Prof. Patrick Charbonneau will be in Lausanne, Switzerland, this week at the CECAM workshop “Crystallization: from colloids to pharmaceuticals.” Charbonneau will give a talk titled “How rare is hard sphere crystallization?” CECAM is the Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire. Earlier in the summer, Charbonneau traveled to the Kavli Institute in Santa Barbara; click here for more on that trip. read more about Prof. Charbonneau at CECAM Workshop, Switzerland »

Duke undergraduates Siyuan Sun and Zongjin Qian flew to Geneva June 2 to work at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN until July 28. Their work is funded by a 2010 Dean’s Summer Research Fellowship. “It is a very exciting time here for particle physics with the LHC up and running,” Sun says, “but that also means a ton of work. I have been involved with the Z prime and W prime searches. Even as an undergrad, you can do quite a bit of work that directly contributes.” His advisor Prof.… read more about Siyuan Sun's Summer Travel to CERN »

In the last week of April, Prof. Harold Baranger attended the workshop “Spin Related Phenomena in Mesoscopic Transport” at the International Institute of Physics in Natal, Brazil. Natal is on the easternmost tip of South America. Baranger gave a talk titled “Interaction-Induced Localization in Quantum Dots and Wires: Quantum Monte Carlo Studies.” View of Natal, Brazil After the conference, Baranger visited two former Duke post-docs. First, he traveled to… read more about Baranger Attends Conference, Visits Former Post-Docs in Brazil »

Duke’s nuclear physics specialty was ranked #8 in the U.S. News and World Report’s 2011 graduate school rankings, which came out April 15. The department as a whole placed 30. The last time the rankings were compiled, in 2006, the department ranked 29. “I am very pleased to see our efforts in nuclear physics recognized,” says Prof. Dan Gauthier, department chair. “On the experimental side, we continue to have internationally known facilities on campus, including the High Intensity Gamma Ray Source… read more about Nuclear Physics Number 8 in U.S. News Rankings »

Prof. Ashutosh Kotwal will soon be traveling to Blois, France, to give an invited plenary lecture at Rencontres de Blois—an annual multidisciplinary conference. This year’s conference, which runs July 15-20, is titled “Particle Physics and Cosmology: First Results from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).” Kotwal will speak on “Precision Tests of the Standard Model” on July 17. “The start of the LHC is a tremendously exciting time,” he says, “and this is a good time to take stock of what we have learned so far… read more about Prof. Kotwal to speak in France »

View from UW, towards Mt. RainierProf. Berndt Mueller is currently co-directing an eight-week program at the Institute for Nuclear Theory at the University of Washington called "Quantifying the Properties of Hot QCD Matter." The program, which lasts from May 24th to July 16th, is, according to Prof. Mueller, "incredibly intense, with almost uninterrupted lectures and discussions between 9 am and 6 pm each day. The group attending the program is analyzing how matter behaves… read more about Prof. Mueller at the Institute for Nuclear Theory at UW »

Prof. Patrick Charbonneau, who has appointments in both Chemistry and Physics at Duke, spent three weeks in May at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara.  While at the Kavli Institute, Charbonneau attended the program on "The Physics of Glasses: Relating Metallic Glasses to Molecular, Polymeric and Oxide Glasses."  Prof. Charbonneau gave a seminar on "How Hard Is It To Form A Glass? Insights From Beyond 3D." The slides and video for his seminar can be seen at the Kavli institute's… read more about Patrick Charbonneau at the Kavli Institute »

Zongjin Qian, a freshman physics major at Duke, was awarded a 2010 Dean’s Summer Research Fellowship for travel to CERN this summer, where he is doing research with Prof. Al Goshaw and the Duke High Energy Physics group.   Zongjin left for CERN in June, and is now involved with the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider.   He'll be at CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland, from June 2 to July 28.  After that, Zongjin will continue to work at Duke in August. Zongjin's experience at CERN has… read more about Zongjin Qian's Summer Travel to CERN »

l-r: Prof. Daniel Gauthier, Prof. Stephanos Venakides, Prof. Glenn Edwards   Prof. Dan Gauthier delivered a contributed oral presentation at the 11th Experimental Chaos and Complexity Conference in Lille France on June 1, 2010. The conference included over 180 participants from 31 countries and focused on a wide range of nonlinear dynamics problems, where experimental results were discussed as well as new theoretical insights and how they apply to experiments. His talk was on "Observation of chaos in… read more about Summer 2010 Research Travel Update: France »

Alexander Tuna (Trinity 2010) was awarded the 2010 Daphne Chang Memorial Award for undergraduate research in the Duke Physics Department. The award is in honor of  Daphne Y. Chang (Trinity 2005), a Duke Physics Major, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 26 and who is remembered for her remarkable success in undergraduate research. Alexander, under the supervision of Prof. Christopher Walter, designed an analysis to search for fractionally charged particles in the cosmic… read more about 2010 Daphne Chang Memorial Award awarded to Alexander Tuna »

Physics Department alumna Colleen Fitzpatrick was featured in the magazine More: For Women of Style andSubstance in an article called "The DNA Detective," written by Lynne Rosselini. Read the story online here. Fitzpatrick graduated with a PhD in Physics in 1983. Please see our April Alumni Profile on Fitzpatrick here and our Flickr album that focuses on her work and travels. read more about Alum Colleen Fitzpatrick, The DNA Detective »

Prof. John Thomas had an article, "The nearly perfect Fermi gas," published in the May 2010 issue of Physics Today. There are also two inter-related articles by other authors, forming a "special focus" issue on perfect fluids. To read the full articles, you must log in with a Physics Today account. Read Thomas' article online here. See the first paper here and the third here. read more about Prof. John Thomas featured in Physics Today »

Duke awarded 6 doctorate degrees to physics students in the Spring of 2010. Congratulations to all recently minted PhDs, and good luck on all of your endeavors! The recent PhDs' research varies across the field of physics sub-disciplines. View their photos here. read more about May 2010 Graduation »

The Duke Physics department had a strong presence at both the March and April 2010 meetings of the American Physical Society. Among the many contributed talks by Duke scholars at the March meeting were two invited talks.  Prof. Harold Baranger and Yang Yang, a Duke PhD student, were invited to speak. At the April meeting four faculty speakers from Duke were invited to give a talk on their research -  Prof. Roxanne Springer, Prof. Ayana Arce, Prof. Chris Walter, and… read more about Department Update - Duke Physicists Give Invited Talks at the 2010 APS Meeting »

“I shine a light on things for a living,” says Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD ’83. This simple statement covers Fitzpatrick’s wildly varying experiences since graduating, including building an optical laboratory in her garage, starting her own laser and optics company, and most recently, using “forensic genealogy” and DNA analysis to locate missing people, identify remains, and solve historical mysteries. How can one person find success both as a physicist and as an expert in identifying remains and tracking… read more about Alumni Profile - From Physics to Forensic Genealogy »

Duke physicists played a major role in the recent direct exclusion of Higgs bosons at Fermilab’s Tevatron, which was featured on the cover of the February 12, 2010, issue of Physical Review Letters (PRL). Duke professor Mark Kruse says the study excluded the 162-166 GeV/c2 range of masses for the Standard Model Higgs boson using direct searches for the Higgs in a W+W- decay process. Kruse says his graduate student Dean Hidas, PhD 2009, did a large part of the work that led to the exclusion… read more about Department Research Update - Higgs Exclusion at Tevatron Gets Noticed »

NOTE: LINKS HAVE BECOME BROKEN DUE TO SITE REDESIGN   As the 2009-2010 school year comes to a close, it's time to look back at a year of achievements and progress among faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduates. Faculty and students have participated in research collaborations all over the world and have continued to win research grants, fellowships, and awards. We've presented our work in physics journals and international meetings, and we've been covered by the media. We've also developed a new graduate… read more about Welcome to the April Duke Physics Newsletter »

Logo credit to CERNThis Spring, Duke Physics students have been recognized for their excellence in research and ambition.  Read the following profiles to see what they will be up to this summer and fall.   The student research projects will involve travel to Fermilab in Illionois, LAL in France, and the LHC in Geneva.   Several students will be working with data from the ATLAS experiment at the LHC. View Photos of the students and their research areas on Flickr. Student Profiles and… read more about Student Research Awards »

Duke’s Arts and Sciences Council recently approved a request from the physics department to create a new major in biophysics. The major will be administered by the physics department in close collaboration with the departments of biology, chemistry, and biomedical engineering. As Director of Undergraduate Studies, physics professor Seog Oh led the effort to create the new major. He says he had been hearing from undergrads for some time that they were interested in exploring the interface between physics and… read more about Department Update - A New Major at Duke: Biophysics »

Josh Albert, a fourth-year graduate student at Duke, recently returned from another trip to a high energy physics experiment in Japan. "The travel is fascinating," Albert says. "Not just from a physics perspective but also because I'm able to meet people with such different perspectives." High energy physics experiments are massive endeavors, requiring teams of hundreds or thousands of physicists from dozens of countries. Graduate students and undergrads at Duke are active participants in these… read more about High Energy Physicists as World Travelers »

NOTE: LINKS HAVE BECOME BROKEN DUE TO SITE REDESIGN Students who have been accepted to the Duke Physics graduate program are just now finding congratulatory emails in their inboxes.  Many of you alumni will remember the feelings of excitement when choosing to attend Duke.  This issue highlights the diverse experiences in physics research available at Duke.  These strengths come from cutting-edge faculty, state-of-the-art research facilities, a strong global presence, and an enriching graduate community. Our continued… read more about Welcome to the February Duke Physics Newsletter »

The photo above is an image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of a nearby spiral galaxy with a globular cluster marked and enlarged.Jay Strader, ’02, was an economics and math major when he took an astrophysics course as a sophomore. The course, taught by former Duke professor John Kolena, captured his imagination in a way economics never had, and a summer research project related to old massive star clusters convinced him to drop the econ major and replace it with physics (he kept the… read more about Jay Strader, Hubble Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian »

The physics department’s newest faculty member, Ayana T. Arce, earned her PhD at Harvard, did a Chamberlain post-doctoral fellowship at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and is thrilled to have settled at Duke. As a high energy experimental physicist, Arce has worked with a lot of different physics departments at Fermilab and the Large Hadron Collider. “Each department has their own flavor,” she says. “High energy physics at Duke has got a perfect combination of energy and healthy collegial spirit… read more about Ayana Arce: HEP's Newest Faculty Member »

Professor Moo-Young Han is back from a sabbatical semester at Seoul National University in Korea. He taught undergraduate and graduate-level physics classes, and spent a great deal of time theorizing about particle physics with his colleague and old friend Jihn E. Kim. “He and I work in the same area,” Han says. “He is the foremost theorist in Korea.” Kim and Han were doing what every theoretical particle physicist in the world is doing right now: “Basically making bets about what might happen at the Large… read more about Faculty Research Update: Moo-Young Han’s Sabbatical in Korea »

NOTE: LINKS HAVE BECOME BROKEN DUE TO SITE REDESIGN Duke Physics' Graduate Curriculum Committee adopted a new Graduate Program curriculum in October 2009. This committee, composed of faculty members and graduate students, conceived of an exciting redirection of the graduate program that offers incoming students the ability to focus on their own research while taking challenging courses. Read details on the new curriculum at the Duke Physics website. read more about New Curriculum in Graduate Program »

Why Duke Physics? A Photo Essay on the Strengths of DukeThe collage below is a selection of our ongoing photo essay called "Why Duke Physics?"  This project, hosted at both Flickr and Facebook, collects quotes and images that cover the variety of aspects that draw students to the Duke Physics Department.  What better way to highlight our strengths than to ask members of the Duke Physics community? Become a Fan of Duke Physics on Facebook Duke Physics is now on Facebook. … read more about Connect to Duke Physics on the Web! »

Xin Qian, a graduate student in Prof. Haiyan Gao’s Medium Energy Physics Group, is the winner of the 2010 Caltech Prize Fellowship in Experimental Physics or Astrophysics. The Fellowship is highly competitive. For the fall of 2010, Xin Qian is the only candidate in the world who has been awarded this prize Fellowship. According to the Fellowship webpage: "This Fellowship program has been established to offer scientists, typically within a few years after receipt of the Ph.D., the… read more about Xin Qian Wins 2010 Caltech Postdoctoral Prize Fellowship »

In Memoriam - Daphne Y. Chang (Trinity 2005), a Duke Physics major, passed away on December 21st after battling a never fully diagnosed disease on and off for the past two years. She was 26 years old. Daphne will be remembered by the Duke Physics community as an extraordinary person: in her sophomore year she joined the Nuclear Theory Group as an independent study student. Her subsequent research under the supervision of Prof. Steffen A. Bass on the production of strange quarks in relativistic heavy-ion… read more about Daphne Chang Memorial Award Fund »