If you ask Duke assistant professor Dan Scolnic what amazes him about cosmology, he’ll say, it’s “really the only field in all of science where you could stand in front of people and say, ‘we understand 5% of what’s going on,’ and still think we’re kind of smart.” That’s because all the stars, planets and galaxies that scientists see today make up just 5% of the universe. The other 95% is made of mysterious stuff called dark matter and dark energy that scientists can’t see or detect directly. Scolnic says scientists may be… read more about Prestigious Packard Fellowship Supports Duke Cosmologist in Answering Questions About What Makes Up the Universe »

Graduate student Yiqiu Zhao and colleagues have been featured in an APS Viewpoint. Zhao summarizes: Granular matter can behave like solid or liquid. A phase diagram that predicts the behavior of granular matter based on control parameters is important but not well established. Part of the difficulty is, granular matter develops spatial heterogeneity known as shear band under shear, making it hard to build connections between state variables since a well-defined “state” should be homogeneous. In this work,… read more about Grad Student Zhao and Colleagues in APS Viewpoint »

The 2019-2020 Department of Physics graduate student fellowships were awarded to: Richardson Fellowship: Aitor Bracho Rebecca Chen Austin Hulse Shiv Yadavalli AAPT Outstanding Teaching Award: Benjamin Hamm (nominated by Lecturer Arya Roy) Derek Soeder (nominated by Prof. Joshua Socolar) Mary Creason Award: Ethan Mancil (advisor: Prof. Gleb Finkelstein… read more about 2019-2020 Graduate Student Fellowships »

Prof. Mark Kruse and Prof. Emeritus Al Goshaw discovered the top quark and received the 2019 High Energy and Particle Physics Prize. Kruse was interviewed by the Duke Chronicle regarding this exciting research. Read "Duke physicist explains his discovery of the most massive fundamental particle" here. read more about Prof. Kruse Interviewed about Top Quark »

Prof. Ashutosh Kotwal served as co-convener of the Higgs and Electroweak Physics Sessions at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physics Society. The meeting was held at Northeastern University, Boston from July 29 through August 2. Over three days, the Higgs and Electroweak Session hosted speakers from the LHC and Tevatron experiments, theorists and representatives of future collider study groups. The results presented are consistent with the Standard Model of… read more about Prof. Kotwal Served at 2019 Annual Meeting of the Division of Particles and Fields »

Two graduate students, Connor Awe and Tyler Johnson (advisor: Prof. Phil Barbeau), have been awarded Doctoral Fellowships in Applied Antineutrino Physics. Awe and Johnson were awarded two out of a total of four competitive Consortium for Monitoring, Technology, and Verification (MTV) fellowships to support the NNSA mission through antineutrino physics in nuclear nonproliferation applications. See the press release and read the students' research statements here. The Duke… read more about Grad Students Awe and Johnson Awarded Doctoral Fellowships »

Prof. Michael Rubinstein is part of the team of five researchers that was awarded 270,000 node-hours for the project “Large Scale Numerical Simulations of Polymer Nanocomposites” from the Department of Energy's Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research’s Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC) program. ASCR received 75 proposals and awarded computer time at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center to ten research teams. Read the press release here. Congratulations to Prof. Rubinstein… read more about Prof. Rubinstein and Team Awarded in Computing Challenge »

On July 18, Cristin Ryman, assistant to the chair, walked with 86 of over 140 other Duke employees who earned Certificates of Excellence over the last year. Ryman spent 48 hours in six courses to complete the Supervisory Excellence certificate in December. That ceremony was canceled due to snowfall but she was invited to attend the celebration along with this semester's graduates. Vice President for Administration Kyle Cavanaugh (pictured with Ryman on the right) conferred certificates to the graduates. read more about Staff Member Ryman Earns Certificate of Excellence »

Prof. Daniel Scolnic works as part of the SH0ES team which measures the local expansion rate of the universe. His team’s measurement has been in tension with measurements from the early universe, and now new teams are coming in with independent measurements. Prof. Scolnic comments here. read more about Prof. Scolnic and SH0ES Team Research Featured »

The early 1990s were heady times for Duke physicists Al Goshaw and Mark Kruse. They belonged to one of two rival teams racing to discover an ephemeral building block of nature called the top quark. The final missing piece in a puzzle, the top quark was the last undiscovered quark of the six predicted to exist by scientific theory. “This was one of the major discoveries in our field,” said Goshaw, James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Physics.  In 1995, the two 450-person teams working on a machine near Chicago called the… read more about Duke Physicists Share Prize for Discovery of the Top Quark »

Congratulations to Prof. Emeritus Al Goshaw and Prof. Mark Kruse on their 2019 High Energy and Particle Physics Prize for their discovery of the top quark! DukeToday wrote an article and you can read "Duke Physicists Share Prize for Discovery of Top Quark" here. Additionally, see the European Physics Society's press release here. Photo credit: Fermilab read more about Profs. Goshaw and Kruse Awarded for Discovery of Top Quark »

Alum Leah Broussard (2013, advisor: Prof. Calvin Howell) now studies subatomic particles at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and is working to reach a parallel universe. Read about what she has been up to in "Scientists are searching for a mirror universe. It could be sitting right in front of you." online here. Photo credit: Genevieve Martin / Oak Ridge National Laboratory / U.S. Dept. of Energy read more about Alum Broussard Seeks Mirrorverse »

Several members of the Duke Neutrino and Cosmology Group— faculty member Prof. Kate Scholberg, graduate student Adryanna Smith, post-baccalaureate intern AJ Roeth, and physics major Crystal Burgos, attended the SNEWS 2.0: Supernova Neutrinos in the Multimessenger Era workshop in Sudbury, Canada. This workshop, co-organized by Scholberg, explored the future of SNEWS, the Supernova Early Warning System. Smith presented a poster on future detection in large… read more about Neutrino and Cosmology Group Members Attend SNEWS 2.0 »

The Department of Physics and the Department of Math held their annual diploma ceremony and luncheon on Sunday, May 12, 2019. In attendance were graduates, faculty, family, and friends.  Read a copy of the Event Program Photos of the event can be viewed on our Flickr site.   A video of the celebration is available. Congratulations to the Class of 2019! read more about 2019 Graduation »

Prof. Christoph Schmidt was recognized as Hertha Sponer Chair at the annual University Distinguished Chair’s dinner. See DukeToday's announcement here. read more about Prof. Schmidt Recognized at University Distinguished Chair’s Dinner »

Prof. Michael Troxel and scientists on the Dark Energy Survey have been published in Physical Review Letters. Click here to read the accompanying article "Viewpoint: Dark Energy Faces Multiple Probes" and learn how they were able to verify and measure dark energy. Duke Research has a nice summary on their 1,100 Words gallery. Photo credit: F. B. Abdalla et al., Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 460, 1270 (2016) read more about Prof. Troxel and Team Published in PRL »

The Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies has awarded Duke Support for Interdisciplinary Graduate Networks (D-SIGN) grants to two graduate student groups for 2019-2020. Our own graduate student Jonathan Yuly is a part of the Triangle Molecular Simulation Societ, mentored by Prof. David Beratan. From the Interdisciplinary Studies' website: Molecular simulation is a staple of research for a number of disciplines in the natural sciences. Simulation techniques drive new… read more about Grad Student Yuly and Group Award D-SIGN Grant »

Jay Zussman (majoring in Biophysics and in Gender, Sexualities, and Feminist Studies) has been selected as Faculty Scholar for academic year 2019-2020.  Faculty Scholar is the highest award given to undergraduates by Duke faculty. Approximately three are awarded in the junior year to students with impressive grade point averages, evidence of independent work, potential for innovative scholarship, and promise for future scholarship. Jay is coauthor on a paper currently being considered by Cell, a journal… read more about Biophysics Major Zussman Selected as Faculty Scholar »

The Physics Department's annual Undergraduate Poster session was held on Monday, April 22. Will Smith won first 1st place, Eric Seewald and Isabel Ruffin tied for 2nd, and John Franklin Crenshaw and Nikita Zemlevskiy tied for 3rd place. Prizes were supported by the McCormick Foundation. Congratulations to all and well done on your hard work! The poster session's program can viewed here. More photos are on Facebook here. Photo: Will… read more about Undergraduate Poster Session 2019 »

John Franklin Crenshaw is the recipient of this year's Daphne Chang Memorial Award. John Franklin received the award during Monday's Undergraduate Poster Session. He is pictured at right with Director of Undergraduate Studies Prof. Kate Scholberg. Congratulations, John Franklin! Read more about Daphne Chang and the award in her memory here. read more about 2019 Daphne Chang Memorial Award »

Profs. David Beratan and Olivier Delaire are part of teams awarded Energy Research Seed Fund grants for 2019-2020. Click here to read more. read more about Profs. Beratan and Delaire Awarded Energy Research Seed Fund »

Graduate student Alexey Bondarev, from the quantum transport theory group of Prof. Harold Baranger, has been selected to receive the 2019 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Award. Program Awardees receive full tuition and all mandatory fees coverage for up to three years at any accredited U.S. college or university that provides advanced degrees in science and engineering and a monthly stipend, health insurance coverage, and a travel budget. This… read more about Grad Student Bondarev Selected for NDSEG Fellowship Award »

Today's Google Doodle features Hedwig Kohn on the occasion of her 132nd birthday. Kohn was one of the first women to receive her PhD in Physics in Germany and later studied experimental spectroscopy in the Duke Physics lab of Hertha Sponer. What an honor for this pioneering woman in physics! If you can, stop by the department's chair's conference room and see Hedwig Kohn's photograph too. read more about Hedwig Kohn the Subject of Today's Google Doodle »

Prof. Chris Walter will deliver the Astronomy on Tap talk "Dark Energy and a New Eye on the Sky" at Fullsteam Brewery on Tuesday, April 2. The talk begins at 7:30pm. read more about Prof. Walter to Speak at Astronomy on Tap »

Congratulations to our colleague Prof. Martin Fischer, for receiving an award by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative related to the Advanced Light Imaging and Spectroscopy (ALIS) facility. You can read more about the award in Duke Today here. Photo credit: Mike Truell read more about Prof. Fischer Award from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative »

The 2018 newsletter is available online. Click here to see last year's recap. read more about Duke Physics 2018 Newsletter »

There is an exciting opportunity to learn more about the work of our colleague Prof. Sara Haravifard at the Science & Society Dinner Dialogue event on Wednesday, February 27. Dinner will be served as well and the event is free to attend for all. Click here for more information. read more about Science & Society Dinner Dialogue will Feature Prof. Haravifard »

From the chair, Prof. Steffen Bass: "Please join me in congratulating Prof. Phil Barbeau, whose promotion to Associate Professor with tenure has been approved by the Provost. We are very proud of his many accomplishments and are looking forward to having him in our Department as a colleague, mentor and teacher for many years to come!" read more about Prof. Barbeau Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure »

Prof. Michael Troxel is featured on the front page of Gizmodo answering the question "What is at the edge of the Universe?" Read Troxel's response here. read more about Prof. Troxel Explains What is at the Edge of the Universe »

Assistant Research Professor in Experimental Nuclear Physics Department of Physics Duke University   The Department of Physics at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina invites applications and nominations for a Research Assistant Professor position in the area of experimental nuclear physics. The person filling this position will be a member of a multi-university collaboration that studies nucleon structure using gamma-ray beams.  The data produced by the measurements are interpreted with effective-field-theory… read more about Seeking: Assistant Research Professor in Experimental Nuclear Physics »