Astrophysics Experimentalist

Steven Kahn

Dean of Mathematical & Physical Sciences, Professor of Physics, Professor of Astronomy
Steven M. Kahn is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy. He previously served on the faculty in these departments from 1984-98, but returned to Berkeley in 2022 to take up the position of Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Kahn received his A.B. (summa cum laude) from Columbia in 1975 and his Ph.D. in physics at Berkeley in 1980. In addition to Berkeley, he has served on the faculties of Columbia, where he was the I.I. Rabi Professor of Physics, and at Stanford, where he was the Cassius Lamb Kirk Professor in the Natural Sciences. Kahn is an experimental astrophysicist and cosmologist...

Stuart Bale Awarded AGU Fellowship

September 26, 2022

Stuart Bale in the lab

Berkeley Physics is delighted to announce that Professor Stuart Bale is among the 2022 Class of AGU Fellows.

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) recognizes each awardee for their remarkable innovation and/or sustained scientific impact, as well as their efforts in fostering...

Frances Hellman


Frances Hellman received her BA in Physics from Dartmouth College in 1978, graduating summa cum laude and phi beta kappa with high honors in physics. She received her PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1985, studying what were then considered the high Tc superconductors (the A15's). After a 2 year postdoc in thin film magnetism at AT&T Bell Labs, she went to UCSD as an assistant professor in 1987, where she received tenure in 1994 and became a full professor in 2000. She joined the Physics Dept at UC Berkeley in Jan 2005, and became Chair of the Department in 2007. She...

Stuart Bale


Stuart D. Bale received B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota in 1989 and 1994, respectively. After three years of postdoctoral work at Queen Mary College, University of London, he came to a research position at the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at Berkeley. He joined the Physics faculty in 2004 and is the Director of SSL. He has held visiting appointments at the Observatoire de Paris, Meudon (Univ. Paris VII), LPCE/CNRS in Orleans, France, and the University of Sydney. He is a recipient of the 2003 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE...

Herbert Steiner

Professor Emeritus

Herbert Steiner received his B.S. in Engineering Physics in 1951 and his Ph.D. in Physics in January 1956, both from the University of California, Berkeley. From 1956 to 1960 he was a research physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a lecturer in the Berkeley Department of Physics. After a year as a Guggenheim and Ford Foundation Fellow at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland he joined the Berkeley Physics faculty in 1961. He served as chairman of the Physics Department from 1992 to 1995. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the recipient of an Alexander von...

Adrian Lee


Adrian Lee joined the faculty in July 2000. He received his B.A. in physics from Columbia University in 1986 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1993. At Stanford, he worked with Blas Cabrera on the early development of an experiment to detect non-baryonic dark matter. Following graduate school, Lee became a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford Medical School, where he worked on mapping functions in the human brain using magnetic resonance imaging. Subsequently, from 1994 to 2000, he did postdoctoral work at U.C. Berkeley with Paul Richards measuring spatial anisotropy in the 2.7 K cosmic...

William Holzapfel


I was born March 15, 1965 in Pittsburgh PA. After surviving an early program of experimentation with motorcycles and explosives, I went on to receive a B.A. in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1987. My graduate studies were completed in 1996 with a Ph.D. in physics from Berkeley. I was then a Fermi-McCormick fellow at the University of Chicago until I joined the faculty in 1998.

Research Interests

My primary research interests are in the measurement and interpretation of anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Primary anisotropies of the CMB provide a...

Raffaella Margutti

Associate Professor, Marc and Cristina Bensadoun Professor of Physics

Raffaella Margutti received her undergraduate degree in Astrophysics in 2006 (magna cum laude), and her PhD in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Milano Bicocca in 2010. Margutti is a Sloan Fellow in Physics (2019), a CIFAR global scholar in Gravity and the Extreme Universe (2019), and received the 2022 New Horizons in Physics Prize for leadership in laying foundations for electromagnetic observations of sources of gravitational waves, and leadership in extracting rich information from the first observed collision of two neutron stars.

Research Interests


Mark Strovink

Professor Emeritus

Mark Strovink, Ph.D. 1970 (Princeton). Joined UC Berkeley faculty in 1973 (Professor since 1980). Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society; served as program advisor for Fermilab (chair), SLAC (chair), Brookhaven, and the U.S. Department of Energy; served as D0 Physics Coordinator (1997 and 1998).

Research Interests

After 40 years in elementary particle physics, in late 2004 I turned my attention to the unexplained force that accelerates the universe's expansion. As an experimentalist, I am interested in understanding how best to standardize Type Ia supernovae (SNe) as...

George Smoot III

Professor Emeritus

George Smoot received his Ph.D. in Physics from M.I.T. in 1970 and was a postdoctoral researcher at M.I.T. before moving to UC Berkeley in 1971. Honors include: NASA Medal for Exceptional Science Achievement, Kilby Award, Lawrence Award, Nobel Prize in Physics 2006.

Research Interests

2006 Nobel Prize winner-Experimental Astrophysicist George Smoot is an active researcher in observational astrophysics and cosmology. Smoot’s group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley is observing our galaxy and the cosmic background radiation that is a...