News

On June 10, 2020, over 70 members of the Duke Physics Department set aside their research, instructional, and administrative activities to participate in a nationwide strike called #ShutDownSTEM, organized by a multi-identity, intersectional coalition of STEM professionals. Participants used the day to reflect on the ways in which American physics communities, from small research groups, to undergraduate classes, university departments, multi-university collaborations, and national societies can better serve black… read more about Duke Physics Community Anti-Racism Forum »

Prof. David Beratan has been featured on Trinity College of Arts & Sciences' webpage in a background piece to coincide with his 60th birthday tribute in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B. Click here to read "David Beratan Reflects on the Humans Behind the Science." read more about Prof. Beratan Looks Back on His Career in Two Tribute Articles »

While the Duke Community celebrates this unprecedented graduating class of 2020, we would like to highlight two Duke Physics graduate and undergraduate team members for their successful development, coordination and commitment to our faculty, staff and students and first ever virtual graduating class. Katherine Siler and Timothy Fields, Jr. would have been planning their normal annual graduations with their respective graduate and undergraduate students, but instead during one of the most… read more about Department of Physics Staff Spotlight – June 2020 »

Prof. Ashutosh Kotwal has been awarded the Arts and Sciences Council's Faculty Research Grant for bringing together the Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Physics departments on "Applications of Artificial Intelligence". Prof. Kotwal has initiated this collaboration to advance the development and application of high-performance artificial-intelligence (AI) hardware in which the AI algorithms are directly embedded in silicon integrated circuits. The application that Prof. Kotwal has… read more about Prof. Kotwal Receives Research Grant for Artificial Intelligence Applications »

In 2020-2021, the Duke University Energy Initiative’s Energy Research Seed Fund will support projects addressing renewable energy’s integration into the grid, battery performance, electrochemical catalysts, utilities’ decision-making… read more about Energy Research Seed Fund awards six grants to Duke faculty to kickstart innovative projects »

Most of Physics Professor Haiyan Gao’s students see their doctoral dissertations posted on her lab’s web site very soon after they have been awarded their Ph.Ds. But Yang Zhang, Ph.D. 2018, had to wait two years, because his… read more about Why Waiting Two Years for Publication of His Dissertation Was Worth It for This Physics Ph.D. Student »

Fifteen Duke Ph.D. students have received prestigious awards from the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) for 2020. Launched in 1952, the GRFP is the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind. It supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science… read more about 15 Ph.D. Students Receive Prestigious NSF Fellowships »

The Research Data Repository is a service of the Duke University Libraries that provides curation, access, and preservation of research data produced by the Duke community. In an interview with Duke's Office of Scientific Integrity, Prof. Patrick Charbonneau, associate professor of chemistry and physics, describes his motivations in helping develop and in heavily using this resource. Read it online here. read more about Prof. Charbonneau Interviewed on Research Data Repository »

Dr. Yang Zhang’s thesis work just appeared in a paper on "Precision measurement of the neutral pion lifetime" in Science on May 1, 2020. Dr. Yang Zhang received his Ph.D. from Duke in May 2018 under the supervision of Prof. Haiyan Gao. Strong force is one of the four fundamental forces in nature and is the force responsible for binding nucleons into atomic nuclei. The theory describing the strong force is called quantum chromodynamics (QCD) with quarks and gluons as degrees of… read more about Alum Zhang Published in Science, a Significant Contribution to PrimEx-II »

Congratulations to our faculty members Michael Rubinstein and Steffen Bass for being awarded distinguished professorships this year. Rubinstein has been named Aleksander S. Vesic Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Bass has been named Arts & Sciences Professor of Physics. Rubinstein and Bass join the cohort of primary and joint Physics faculty with such chairs (Haiyan Gao, Ashutosh KotwalBerndt Mueller… read more about Bass and Rubinstein Receive Distinguished Professorships »

Duke University has awarded distinguished professorships to 29 faculty members from eight Duke colleges and schools. While the annual University Distinguished Professors dinner will be postponed until social gathering restrictions are lifted, Provost Sally Kornbluth is ready to congratulate this year’s recipients now. “I am thrilled to honor this wonderful cohort of scholars, teachers, and members of the Duke community,” Kornbluth said. “Becoming a distinguished professor at Duke is a great achievement, and one that is… read more about Duke Awards 29 University Distinguished Professorships »

Prof. Daniel Scolnic (and his daughter, marking her video debut movie experience) and Prof. Patrick Charbonneau have been included in a video Duke made about how scientists are dealing with working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about "Data at a Distance" on DukeToday's website here. read more about Professors Share Their Experiences Working from a Safe Distance »

In part of Duke's Keep Teaching initiative, Prof. Michael Troxel shared his experience teaching physics remotely with Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maintaining a fresh and interesting atmosphere has been a challenge for professors university-wide. Click here to read some of Troxel's tips. read more about Prof. Troxel Shares his Tips for Teaching from Home During COVID-19 »

Keep Teaching is sharing stories of how Duke faculty are implementing remote learning. Here, Michael A. Troxel, Assistant Professor of Physics, details… read more about Recreating a Physics Classroom on Zoom »

Prof. Warren Warren, who holds appointments in Physics, Chemistry and Radiology, has been awarded the 2020 Günther Laukien Prize for his contributions to nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and its cousin, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI, which uses magnetic fields and radio waves to measure signals from spinning protons, has been used in medicine since the 1980s as a noninvasive way to create pictures of the inside of the body without using radiation like X-ray or CT scans do. One of the… read more about Prof. Warren Wins Award for Magnetic Resonance »

Prof. Patrick Charbonneau, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Physics, is trying to crack the glass problem as part of an international Simons Collaboration. In a new video from Duke's Why Do You Study That? series, he explains what is the problem with glasses and cracks some along the way. read more about Prof. Charbonneau Tries to Crack the Glass Problem »

Profs. Daniel Scolnic and Michael Troxel are science leaders for WFIRST, a next generation NASA flagship mission. WFIRST passed its agency-level review by the NASA Agency Program Management Council under what is called Key Decision Point C, which allows the mission to formally enter a development phase and begin construction of engineering and test components for the mission. The WFIRST telescope is expected to be launched in 2025 and will enable the most precise measurements of dark energy… read more about NASA Science Mission WFIRST, with Science Led by Prof. Scolnic and Troxel, Passes Key Milestone, Launch to be 2025  »

Research could help pave the way to more versatile, low-cost MRI for studying metabolic reactions in real-time Duke professor Warren Warren has been awarded the 2020 Günther Laukien Prize for his contributions to… read more about Duke Professor Warren Warren Wins Award for Magnetic Resonance »

Prof. Kate Scholberg has been named an outstanding referee by the editors of the Physical Review journals. Scholberg is one of 147 Outstanding Referees for 2020 selected by the American Physical Society (APS) that have demonstrated exceptional work in the assessment of manuscripts published in the Physical Review journals. A full list of the Outstanding Referees is available online here. Instituted in 2008, the Outstanding Referee program annually recognizes approximately 150 of the… read more about Prof. Scholberg Announced as APS Outstanding Referee for 2020 »

Alum Joel Greenberg (PhD '12, advisor: Gauthier), now research professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is involved in research to improve airport screening with x-ray diffraction. The team, which also includes Physics secondary Prof. Anuj Kapadia, primarily appointed in Radiology, demonstrated their technologies for U.S. Representative David Price last week. Read about more about "A Speedier and More Accurate Future for Airport Security Screening" here. Photo… read more about Alum Greenberg and Prof. Kapadia Improve Airport Screening »

The positive decision by the Department of Energy for the construction of the EIC is a great step forward for the field of nuclear physics. This new facility will give unprecedented insight into the dynamics that are responsible for much of the properties of the visible mass. It will provide much deeper insight into the building blocks of matter than ever before with the potential for transformative discoveries. Researchers at Duke, in particular Professors Haiyan Gao, Berndt Mueller and… read more about The Electron-Ion-Collider to be built at Brookhaven National Lab – Duke Faculty helped pave the way! »

The “Snowmass” study organized by the American Physical Society Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) is the long-term planning exercise of the U.S. High Energy Physics (HEP) Community, which takes place approximately once a decade. From the DPF newsletter (link: https://www.aps.org/units/dpf/newsletters/upload/January-2020-Newsletter.pdf) "Snowmass is an opportunity for the entire HEP community to come together to identify and document a vision for the future of particle physics in the U.S. and with its international… read more about Profs. Barbeau and Scholberg Selected as “Snowmass” Frontier Conveners »

Several members of the cosmology group made their way this month to the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration meeting in Arizona. Here you see some of our faculty, postdocs, grad students and alumni including three former Duke physics undergraduates who are now in graduate school and working with us as colleagues. read more about Cosomology Group Members Attend LSST Meeting »

Prof. Kate Scholberg will participate in the Science & Society Dinner Dialogues series on Wednesday, February 5. Click here to read a little more about her upcoming discussion about neutrinos. The Dinner Dialogues series is intended for a wide audience in an informal setting but there is a waitlist. You can sign up on the event page. read more about Prof. Scholberg to Participate in S&S Dinner Dialogue »

In other exciting news from our Cosmology Group: The LSST has been renamed as the Vera Rubin Observatory. The observatory is named after an astronomer who provided important evidence of the existence of dark matter, and is the first national US observatory to be named after a woman. Read more on LSST's website here.Photo credit: NOAO/AURA/NSF read more about LSST Renamed Vera Rubin Observatory »

Graduate student Shobhit Sharma and his advisors Profs. Ehsan Samei and Anuj Kapadia report that accurate individualized estimates of organ doses in computed tomography (CT) can now be performed within clinically acceptable computation times. They utilized an automatic image-segmentation method to create custom anatomical models from patients’ CT data along with a parallelized Monte Carlo simulation of photon transport to compute the radiation burden imposed by a CT scan in… read more about Graduate Student Makes Progress in Medical Imaging »

Assistant to the Chair Cristin Ryman has successfully completed the Certified Payroll Representative program. The certification is one of many offered by Duke University Financial Services that included over ten classroom courses with accompanying quizzes and a final exam. From Timothy W. Walsh, Vice President for Finance: "Cristin has demonstrated expert knowledge of the systems and resources vital to understanding and using Duke University payroll processes. The final exam is a rigorous assessment of… read more about Staff Member Ryman Completes Payroll Representative Certification »

Graduate student Emily Phillips Longley is at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California working with a team to build a camera that will be housed at the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) presently under construction in Chile. The camera that will spend ten years mapping the sky above the Southern Hemisphere. Click over to the Graduate School's website to see photos and read more about Longley's exciting DOE-funded research: "Physics Ph.D. Student Helping to Build World's Largest Digital… read more about Grad Student Longley Helping to Build the World's Largest Digital Camera »

Thanks to a grant from the Department of Energy, physics Ph.D. student Emily Phillips Longley is spending six months at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California, helping to build a camera. A camera the size of a car. Longley is part of a team building the… read more about Physics Ph.D. Student Helping to Build World’s Largest Digital Camera »

Higher education institutions like Duke are gateways to opportunity and success for many low-income and first-generation college students. They are also home to professors who once stood in those students’ shoes and used their education to get into academia. Here are some professors from Duke who… read more about Professors from low-income first-generation backgrounds are ready to help Duke students »