The Physics department celebrated its 2022-2023 graduates with a diploma ceremony on Sunday, May 14 at the Love Auditorium & Hall of Science, following Duke's main commencement event.  The program included a celebratory lunch and a welcome address by Professor Steffen Bass, Chair of the Physics department. Following the welcome address, Professors Ayana Arce, Director of Undergraduate Studies, John Mercer, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies and Mark Kruse, Director of Graduate Studies, presented diplomas to… read more about Commencement 2022 - 2023 »

In the subterranean recesses of a world-class neutron beam facility within Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL), there is a neutrino haven. A narrow basement hallway deemed “Neutrino Alley” is lined with detectors of various shapes and sizes. These detectors are metaphorical welcome mats, beckoning the teensy neutrino particles to kick up their feet, for the briefest of moments, and interact under scientists’ watchful eyes. Trillions of neutrinos stream harmlessly through you every second of every day. Mostly, these invisible,… read more about COHERENT Experiment Invites Students to Listen for Whispers in ‘Neutrino Alley’ »

On a chilly Saturday morning in February, physics enthusiasts from across the Carolinas flocked to Duke University for the Society of Physics Students (SPS) Zone 5 Meeting. SPS zone meetings bring together SPS chapters from a given area of the country to meet SPS undergraduate students from other schools, brainstorm ideas for their chapters, and share student research. Eager to be meeting back in-person, students kickstarted the morning mingling as 70 participants from various SPS chapters arrived… read more about From Pictionary to Science Policy, Passing by Hubble's Constant: A Walkthrough of the 2023 SPS Zone 5 Meeting »

Amid questions about its methodology and impact, US News and World Report released its annual rankings of graduate and professional programs Tuesday, with many Duke schools and departments scoring high. The schools of law and medicine chose not to participate in the US News survey this year, expressing reservations about the value and validity of the rankings and their influence on education decisions. US News has indefinitely delayed publication of the rankings in those fields. Of the participating schools, the School… read more about Duke Graduate, Professional Programs Score High in US News Rankings »

Four faculty from Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and three alumni have been named to this year’s cohort of Guggenheim Fellows. The honorees for 2023 include German Studies Professor Stefani Engelstein, Professor Lillian B. Pierce of Mathematics, Religious Studies Professor Leela Prasad, and Professor of Physics Christopher Walter. Duke alumni Lucy Corin, Jon-Sesrie Goff and Jennifer Graber were also recognized. Now in its 98th year, the Guggenheim Fellowships recognize exceptional mid-career scholars and… read more about Four Trinity Faculty and Three Alums Named 2023 Guggenheim Fellows »

On April 7, 2022 the CDF Collaboration team led by Ashutosh Kotwal, Fritz London Distinguished Professor of Physics, published the world's most precise measurement of a fundamental particle called the W boson. As explained in quantum theory, this particle mediates the weak nuclear force which causes radioactivity and controls the rate of nuclear fusion in the sun's core. The measurement has generated widespread attention and scientific scrutiny, not only because of its extreme precision but also because it reveals a… read more about CERN Celebrates One Year of W-Boson's New Mass Measurement »

For most students, Spring Break is when they take a break from academic rigors by taking a quiet (or loud) week away from Duke and its classes. But some students spent their week learning about subjects possibly far outside their normal areas of study. Spring Breakthrough is an annual set of courses offered during Spring Break that aren't graded, instead meant to be learning experiences that students otherwise wouldn't have access to. The 2023 Spring Breakthrough courses included: Motorcycle Revival: Repairing and… read more about Learning New Subjects During Spring Breakthrough 2023  »

Few things carry the same aura of mystery as dark matter. The name itself radiates secrecy, suggesting something hidden in the shadows of the Universe. A collaborative team of scientists called COHERENT, including Kate Scholberg, Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor of Physics, Phillip Barbeau, associate professor of Physics, and postdoctoral scholar Daniel Pershey, attempted to bring dark matter out of the shadows of the Universe and into a slightly less glamorous destination: a brightly lit, narrow hallway in a… read more about Catching Dark Matter in a Basement »

What differentiates a chef from just another cook? It’s the capacity to use common ingredients to create extraordinary results. Sara Haravifard, William M. Fairbank Assistant Professor of Physics and Assistant Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, is a chef herself. Using common elements from the periodic table, she creates novel materials with extraordinary properties. In her seven years at Duke, Haravifard has built one of the best laboratories in the nation to design,… read more about Sara Haravifard Creates the Extraordinary  »

5th Year GSO Role: 5th Year Rep Research Area: Experimental High Energy Physics Fun Facts: Elise’s favorite movie is The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and she is currently watching Shadow and Bone. Elise works with Mark Kruse on particle physics as part of the ATLAS Collaboration at CERN. Her thesis will focus on testing new theories that could extend the Standard Model by analyzing data from run 2 of the LHC (2015-2018). She spent a… read more about Graduate student spotlight: Elise Le Boulicaut »

1st Year GSO Role: 1st Year Rep Research Area: Computational Many Body Physics Fun Facts: Her dream job as a child was to be a graphic designer. She is currently watching Malcolm in the Middle.  Ana is from a small town in Brazil called Araraquara where they have a pretty significant orange juice factory, and as a consequence, the whole town smells like oranges. She studied for her BSc. only 40 min away from home, at the University of São Paulo. For her MSc., she moved to Cologne, in Germany, and absolutely… read more about Graduate student spotlight: Ana Luiza Ferrari »

Year: 4th Year Role in GSO: 4th Year Rep Research Area: Cosmology Fun Facts: Erik is currently watching The Office and his childhood dream job was to be an Astronaut. Erik’s hometown is Lakewood, WA, and his alma mater is Notre Dame. Some of the highlights of his time at Duke are soaking up the omnipresent Duke Basketball hype and getting delicious tacos from La Vaquita. You should ask him about his time TA-ing for the Physics of Sports class — the students loved it as much as he did! Erik is fluent in English… read more about Graduate student spotlight: Erik Peterson »

Johnny Chiles  3rd Year GSO Secretary-Treasurer Research Area: Condensed Matter Experiment Fun Facts: If he were a plant, Johnny would be a Hydrangea. He is currently watching the Bachelorette and his dream job as a child was a baseball player. Johnny graduated from Georgia Tech and currently does research in low-temperature, low-dimensional electron transport specializing in multi-terminal Josephson junctions, thermal transport, and the interplay of superconductivity and the quantum Hall effect in van… read more about Graduate Student Spotlight: Johnny Chiles  »

3rd Year  GSO Vice President  Research Area: Quantum Info / Exp. AMO Fun Facts: Her dream job as a child was to be a famous writer or president. If she wasn't able to do Physics, Isabella would want to work at a doggy daycare. Isabella graduated from UCLA and her current research focuses on trapped ion quantum computing, specifically a networking experiment in which we envision connecting smaller quantum computers through photonic links in order to create a quantum network. In her free time, she likes to hang out with… read more about Graduate Student Spotlight: Isabella Goetting  »

Dr. Jonathon Yuly, a former graduate student in the Beratan Lab, has received the 2022 American Physical Society’s DBIO Dissertation Award! The award, which recognizes doctoral thesis research of outstanding quality and achievement in any area of experimental, computational, engineering, or theoretical biological physics, will be bestowed at an upcoming APS meeting.  Dr. Yuly's dissertation work showed that a universal free energy landscape underpins near-reversible electron bifurcation reactions and assures their high… read more about Former Beratan Lab Student Receives 2022 APS DBIO Dissertation Award »

If you ask Duke physicist Natalie Klco, most computers in use today get nature all wrong. “Nature at its core is not a deterministic set of ones and zeros,” Klco says. To really understand how nature works, particularly at the subatomic level, the assistant professor is trying to figure out if quantum computing -- now expanding at Duke and elsewhere -- might do better. The hope, she says, is to tackle problems that even the world’s fastest supercomputers haven’t been able to address. Klco is a theoretical nuclear… read more about Computing the Quantum World »