Public Events

Recurring events for the general public:

  • Astronomy on Tap is held monthly at Sudwerk Brewing. Check out their Facebook page for information on the next event.
  • Davis Science Café is irregularly held at various venues in Davis, most recently the G Street Wunderbar.

Public Lecture, May 23rd 2023: "Cepheids, Supernovae, and the Cosmic Microwave Background"

The Tuesday May 23 general meeting of the Mount Diablo Astronomical Society will feature Professor Lloyd Knox speaking about "Cepheids, Supernovae, and the Cosmic Microwave Background." This event will be shared on YouTube. More information can be found here.  

PicnicDay-icon-color.pngPICNIC DAY, APRIL 15, 2023

Public Lectures, Room 55 Roessler Hall
In Roessler 55 we will have the following physics public lectures:

  • 10 am, Professor Daniel Cebra, "Nuclear Physics for Space Radiation Protection"
  • 11 am, Professor Markus Luty, "The Higgs Boson and the Fundamental Laws of Nature"
  • Noon, Prof Eric Prebys, "Enlightened by Light"
  • 1 pm, Professor Tucker Jones, "Views of the distant universe from the James Webb Space Telescope"
  • 2 pm, Professor Bob Svoboda,  "The Physics of Nuclear Non-Proliferation"
  • 3 pm, Dr Eduardo Padilla, "Hues and cues: Learning about the universe with light"  (last talk with interaction time afterward)"

Physics Club Show, Room 66 Roessler Hall
The Physics Club show, "R-Ohm-eo and Joule-iet," and is a modern riff on the Shakespearean classic. We will have several physics demos and a fun and educational experience for all. We will have 4 showings at 10am, 11am, 1pm, and 2pm in Roessler 66. The show is free but there are limited seats so get there early!  The Physics Club will also be selling physics themed merchandise outside of Roessler 66.

Official Visit of Distinguished Lecturer Prof Sir Michael Berry
October 12th-14th 2022

SirMichaelBerry_Photo.pngPublic Lecture, October 12, 2022 at 7pm, Walter A. Buehler Alumni Center
Professor Sir Michael Berry, University of Bristol, U.K.

Michael Berry will visit UC Davis as Distinguished Lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, hosted by Warren Pickett on behalf of sixteen other faculty in four departments involved in research of joint interest. The visit is being supported by the Department, The College of L&S, APS, and the Moore Foundation.

Michael will provide a colloquium and a public lecture, with topics ranging from the geometric phase (Berry phase) upon which his early career and reputation is based, to everyday phenomena such as the physics of light, touching on the dancing lines of light on the bottom of swimming pools.

Please see this post for more information.

Department of Physics & Astronomy Climate Survey

A survey, which is open to everyone affiliated to the department, is now being carried out to assess the climate in our department. This survey is intended to identify areas of strength in the department, any issues that individuals and groups within our community might have, and to conduct a broad demographic census of the department in order to help us identify areas for improvement that may help guide department policy moving forward.

To read more about this survey please see this page:

Commencement Message for the Physics Graduating Class of 2020

To the graduating class of 2020,

Congratulations on your accomplishment! Earning a degree in physics is no easy task, and likely each one of you has struggled in some way to reach this milestone. In accepting and meeting this challenge, you have demonstrated that you have the skills and mindset to help reshape our world for the better, using reason and evidence to guide you.

You have accomplished all of this during a tumultuous time, where terrifying and infuriating events threaten to overshadow the great acts of kindness and solidarity that are also before us. But those of us that work with students invariably have the most hope for our future, because we have seen what you can do.

Enclosed you will find a video with some additional reflections from our faculty.

Please enjoy it, and take with it my hearty congratulations on your accomplishment.

Please view the video here:


Michael Mulhearn

Professor and Vice Chair of Physics

Special Events Archive by Academic Year


Multi-Hazard Data Science Workshop

June 26-28 2019, Davis, California

In conjunction with the Association of Pacific Rim Universities Multi-hazards Hub at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, this workshop will explore current and future applications of new techniques in data science to the field of multi-hazard research and practice. Click here for more.

Picnic Day 2019: Physics Public Lectures

Spark your mind with a variety of physics topics that span the gamut from high energy particle physics to superconductivity, to the curious geometric structure called the Amplituhedron that challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality. If this captures your attention, these Physics Public Lectures are for you!

Talks will take place on Saturday, April 13, between 2:00pm-4:00pm in Roessler room 55. Schedule:

2:00 PMEric PrebysEnlightened: Some Things we've Learned by Studying Light
2:30 PMMarkus LutyThe Higgs Boson and the Fundamental Laws of Physics
3:00 PMJaraslav TrnkaA Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics
3:30 PMWarren PickettUnder Pressure: Nearing Room Temperature Superconductivity

And be sure to see the "Avengers: Infinity Wire" Physics Show in Roessler 66 at 10 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM, 2 PM, and 3PM!


The Journey from Physics to Business

Today's disk drives shroud in secrecy a marvelous world of physics. Cutting edge magnetics, plasmonics, materials science, tribology, control algorithms, mechanics, processor design, electronics and software are all needed to make everything work.

Disk drives have harnessed all of these areas of physics and engineering since 1956 to provide a rough doubling in capacity every 18 to 36 months. Not even Moore's Law has survived this long!

Dave Mosley, a UCD Alumnus, will share some insights about his personal journey from UC Davis to his current role as the CEO of Seagate, the world's largest data storage company.

Location: Alpha Gamma Rho Hall of the Alumni Center

Time: 9:30 am on Tuesday, April 16


2019 APS CUWiP at UC Davis

Eleven sites across the US and one in Canada will host Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) in January 2019. The APS CUWiP at UC Davis will draw students from northern California and Nevada. Learn more about the program and how to apply:

XXX IUPAP Conference on Computational Physics
July 29-August 2, 2018

The 30th annual Conference on Computational Physics (CCP2018) will take place July 29 - August 2, 2018 at the University of California, Davis, campus in Davis, California, USA.

CCP is a series of conferences held annually under the auspices of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) on the basis of endorsement by its Commission on Computational Physics (C20). The purpose of the conference series is to bring together computational scientists working in physics and closely related areas to exchange the latest developments in computational techniques and their applications. The conference features plenary, invited and contributed talks as well as poster presentations in a wide number of subject areas of active interest to the computational physics community.

July 9-July 14, 2018
Highly Frustrated Magnetism 2018 Conference

The 9th International Conference on Highly Frustrated Magnetism 2018 (HFM 2018) will be held at the University of California, Davis campus, in Davis, California from the 9th to the 14th of July, 2018. It will also serve as a satellite to the International conference on Magnetism ICM 2018 (July 15 to July 20) in San Francisco, California, allowing participants to coordinate travel to both meetings (if they wish).

This international conference will be a great opportunity for scientists from around the world to share the most recent developments in the study of frustrated magnetism. It will feature presentations reporting on experimental and theoretical studies of magnetic frustration, in all of its manifestations.

This conference follows in the series of HFM 2016 (Taipei, Taiwan), HFM 2014 (Cambridge, UK), HFM 2012 (Hamilton, Canada), HFM 2010 (Baltimore, USA), HFM 2008 (Braunschweig, Germany), HFM 2006 (Osaka, Japan), HFM 2003 (Grenoble, France) and HFM 2000 (Waterloo, Canada).


June 11th-15th 2018 - Amplitudes 2018 Summer School

The annual conference Amplitudes 2018 will be hosted by SLAC on June 18-22, 2018 and will bring together experts in this area discussing recent discoveries.

The conference will be preceded by this present summer school, and it will offer a set of introductory lectures to some of the key topics to be discussed at the conference. The summer school will be held at the Center for Quantum Mathematics and Physics (QMAP) at the University of California, Davis on June 11-15, 2018.

Please see the QMAP Website for more information here.

May 23rd and 24th - Laura Greene, Outgoing President, American Physical Society

Laura Greene, Outgoing President, American Physical Society, will spend two days at UC Davis in May, hosted by the Physics Department. Dr. Greene will give a public lecture on Wednesday, May 23rd, at the health campus in Sacramento, and a more detailed physics seminar on Thursday, May 24th at the Welcome Center on the Davis campus. Both events are free and open seating.
RSVP here for the May 23 Public Lecture:

Wed, May 23, 2018 ~ 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Lecture with Q&A
The Dark Energy of Quantum Matter: From Cosmic Scales to Nano Scales

UC Davis Medical Center, Education Building, 4610 X Street Sacramento, CA 95817

RSVP Link:

Superconductors are fascinating quantum materials with applications that include the lossless transmission of electrical power, levitating trains, making huge magnetic fields, and detecting the tiniest magnetic fields. Conventional superconductors were discovered in 1911 but the theoretical explanation did not come until 1957. High temperature superconductivity, discovered in 1986, is unconventional and we still don't have a theory that explains it. There are dozens of other types of unconventional superconductors that we cannot explain. In my lecture, I will explore superconductivity and the bizarre behaviors of some quantum materials, and show some of the transformative applications. I will explain in simple terms what we do know, and give a perspective on how much we still have to learn. Superconductivity reminds me of the universe itself: we use it every day, it's very useful, and mostly, we don't know very much about it!

Laura Greene is chief scientist at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, and Center for Emergent Superconductivity as well as past president of the American Physical Society.

April 20th 2018 - UC Davis Give Day

April 20th is UC Davis Give Day - Add Your Support to QMAP

The UC Davis College of Letters and Science is inviting alumni and friends to add their support on Give Day, April 20, 2018. As part of the Give Day effort, QMAP has set a goal to reach $10,000 in donations that will be used to support vibrant high-level scientific activity, including an active visitor program, workshops, and conferences. It will also be used to recruit and recognize stellar students and postdoctoral researchers, helping QMAP attain further international renown, becoming a destination of world experts in the field. Ten gifts to QMAP on Give Day will unlock a $10,000 donation.

Give Day starts at Noon on April 20 and ends at 5pm on April 21.

Those who are willing to help promote the Give Day challenge via social media platforms are encouraged to register as a social ambassador through

Share your support of UC Davis on social media with the hashtags #UCDavisGiveDay and #EveryAggieCounts.

To make a gift now, go to

4/21/2018 - Picnic Day

Saturday, April 21

Physics Public Lectures, Roessler 55
Mukund Rangamani- Black Holes: A Hawkingsian window into the universe
Lloyd Knox- Seeing the Big Bang
Steve Carlip- The Physics of Global Warming
Shirley Chiang- "Seeing" Atoms and Molecules on Surfaces

Physics Club Show, "Lord of the Strings" Roessler 66

Physics is Fun, Roessler 168 10am-4pm
A room filled with demos showing cooling physics and some applications to modern technology. Informal and staffed by volunteers.

10/17/2017 - QMAP Colloquium

Speaker: Nima Arkani-Hamed, IAS Princeton

Spacetime, Quantum Mechanics and Positive Geometry

10:30am (refreshments at 10:15am)
Mathematical Sciences Building, room 1147


4/22/2017 - Picnic Day

Picnic Day schedule for Physics:



California Amplitudes Meeting

QMAP, UC Davis, June 7-10, 2016

The meeting will be held on the 4th floor of the Department of Physics in the seminar room. The focus is on recent topic in scattering amplitudes, in particular mathematical aspects of positive Grassmannian and Amplituhedron, non-planar on-shell diagrams, ratio functions in N=4 SYM, symbols and the basis of hexagon functions, CHY formula, BCJ relations for effective field theories.


Tuesday, June 7Wednesday, June 8Thursday, June 9Friday, June 10
9:30 - 11:00

Symbols, Regge kinematics
(Andrew, Georgios, Falko)

On-shell diagrams
(Jake, Daniele, Sebastian, Jara)

LunchLunch1:00 QMAP lunch
1:30 - 3:00Welcome 2pm
Free discussion
CHY, BCJ, Gravity
(Mads, James, Chia-Hsien)
(Lauren, Jara, Daniele)


3:30 - 5:00Hexagon bootstrap
Free discussion3:10 String seminar

Meeting dinner

The schedule is very flexible and it might change on the short notice. There will be thematic sessions with one (or more) introductory talks also for more general audience.

  • Tuesday, June 8, 3:30pm: Lance Dixon on Hexagon bootstrap.

Also, Sebastian Franco will give a string seminar on Thursday at 3:10pm.

List of participants:

  1. Zvi Bern* (UCLA)
  2. Jacob Bourjaily (NBI Copenhagen)
  3. Lance Dixon (SLAC)
  4. Falko Dulat (SLAC)
  5. Sebastian Franco (CUNY)
  6. Daniele Galloni (INFN Turin)
  7. Steven Karp (UC Berkeley)
  8. Andrew McLeod (SLAC)
  9. Georgios Papathanasiou (SLAC)
  10. Chia-Hsien Shen (Caltech)
  11. Mads Sogaard (SLAC)
  12. James Stankowicz (UCLA)
  13. Jaroslav Trnka (UC Davis) -- organizer
  14. Lauren Williams (UC Berkeley)
  15. Yan Zhang (UC Berkeley)
* to be confirmed


The Winston Ko Frontiers of Mathematical and Physical Sciences Lecture Series will be hosting a a public lecture featuring UC Davis Professor of Physics Veronika Hubeny on May 9 at 5pm in the UC Davis Conference Center.This event is free of charge. RSVPs requested at


Physics Department public lecture with Joesph Giaime on May 3 at 7pm in 66 Roessler Hall.

2/29/2016: Staff Egg Drop

Physics Department staff reinvigorated their team spirit on February 29th by organizing and participating in an Egg Drop. Four teams participated and four eggs survived! A good time was had by all! Read more (and view pictures and video of the event)...


4/18/2015: UC Davis Picnic Day/17th Annual Physics Show

Physics is Fun

April 18 from 10am-4pm

Roessler Hall 168

A room filled with demos showing cool physics and some applications to modern technology. Informal and staffed by volunteers.

Physics Club Shows

Three repeat performances on April 18, from

10:30-11:15, 11:30-12:15, 12:30-1:15

Roessler Hall 66

Some of our more spectacular demonstrations with entertaining explanations. Presented by Physics Club volunteers.

Physics Public Lectures

Roessler Hall 66 on April 18

2:00-2:40 Prof. Maxwell Chertok: The Higgs Discovery

2:40 - 3:20 Assoc. Prof. Michael Mulhearn: Measuring ultra-high energy cosmic rays using your cell phone!

3:20 - 4 Shirley Chiang: A microscope that “sees” atoms and molecules

Watch the 2015 Picnic Day Physics Club show below!

3/11/2015: The Dark Side of the Universe, a conversation with Prof. Marusa Bradac.

Wednesday, March 11 at 5:30pm at the City Hall Tavern, 226 F St, Davis

Hosted by Prof. Jared Shaw

Science Cafe, brought to you by: UC Davis Division of Math & Physical Sciences


4/12/2014: UC Davis Picnic Day/16th Annual Physics Show

Public lectures by physics faculty

Roessler 66

2:45 Prof. Marusa Bradac Physics of California: the Physics of Skiing, Surfing and Scuba Diving

3:10 Prof. Steven Carlip Black Holes

3:35 Prof. Markus Luty The Higgs Boson and the Quest for the Fundamental Laws of Nature

4:00 Prof. Nick Curro The Science of Cold Electrons

4:25 Prof. Lloyd Knox Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Big Bang (But Were Afraid to Ask)

PHYSICS IS FUN! 10am-4pm

Roessler 168

A room of demos, many hands-on, showing cool physics and some applications to modern technology. Informal and staffed by volunteers.


Roessler 66

3 repeat performances, 12;10, 1:00, 1:50, featuring some of our more spectacular, but less hands-on, though always edifying, demonstrations. Staffed by Physics Club Volunteers.

3/28/2014: A public lecture, "The Large Hadron Collider: The Big Bang Machine" by Prof. Dr. Albert DeRoeck, a senior research scientist for CERN and adjunct professor of physics at UC Davis, will be held in the Welcome Center Presentation Room at 8pm. Tickets are available for $7 at the UC Davis Box Office. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door prior to the lecture. These lectures sell out quick, get your ticket now!

3/20/2014: Brian Greene, physicist and Pulitzer Prize finalist, will be at the Mondavi Center as part of the Distinguished Speaker series on March 20 at 8pm. The event is done in partnership with the UC Davis Physics Department.

10/5/2013: A public lecture, "Can we observe dark matter in the laboratory," by Prof. Michael Witherell will be held in room 1100 Social Siciences on October 5, from 5 to 6:30.

9/5/2013: A special seminar with Nobel Prize winning physicist Gerardus ‘t Hooft will held in room 185 Physics on September 5 at 1pm. “The Borderline between Classical and Quantum Mechanics".

Hefti Public Lecture


5/22/2013: Sean Carroll will speak at the UC Davis Conference Center. Sean is a very entertaining and compelling public speaker and the author of two books, "From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time" and "The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World." He will speak about "The Origin of the Universe and the Arrow of Time." Although free, due to high demand, a ticket will be needed for admission. For more information, including how to obtain tickets, please see this link.

4/20/2013: The Lander Lab was dedicated as part of our annual Picnic Day Alumni Reception. View photos here.

4/6/2013: A day of exciting public lectures from four prominent physicists including Nobel Prize winner Frank Wilczek. April 6 is Decision Day. Plan for extra traffic near the campus.


5/2012: Physics Chair and Professor Andreas Albrecht joins featured speakers at May 2012 UC Davis TEDx Event

4/17/2012: Professor Lisa Randall, particle physicist and popular author, will speak at UC Davis on April 17.

Hefti Public Lecture - Lisa Randall

4/20/12 Special Colloquium:Charlotte Elster (Ohio University, Athens) Special Colloquium Tea at 4:30 location: Physics Atrium

Fri, April 20, 5pm – 6pm

Roessler 66

Topic:The Nuclear Force Through the Decades, a Rod Reid Memorial Colloquium


Tales of Rod page compiled by Prof Richard Scalettar

4/21/2012: UC Davis Picnic Day/14th Annual Physics Show

Public lectures by physics faculty

Roessler 55 & 66

2:10 Lloyd Knox Introduction (Room Change! Roessler 55)

2:15 Michael Mulhearn The Higgs Boson: A Tale of Two Cities (Room Change! Roessler 55)

2:40 Andreas Albrecht The Multiverse (Roessler 66)

3:05 Tony Tyson Dark Energy and Dark Matter (Roessler 66)

3:30 Richard Scalettar Infinity in Mathematics and Physics (Roessler 66)


Three shows starting at 12:10 PM; 1:00 PM; and 1:50 PM

Roessler 66

Physics with Liquid Nitrogen 11 AM – 1:00 PM

Roessler 166

PHYSICS IS FUN! 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Roessler 168

Physics makes the world go ‘round! Come experience cool physics demos,and learn how modern technologies are applications of basic physics.

4/26/2012: A Conversation on Creativity

Nobel Prize winning physicist Martin Perl and his son The New Republic's art critic Jed Perl discuss the creative process in the sciences and the arts.

Moderated by Dean Simonton

Thursday, April 26

8:00 pm, UC Davis Conference Center

More info at:

3/8-3/9/2012: The 1st UCD – Nanjing University Workshop on Condensed Matter Physics will be held during March 8-9 in 185 Physics. The event is open to public.

Program can be found online:


4/25/2011: TedxDavis Speakers enlighten and engage Davis guests with a full day of talks and presentations

In particular, Physics professors Knox and Zimanyi fascinated listeners with Physics-related stories and fantasy-meets-reality tales of space and nanoparticles, respectively.

April 23, 2011: Physics Professors Lloyd Knox and Gergely Zimanyi chosen as TedxDavis Speakers

Founded in 1984, TED is a nonprofit organization that combines Technology, entertainment and design, and offers fascinating speakers willing to share their ideas via visually broadcast talks, available at TEDxDavis is an independently organized event scheduled to occur on the UC Davis campus. The April 23rd Davis event theme is: "Think Big. Think Small. Think Forward." Several speakers from alternating fields, including Physics professors Lloyd Knox and Gergely Zimanyi have been chosen to speak at this event.

For more information, visit:

4/16/11: 2011 Picnic Day Physics Show

Picnic Day 2011 Schedule of Events - PUBLIC LECTURES BY PHYSICS FACULTY at Chemistry Bldg, Rm179

1:00 Lloyd Knox - Seeing Sound in the Primordial Plasma
1:30 Bob Svoboda - Do We Live in a Universe of WIMPs?
2:00 Robin Erbacher - The Smallest Things in the Universe: Discoveries of Subatomic Particles
2:30 Markus Luty - The Quest for the Fundamental Laws of Physics: a Tale of Three Universes
3:00 Steven Carlip - Black Holes, Extra Dimensions and All That
3:30 Thomas Cahill - The Physics of 9/11/2001

10:00 AM -4:00 PM
Roessler Hall, Rm168

Physics makes the world go 'round! Come experience cool physics demos, and learn how modern technologies are applications of basic physics.