Visiting professor Jackie Krim, who is at Duke on sabbatical from North Carolina State University, studies nanoscale tribology, and Duke professor Bob Behringer is an expert on granular and fluid flows. They recently applied their knowledge of the behavior of granular materials in motion to an age-old fruit market conundrum—how to pick a piece of fruit out of a pile without triggering collapse.Krim and Behringer studied and filmed piles of apples, oranges, and onions as one or more pieces of fruit were removed. Among other… read more about Research Update - Friction, Fruit, and Flow »

Duke alum Sheila Brown Bailey has spent the last 24 years working on solar cells at the NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. “My job basically is to make a better solar cell, meaning one that is more efficient or that lasts longer or is cheaper to make,” she says. “Right now I’m doing some fundamental research in quantum dot solar cells.” She and her colleagues are using nanostructures called quantum dots to manipulate the width of the band gap in photovoltaic cells. “The name of the game in PV is… read more about Alumni Profile - Duke Alum Designs Better PV Cells at NASA's GRC »

The September-October 2009 issue of Duke Magazine chronicles the work of Dan Gauthier, Chair of Duke Physics, in his search for technological applications of chaos. Possibilities include more efficient pacemakers for arrhythmic hearts and improved intruder detection sensors. Read more about the world of chaos at Duke Magazine Online. read more about Research Update - Gauthier Digs Into Chaos »

On August 24, Professor Glenn Edwards left for the Curie Institute in Paris, France for a year-long sabbatical.In September Professor Moo-Young Han departs for one semester to teach at the College of Natural Sciences of the Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea.  He will return for the start of the Spring semester of 2010.At the end of August, Professor Henry Greenside will leave for a semester-long sabbatical at Janelia Farm Research Campus, a biomedical research… read more about Sabbaticals »

Professor Henry Greenside has co-authored a graduate-level textbook called Pattern Formation and Dynamics in Nonequilibrium Systems. Greenside's co-author is  Professor Michael C. Cross at the California Institute of Technology. As a member of Duke’s Center for Nonlinear and Complex Systems, Greenside has spent years teasing apart the secrets of nonequilibrium systems.  Discovering the rules that govern nonequilibrium systems could lead to better prediction of weather and… read more about Greenside's Textbook Hot off the Presses  »

The Physics Department is starting a new communication program, using online media to communicate to the world about our scholarly activities.  Over the next year we will be developing a collection of multi-media "stories" for a range of audiences with whom we wish to be in touch - prospective students, prospective faculty, and Department alumni, among others. We're always looking for good stories. If you're a member of the Duke Physics community, past or present, let us know what you're up to. Stay in touch,Dan… read more about Welcome to Duke Physics News »

The Research Experience for Undergraduates (or REU) program at the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL) is now in its tenth year of funding from the National Science Foundation. This program, lasting ten weeks, provides students with an introduction to graduate level research as they work with nuclear physics faculty from around the triangle. Explore photos of the TUNL REU program at Flickr! read more about TUNL Hosts 2009 REU Program »

Ariana Minot, a senior physics and mathematics major from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, spent nearly three months at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN this summer, observing the paths of sub-atomic particles and the working habits of high-energy physicists. Minot studied the performance of the Transition Radiation Tracker (TRT)—one of the innermost detectors that will be used to track the paths of the particles created when protons collide in the ATLAS detector.  Physicists at Duke played a significant… read more about Travel Notes: Undergrad @ CERN »

The 2009 Optical Society of America Conference in Hawaii In mid-July, Professor Daniel Gauthier, chair of the Duke Physics Department, and Joel Greenberg, a fourth-year PhD graduate student, traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii, to present papers at the Optics & Photonics Congress hosted by the Optical Society of America. Greenberg presented the paper, Superfluorescence in an Ultracold Vapor, about an aspect of the search for a nonlinear optical system activated by a single photon, and Gauthier presented Stored Light and… read more about Travel Notes: Gauthier and Greenberg to Hawaii »

Theoretical and experimental physicists at Duke are discovering surprising similarities between the behavior of matter at superhot temperatures (2 trillion degrees) and supercold temperatures (1/10 of a microdegree above absolute zero). To learn more, see these two articles by Monte Basgall about the work of John Thomas, Steffen Bass, and Berndt Mueller on the Duke Research website:  Fire Meets Ice : Superhot And Supercold Remarkably Similar In The 'Fermion' WorldMelting Spacetime: Gold Atom Smashups Create… read more about Research Update: Superhot and Supercold »

The quest for understanding often leads physics researchers and students to the far corners of the world. This summer, Horacio Carias, graduate student at Duke Physics, spent five weeks in Cyprus and Israel studying electron tunneling. He participated in an international symposium, spent untold hours doing research, and still found time to ride a camel and visit the Pyramids. Carias, a third-year graduate student at Duke, is working on an interdisciplinary research thesis in theoretical and computational… read more about Travel Notes: Electrons, Pyramids, and Camels »

Dr. Nicholas Buchler, from Rockefeller University, started August 1; Buchler has a joint appointment in the departments of Physics and Biology, and the Institute for Genome Science and Policy (IGSP).Dr. Ayana Holloway Arce, a Chamberlain Postdoctoral Fellow from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is a high-energy physicist and will start January 1, 2010.Dr. Jian-Guo Liu, from the University of Maryland,  joined the faculty July 1; Liu has a joint appointment with… read more about New Faculty »

Bryon Neufeld has spent his time at Duke studying what happens when quarks and gluons scatter in heavy ion collisions. Just as particles scatter, so too must newly minted PhDs. Neufeld left Duke on August 1 to head out to Los Alamos to begin a post-doctoral fellowship in the Nuclear Theory Division at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. There, he will work with Ivan Vitev as he continues to tease out the secrets of the elusive Quark-Gluon-Plasma (QGP). What is QGP? In the first few instants after the Big… read more about Finding Mach Cones in QGP »