Next November, the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory will celebrate its 60th anniversary. It's among the longest running university-based nuclear physics laboratories in the U.S. and one of the most successful such laboratories in the world. I already knew of it when I was an undergraduate student at Tsinghua University in China in the 1980s because some of my professors collaborated with TUNL physicists. We have Henry Winston Newson to thank for that legacy. Prof. Henry Winston Newson, an accomplished physical… read more about Henry Newson Leaves a Legacy of Innovation and Institution Building »

Starting in Fall 2024, there’s a new sequence for Introductory Physics at Duke that will impact students in life sciences and prehealth programs who take physics as part of their degree paths. Physics 121 and 122 will be phased in to replace the current two-semester introductory sequence of Physics 141/142. Physics 121 and 122 differ from 141/142 by featuring a “math along the way” format where Math modules are built into the courses and calculus is not a prerequisite. The new sequence will also employ student-centered,… read more about New Introductory Physics Sequence Starting in Fall 2024 »

  We like our summers in July and our snow in December. Leap Year ensures it remains that way, explains Duke physics professor Ronen Plesser in this short video. Plesser breaks down the math behind adding a day to the calendar every four years so that we remain in sync with the Earth’s rotation around the sun. The annual gap between the calendar year and the Earth's rotation “accumulates at the rate of one day every four years, and after a hundred years, you’re 25 days or a… read more about What Is So Special About Leap Year?  »

The Duke chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has won an Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Office. This designation is given to fewer than 10 percent of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally. The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association designed for students and membership is open to anyone interested in physics and related fields. SPS operates within the American Institute of Physics (AIP), an umbrella organization for… read more about Duke Physics Students Win National Recognition »

Congratulations to Matthew Ennis, recipient of the Deans Award for Excellence in Teaching. This is a very high honor for currently enrolled Ph.D. students and is awarded to only a chosen few who best exemplify the characteristics of effective college teaching as they prepare for lives of service, leadership, and teaching. Matt is the second graduate student in the history of the Physics Department to receive this award. He will be recognized by the Dean of the Graduate School at a… read more about Physics Grad Student Matthew Ennis Wins Deans Award for Excellence in Teaching »

James T. Dobbins III, professor emeritus of Radiology, Biomedical Engineering and Physics, received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023 from the Society of Directors of Academic Medical Physics Programs, Inc (SDAMPP). This award recognizes his substantial contributions nationally in medical physics education. Dobbins spent his entire 37-year career on the faculty and in senior administration at Duke, where he is Associate Vice Provost Emeritus. He is an internationally recognized scholar in imaging science whose… read more about James T Dobbins Receives Lifetime Achievement Award »

The Board of Directors of Optica (formerly OSA), Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, has elected Martin Fischer, research professor of Chemistry and Physics, to the Society’s 2024 Fellow Class. He is being honored “For pioneering contributions to nonlinear optical microscopy and imaging in biomedicine, materials science and cultural heritage.” Fischer, who directs the Advanced Light Imaging and Spectroscopy (ALIS) facility, researches novel laser microscopy methods that provide non-invasive, high-… read more about Martin Fischer Elected Fellow Member of Optica  »

Roxanne Springer, professor of Physics, is the 2023 recipient of the American Physical Society’s (APS) Division of Nuclear Physics Distinguished Service Award. This award will be announced at the DNP 23 Business Meeting. Her nomination letter reads: “For rich and passionate efforts to advocate and improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for DNP members and beyond, especially those from marginalized groups, including steering the DNP Allies program, helping broaden the Allies Program to other APS Units, cofounding… read more about Roxanne Springer Receives APS's 2023 Distinguished Service Award  »

DURHAM, N.C. -- If you’ve seen some of the images of space taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, launched in 2021, or its predecessor the Hubble, you may have marveled at glimpsing distant galaxies for the first time, or planets outside the solar system, or beholding the births and deaths of stars. But two Duke scientists are already looking past that. They are part of the plans for NASA’s next big space telescope. While the Webb and the Hubble are good at zeroing in on small patches of sky, they say, this next… read more about Taking a Larger View of the Universe »

With her knees clasping a West African drum, Clare Meehan sat in a circle with 50 of her fellow first-year students. She listened intently as drum circle coordinator David Ntim asked the students to take the rings off their fingers before beginning a 30-minute session with a series of call and response rhythms that he called “drum talk.” The simple rhythms boomed throughout the Duke Student Wellness Center as the new students played in unison. Meehan’s approach to playing her drum for the first time reflects her quiet,… read more about New Devils 2027: Clare Meehan »

Assistant Research Professor of Physics Arun Kannawadi joins the Duke faculty this year. (John West/Trinity Communications) Arun Kannawadi, assistant research professor of Physics, is helping in a worldwide push to learn more about the Universe, with the ultimate goal of figuring out how it began and how it might end. “These are fundamental questions that many of us may have wondered when we were kids,” Kannawadi said. “I certainly did. I’m happy that I get to work on projects that… read more about Cool Cosmology + Coding = Answers to Life’s Big Questions »

Warren Warren, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Physics, Radiology and Biomedical Engineering, and David Beratan, R.J. Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and Physics, have been recognized with 2024 American Chemical Society National Awards for their outstanding contributions to their fields of research. Beratan’s contributions to the field of Chemical Physics were recognized with the Irving Langmuir Award in Chemical Physics, sponsored by the Journal of Chemical Physics and the ACS Division… read more about Warren and Beratan Recognized by the American Chemical Society National Awards »

Associate Professor of Physics Divine Kumah joins the Duke faculty this year. (John West/Trinity Communications) Visit physicist Divine Kumah in his research lab and you’ll find him making what could be described as the world’s tiniest layer cakes. How tiny? Try just a few atoms thick. One hundred thousand of them would barely stack up against a sheet of paper. They’re not for eating, however. He takes his ingredients from the periodic table — oxygen and different metals such as… read more about Creating New Quantum Materials, Atom by Atom »