Chen-Yu Liu

Chen-Yu Liu
Chen-Yu Liu

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  • 2002 Ph.D., Physics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
  • 1997 B.S., Physics, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan


Chen-Yu Liu, PhD {she/her/hers}, is a Full Professor in the Physics Department and the Nuclear Physics Laboratory at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Dr. Liu completed her doctoral research in Experimental Nuclear Physics at Princeton University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center as a Director’s Funded Post-Doctoral Fellow. She is an alumna of National Taiwan University. She was a Sloan Research Fellow (2007-2008), a Rosen Scholar (2016-2017), and an APS fellow since 2018. She taught at Indiana University from 2005-2022 and was named the James H. Rudy Professor of Physics. In 2022, she was recruited to join UIUC through the U of I Distinguished Faculty Recruitment Program.

Prof. Liu's research focuses on symmetry tests and fundamental neutron physic to understand matter creation and nucleosynthesis in the early Universe. She specializes in experimental tools using Ultra-Cold Neutrons (UCN). In her dissertation work, she solved the critical issue of excessive loss of UCN due to upscattering by para-D2 molecules in solid D2 and made the world's first working solid deuterium source for UCN production. This breakthrough prompted the investments of several multi-million dollar UCN facilities around the world, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the PULSTAR reactor at the North Carolina State University, the TRIGA reactor at Mainz University in Germany, and the Paul Scherrer Institut in Switzerland. She studied the magnetic excitations in cryogenic oxygen solids for UCN production in the Lujan Center of Neutron Scattering. In 2011--2016, she led the UCNtau experiment, as a co-spokesperson; the experiment now holds the record of the most precise measurement of the neutron lifetime. In 2018, Liu won an NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant to construct a room-temperature apparatus for improving the measurement of the neutron electric dipole moment.

Academic Positions

  • Professor of Physics, University of Illinois, 2022-present.
  • James H. Rudy Professor of Physics, Indiana University, 2019–present.
  • Professor, Indiana University, 2017–2019.
  • Associate Professor, Indiana University, 2012–2017.
  • Assistant Professor, Indiana University, 2005–2012.
  • Director’s Funded Post-Doctoral Fellow, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2002–2005.

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

Teaching Honors

  • Outstanding Contributions to Teaching, Indiana University (2009)
  • Trustees Teaching Excellence Recognition Award, Indiana University (2008)
  • Joseph and Sophia Konopinski Prize, Indiana University (2008)

Research Honors

  • James H. Rudy Professor of Physics, Indiana University (2019)
  • Fellow, American Physics Society (2018)
  • Rosen Scholar, Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (2016)
  • Awardee, NIST Precision Measurement Grant (2015)
  • Sloan Research Fellow, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (2007)
  • Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (2006)
  • 19th Louis Rosen Prize, outstanding thesis completed at LANSCE, Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) User Group (2003)

Recent Courses Taught

  • PHYS 101 - College Physics: Mech & Heat