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From sub-atomic to astronomical scales, we are working on the frontiers of science. A tradition of bridging boundaries has allowed us to probe fundamental questions at the intersections different branches of science and mathematics and to create new fields of study. Because mathematics and the physical sciences are fundamental to many pursuits, including engineering, medicine and biology, we contribute to the education of most undergraduate students at UC San Diego.

Recent discovery

bright dot is a planet revealed by masking and filter out the light of its star

Astronomers find 'young Jupiter' exoplanet, analyze atmosphere

The newly discovered planet orbits a nearby star a lot like our own, though brighter and much younger at just 20 million years old. And the planet is a gas giant, like Jupiter, but hotter and even younger than its star. Because the new planet and its star resemble an earlier version of part of our solar system, a closer look could help us understand how planetary systems like ours form.

Quinn Konopacky, assistant professor of physics, is a member of an international team of astronomers who detected the planet using the Gemini Planet Imager, an instrument that adaptively measures moving starlight, then removes the starlight from view to reveal planets. They report the discovery and describe the planet's atmosphere in a paper published in Science. Learn more.

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Programs of study

Information about most undergraduate programs in the physical sciences can be found on department web sites:

We also offer two interdisciplinary programs