recovery of function after neural injury with cell-based and Pharmacological therapies, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, November 12, 2008
  • Regenerating brain after injury, Co-Chair, Molecular mechanisms of CNS injury and regeneration - what is new? International Conference on Advances in Neurosciences and XXVI Annual Meeting of Indian Academy of Neurosciences (IAN), Cochin, Kerala, India, December 12-14, 2008

Department of Physics

Mathematics and Science Center, Room 190
146 Library Drive
Rochester, MI 48309
(location map)
(248) 370-3416
Fax: (248) 370-3408

Department Chair:
Professor Andrei Slavin

Society of Physics Students:
Office: 288 Hannah Hall (HH)