News

On January 22, Scholars@Duke hosted a visualization challenge during the 2018 Research Computing Symposium. The challenge was to showcase Duke's interdisciplinary education and research activities. Members of Duke Physics won three of the four awards! First Place: Graduate student Matthew Epland for "Exploring Interdisciplinary Connections in Duke Ph.D. Committees" [link] Third Place: Graduate student Aghil Abed Zadeh for "Duke Research in Perspective" [link] Honorable Mention: Math and… read more about Graduate and Undergraduate Students Win at 2018 Research Computing Symposium »

On Monday, North Carolina Central University officially joined the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL). "North Carolina Central has long been a major contributor to the TUNL program and so this step formalizes a partnership that’s existed in reality for many years," said TUNL Director Art Champagne. Champagne added: "Also, we recognize that physics is a community endeavor, requiring a diversity of perspectives that can only come from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. So like all… read more about NCCU Joins the TUNL Consortium »

Prof. Sara Haravifard has been elected as a member-at-large to the American Physical Society GMAG Executive Committee, beginning officially after the 2018 APS March Meeting and serving for three years. APS GMAG is the American Physical Society Topical Group on Magnetism and its Application. It represents one of the fastest-growing scientific sectors of the APS, sponsoring 85 sessions at the 2017 March Meeting, where it received 10% of all the abstracts submitted. read more about Prof. Haravifard Elected as Member of APS GMAG Executive Committee »

Prof. Calvin Howell is co-PI for the University Center for Exemplary Mentoring program, a new endeavor to increase minority graduate students in science and engineering departments. Read more about UCEM with statements from Howell in The Chronicle's article "New scholarship program aims to increase underrepresented minorities in graduate STEM disciplines" here. read more about Prof. Howell Co-PI of New Program to Promote Minority Grad Students in STEM »

On January 13 and 14, 2018, Prof. Kate Scholberg traveled with undergraduate students Jane Park (advisor Prof. Sara Haravifard) and Isabel Ruffin (advisor: Prof. Ayana Arce) to the annual American Physical Society's Conference of Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) at the University of Virginia. Park and Ruffin presented posters with Park receiving a poster prize. Prof. Roxanne Springer also attended CUWiP and led two… read more about Profs. Scholberg, Springer and Undergraduates Attended CUWiP 2018 »

Prof. Phil Barbeau discusses his uses for low-radioactivity battleship steal and Ancient Roman lead when building sensitive neutrino and dark matter detectors in a recent article published by Gizmodo. Click here to read “How Physicists Recycled WWII Ships and Artillery to Unlock the Mysteries of the Universe." Photo: A forklift hoists one of the rusty sheets of surplus battleship steel behind a Duke physics laboratory. From "Physics on a Shoestring Budget." read more about Prof. Barbeau Discusses Reusing Materials To Build Detectors »

Time flies – it has been nearly three years since [Prof. Haiyan Gao] started to juggle between the complicated and interesting "double" life of a Physics Professor at Duke University in the U.S., and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China. Friends, neighbors and colleagues asked me "How has it been?" all the time whenever I am back in the U.S. My answer has always been: "it is exciting, challenging, busy, exhausting, everything except boring." Duke Kunshan is a… read more about Commuting Between Duke University and Duke Kunshan University »

The Duke Physics 2017 newsletter is live! The department has had many achievements, faculty hires, new staff, and more over the past year that have been compiled into our final print publication. Read it now online here and look for it in your mail boxes next week. To receive next year's, which will be online only, make sure you are on our mailing list by sending your preferred email address to news at phy dot duke dot edu. Happy Holidays! read more about Duke Physics 2017 Newsletter »

The COHERENT Collaboration's result received second place in the People's Choice for Breakthrough of the Year 2017 by Science Magazine. Two graduate students Justin Raybern and Connor Awe were featured in the video showcasing all the candidates' research. See them at 1:47 here. Thank you for voting and congratulations again to the team! read more about COHERENT Result Receives Second Place in Popular Vote for Breakthrough of the Year 2017 »

Physicist Michael Rubinstein has always been willing to go new places and try new things. In 1977, he immigrated to the United States from the Soviet Union, seeking opportunity. “The Soviet Union looked stable then, but there was no future for me to do what I wanted to do,” he says. As a college student, his only career choice seemed to be physics teacher. Instead, he came to the United States with his family midway through his college education. He finished his undergraduate degree in physics at the… read more about Michael Rubinstein: Creating Communities and Collaborations to Study Soft Matter »

In 2017, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences celebrated 50 years of Black faculty scholarship. Prof. Calvin Howell has been a faculty member of Duke Physics for 32 of those 50 years and was featured in the video profile "The Art Historian and the Physicist." Watch it on Trinity College's YouTube channel here. read more about Prof. Howell Interviewed in Honor of 50 Years of Black Faculty Scholarship in Trinity College »

Rita Boggs Rita was born in Durham, NC and has spent most of her life in Raleigh. She graduated from Meredith College with a degree in Music Education and taught several years both privately and at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. Since getting married in 1981, she and her husband have lived in Spartanburg, SC, Kinston, NC and then back to Raleigh. When they moved to Raleigh, Rita accepted a job with a company that sold phosphates internationally. She worked in international marketing with them for 15… read more about New Physics Staff »

Congratulations to Prof. G. Allan Johnson who has been named one of nineteen researchers to receive the 2017 Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy for Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research. This honor recognizes accomplishments of those in the field of medical imaging. Please click here to read more about the Academy and award. Click here to see Medical Physics' announcement. read more about Prof. Johnson Named 2017 Distinguished Investigator »

Christoph Schmidt wants to understand the physics of living materials such as cells, tissues, and organs. How does a cell generate forces and move, or sense its own size and shape? How does an animal sense its own motions? In Schmidt’s mind these questions are crying out for attention from physicists. “In the last half century or so, people have had a strong focus on molecular biology,” he says, “whereas the knowledge of physical properties—say elasticity or dynamics—and the physics of matter inside cells… read more about Christoph Schmidt: Using Physics to Understand Biology »

Third year graduate student Aaron Mahler, working under the supervision of Prof. Weitao Yang, has been awarded a 2018 Phase-I Fellowship from the NSF-funded Molecular Sciences Software Institute for his research on theory and implementation of a localized orbital scaling correction to generate improved functionals. See the press release here. read more about Grad Student Mahler Receives Phase-I Fellowship »

Congratulations to senior physics major Bryan Higgins who received the 3rd place award and cash prize for his research poster at the Energy Week Conference held at Duke in November 2017.  Bryan has been carrying out senior thesis research with Prof. Stephen Teitsworth, and has been exploring and testing novel types of dye-sensitized solar cells that are inexpensive to fabricate and utilize common regional plants as a source of organic dyes. read more about Undergrad Higgins Places at Energy Week Conference »

The COHERENT result has made it to the final round of Science Magazine's "People's Choice for Breakthrough of the Year"! Click here to vote one last time by December 10th! Photo credit: Jean Lachat, University of Chicago read more about COHERENT Result is a Finalist for Breakthrough of the Year »

A team of Physics and Electrical and Computer Engineering researchers from Duke, The Ohio State University, and The National University of Singapore have built the world's highest rate quantum key distribution system. Led by Physics graduate student Nurul Islam, the system is capable of generating a secret key at a rate five to ten times faster than the existing methods. Read the team's paper: "Provably secure and high-rate quantum key distribution with time-bin qudits" published in Science Advances… read more about A Multi-Disciplinary Team Builds the World's Highest Rate Quantum Key Distribution System »

The COHERENT Collaboration's result is in the running for being named “Breakthrough of the Year” by Science Magazine. This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight some of the successful science we do here at Duke and with TUNL. Voting is also a great way to show support for so many of our students who are at all levels and at all four local institutions. Choose your breakthrough of the year here by December 3rd. Photo credit: Jean Lachat, University of Chicago read more about Cast Your Vote for the COHERENT Result as Breakthrough of the Year »

Iman Marvian, a quantum information theorist, will be joining the Duke faculty in January 2018, with a joint appointment in physics and electrical and computer engineering. He’ll be adding to the efforts of others in physics and engineering who are working to design and build quantum computers. But Marvian has a broader vision. “The field is not just about building quantum computers,” he says. “That’s a big part, but not the only part.” Harold Baranger, professor of physics, says, “Iman… read more about Iman Marvian: The “Magical Power” of Quantum Systems »

UNC professor Art Champagne succeeded Duke professor Calvin Howell to become the director of the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL) in July 2016. Champagne is the William C. Friday Professor of Physics at UNC-Chapel Hill. A year and a half after making the transition from TUNL faculty member to TUNL director, Champagne says, “It’s a different perspective. It’s nice to look and see what everyone is doing. It’s all really exciting stuff that we can point to with a great deal of… read more about Art Champagne Ushers TUNL Through its Next Phase »

Congratulations to Prof. Maiken Mikkelsen who will receive an early promotion to Associate Professor! Prof. Mikkelsen joined the Electrical & Computer Engineering and Physics departments in 2012 and has since developed an outstanding research program. She was most recently in the news this past August when she won the 2017 SPIE Early Career Achievement Award. Click here to visit the Mikkelsen Lab's webpage. read more about Prof. Mikkelsen Promoted Early to Associate Professor »

Physicist Anselm Vossen has something in common with Goethe’s Faust: he wants to know what holds the world together. “In Germany, we like the poet Goethe,” Vossen says. “In Faust, there’s a quote: ‘So that I may perceive whatever holds/The world together in its inmost folds.’” Unlike Faust, who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge, Vossen is using the tools of physics  to try to understand the forces that hold the nucleus of an atom together. Vossen will be joining the Duke faculty as an… read more about Anselm Vossen: What Holds the World Together? »

If you want to know how a physicist thinks about the brain, talking to Nicolas Brunel is a good place to start. Brunel, who joined the Duke faculty in July as a professor of neurobiology and physics, uses the tools of statistical physics to illuminate the workings of the brain’s neural networks. Synapses in our brains change every time we learn something. As pathways and patterns are created in the neural network, some synapses become stronger and others weaker. “What are the rules that govern synaptic… read more about Nicolas Brunel: A Theoretical Physicist Investigates the Brain »

Prof. Patrick Charbonneau's collaborative algorithm developed to study deeply supercooled liquids has been featured on the Duke Research Blog. Click here to read "Cheating Time to Watch Liquids do the Slow Dance." Photo Credit: Misaki Ozawa and Andrea Ninarello, Université de Montpellier read more about Prof. Charbonneau's Collaboration Simulates Deeply Supercooled Liquids »

The American Physical Society today announced that both Prof. Roxanne Springer and Prof. Chris Walter have been elected Fellows! The criterion for election is exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise, and election is restricted to 0.5% of the membership in any given year. Thus, Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one's professional peers. This brings the number of Duke Physics faculty members elected to APS fellowship to 15 (plus three secondary faculty),… read more about Profs. Springer and Walter Named 2017 APS Fellows »

The 2017 graduate student awards and fellowships were distributed before the October 11th Colloquium by Associate Chair for Teaching Prof. Steffen Bass. Congratulations to all recipients on their accomplishments and for each prestigious recognition. The Henry W. Newson Graduate FellowshipRonald Malone is awarded the Henry W. Newson Graduate Fellowship Prize for his work in developing experimental techniques and systems for measuring neutron-neutron scattering in nuclei and for performing… read more about 2017 Graduate Student Awards »

The Physics Department's Grants & Contracts Administrator, Miriam Vines, holds a bachelors degree in Theatre & Dance. When she's not working for Physics, one of her hobbies is participating in community theatre with The Gallery Players in Burlington, NC. Last November she performed with the chorus in Little Shop of Horrors. This fall she is cast in the musical Sister Act as Sister Mary Patrick, Kathy Najimy's role from the 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg. The show goes on… read more about Staff Member Vines Cast in Community Performance of Sister Act »

Alumnus Nathan Kundtz (PhD '09) will be inducted as a 2017 member of Duke Graduate School's Few-Glasson Alumni Society. The society recognizes graduates who have distinguished themselves through their career accomplishments, the potential of their current endeavors, or their support for the graduate students and graduate education at Duke. Kundtz is the founder, chief executive officer, and president of Kymeta Corporation which develops better satellite antenna technology as an alternative to cellular… read more about Alum Kundtz to be Inducted into Grad School's Few-Glasson Society »

Prof. Maiken Mikkelsen has won the 2017 International Society for Optics + Photonics (SPIE)'s Early Career Achievement Award. Only one is given each year worldwide and is presented in recognition of significant and innovative technical contributions in the engineering or scientific fields of relevance to SPIE. Mikkelsen attended the awards banquet in San Diego, California where she was bestowed a trophy. Learn more about the Early Career Achievement Award and see the formal announcement honoring Mikkelsen,… read more about Prof. Mikkelsen Wins 2017 SPIE Early Career Achievement Award »