Frohlich receives DOE Early Career Award - 2013.05.07
Assistant Professor Carla Frohlich received
Early Career Research Award from the DOE Office of Science. Her proposal is title is
Origin of Chemical Elements: Connecting Laboratory Nuclear Astrophysics
with Astronomical Observations through Nucleosynthesis Modeling.
The DOE Early Career Research Program supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science.
Dougherty receives DOE Early Career Award - 2013.05.07
Assistant Professor Dan Dougherty received
Early Career Research Award from the DOE Office of Science. His proposal is title is
The Nature of the Spin Dependent Surface Chemical Bond: Spin Polarized STM Studies of Metal-Organic Interfaces.
The DOE Early Career Research Program supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science.
Gundogdu named ONR Young Investigator - 2013.05.04
Assistant Professor Kenan Gundogdu received
Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research. His proposal is title is
Diffusion, Relaxation, and Charge Separation Dynamics of Photoexcitations in Semiconductor Polymers.
The ONR Young Investigator Program seeks to identify and support academic scientists and engineers
who are in their first tenure-track academic appointment, and who show exceptional promise for doing creative research.
Prof. Gundogdu is one of only 16 faculty nationwide to receive this prestigious award in 2013.
Ade receives Outstanding Research Award - 2013.05.02
Professor Harald Ade received the
Outstanding Research Award from the
NC State Alumni Association
at the annual Alumni Association Faculty Awards Ceremony on May 2, 2013. The award recognizes
research accomplishments during the period between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, which included
the discovery of a novel scattering method described in a Nature Materials paper. The impact of
Ade's research is evidenced by the illustration of work done by the Ade group that appears on
the January 2013 cover of Advanced Energy Materials.
The North Carolina State Alumni Association makes three awards each year for outstanding research achievements,
in recognition of the importance of research as an integral function of NC State.
The awards are in the amount of $4,000 each, in addition to recognition as a distinguished NC State research person.
The awards will be announced each year at the spring commencement.
Cody Melton named 2013 Goldwater Scholar - 2013.04.28
Physics major Cody Melton has been named a 2013 Goldwater Scholar.
The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,107 mathematics,
science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide.
Goldwater Scholars have very impressive academic qualifications that have garnered the attention of prestigious
post-graduate fellowship programs. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 80 Rhodes Scholarships,
118 Marshall Awards, 110 Churchill Scholarships and numerous other distinguished fellowships.
The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986.
The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students
to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.
The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.
Haase co-authors T-TEP report - 2013.04.18
Professor David Haase served as a member of the Task Force on
Teacher Education in Physics (T-TEP), which recently released the report
"Transforming the Preparation of Physics Teachers: A Call to Action."
has been made available at www.ptec.org/taskforce.
The extensive report is a product of the APS, AIP and AAPT and
involved collaboration with several other national education
foundations. It reports the national shortage of qualified high school
physics teachers and the efforts of physics departments to recruit
more students into teaching.
Dr. Haase served as a member of the Task Force, participating in
the planning and writing and in site visits to other universities.
Gundogdu receives Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award - 2013.04.17
Professor Kenan Gundogdu received the Faculty Research Award from the
NC State Chapter of Sigma Xi
at their annual awards banquet on April 17. This award honors
early career faculty who have demonstrated excellence in their areas of research specialization.
Prof. Gundogdu's research utilizes
two-dimensional ultrafast optical spectroscopy to study ultrafast electron/exciton dynamics in
organic materials, particularly conjugated polymers and their heterojunctions with fullerenes.
Physics undergrad wins UGRS competition - 2013.04.15
Physics major Mia de los Reyes was recognized for her outstanding research at the
NCSU Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Her research on Two- and Three-Dimensional Turbulence in Core-Collapse Supernovae
began last summer when she participated in the NC State Physics
URCA program. She has
continued this work during the academic year, including collaboration with
researchers at Oak Ridge National Labs. She was presented with her UGRS award
at the annual awards banquet of the
NCSU Chapter of Sigma Xi.
Outstanding SPS Chapter - 2013.03.05
The NC State Chapter of the Society of
Physics Students has been selected as an Outstanding Chapter for 2011-2012. Congratulations
to all the physics majors, the SPS leadership including last year's co-presidents Mary Burkey and
Mark Schillaci, and to Prof. Dean Lee who serves as the SPS faculty advisor.
Lee selected as ADUP - 2013.03.01
Physics Professor Dean Lee as been selected as an Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor
for 2012-2013, in recognition of his service as an outstanding teacher at NC State University.
Puckett/Daniels work highlighted by APS - 2013.02.02
A synopsis of the
recent PRL by James Puckett (Ph.D. 2012) and Dr. Karen Daniels is included on the APS
Physics website spotlighting exceptional research.
The full paper, Equilibrating Temperaturelike Variables in Jammed Granular Subsystems
is available at
Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 058001 (2013).
Noam Elkies gives public lecture - 2013.01.25
The Department of Physics co-hosted a publich lecture by Harvard mathematician
Noam Elkies on a cold, icy Friday evening. Despite the weather, the SAS lecture
hall was filled to capacity for Noam's presentation,
Canonical Forms: A Mathematician's View of Musical Canons.
Mary Burkey publishes paper on Kepler's SNR - 2012.12.20
Physics senior Mary Burkey is the first author of a paper recently accepted for
pulication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. Working with astrophysics faculty Reynolds,
Borkowski, and Blondin, Mary applied a new statistical technique to separate X-ray emission
from circumstellar gas from that due to hot gas ejected in the supernova explosion.
Lee's work on Hoyle State in Scientific American - 2012.12.06
Dean Lee's work on the Hoyle state
is described in
Scientific American. The Hoyle state, an unstable state of a carbon nucleus, is a critical link
in the building of elements in the periodic table from primoridal Hydrogen and Helium produced in the Big Bang.
Weninger named University Faculty Scholar - 2012.11.25
The inaugural group of forty University Faculty Scholars includes physics professor
The program is part of the university's strategic initiative to invest in and retain top faculty.
It is funded by generous gifts totaling $5.7 million: $3 million from Jim and Ann Goodnight and $2.7 million from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.
Professor Roland Elected APS Fellow - 2012.11.15
Dr. Christopher Roland has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society for his fundamental contributions to computational
materials physics and statistical mechanics.
Dougherty group research in molecular spintronics featured at AVS meeting - 2012.11.15
Doesn't it seem like all your best research results come in right after the deadline for abstract submission to an important conference?
The Surface Science Division of the American Vacuum Society (AVS) is aware of this unfortunate phenomenon. For decades, they have hosted
a special "postdeadline" session at the international meeting of the AVS to highlight these late-breaking results. This "session" has
traditionally been held in the late evening (along with a cocktail party) and for many attendees is the highlight of the week-long meeting.
This year, at the AVS meeting in Tampa, NC State Assistant Professor Dan Dougherty was one of 15 postdeadline authors selected to present
late-breaking work arising from the NSF Center for Molecular Spintronics. Dougherty's group has set out to search for evidence of an unusual
spin-dependent interaction between iron phthalocyanine molecules and a graphene surface (see Figure). This interaction was predicted by
Center collaborator Marco-Buongiorno-Nardelli (now at the University of North Texas) using density functional theory calculations and
suggests a valuable "spin filtering" effect at the molecule-graphene interface. Dougherty's group used Scanning Tunneling Microscopy
and Spectroscopy to measure the structure and local electronic properties at this interface. In addition, they teamed up with NC State
professor Jack Rowe to carry out synchrotron-based photoelectron spectroscopy that further solidifies comparison with calculations. By
combining tunneling and photoelectron spectroscopy measurements, compelling experimental evidence for spin-polarized hybrid interface
states has been obtained. Such states have recently emerged as crucial conduits for the efficient injection of spin polarized currents
into devices like magnetic sensors for reading hard drives. The new insghts provided by Dougherty's research and the Center for Molecular
Spintronics point toward a fully "Carbon-based" paradigm for spintronic materials where spin manipulation is controlled by organic molecules
and spin transport is achieved in high mobility graphene channels
John Blondin co-authors a study to develop new method to determine neutron star mass - 2012.11.15
Astronomers have used INTEGRAL and XMM-Newton
to look into the neutron star in IGR J17252-3616, a highly obscured X-ray binary system. The data show how the neutron star, which is being fueled by the
stellar wind from its companion, is substantially deflecting the flow of the accreted material. Comparison with numerical simulations provides an estimate
of the neutron star's mass, suggesting a new method to determine the mass of these extremely dense, exotic objects.
Professor and Head of NCSU Physics, John Blondin, who co-authored the study had this to say in
the Spacedaily.com article:
"The simulations we ran show that binary systems with slower stellar winds are more likely to develop streams and trailing tails in the
proximity of the neutron star. These features could cause absorption variations such as those seen in IGR J17252-3616. This seems to suggest that
slow stellar winds and highly obscured HMXB are somehow correlated."
Mowat receives Career Achievement Award - 2012.10.31
Dr. Richard Mowat, Professor Emeritus of Physics, has received the PAMS College's Garrett Briggs Faculty Career Achievement Award. This award
is named for the second dean of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Garret Briggs, a professor of Geology.
In the photo, (from the left) is former department head and Professor Emeritus, Richard Patty, Professor Emeritus Richard Mowat, current department head, John Blondin, and former department head Michael Paesler.
Ade group grad student Gann gives invited talk - 2012.10.19
Eliot Gann, Grad student in Harald Ade's research group, has given an invited talk at the GISAXS School, Berekley, at the ALS users' meeting
entitled Using Resonant Soft X-rays in a Grazing Incidence Geometry to Disentangle Thin Film Components.
A Quote from Professor Ade: "For a 5th year student, an invited presentation is quite an accomplishment"
Ade group explores structure of polymer-based solar cells - 2012.10.14
This work was reported in many science news venues:
NC State physicist Harald Ade and his group worked with teams of scientists from the United Kingdom, Australia and China to examine the physical structure and improve the production of polymer-based solar cells. In findings published in two separate papers appearing this month online in Advanced Energy Materials and Advanced Materials, the researchers show that some mixing of the two domains may not be a bad thing. In fact, if the morphology, or structure, of the mixed domains is small, the solar cell can still be quite efficient.
- Science Daily
- Science Newsline
The AAPT ballot for national offices included three NC State PhD's - 2012.09.20
The AAPT ballot for national offices included three NC State PhD's
among the six candidates:
and Aaron Titus.
2012 Phi Beta Kappa Lecture: September 27, Riddick 301, 7:30pm - 2012.09.10
The Phi Beta Kppa lecture for 2012 will make a stop NC State on September 27th in Riddick 301, the Sayers Lecture Hall, at 7:30PM. This year's
speaker is Professor Wick Haxton of UC Berkeley, who will be give the lecture entitled:
The Deaths of Massive Stars
From it's site: "The Phi Beta Kappa Lecture Series was established by the national office of the Society in order
to provide members with greater opportunities for intellectual fellowship and to allow the Society to return to its
historic role of participation in larger, national dialogue about the important issues of our time. This series also
gives the national office an opportunity to collaborate with Phi Beta Kappa associations and chapters in cities
throughout the U.S. in an effort to bring interesting and relevant speakers to our members."
Frohlich explains mystery of Dark Energy - 2012.08.26
An interview with Dr. Carla Frohlich about the nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy was
published in the
News and Observer
Wang receives NIH award - 2012.08.05
Dr. Hong Wang has been awarded an NIH grant for her project titled "DNA Damage Induced Structural and
Dynamic Changes at Telomeres." Dr. Wang joined the NC State Physics Department in January 2012, and
has been quickly building up her lab to do single-molecule atomic force microscopy and fluorescence
imaging of biological systems.
For more about Dr. Wang's research, please see her research web page
Lazzati receives CAREER award - 2012.07.03
Davide Lazzati has received an Early Career Development Award, better known as the NSF CAREER award. The award is given to early-career university faculty in
science and engineering and is considered once of the highest honors given by the NSF. This is the 4th such award given to a Physics faculty member since 2004.
Lazzati’s five-year, $650,000 grant will fund research related to his proposal, titled “Understanding Stellar Forges: The Properties and the Physics of
Formation of Cosmic Dust.” Part of the project’s funding will support a unique K-12 outreach partnership with the
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh.
For more about Davide's award, please see the PAMS news page
Recent graduate featured on the NCSU's Park Scholar Page - 2012.06.06
Anne Watson, recent graduate, McCormick Award winner and Park Scholar has had her work in the Ade research group
featured on the Park Scholar web page.
Her research centered around the investigation of how some organic materials play a role in devices including solar cells and transistors. Anne
also spent a week at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory this past spring.
For more about Anne's story, please visit the Park Scholar's web page
NuSTAR satelite to go into orbit - 2012.06.04
The satellite, a NASA Small Explorer class mission, uses multilayers to image cosmic X-ray sources between
10 and 80 keV for the first time, allowing a much clearer view of the hard X-ray sky. Professor Reynolds
is a member of the Science Team with particular responsibilities for helping plan observations of supernova
remnants and pulsar-wind nebulae.
Click Below for info on the NuSTAR launch
Professor Blondin simulation featured on cover of Science. - 2012.06.01
Dr. Blondin's simulation of a core-collapse supernova illustrates Mysteries
of Astronomy articles in latest Science issue. In the image, the tubes represent
the paths of gasses falling into the supernova as they are deflected by an accretion
shockwave. The colors are indicative of gas velocity.
How stars explode is one of several stories covered in the Mysteries of Astronomy
in the June 2012 issue of Science Magazine.
Recent Physics Grad was "Ahead of Schedule" - 2012.05.30
Recent physics department gradaute, Adam Keith, has made the NCSU Homepage news segment.
During his time in the department and while completing a double-major in Physics and Applied
Mathematics, Adam was involved in the REU program. This program, along with continued research
after the program ended resulted in Adam's work being published in Nature magazine.
Read more about Adam's story at the NCSU news site.
Graduate student's paper named in EPL's "Best of 2011" - 2012.05.28
Graduate student Eli Owens and Dr. Karen Daniels'
paper on Sound propagation and force chains in granular materials
was named one of the "Best of 2011" articles
published in EPL.
Davide Lazzati Quoted in Nature - 2012.05.08
Astrophysicist Davide Lazzati was quoted in a recent
Nature News Article on the physics of gamma-ray generation.
Physics Senior wins at annual university-wide research poster competition - 2012.04.30
Michael Collins, a senior in Physics, was a winner at the 21st
Annual NC State Undergraduate Research Symposium, held at McKimmon
Center on April 10, 2012. The title of his experimental research project was
"Helium Diffusion, Solubility, and Permeability Measurements of nEDM
Experiment Construction Materials." Michael characterized materials
that could be used in the construction of the neutron electric dipole
moment (nEDM) experiment. The nEDM project is a collaboration of 20
universities and laboratories to set a new experimental limit on the
neutron EDM, which is test of the Standard Model of subatomic
particles. The results from the diffusion measurements will affect the
design of the cryogenic liquid helium containment volumes for the nEDM
experiment. The nEDM apparatus will be mounted at the Spallation
Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Here's the link the Undergraduate Research Symposium Winners
Michael also took first place for his poster at the Physics department undergraduate research poster session. Congratulations on your achievement Michael!
Ade group publishes full article in Nature Materials - 2012.04.17
Dr. Brian Collins, of the Ade research group, along with collaborators have published a full article in
Nature Materials. The article, entitled
"Polarized X-ray scattering reveals non-crystalline orientational ordering in organic films", discusses how scattering is used to measure the
lengthscale and intensity with which small molecules and polymers order in thin films prepared identical to devices such as organic solar cells.
Additional materials include:
Link to NCSU News article
The Nature Materials article[PDF]
The Advanced Light Source hightlight article[PDF]
Physics grad wins poster competition - 2012.04.13
Graduate student and researcher Ruoyi Qiu, who works in Professor Keith
Weninger's research group has won the Biophysical Society poster contest in last month's meeting. This win was in the Biological Fluorescence and is
the second year in a row that Ruoyi has won the poster competition in this category.
A copy of the press release can be seen here.[PDF]
Physics grad students place at research symposium - 2012.04.05
NC State's Graduate Research Symposium was held on March 20th.
Two Physics graduate students placed in the top 3 posters in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences.
Ziyue Li, who works with Professor Chueng Ji, took second
place for his work entitled "Improvement on Meson Spectrum Calculation in Light Front Quark Model". Mesons are a big family
of hadrons consisting of one quark and one antiquark. This study is to improve one of the phenomenological models for mesons to get a better
fitting for the mass spectrum. Ziyue's poster can be found here.
Eric Raymer, who works with Professor John Blondin, took third place for
his work entitled "Hydrodynamic Simulations of Algol Systems with Tilted Accretion Disks.". Algol systems are close binaries
consisting of two main sequence stars, one of which has begun to evolve and transfer mass to the other via an accretion stream. Recent observations
have detected the presence of a tilted accretion disk and suggest the presence of a magnetically deflected accretion stream. This study investigates
the role that hydrodynamic effects play in this process after the stream has been magnetically defected.
Eric's poster can be found here.
NC State Physics grad student featured on the cover of the N&O - 2012.03.30
Physics graduate student Andreas Sandin, advised by Professors Dan Dougherty and Jack Rowe, had his photo
featured on the cover of the Raleigh News & Observer on March 29, 2012. Andreas, who plans to defend
his PhD this summer, does his work in graphene interface research. He has discovered Na intercalation in
graphene (recently published in Phys Rev B) and has also found evidence for novel graphene-paramagnetic
molecule interactions for magnetic functionalization of spin injection contacts (manuscript in preparation).
Andreas' photo was a highlight of an article that the N&O wrote about NC State's overall plans for growth.
NC State's Reynolds Receives Award for Excellence in Teaching - 2012.03.20
Dr. Stephen P. Reynolds, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University, has been honored with an Award for Excellence in Teaching from the University of North Carolina (UNC) Board of Governors.
The Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching is the most prestigious award given to faculty
for teaching excellence and was created in 1994 to underscore the importance of teaching and encourage,
recognize and reward outstanding teaching. Nominees for the award must be tenured professors who have
spent at least seven years at the nominating institutions and who have demonstrated excellent or
exceptional teaching ability over a sustained period of time.
A third-generation college professor, Reynolds has taught at all levels at the university, from nontechnical
physics and astronomy to specialized courses for advanced graduate students. In recent years, he has
primarily taught physics majors, and has directed over 30 undergraduate students in research projects.
Reynolds specializes in high-energy astrophysics, and his research into cosmic rays has had a wide influence
in the astrophysical community. He joined the NC State faculty in 1985, and was charged with founding a research
group in astrophysics. That group, now numbering nine faculty, is known worldwide for expertise in
high-energy astrophysics, with a particular focus on supernovae and their remnants. Reynolds was promoted
to associate professor in 1990 and to professor in 1995.
In addition to being a world-renowned astrophysicist, Reynolds is also an accomplished violinist.
As an undergraduate student at Harvard, he served as concertmaster and assistant conductor of the Harvard-Radcliffe
Orchestra. In graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, he performed with the Oakland Symphony
and other Bay Area professional orchestras. At NC State, an endowed scholarship has been established
in Reynolds's name to support an outstanding undergraduate student who is pursuing a minor in music with a stringed instrument.
NC State Physicist discovers mechanism behind polymer's effect on high-speed energy release capacitors - 2012.02.23
NCSU researcher and physicist Vivek Ranjan had previously found that capacitors that contained a polymer know as
PVDF, in combination with another polymer
CTFE, were able to store up to seven times more energy than typical capacitors. He now wanted to understand the mechanism behind the phenomena.
This research was undertaken with fellow NC State Physicist Professor Jerzy Bernholc as well as Dr. Buongiorno-Nardelli of the University of North Texas.
The research was published in Physical Review Letters, and a NC State newsroom story can be found here. An abstract can also be found at the newsroom release link.
Professor Patty: the consummate Teacher - 2012.01.20
A PAMS communications intern has written a very nice article about our Professor Patty. Click here to read more
Blondin named head of NC State's Department of Physics - 2012.01.17
Dr. John Blondin has been selected to serve as head of the Department of Physics at NC State University, effective January 1, 2012. He succeeds Michael Paesler, who will return to the faculty after six years of service as department head.
Read more about Dr. Blondin in this PAMS College article
NC State Professor John Risley: WebAssign Success Story - 2012.01.10
And idea started by a small group of NCSU physics department academics back in the late 1990's has grown into a very successful company that provides online homework and testing resources to College and Highschool student alike.
Read more about WebAssign in this Raleigh News & Observer article
Physics department alum, Bill Beal, wins US Secretary of Energy Achievement Award - 2011.12.08
Bill Beal, a 2004 Ph.D. graduate of NCSU Physics, has won the US Secretary of Energy Award Achievement Award for being a first-responder at the disaster at Fukashima, Japan. Bill worked with Gary Mitchell
on his distertation entitled "A high resolution study of proton resonances in manganese-51".
Professor Albert Young elected Fellow in APS - 2011.12.08
The Physics Department has learned that Professor Albert Young has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
His citation reads:
"For leading a collaboration that has built a new source of ultra cold neutrons in Los Alamos that leads the world in
ultra cold neutron densities and that has performed the first measurements of spin correlations in neutron beta decay
using ultra cold neutrons."
Professor Young becomes the twenty-sixth member of the Physics Department Faculty to achieve this distinction.
Ade group post-doc wins poster award at MRS fall meeting - 2011.12.06
John Tumbleston, a postdoctoral associate in the group of Prof. Harald
Ade received a $500 poster award at this year's Fall Materials
Research Society meeting in Boston. Over the course of the week long
meeting, 2400 posters were presented with only 16 awards given. John's
poster titled, "Compositional Variations in Nanoimprinted Bulk
Heterojunction Organic Photoactive Layers Used in Light Trapping Device Architectures" details recent efforts to determine the
morphology of nanomolded plastic solar cells using advanced
synchrotron characterization techniques at the Advanced Light Source
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) elects Ade and Bernholc to Fellowships - 2011.11.22
Physics Professors Harald Ade (left) and Jerzy Bernholc (right) have been awarded Fellowships is the AAAS, an international organization "dedicated to advancing
science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional organization."
Ade's citation honors his:
"transformational contributions to X-ray microscopy and soft x-ray scattering, and their resulting impact on disciplines
ranging from polymer science to environmental science to meteoritics."
Bernholc's citation cites his:
"seminal contributions to the physics of materials, especially C60, nanotubes and semiconductors, and for development
of methods that enable calculations of unprecedented size."
Of the prestigious AAAS Fellowships awarded to 224 North Carolina residents, NC State faculty members have garnered 42. Leading all departments at
NC State, the Physics Department now boasts six AAAS Fellows.
NCSU Physics professor named a Fellow of the APS - 2011.11.18
The Council of the APS made professor Chueng Ji a Fellow
at their November 2011 meeting.
The citation that will appear on the Fellowship Certificate will read:
"For his remarkable and pioneering contributions in QCD applying
light-front dynamics to fundamental aspects of hadron physics,
including spectroscopy, wave functions and form factors."
NCSU Physics' newest faculty addition wins prestigious award - 2011.10.24
Professor John Thomas, who recently moved his research program from Duke University, has won the Jesse W. Beams Award,
given by the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society for significant and meritorious research.
Professor Thomas' continuing research is on Fermi gases, using ultracold lithium-6 atoms that interact strongly when exposed to a magnetic field.
The Beams Award has been given every year since 1973 and is named for Jesse Wakefield Beams, who spent most of his career at the University of Virginia, and whose many contributions to
the field include constructing the first electron linear accelerator. Beams won the National Medal of Science in 1967.
Three other NC State physics professors have won the Jessie Beams Award:
- Gerald Lucovsky - 2009
- Jerzy Bernholc - 2003
- Gary Mitchell - 1997
NCSU Astrophysics Researcher solves nearly 2000 year old mystery - 2011.10.24
A long time ago, in a part of the galaxy far far away, a star in the constellation Circinus exploded. In 185 A.D., Chinese astronomers noted a new "guest star" that appeared in the sky,
by the 1960s, scientists determined that this was the first documented supernova and pinpointed its location, and now, in 2011, NC State Astrophysicist researcher
Brian Williams tells us why it exploded, and why it's so large.
Brian, along with colleagues, took infrared observations with NASA's Spitzer Telescope at Caltech, and WISE,
and previous data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space
Agency's XMM-Newton Observatory to arrive at the solutions.
To read more about this, please visit the Spitzer Telescope news page about Brian's findings.
This new story can also be found on NCSU's news page.
Ade Group featured in Annual Report of national research lab - 2011.10.12
Professor Harald Ade's research group has been featured in the
2010 annual report[PDF] of the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.
Their work is 1 of just a few to make it into the Highlights portion.
The work of former group member Cheng Wang is also featured in the publication (article starts on page 5, photo page 6).
Current Post-doctoral Researcher Brian Collins gave one of
the few plenary talks at the recent (October 4, 2011) ALS user meeting.
NCSU Musical History Made at Memorial Bell Tower - 2011.10.12
Chris Gould, Associate Dean of Administration and Physics Professor, made NCSU Musical History this past Monday, October 11. He sat in a small basement room in
Holladay Hall and played
NC State's Alma Mater on a small keyboard control unit for the Belltower's
carillon. What makes this a historic event is the fact that this system has not played music in over 20 years.
More about this story can be found on the NCSU's alumni blog page.
Robert Beichner is a recipient of the McGraw Prize - 2011.09.23
Professor Robert Beichner has been named a recipient of the 2011 McGraw Prize in Education. The McGraw Prize in Education annually
recognizes outstanding individuals who have dedicated themselves to education innovation. Honorees are chosen by a distinguished
Board of Judges from the education community and receive a gift of $50,000.
The Prize was established in 1988 to honor the late Harold W. McGraw, Jr.'s lifelong commitment to education and to mark the Corporation's 100th anniversary.
More about this story can be found a the PAMS College's news page.
Graduate program director to speak on Triangle Science Radio - 2011.09.16
Professor Harald Ade, director of Graduate programs and NC State physics, will be on
Radio In Vivo on October 12. Dr. Ade will be talking about The physics of organic solar cells and light-emitting
diodes, new methods of analyzing the composition, morphology and structure of polymeric and electronic materials at the sub-micron scale.
Radio In Vivo is a radio program dedicated to Science in the Research Triangle at 11am-noon on FM 103.5 (WCOM).
UPDATE - 10/12/2011: The show is now online - go to radioinvivo.net, click on the "Program Schedule/Archive" link on the home page, scroll
all the way to the bottom of that page, and you'll see the link to the podcast and some other pertinent links.
NC State Physicist "boxes up" subatomic particles - 2011.09.09
NCState Physics Professor Dean Lee, along with collaborators, have published a paper in Physical Review Letters
showing that subatomic structure and spin can be probed by simulating a finite cube of space with a periodic boundary.
Read more about this at NCSU's "Abstract" pages
NC State Physicists put "a new spin on an old technology" - 2011.09.06
Collections of nanofibers are useful in such applications as water filtration and tissue regeneration due to their porous nature and light weight.
Currently, a relatively inexpensive production process called needle electrospinning is used. This time-intensive process, however, does not lend
itself to large-scale manufacturing.
NC State physicists Dr. Laura Clarke and Dr. Jason Bochinski, along with colleagues from engineering and textiles, have found a simple techniques
that scales up nanofiber production by 40-fold in a process that is closely connected to needle electrospinning called bowl electrospinning.
Read more about this new technique on the NCSU news pages
More information, and further reading, can also be found on the Clarke group website
NC Space Grant Fellowship to Physics Grad student Eric Raymer - 2011.08.02
Eric Raymer was awarded an NC Space Grant Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue his
research of Supergiant Fast X-Ray Transients. Eric is developing large-scale hydrodynamic
simulations to investigate the dynamics of wind accretion onto a neutron star to explain
the observational properties of SFXTs and other high-mass X-ray binary star systems
Link to article on the Blondin Research Group website
Keith Warren elected to PIRA Presidency Cycle - 2011.08.02
Physics Senior Lecturer Keith Warren has been elected as Vice President of PIRA, the Physics
Instructional Resource Association. PIRA
is an association of professionals dedicated to the support and advancement of physics education.
The Association works together and in alliance with physics educators and support specialists to
develop effective teaching tools and techniques to aid and promote physics education.
One of PIRA's most important contributions to physics education is the PIRA Demonstration
Bibliography, a system that Keith was instrumental in developing when he was director of the
Physics Department Demonstration Room. As VP for 2011/2012, Keith will advance to
President-elect in 2012/2013 and then President in 2013/2014.
Barriers to Physics Education: Editorial published in News and Observer by Professor David Haase and colleague - 2011.07.12
Many states look to North Carolina and its Research Triangle Park as the model for attracting high-technology industries.
But a recent report from the American Institute of Physics says that the state lags badly in preparing its own K-12 students
to succeed in college majors in science and engineering that lead to well-paid careers at Research Triangle Park and elsewhere.
Here is the editorial as published in the News and Observer on July 8th, 2011.
John Thomas to join faculty - 2011.07.11
The NC State Physics Department is delighted to announce that Dr. John
Thomas will be joining its faculty as a Professor. Dr. Thomas is an atomic physicist
who is currently the Fritz London Professor of Physics at Duke University.
While he has investigated a wide variety of systems over the years, Professor
Thomas' recent work centers on the study of trapped ultracold atomic Fermi gases. His
research on these very fundamental systems - which began in 1997 and continues to this
day - has had a significant impact on several areas of physics, ranging from condensed
matter physics to nuclear physics and string theory. The cold dilute Fermi gas, first
created in his laboratory in 2002, has become a new paradigm for strongly interacting
The discovery is described in a 2002 Science paper first-authored by one of
Professor Thomas' students, Ken O'Hara. This pivotal work includes a false-color image
of an expanding gas cloud that has become an iconic image, reproduced in review
articles, popular science journals, and on conference posters. The Science paper is now
recognized as one of the foundational papers of the physics of cold Fermi gases.
Professor Thomas' experimental results have raised the question whether there are
any fundamental limitations on fluidity, in particular, whether a very strongly correlated
quantum fluid can have zero viscosity. A conjectured answer to this question has
recently emerged from string theory. Based on calculations of non-equilibrium
properties of black holes, string theorists have been able to determine a lower limit to
viscosity. Professor John Thomas' experiments indicate that the cold Fermi gas comes
within a factor of 1-4 of the proposed bound, thus suggesting that the Fermi gas trapped
in his laboratory is the best fluid ever observed. These results have important
implications on the intriguing connections between black holes, ultra-cold Fermi gases,
and the hot plasma associated with the Big Bang.
Professor Thomas will join the Physics Department faculty this summer and will
begin teaching in the fall semester.
Here is an article on Dr. Thomas' work.
Alum's Company wins R&D Award - 2011.07.11
Calabas Creek Research, a company founded by NC State Physics alumnus and Physics Advisory Board Member Lawrence Ives, has won
R&D Magazine's research product award. The Award is for a cathode developed by the company that provides electron sources with the most
uniform current emission yet attained and have four times the lifetime of current products. Dr. Ives is also currently working with
Physics Department Professor Gerald Lucovsky on new vacuum window products for plasma systems.
More on the NCSU Alumni blog can be found here..
Physics graduate student becomes "Dirt Whisperer" - 2011.07.07
Physics Graduate Student Eli Owens, working with Assistant Professor Karen Daniels, is
researching how energy, in the form of sound, might travel up force chains of compressed granular materials. The sounds might lead to a better understanding
of the distribution, and thus perhaps the stability, of the granular material.
More on Eli Owens' and Dr. Daniels work can be found here.
Professor Emeritus Raymond Murray passes away - 2011.06.23
The first head of an independent Physics Department at NC State, Professor Raymond L. Murray, died on 22 June in Raleigh. From the Manhattan Project to the Three Mile Island recovery, Murray took part in milestones of nuclear engineering and atomic power.
When the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, or PAMS, was created in 1960, the Physics Department separated from Nuclear Engineering and became independent of the College Engineering. At that time, Professor Murray became the first Head of this new PAMS department. He headed the Physics Department from 1960 to 1963 when he became head of Nuclear Engineering. Professor Murray was instrumental in the construction and operation of the Burlington Reactor, the first nuclear reactor on a college campus in the world.
Here is a link to NCSU New's story on Dr. Murray.
Computationalists announce important results - 2011.06.20
In a recent press release that garnered nationwide coverage, members of the Physics Department announced a major development in the study of Parkinson's disease. The work - published in Nature Scientific Reports - is based on the work of graduate student Frisco Rose. Working closely with Research Assistant Professor Miroslav Hodak, Rose focused on a certain protein associated with the disease and other degenerative illnesses. In its usual form, this protein is long and straight. In patients with Parkinson's disease, on the other hand, the protein forms clumps. Experimental investigations failed to determine the cause for this change in morphology, but the computer simulations of Rose and co-workers tracked the changes in the protein and determined where the molecular changes begin. Professor Jerzy Berhnolc, director of the university's Center for High Performance Simulation, or CHiPS, also participated in the study.
Here is a link to NCSU New's story on Frisco's work. There is also a story about this research on the Department of Energy's website as well.
Collapsing DNA work cited as exceptional - 2011.06.17
Collapsing DNA work cited as exceptional. Recently published work undertaken by Physics PhD student Chunda Zhou has been cited has an Editor's Selection by the journal Physical Review Letters (PRL). Highlighted by the American Physical Society (APS) as "exceptional research", the work on collapsing DNA was directed by NC State Physics Assistant Professor Robert Riehn. Working with colleagues from McGill, UCLA and Princeton, the work reports that double stranded DNA collapses in the presence of an AC electric field at frequencies of a few hundred Hertz. The APS reported on the investigation in a press release stating that the research suggests that intermediate frequency fields allow large segments of the molecule, but not its entire length, to become polarized. This polarization causes charge to pile up at bends or clumps, which then attract one another, leading to collapse.
NCSU Physicists participate in 2011 National Nuclear Physics Summer School - 2011.06.17
The 2011 National Nuclear Physics Summer School (NNPSS) is hosted by the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL) and held on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. NC State Physics faculty participating in the School include Chris Gould, Paul Huffman, Dave Haase, Gary Mitchell, Bob Golub, and Albert Young. The School will run for two weeks from June 20 - July 1, 2011.
The NNPSS provides broad coverage of the research topics at the frontier of nuclear physics. The School program is designed to give graduate students and postdocs an opportunity to gain a broad perspective of the field and to help foster a community of young scientists across areas of specialization in the field. The School gives young physicists opportunities to interact with and learn from leaders in the field.
There are 63 participants (graduate students and postdocs) registered for the School this year. The attendees are from 32 different US universities and one national laboratory and include five participants from foreign institutions.
Physics students, postdocs and faculty in the Triangle Area are welcome to attend the lectures and seminars. Information about the School can be found at the NNPSS website.
Professor Rowe wins Nerken Award of the AVS - 2011.05.23
The Physics Deaprtment has learned that Research Professor Jack E. Rowe is the 2011 recipient of the AVS Albert Nerken Award. Created Veeco Instruments, Inc. in 1984, the Nerken Award recognizes a researcher with an outstanding record of sustained (5 years or more) contributions to the solution of technological problems of interest to the AVS. The citation on this national award reads "For his fundamental role in the development of electron energy loss spectroscopy, photoemission and synchrotron radiation techniques and their applications to surface and interface studies".
Here's the story on the PAMS news site.
Assistant Professor Frohlich wins Powe Award - 2011.05.17
Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) has announced that Physics Assistant Professor Carla Frohlich is a recipient of one of the 2011 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards. ORAU is an organization of universities aligned with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Each year, several grants are given to young faculty to provide seed money for research by junior faculty at (ORAU) member institutions. These awards are intended to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty and result in new funding opportunities. Professor Frohlich was one of two award winners at NC State this year.
Buongiorno-Nardelli elected Fellow of the IOP - 2011.05.12
The Council of the Institute of Physics announced on May 12 the election of NC State Physics Professor Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli as a Fellow of the IOP. In the Citation of Fellowship, IOP President Jocelyn Bell Burnell refers to Professor Buongiorno-Nardelli's “personal contribution to the advancement of physics as a discipline and a profession."
First principle verification of Hoyle State announced - 2011.05.12
In a press release from the university, news of a theoretical breakthrough discovered by Associate Professor of Physics Dean Lee and colleagues related a first-principles verification of a prediction made more than 50 years ago. Long believed to be true, the so-called Hoyle State hypothesized that when three helium nuclei come together in a star they do not form the Carbon-12 common in our world. An unusual energy-tuned state of Carbon was predicted. Later experimentation demonstrated that the theory was correct, but no one had ever been able to reproduce the Hoyle state from scratch, starting from the known interactions of protons and neutrons. Dean Lee, along with German colleagues Evgeny Epelbaum, Hermann Krebs, and Ulf-G. Meissner have now used effective field theory to prove the existence of the Hoyle State from first principles. Their work appeared in Physical Review Letters 106, 192501 (2011).
Here are some links with more information:
John S. Risley Distinguished Professorship endowed - 2011.05.12
At a ceremony in Riddick Hall on May 11, the Physics Department announced the establishment of the John S. Risley Distinguished Professorship in Physics. Dean Daniel Solomon and Department Head Michael Paesler recognized Professor Risley's contributions to the Department, the College and the University and thanked John and his wife Dellaine for their generosity in establishing this endowed chair. A member of the Physics Department for more than a third of a century, John Risley is a Fellow of both the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his work in atomic physics. John shifted his focus to Physics Education Research in the 1990's and was awarded a Distinguished Service Citation from the American Association of Physics Teachers largely for his work in developing on-line homework systems. Spinning off these efforts as a separate corporation in 1997, John developed this effort and this company as the world’s premier delivery vehicle for on-line homework called WebAssign.
CLick here for the PAMS College announcement
Kneller wins DOE Career award - 2011.05.10
Assistant Professor of Physics James Kneller has won an award through the Department of Energy's 2011 Early CAREER Research Program. In the national competition, fewer than 6% of 1150 submitted proposals were successful. The five year $750k award made by the DOE Office of Nuclear Physics is for work entitled "The Neutrino: A Better Understanding through Astrophysics."
Neutrinos are important elementary particles found in hot and dense environments, such as the core-collapse supernovae that one finds in the cosmos. Current understanding of the neutrino is incomplete and the signal from the next Galactic supernova is uncertain. By studying the behavior of neutrinos in existing supernovae and in other similar hot/dense environments, one can investigate enigmatic Galactic supernova neutrino burst signals. The goal of Professor Kneller’s project is to prepare for the detection of neutrinos from the next Galactic supernova, and to anticipate how these future observations can be used to improve our understanding of neutrinos.
Dougherty receives NSF Career award - 2011.05.05
NC State Physics' Assistant Professor Daniel Dougherty has received the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation.
The full story can be found on the PAMS web site.
Weninger group article most read. - 2011.05.05
A paper, published at cell.com by members of the Weninger research group is featured as the most read / downloaded
article for the 30 days preceding May 12, 2011.
Professor Buongiorno-Nardelli's graphene studies featured in Science Daily. - 2011.04.25
Investigations of the latest "wonder material" graphene has been highlighted
in the national science press as
Science Daily reported on April 18, 2011 of
important advances made by Physics Professor Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli. According to the
article, "Graphene's structure is what makes it promising for electronics. Because
of the way its carbon atoms are arranged, its electrons are very mobile. Mobile
electrons mean that a material should have high conductivity. But NC State physicist
Dr. Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli and NC State electrical and computer engineer Dr.
Ki Wook Kim wanted to find a way to study the behavior of real graphene and see
if this was actually the case." Their work showed that the conductivity of graphene
decreases significantly when more than one layer is present. Professor Buongiorno-
Nardelli stresses that he and his NC State colleagues are turning their attention to
remedying this problem. The
research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy
and the DARPA-CERA program.
Dale Sayers wins Compton Award - 2011.04.21
Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source has selected Edward Stern, Dale Sayers (posthumously), Farrell Lytle, and John Rehr as recipients of the 20111 Arthur H. Compton Award. The Award is made in recognition of their invaluable contributions to the understanding and application of x-ray absorption spectroscopy, and their resulting impact on world-leading science. Professor Sayers, a member of the Physics Department from 1976 until his untimely death in 2004, was one of the pioneers in the field of x-ray absorption spectroscopy.
Here is a link to the story at the PAMS college web site.
Senior Melissa Fender awarded PAMS Graduating Senior Research Award - 2011.04.17
Melissa Fender has been awarded the 2011 PAMS Graduating Senior Research Award in
recognition of her outstanding research record. For the past 3 years,
she has conducted research in the lab of Dr. Karen Daniels,
studying the universal shapes formed by
interacting cracks. This work culminated in an article in Physical
Review Letters, and she has presented her work
at the 2009 and 2011 APS March Meeting and at the 2011 Dynamics Days.
Last summer, she participated in an REU at the University of Chicago,
where she investigated the topology of particle packing on curved
surfaces. Melissa was the 2010 recipient of the Physics Department's
McCormick Award. She will be returning to the University of Chicago this
fall to pursue a PhD in physics.
Hellmut Fritzsche to deliver Sayers Lecture. - 2011.04.15
The Fifth annual D.E. Sayers Lecture will be delivered by Professor Emeritus Hellmut Fritzsche on April 25 at 4 PM in the Sayers Auditorium. Professor Fritzsche, a long time colleague of Professor Sayers, is the former Head of the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago. His studies of amorphous semiconductors dating back several decades overlapped significantly with the early EXAFS work pioneered by Professor Sayers.
The title and abstract of Professor Fritzsche's presentation are:
The Other Side of Science
The desire to understand nature around us and the forces that condition our lives and our environment is fundamental to human survival. But so is our ability of denial, of following false prophets; if our desire for understanding is so strong one wonders why mankind has made so little progress eradicating prejudice, superstition and self-delusion. We scientists believe we are untouched by any of these irrational human weaknesses, after all, we live in the world of science. I will explore with a number of examples the other side of science, a side we don't talk about. There are temptations and forces which significantly slow down the progress of science. These follow some patterns which are worth illuminating.
Physics Department hosted successful GRB conference March 2011 - 2011.04.12
NCSU Physics hosted the first Gamma-ray Bursts conference this past March. Approximately 80 scientists from as far as China and Japan attended the conference. It was a great success.
Lewis Guignard wins 2011 McCormick Award - 2011.03.31
Lewis Guignard is the winner of this year's McCormick Award for Undergraduate Research in Physics. He has worked under Dr. Harald Ade for almost two years, studying diffusion in materials of interest for photovoltaics. He most recently presented his research at the APS March Meeting in Dallas. He will receive his award and describe his work in a talk titled "Diffusion: Paving the Way to a Better Plastic Solar Cell" at the Physics Undergraduate Research Symposium, 4 pm on Monday, May 2, in Riddick Hall, room 301.
Physics Grad Student wins 3rd place in poster session - 2011.03.22
The sixth annual graduate student research symposium was held on March 21, 2011. Somsubhra Maity, who works in the Clarke Research Group, won third place for his research poster entitled "Use of embedded metal nanoparticles as photothermal heaters in polymer nanocomposites".
Physics Professor Emeritus' work cited - 2011.03.19
Each year the Journal of Chemical Physics cites several of the papers appearing on its pages as being among "...the most innovative and influential articles in the field of chemical physics." Their recently selected listing of "notable articles" that present ground-breaking research include a paper co-authored by NC State faculty member Professor emeritus Fred Lado. The work, entitled "Effects of patch size and number within a simple model of patchy colloids," appeared in J. Chem. Phys. 132, 174110 (2010). Co-authored with colleagues from Italy and Spain, the work involves computer simulation and integral equation methods applied to so-called patchy colloids. A rich variety of structures in crystal and fluid phases is found as the patch coverage is varied.
Physics graduate student wins research award - 2011.03.16
Ruoyi Qiu, a 4th year graduate student in the Weninger research group , won the "2011 Student Research Award" at the 55th annual meeting of the Biophysical Society in Baltimore. This is a selective award, for which there are only 20 winners out of 309 participants.
Ruoyi presented results of his single molecule FRET studies of the conformational dynamics of a protein essential for repair of DNA errors. He has discovered unexpected conformational changes during the process whereby this protein identification of a single DNA base mismatch. His discoveries inform modeling of how this protein can activate cellular repair pathways that can correct flaws in DNA. Failures of this system are linked to several types of cancer.
New Atomic Force Microscope Supports Advanced Materials Research and Education - 2011.02.17
Over winter break a new Atomic Force Microscope (or "AFM") was installed in Riddick Hall.
This microscope measures the variations in small forces on a sharp probe as it moves over a
sample surface to map out nanometer-scale variations in surface topography. The capability
to "see" surfaces at the nanoscale is crucial to cutting edge research topics like the development
of low cost solar cells, self-assembly of molecular monolayers, and biomaterials characterization.
In addition, experience with advanced instrumentation like AFM is crucial to training and inspiring
the next generation of physicists. The new AFM will be an important part of nanomaterials training
for graduate students and also a part of the Physics Department's "senior lab" course that gives
students the opportunity to work on advanced independent projects. This instrument was acquired
as part of the Physics department's Education and Research Lab (EaRL) that is currently under
For more details, email Dan_Dougherty@ncsu.edu.
Professor Robert Beichner named ACE Fellow - 2011.01.24
Robert Beichner, Alumni Association Undergraduate Professor of Physics, has been named an American Council on Education
Fellow for the 2010-2011 academic year. Begun in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program allows participants to focus on an issue of
concern to the nominating institution while spending a semester working with a university president and senior officer at a
Bilal Gokce wins poster award - 2011.01.20
Bilal Gokce, who works in Dr. Kenan Gundogdu's research group,
won the award for the best poster at the Southeast Ultrafast Conference,
which was held in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, January 13-14. Mr. Gokce's poster was selected out of over 30 competing
research posters at the nonlinear optics conference.
Assistant Professor Daniel Dougherty wins National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award - 2011.01.14
The Division of Materials Research of the NSF has announced that Physics Department Assistant Professor Daniel has won a coveted CAREER Award. This five-year supported award will allow Dr. Dougherty to pursue studies in the physics of solid surfaces and in particular in pushing the spectroscopic capabilities of the scanning tunneling microscope for versatile nanomaterials characterization. Current research topics undertaken in the Dougherty laboratory include investigations of spin transport in organic films, structure, morphology, and electronic properties at organic semiconductor interfaces, and the growth and electronic characterization of nanoporous metal-ligand surface networks.
Professor Richard Mowat wins Martin Teaching Award - 2011.01.14
The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences has awarded the 2010/2011 LeRoy and Elva Martin Award for Teaching
Excellence to Physics Professor Richard Mowat. The annual award is given to a professor in the College to recognize
excellence in teaching at the graduate and/or undergraduate levels. Professor Mowat was recognized for his teaching
of gateway courses, particularly in the 205/208 sequence "Physics for Scientists and Engineers." In addition to his
classroom teaching, over the past several years, Professor Mowat has developed an on-line version of the course which
has been widely used and has become the department’s most successful on-line course.
Professor Jacqueline Krim wins Innovation Award - 2011.01.13
Based on her previous and ongoing accomplishments in the field of nanotribology, Professor Jacqueline Krim of the Physics Department has been awarded an American Competitiveness and Innovation (ACI) Fellowship by the National Science Foundation. The ACI Fellowship includes a special Creativity Extension to her NSF Division of Materials Research Program. The citation recognizing the Fellowship reads: “For her outstanding contribution to understanding friction at the nanoscale and her exemplary efforts in broadening participation in science through maintaining a diverse research group and through explaining her research to the lay public.
Physics Professors elected APS Fellows - 2010.12.23
Four Professors in the Physics Department have been elected Fellows of the American Physical Society
in three separate divisions of the society. This is the most elected to the society from the department
in one election cycle in the history of the department. The Professors, their divisions, and the
citations accompanying the elections are:
- Ade, Harald
Citation: For the development and incisive use of soft x-ray characterization methods in a wide range of polymeric and organic systems.
Instrument & Measurement Science (GIMS)
- Brown, David
Citation: For his contributions to classical and quantum general relativity, in particular for the discovery
of a quasi-local expression for the energy density, and the discovery of a central charge in the
Poisson algebra of symmetries of 2+1 dimensional asymptotically Anti-deSitter spacetimes.
- Buongiorno-Nardelli, Marco
Citation: For his seminal work on surfaces and interfaces for energy and environment applications, as made possible by his development of novel techniques for the first principle evaluation of the properties of complex and nanostructured materials.
Computational Physics (DCOMP)
- Mitas, Lubos
Citation: For his contributions to the development of quantum Monte Carlo methods, pioneering high-accuracy calculations of atoms, molecules, clusters and solids, analysis of many-body nodes of fermion states and application of pairing wave functions.
Computational Physics (DCOMP)
2nd Annual Southeast Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics - 2010.12.08
The NC State Physics department is hosting a three-day conference for
undergraduate physics majors Jan 14-16, 2011
Registration deadline is December 17th, 2010. Please visit the conference website for more details.
SCUWP's goal is to help students continue in physics by providing them with the opportunity to experience a professional conference, information about graduate school and professions in physics, and access to other women in physics of all ages with whom they can share experiences, advice, and ideas.
Our program includes research talks by faculty, panel discussions about graduate school and careers in physics, presentations and discussions about women in physics, laboratory tours, student research talks, a student poster session, and several meals during which presenters and students interact with each other.
The NC State University Office of Undergraduate Research awards grants to 16 Physics majors - 2010.11.09
The names of those students, their faculty research mentor, and the title of their research proposal are:
Mark Schillaci (Karen Daniels)
Fractures in Soft Materials
Andy Hewitt (Dan Dougherty)
Growth and Scanning Tunneling Microscopy of Organic Single Crystal Semiconductors
Chengxiang Bi (Jack Rowe)
Nanoscale surface roughness of nanoscale graphene films
Cody Melton (John Blondin)
Resolving the SASI Debate
Lew Barrett (Dan Dougherty)
Modeling Image Potential States in Scanning Tunneling Spectroscopy Experiments
Kelby Stockstill (Kenan Gundogdu)
Characterization of Exciton and Electron Dynamics in ZnO Dye Sensitized Solar Cells
Kevin Blackwell (Karen Daniels)
Continuing Research in Surfactant Visualization with Fluorescence and Laser Profiling
Phillip Phipps (John Blondin)
Tidal hypothesis and the Superhump Phenomenon
Andrew Barrette (Hans Hallen)
Development of Polar Scanning Modes for Virtual Retinal Display Applications
Garrett Pangle (Russell Philbrick)
Laser Extinction in Fog
Chris Blackwell (Davide Lazzati)
Failed Gamma-Ray Bursts involving stalled relativistic jets
Alex Mauney (Jim Kneller)
Investigating the Effects of Supernova Turbulence on Detected Neutrino Signal
James Rowland (Chueng Ji)
N-Dimensional Analogue for Neutrino Oscillations
Hamilton Whittle (Chueng Ji)
Coupled Coherent State in Quantum Mechanics
Oindree Banerjee (Leslie Sombers)
Quantification of Fenton Chemistry
David Moreau (Hans Hallen)
Near Field Photoemission
NCSU Physics major wins Scholarship - 2010.10.14
John Stout, a senior in electrical engineering, computer engineering and physics --was awarded a $10,000 scholarship. He was selected out of two finalists from the University to receive the scholarship
The story can be found online at the Technician Online
NCSU Physics researchers find fault in solar cells - 2010.10.06
A team of researchers from NC State found that the low rate of energy conversion in all-polymer solar-cell technology is caused by the structure of the solar cells themselves.
The story can be found online at the NCSU Newsroom and at PhysOrg.com
Update 20101027 - article at the Advanced Light Source website includes pictures of current and former Ade group members.
The shapes of crossing cracks - 2010.09.17
NC State physics researchers have investigated the origin of the curved
shapes made by pairs of interacting cracks, which occur in situations
as diverse as dental enamel, cleaved silicon, geological faults, and
planetary ice crusts. In
an article published in the September 17 issue
of Physical Review Letters, undergraduate
Melissa Fender, postdoctoral researcher Frederic Lechenault, and
professor Karen Daniels performed experiments on diverse materials to
quantify this universal shape and propose a geometric model to
understand how it arises. The work identifies an easily-measured shape
parameter which could serve as a diagnostic tool for identifying the
stress state under which cracks were formed in natural systems where
history and dynamics are inaccessible.
Former NC State Physics Department Heads featured in a Raleigh News and Observer Article - 2010.08.09
Former Department Heads Raymond Murray and Worth Seagondollar were featured in a Raleigh News and Observer article highlighting their work on the atomic bomb project in New Mexico 65 years ago. Murray served as the head of the department when it split from nuclear engineering and adopted its current name as the Physics Department. Seagondollar was the head immediately following Murray.
Here is a link to the story in at the News and Observer website.
NC State Physics majors receive the Chambliss Student achievement Award of the American Astronomical Society - 2010.08.09
NC State Physics majors Mary Burkey and Blake Sharrits have received the Chambliss Student achievement Award of the
American Astronomical Society. These awards continue a strong tradition of excellent undergraduate research in astrophysics undertaken in our department. Sharrits and Burkey undertook research under the direction of Professors Blondin, Borkowski, and Reynolds.
Here is a link to the story in at the PAMS website.
NC State physics alumna appointed advisor to Mongolia's Minister of Foreigh Affairs - 2010.07.02
NC State physics alumna Undraa Agvaanluvsan has been appointed advisor to Mongolia's Minister of Foreigh Affairs. Dr. Agvaanluvsan,
who earned her PhD in 2002 working with Professor Gary Mitchell, recently completed her tenure as deputy director of the Institute for
Strategic Studies of the National Security council of Mongolia. In her new position, Dr. Agvaanluvsan will work on nuclear-related issues
as well as Northeast Asian security and U.S. Affairs.
NC State Physics Alumna receives prestigious Spencer Fellowship - 2010.07.02
NC State Physics Alumna Rosemary Russ has received the
National Academy of Education Spencer Fellowship. A recipient of Bachelors degrees from NC State in Physics, Statistics, and Applied
Mathematics in 2002, Rosemary went on to obtain a PhD in physics at the University of Maryland in 2006. She is currently a Research
Assistant Professor at Northwestern University.
News of the award is available at the
Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy.
and you can visit
Rosemary's university webpage here.
NCSU Physics Majors win award - 2010.06.17
Physics majors Mary Burkey and Blake Sharrits received the
Chambliss Student Achievement Award from the American Astronomical Society.
They won two of the three national awards for undergraduate research presentation
at the AAS meeting in Miami in May. Mary presented her work on X-ray emission from
circumstellar material in Kepler's supernova remnant, and Blake presented his work on
computer simulations of the superhump phenomenon in accreting binary stars.
Click here for more details
Physics department to host 13th Eastern Gravity Meeting - 2010.05.24
The Eastern Gravity Meeting, which takes place annually in the eastern part of North America, will
be hosted this year by the NCSU Department of Physics on May 21-22. The meeting
typically attracts 50 or more researchers in all aspects of gravitational physics. This years event
is being organized by David Brown.
Details can be found at the conference web site
Professor Emeritus Alvin Jenkins passes away - 2010.05.03
The Physics Department faculty was saddened to learn of the death of Al Jenkins, former physics department astrophysicist and Department Head.
Professor Jenkins served as Department Head in the 1960s and retired from the faculty in 1992. A native of Raleigh, he obtained a BS and an
MS in Electrical Engineering from NC State before serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during the Korean War. He later earned a PhD in physics
from the University of Virginia. On the faculty at NC State his principal research focused on stellar evolution. Professor Jenkins played
euphonium for many years in the local group "The Little German Band" and more recently was a Deacon and Elder in the Presbyterian Church in
North Myrtle Beach. One may share condolences at www.ahlbergfuneralchappel.com.
Physics Professors receive awards and honors - 2010.04.20
In recognition of the importance of research as an integral function of NC State, the North Carolina State Alumni Association makes three
awards each year for outstanding research achievements. The awards are in the amount of $3,000 each, in addition to recognition as a
distinguished NC State research person. In the Spring Convocation this year, one of the three Alumni Association Outstanding Research
Awards will be presented to Physics Professor Gail McLaughlin.
At the spring semester Faculty Awards Dinner, Physics Professor Gerald Lucovsky will be recognized as a recipient of the Alumni Association
Distinguished Graduate Professor Award. The Professorship recognizes outstanding graduate level teaching at North Carolina State University.
The letter of notification received by the college of Physical and Mathematical Sciences particularly noted the extraordinary quality of the
mentoring that Professor Lucovksy provides his students both during and after their graduate programs at NC State.
Also at the spring semester Faculty Awards Dinner, Physics Professor John Blondin will be recognized as a recipient of the Alumni Association
Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Award. The Professorship recognizes outstanding undergraduate level teaching at North Carolina State
University. Professor Blondin has long been actively engaged in developing undergraduate research in the department and for the past several
years has served as the Director of Undergraduate Programs.
Several other physics professors received awards and honors. Please see our faculty awards page for more.
Physics Professors get cover treatment - 2010.04.20
Based on an invited review in the Prion Journal, Research Assistant Professor Miroslav Hodak and Professor Jerry Bernholc
provided the cover image for the spring issue of Prion. The review article was based on their work entitled
"Insights into prion protein function from atomistic simulations."
Pinning down a proton - 2010.04.14
A researcher at North Carolina State University has helped to develop a new method for describing the binding of
protons and neutrons within nuclei. This method may improve scientists' ability to predict and understand
astrophysical reactions within stars. When protons and neutrons bind, the process releases energy. This
fusion energy is how stars burn. If scientists can determine where these particles are, what they are doing,
and how they are binding, they will then be able to more accurately predict and understand the life cycles of
NC State physicist Dr. Dean Lee and German colleagues Evgeny Epelbaum, Hermann Krebs, and Ulf-G. Meissner, set
out to see if there was a more straightfoward approach to describing particle interactions than currently used.
Their results were published in the April 9 issue of Physical Review Letters.
"These particles can literally be anywhere," Lee says, "so pinning them down is hard. However, we do know that
there are hierarchies of attractions between particles and we were able to use these hierarchies to give us a
framework for describing how the protons and neutrons could bind with one another. That hierarchy is known as
effective field theory."
Lee and his colleagues used a numerical lattice which took into account all of the possible positions of the
particles within the nucleus and the corresponding interaction energies. They ran a supercomputer simulation
for the elements helium-4, lithium-6 and carbon-12, and demonstrated that the results of those simulations
"Currently the indications are that our effective field theory calculations should let us describe nuclei with
16 or fewer protons and neutrons," Lee says. "But our ability to describe larger nuclei using this approach
also looks promising."
Professor Robert Golub named Fellow of a national society - 2010.03.11
NC State Phyiscs Professor Robert Golub has been named a Fellow of the Neutron Scattering Society of America. In a press release
dated 10 March, 2010, Professor Golub was sited:
"For pioneering research in studies of the neutron electric|
dipole moment, for development of the superthermal technique
for production of ultracold neutrons, and for development of
new methods in neutron spin echo research."
Physics Undergraduate Newsletter - 2010.03.10
The inaugural issue of the PUN is now available online.[PDF]
New APS fellows were lauded in the NCSU Bulletin - 2010.01.25
Three physics professors, Dr. Gail McLaughlin, Dr. Ruth Chabay, and Dr. John Blondin, have been named fellows of the American Physical Society. A brief write-up was published last week in NCSU's Faculty Staff Bulletin.
Physics Graduate Student Featured on the Grad. School Homepage - 2009.12.03
Brian Willians, NCSU Physics Graduate Student, has been featured on the NCSU Graduate School Homepage. Brian won first place for his poster back in May of this year(story below), and more about Brian can be found on here at NCSU Graduate School Site.
Southeast Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics - 2009.12.02
NC State, together with other area physics departments, is organizing a three-day conference for undergraduate physics majors Jan 15-17, 2010.
SCUWP's goal is to help students continue in physics by providing them with the opportunity to experience a professional conference,
information about graduate school and professions in physics, and access to other women in physics of all ages with whom they can share
experiences, advice, and ideas. Our program includes research talks by faculty, panel discussions about graduate school and careers in physics,
presentations and discussions about women in physics, laboratory tours, student research talks, a student poster session, and several meals
during which presenters and students interact with each other. More information, including a registration form, is available at
the conference website.
Professor Robert Beichner Wins North Carolina Professor of the Year Award. - 2009.11.19
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education has
announced that Physics Professor Robert Beichner is the 2009 Professor of the Year for North Carolina. The principal
developer of SCALE-UP, an innovative method of classroom instruction, Professor Beichner has won several other teaching
awards including being named the 2009-2010 Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher by the Society for College Science
Teachers and the National Science Teachers Association.
This story can be seen on the NCSU Homepage - here is
the permanent link.
Please visit the SCALE-UP site as well as the Physics Education Research Group's site
for more information on Professor Beichner's work.
Lazzati animation appears on Nature website - 2009.11.19
A three dimensional video animation of a gamma ray burst explosion, produced by NC State Physics Professor Davide Lazzati,
appears on the website of the magazine Nature. This movie is from a hydrodynamical simulation generated
by Professor Lazzati of a relativistic jet of gamma rays propagating through a massive compact progenitor star.
The movies can be seen here at Professor Lazzati's website.
The Fourth Annual Dale E. Sayers Lecture will be held November 16th, 2009
The Sayers Lecture Series is an annual event highlighting research based on research or techniques pioneered by Professor Sayers throughout his career.
This year's lecture speaker is Dr. Stephen Hugdens of Santa Clara University. He will be lecturing on Phase-change memory (PCM), which is now being actively developed by many semiconductor device manufacturers. His talk will describe the current understanding of PCM devices and the progress toward commercialization of this new nonvolatile memory technology.
Dr. Hudgens received his Ph.D in solid-state physics from The University of Chicago and was postdoctoral research fellow at MIT. Now on the Physics Department faculty at Santa Clara University, Dr. Hudgens spent many years directing basic and applied research at Energy Conversion Devices and - more recently - at Ovonyx Incorporated. In addition to his academic position, he is currently a consultant for several corporations based in silicon valley. His interests center on solar energy conversion and computer phase change memory applications.
Here is a flier for this year's lecture
The NC State University Office of Undergraduate Research award research grants to nine Physics majors.
The names of those students, their faculty research mentor, and the title of their research proposal are:
Adam Keith (Karen Daniels)
Local Measurement of Granular Size Segregation Rates
Erik Skau (Laura Clarke)
Engineering Omniphobic Surfaces from Beaded Nanofibers
Barak Schmookler (Paul Huffman)
Isotopic Purification of 4-He using Cryogenic Techniques
Mary Burkey (Steve Reynolds)
An Analysis of the Circumstellar Medium in Kepler?s SNR
Kevin Barkett (John Blondin)
Measuring Calcium Spectrum from Supernova in Circumstellar Medium
Kate Foco (Karen Daniels)
Effects of Particle Shape on Granular Stick-Slip Events
Andrew Hewitt (Dan Dougherty)
Carrier Injection in Organic Semiconductor Spin Valve Materials
Christopher Blackwell (Davide Lazzati)
Gamma Ray Burst Afterglow Light curves with X-Ray Flaring Activity
Hamilton Whittle (Chueng Ji)
Neutrino Flavor Mixing Modeled by Quantum Oscillation
Professor Thomas Schaefer describes Nearly Perfect Fluidity on American Physical Society (APS) website
The APS website that spotlights exceptional research published an article on Nearly Perfect Fluidity written by NC State Physics Professor Thomas Schaefer. The APS invited Professor Schaefer to address the question of whether there is a fundamental bound on viscosity on its
website. In the article, Schaefer – who is one of the world’s experts in this field – theoretically examines the coldest and hottest fluids that laboratories are able to produce. Schaefer’s article ends with a hope that data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN will produce high temperatures in a quark-gluon plasma that will shed further light on whether hydrodynamics is still applicable at the highest temperatures experimentally obtainable.
Hamilton Whittle, Physics major, is awarded undergraduate research grant - 2009.10.28
The Office of Undergraduate Research announced that NC State Physics major Hamilton Whittle has been awarded a grant to study Neutrino Flavor Mixing Modeled by Quantum Oscillations. Working with Professor Chueng Ji, Hamilton plans to compare several models of flavor mixing in an attempt to describe neutrino oscillations in terms of quantum field theory. In addition he will examine how the mass of a neutrino can affect the oscillation and thus how the standard model must be revised.
National Academy of Sciences publishes Thomas memoir - 2009.09.30
The National Academy of Sciences has published a biographical memoir of late NC State Physics Professor L.H. Thomas that was written by Academy member John David Jackson. Professor Thomas joined the department in 1968 and remained active until his retirement in 1976. The department hosts a distinguished lecture series in his honor
Friction, force chains, and falling fruit - 2009.09.23
NCSU Physics Professor Jacqueline Krim, collaborating with Duke University professor Rober Behringer, have done a study published in Physics today titled "Friction, force chains, and falling fruit" on Friction and granular materials. The study also contains several YouTube videos demonstrating the phenomena.
NSF Spintronics Grant Will Help NC State Researchers Develop Smaller, Faster Electronic Devices
Researchers at North Carolina State University have received a three-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation's Center for Chemical Innovation (NSF-CCI) to pursue research in the emerging field of molecular spintronics. The grant will fund a center for molecular spintronics at NC State and support a research coalition between scientists at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill with the aim of using this technology to develop smaller, faster, more energy-efficient electronic devices with increased storage capability.
Dr. David Shultz, professor of chemistry, is the principal investigator. NC State co-PIs include Drs. Dan Dougherty, Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli, Jack Rowe (physics), Joe Tracy (materials science and engineering) and Gail Jones (math, science and technology education). The grant is one of four awarded nationally by the NSF.
Molecular spintronics refers to the use of designed molecules containing electrons that are not involved in chemical bonds. These electrons have small magnetic fields which can then be utilized to power electronic devices with more memory storage capability, faster operation and lower energy usage.
"This is a combination of materials science and chemistry that goes beyond mere nanotechnology," Shultz says, "and that has the advantage of taking the field of electronics beyond the current limitations we have when working with materials like silicon."
The grant also allows the research team to focus on outreach and training for a new generation of scientists specializing in this technology by providing funding for graduate courses and other educational activities.
"It is an effort not only to use designed molecules to build new devices, but also to train future researchers and workers who can bring this technology into the world and marketplace," Buongiorno-Nardelli says.
This article was posted on NCSU's NEWSROOM on September 16, 2009
Professor Robert Beichner to give a keynote lecture at International Conference - 2009.09.03
Professor Robert Beichner is giving a keynote lecture on the SCALE-UP (Student Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs) Project at the International Conference on Physics Teaching in Engineering Education, 10-12 September, in Wroclaw Poland. . SCALE-UP has been adopted at more than 80 universities across the US and has a growing international presence. For more information visit the project website.
Center for Molecular Spintronics Funded - 2009.08.28
The Center for Molecular Spintronics seeks to reveal the fundamental principles underlying the optimal use of organic molecules for spin
transport and manipulation through new synthesis, advanced characterization, and state-of-the-art modeling. These principles will
drive the development of a new generation of low cost, low power, high performance spin-dependent device applications. The center is committed to
pursuing these developments in close concert with industrial partners, science educators, and the general public to ensure wide-reaching impacts.
The eight principal investigators are Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli, Dan Dougherty, Jack Rowe (all from NCSU Physics), Gail Jones (NCSU Math,
Science and Technology Education), David Shultz (PI, NCSU Chemistry), Joe Tracy (NCSU Materials Science and Engineering), Frank Tsui (UNC-CH
Physics) and Wei You (UNC-CH Chemistry). The grant is for Phase I funding at $1.5 million over 3 years.
Physics Faculty top list of NC State "Highly Cited" authors - 2009.08.04
On the July 2009 listing of career citations compiled by the Web of Science, thirteen NC State faculty members are recognized as being among the nation's most highly cited. The top two on the NC State list of thirteen are on the Physics Department Faculty. David Aspnes (with 18,697) and Gerry Lucovsky (with 16,031) easily out pace others with the third most-cited author having fewer than 15,000 citations. The average number of citations among the other eleven authors is 5,000. This measure of overall productivity recognizes the value placed on contributions in the literature by researchers in their respective fields. The listing clearly identifies the work of Professor Aspnes and Lucovsky as being among the most important contributions to the scientific literature made by NC State faculty. Information is available on the
ISI WEb of Knowledge HIGHLY Cited page.
NCSU Physics Professor Chueng-Ryong Ji Chairs UKC2009 - 2009.07.17
On July 16-19, the Raleigh Convention Center welcomes participants of UKC2009, the US-Korea Conference on Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship. Conference Chair, Chueng-Ryong Ji, organized the conference and serves as President-elect of KSEA, the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association. Professor Ji, a member of the physics department since 1991, has been active in the KSEA for many years. The meeting includes presentations by a number of notable speakers from around the world including Yale University Professor and Nobel Laureate Dr. Sidney Altman.
TeraGrid 2009 Award - 2009.06.28
Samuel Kenny, an NCSU physics Undergraduate withing with Professor John Blondin, grabbed the 'Peoples Choice Award' at the Visualization Showcase held at the TeraGrid '09 Conference in Washington, DC.
Follow this link for more on the story
Physics graduate students receive prestigious fellowships - 2009.06.04
In yet another example of the recognized strength of the NC State graduate program in physics on campus and beyond, two doctoral students recently received prestigious fellowships. Eric Raymer received the NC State University Andrews Fellowship and Carlos Ortiz received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
The Andrews Fellowship is NC State's most prestigious graduate fellowship. The one-year award is offered to one top entering PhD student in any discipline. The fellowship provides an annual stipend of $21,500 along with in-state tuition, fees and health insurance. The fellowship is funded through an endowment given to the University by the late Mrs. Grace Andrews of Raeford, NC.
This year's Andrews Fellowship recipient, Eric Raymer, graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2007 with a B.S. in physics and minor in mathematics with a GPA of 4.0. He joined Teach for America in the summer of 2007 and has taught science and math for the past two years at Weldon High School in Weldon, NC. While working in Weldon, Eric taught the first physics course offered in more than 10 years and developed an inquiry-driven curriculum for physical science and upper level physics. Eric will be entering the NC State physics doctoral program this fall.
"I'm honored to have been awarded the Andrews Fellowship and am very happy to be joining the PhD program in the fall," Raymer said. "I'm looking forward to an exciting and productive time at NC State!"
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship is a three-year award for doctoral candidates in science, mathematics and engineering fields. This fellowship provides a stipend of $30,000 per year and covers substantial educational expenses.
Carlos Ortiz is the NC State physics department's fourth recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. He earned his B.S. from Davidson College before coming to NC State. His research with physics faculty Karen Daniels and Robert Riehn is a study of the jamming of sub-micron particles in microﬂuidic channels. For Ortiz, the attainment of a PhD in physics will be yet another step in a long journey of learning and discovery.
"I was born to a single mother in South America, where I grew up speaking Spanish, playing chess and dreaming of meeting Carl Sagan," he says. "My family and I moved to Columbia, SC, seven years ago mainly seeking better schooling for my brothers and me."
While they are always exciting, honors like those earned by Eric Raymer and Carlos Ortiz are nothing new to the NC State physics graduate program. The department has always attracted quality students at both the undergraduate and graduate level, as evidenced by generations of successful alumni in academics, government and industry. A concerted effort has been instituted recently to build on this tradition and to attract more of the nation's most elite students, with higher GRE scores, improving academic success, and greater impact with their research.
"Excellent graduate students are essential to the success of our program," said Harald Ade, professor of physics and director of the graduate program. "They are the ones executing much of the research in the laboratory. We consider them a key human resource similar to faculty for which we need to compete against other institutions, and we do what we can to make NC State the best place for our top applicants. These recent honors received by Carlos and Eric are just the latest examples that our efforts are paying off."
NC State physics graduate student wins first place for research poster - 2009.05.31
Brian Williams (Physics) won first place for physical and mathematical sciences at the Fourth Annual Graduate Research Symposium for his research "Using Supernova Remnants as a Probe of Dust Grains in the Interstellar Medium."[PDF] Interstellar dust grains, such as those Williams studied using supernova remnants, catalyze "formation of H2 molecules important in star formation" and serve as "the building blocks of stars, planets, and life itself." However, relatively little research exists on the origin, composition and abundance of interstellar dust grains. The results of Williams' in-depth observations and testing suggest "re-working of fairly well established astrophysical theory."
Graduate Symposium Winners for 2009[PDF]
NC State physics professor conquers the Bosphorus Straits - 2009.05.14
Michael Paesler, professor and physics department head, swims the Bosphorus Straits. Here is a link to the story on the PAMS website.
Here, also, is a similar story, with an extra photo, of Professor Paesler's swimming story as printed in the College's SCOPE publication from summer 2009.
Graduating physics seniors receive awards - 2009.04.08
Physics students Travis McCaw, Guilhem Ribeill, and Leslie Watkins
have been named recipients of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Outstanding
Seniors Awards for Scholarly Achievement, Research, and Leadership, respectively.
Guilhem Ribeill will also receive the Rodney I. McCormick Award for
undergraduate research in physics.
Physics major represents NCSU at ACC Meeting of the Minds - 2009.04.03
Chris Pope presented his research on gravitational accretion along with 7 other undergraduate students from NCSU at the 4th annual ACC Meeting of the Minds.
Red Means Go - 2009.03.13
Courage, perseverance and determination - traits displayed by some of the best and
brightest students NC State has to offer, and characteristics truly displayed by
Thirteen physics majors received NCSU Undergraduate Research Awards to pursue
research in physics labs during the Spring 2009 semester.
The students and their research mentors are:
Lewis Guignard (Harald Ade),
Adele Lichtenberger (Karen Daniels),
Evan Adamek (Hans Hallen),
Melissa Fender (Karen Daniels),
Max Hampson (Hans Hallen),
Trevor Hawkins (Davide Lazzati),
Andrew Hewitt (Daniel Dougherty),
Adam Keith (Davide Lazzati),
Sam Kenny (John Blondin),
Brandon Long (Hans Hallen),
Daniel Marley (Paul Huffman),
Joseph Rose (Keith Weninger),
Barak Schmookler (Paul Huffman)
Physics Department announces awards.
At the fall faculty meeting of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences on December 3rd,
a number of Physics Department faculty awards were announced. The list includes:
Dave Haase who was elected Chair of the Southeast Section of the American Physical Society, SESAPS;
Christopher Gould who was the recipient of the Research Triangle Institute's International President's Award;
Robert Beichner who was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the State University of New York at Buffalo;
Chueng Ji who was chosen President-elect of the Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Society;
John Hubisz who was named Chair of the American Association of Physics Teachers Committee on the Interests of Senior Physicists;
Robert Beichner who was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Citation of the American Association of Physics Teachers.
NC State Physics Department designated a leader in minority education by the American
Institute of Physics, the AIP.
In a report issued by the Statistical
Research Center of the AIP, the Physics Department is included in a listing of
universities that have awarded the most PhDs to African Americans for the years
1998-2007. The published data lists only seven other non-HBCU Research I
institutions: Cornell, Georgia Tech, MIT, Stanford, Alabama Birmingham, California
San Diego, and Michigan.
NC State physics alumna receives 2009 Maria Goeppert Mayer Award
Saskia Mioduszewski (BS '94) has received the 2009
Maria Goeppert Mayer Award from the American
Physical Society "for her pioneering contributions to
the observation of jet quenching and her continuing
efforts to understand high- p_T phenomena in rela-
tivistic heavy-ion collisions."Mioduszewski is an assistant
professor in the Department of Physics at Texas
Professor Mioduszewski earned her BS in Physics and in Mathematics (magna cum laude)
at NC State in 1994. She then went to the University of Tennessee where she earned
her PhD in research that included a dissertation entitled Dependence of Antiproton
Production in Proton-Nucleus Collisions at 17.5 and 12.3 GeV/c. After a post doctoral
appointment at Brookhaven National Laboratory, she joined the physics department faculty
at Texas A&M in 2005.
The story with photo can be found here
Entering Physics Freshman Class Maintains high standards
The entering class of Freshman who joined the NC State Physics Department
this August represent another group of excellent students. Once again the
university's highest SAT scores were recorded by our freshman. This year the
average was 1343. Among the 28 new freshmen are 5 University Scholars, 2
Students in the University Honors Program, and 3 students in Women in
Science and Engineering (WISE)
The Department is very proud to welcome the Fall08 graduate students.
It is at the same time the largest and the best incoming class ever. Overall, 24 Ph.D. and 2 MS students joined the program. 12 students are from the US. 14 came
from abroad from 5 different countries. The largest contingent of foreign students is from China. Two of the foreign nationals are holding undergraduate degrees
from the US. The students' research interests are diverse and well matched to the research in the department. A larger fraction than previously joined our program
to work with specific Professors. We also welcome an exchange student from Germany into our graduate program.
How small is too small to be useful?
Physics Department researchers have done nanoscale analysis on ferroelectric thin films - materials that are used in electronic
devices from computer memories to iPhones and polarize when exposed to an electric charge - and found that when it comes to polarization, both size and location
The finding by Professor Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli and post-doctoral researcher Matías Nuñez suggests that, in creating tiny electrical devices, the
use of extremely small components comes with the possibility of decreased effectiveness. Ferroelectric thin films are like sandwiches - layers of material held
between two metals. When a charge is applied to the material in the sandwich, it polarizes, taking on a uniformly positive or negative charge.
Buongiorno-Nardelli and Nuñez have theorized that when ferroelectric thin films are miniaturized, at a certain size the material loses its ability to
polarize. They found that this is not exactly the case: The atoms in the ferroelectric thin film still polarize, even on the nanoscale, but they don't do so in a
uniform way, as they do at a larger scale. Instead, the polarization is disorganized with some atoms taking on a positive and others a negative charge, changing
the overall properties of the material and allowing for residual polarization to exist. Their results were published online in the journal Physical Review
Buongiorno-Nardelli and Nuñez used computer modeling to examine how individual atoms within the thin film interacted with one another, and focused
specifically on the distribution of the electrons within the atoms, since electron distribution determines whether the ferroelectric will polarize with a positive
or negative charge. They discovered that at a thickness of around 20 to 30 nanometers, disorganization appears in the material.
"When you get to the nanoscale, you have individual atoms interacting with one another instead of groups of atoms," Buongiorno-Nardelli says. "At that point, it is
no longer the property of the material itself - the ferroelectric - that counts, because the property of the interface, where the atoms bond, becomes dominant."
this article was also published on ncsu's home page. |
research images can be found here.
NC State astrophysicists find Galaxy's most recent supernova
NC State professors Stephen Reynolds and Kazimierz Borkowski and collaborators have
discovered the remains of the most recent supernova in our Milky Way Galaxy -- only about
100 years old, displacing the 330-year-old remnant Cassiopeia A, the record-holder for the last 50
years. The discovery was announced at a NASA press teleconference in May, and was widely
reported in the general press. It has now been
published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Reynolds and Borkowski used Chandra's orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory to image the small
radio remnant G1.9+0.3, finding that it had grown by 16% since a radio observation in 1985.
This rate, if constant, gives an age of 140 years, but the expansion was almost certainly
faster in the past, giving a younger age. Followup radio observations with the Very Large
Array confirmed the expansion. X-ray spectra show such high obscuration that the supernova producing G1.9+0.3 would not have
been visible in late Victorian times when the supernova light would have swept past Earth.
The X-rays also indicate that G1.9+0.3 is one of only four of the 260 or so Galactic
remnants whose X-rays are produced by synchrotron radiation, indicating the presence of
extremely energetic electrons. Study of this object may thus cast light on the origin of
cosmic rays. Here is a link to the story on Chandra website, with images
Physics Faculty Grows
After a year of active recruiting, the Physics Department is delighted to be welcoming five new members in the fall semester.
Davide Lazzati, Kenan Gundogdu, and Daniel Dougherty will join the department as Assistant Professors while Matt Kohlmyer
will be the department's first Teaching Assistant Professor and Keith Heyward joins the department as a Lecturer.
Professor Lazzati is an astrophysicist who earned his PhD at Milano University in Italy and comes to us from a post doc at JILA.
Professors Gundogdu and Dougherty might both be classified as nanoscientists. Gundogdu took his degree at the University of
Iowa and is completing a post doc at MIT. Dougherty is currently a post doc at NIST in Washington and earned his PhD at
the University of Maryland.
Matt Kohlmyer earned his PhD in our department in Physics Education Research and is currently a post-doc at Georgia tech. Keith
Heyward will earn his PhD in theoretical astrophysics in August in our department.
Ray Fornes wins Holladay Medal
Ray Fornes, Professor of Physics and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, has won the 2008 Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for
Excellence. This award recognizes the contributions to the university of Alexander Q. Holladay, who served as its first Professor of History and first President. The purpose of
this award is to recognize members of the faculty who have made outstanding contributions to the university. This is the highest award made by the university in recognition of
faculty career achievements.
Former Physics Graduate Student's work featured as Physical Review "Editors' Suggestion" Paper
The dissertation work of former physics graduate student Eric Adles led to a paper published in Physical Review B entitled "Application
of the anisotropic bond model to second-harmonic generation from amorphous media." The paper was selected to be included as an "Editors'
Suggestion" paper. This new designation is reserved for approximately 5% of the papers accepted for publication in the journal.
According to Eric's co-author and research sponsor, Professor David Aspnes, the paper actually went "well beyond" what Eric did for his
dissertation. Aspnes adds, "Although bond models have been around a long time for nonlinear optics, this is the first one to do the bond
model right. The paper shows that and why nonlinear optics is actually simpler than linear optics. It's good to see that others
recognize the value of this work also, and that it is to be highlighted in the Physical Review."
Eric received his PhD from North Carolina State University in 2007, and is currently a Post Doctoral Research Associate working with
Professor Dave Aspnes on several projects.
NC State Physics Senior awarded prestigious fellowship
Senior Kasey Phillips has been awarded a prestigious NSF Graduate Fellowship. She will first attend the University of Cambridge to
study Applied Mathematics, after which she will move to Harvard University to pursue a PhD in Applied Physics in the School of
Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Kasey, a Park Scholar from Charlotte, NC, has majored in both physics and mathematics. Through NC State Undergraduate Research
Grants and the Honors Program, she has worked in the lab of Assistant Professor Karen Daniels, performing experiments on the
size-segregation of granular materials under shear.
NC State Nuclear Physics team gets cover story
In an experimental program in collaboration with colleagues at Harvard, Yale, and NIST, a team of NC State nuclear
physicists have their work featured on the cover of "The Review of Scientific Instruments." The work highlights an
invited article that describes their work on a specific kind of high-field superconducting magnetic traps.
Magnetic traps can confine electrically neutral particles with nonzero magnetic moments; they have been used to
trap atoms, molecules, and neutrons. The trap described in the article is an Ioffe-type magnetic trap that consists of a
quadrupole assembly for radial confinement and two solenoid assemblies in the same current sense for axial confinement. Such a
configuration eliminates zero field regions inside the trap, thereby suppressing the spin-flip probability of trapped
particles. The trap is being developed for the teamâs ultracold neutron lifetime experiment.
NC State co-authors of the work include Bob, Ekatarina Korobkina, Chris O'Shaughnessy, Grant Palmquist,
PilNeo Seo, and Paul Huffman.
Graduate Student's work featured in "Physical Review Focus"
NC State Physics graduate student Josh Beun's research was featured on the Physical Review
website dedicated to highlighting recent important discoveries on March 26. The work considers a proposed site for heavy element
production in a stage after the initial explosion in some supernovae where an outward blast of
neutrinos from a newly-formed neutron star blows out a lot of neutron-rich material. Under the
direction of Associate Professor Gail McLaughlin, Joshua set out to find conditions that would
allow fission cycling and the r process to produce heavy elements in a neutrino-driven "wind.Ó
Focusing on elements with atomic number greater than about 130, they were surprised to find that
within a fairly wide range of conditions, their model yielded an element abundance pattern that has
been observed in both old and new stars. Theirs is the first model to successfully include both the
r process and fission cycling, and they didn't expect it to match observations so well.
Physics Department Professor Emerita passes away.
Members of the physics department family were shocked to hear of the passing of recent
retiree and Professor Emerita Marjorie Klenin on January 19th. An active member of the
physics department from 1977 to 2006, Marjorie was our first female faculty member. A
graduate of Swarthmore and the University of Pennsylvania, Marjorie won teaching awards
at NC State and was an innovative instructor in her years on our faculty.
Read more about Marjorie's life in an article submitted to Physics Today by Chris Gould, also of the Physics Department.
NCSU Physics Faculty win INCITE Award
Four NC State Physicists were included in DOE's 2008 Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) Awards for access to some of the world's most
powerful supercomputers at DOE national laboratories. In all, 55 projects were awarded 265 million processor-hours. Three of those projects, with a combined total of 36
million processor-hours, include NC State physicists:
Click here for the DOE's INCITE page
- John Blondin "Multidimensional Simulations of Core Collapse Supernovae"
- Lubos Mitas and Jerzy Bernholc "Predictive and accurate Monte Carlo based simulations for Mott insulators, cuprate superconductors, and nanoscale systems"
- Jerzy Bernholc and Marco Buongiorno-Nardelli "An Integrated Approach to the Rational Design of Chemical Catalysts"
The Physics Department loses a Colleague
Friends and colleagues of the physics department family were saddened to hear of the
passing of Professor Emeritus David Martin on December 12th. David taught physics at
NC State for 26 years. He was passionate about art, music, and nature in all its forms
and inspired others to protect our environment. He was a past president of the
Conservation Council of North Carolina and a long time member of the Raleigh Artist's
Guild. David specialized in Chinese watercolor techniques, and provided the lovely
landscapes that for years have graced the physics department office walls.
Professor Robert Golub Named APS Fellow
Physics Professor Robert Golub has been elected a Fellow of the
American Physical Society. The citation declaring Professor Golub a Fellow reads:
"For pioneering research in studies of the neutron electric|
dipole moment, for development of the superthermal technique
for production of ultracold neutrons, and for development of
new methods in neutron spin echo research."
The nomination was made through the Society's Division of Nuclear Physics.
NCSU Physics Major named Marshall Scholar
Brian Clark '08, Physics major, Caldwell Fellow and University Scholar, has been
named a Marshall Scholar. Brian will attend the University of Cambridge, in Cambridge,
England, to study Applied Math and Physics. In a nationwide competition, the Marshall
Scholarship Commission selects 40 outstanding scholars each year for two years of study
in the United Kingdom. In his undergraduate career, Brian has worked with mentors at NC
State, Oxford, and CERN. Brian is NC State's second Marshall Scholar. In 2002, Thomas
Carbonell '02 attended the University of Oxford as a Marshall Scholar.
Second Annual Sayers Lecture a success!
Professor Arthur Bienenstock of Stanford University delivered the second annual
Dale E. Sayers Lecture on October 15th in the Sayers Auditorium (301 Riddick Hall).
Professor Bienenstock is the director of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory
(SSRL), was the senior science advisor to President Clinton, and is the president-elect
of the American Physical Society. He delivered a talk entitled
"Amorphous Materials and the development of the SSRL."
SCOPE Academy and Riddick Dedication Draws Alumni and Friends
The College of Physical and Mathematical Science and the Physics Department hosted
a weekend of activities that included the official opening of Riddick Hall - the
department's new home. Beginning with an alumni pig pickin' at Department Head
Michael Paesler's home on Friday evening October 12th, activities on Saturday included
the building dedication, laboratory tours, and the SCOPE Academy
Approximately 150 Alumni and Friends of the Department attended the dedication ceremonies
during which the building and two rooms were dedicated. Riddick 301 was officially
named the Dale E. Sayers Auditorium with the unveiling of a plaque that reads
"Dale E. Sayers - In memory of his scientific vision and worldwide leadership
in physics, outstanding service to the department, college and university and his
inspiring mentorship of young scientists."|
Also dedicated was the Richard R. Patty Conference Room which will be adorned with
a plaque reading
"Richard R. Patty - In honor of his wise and strategic leadership as Physics Department
head, 1976-1995, our department's greatest period of programmatic expansion."|
Official Riddick Opening Ceremonies Scheduled
Activities surrounding the official opening of Riddick Hall will take place on
October 12th and 13th. Beginning with an alumni/faculty pig pickin' at Department
Head Michael Paesler's home in Cary on the evening of the 12th, the activities
continue with a full day of events on the 13th. Most notably, the official opening
ceremonies begin at 10:30 AM in the newly renovated Riddick Hall. Included will
be a tour of the now-operational laboratories. The event is coupled to the College
of Physical and Mathematical Science's SCOPE Academy. Information is available on
the web at the PAMS Alumni & Friends Weekend page.
Astrophysicists Receive Major Grant
John Blondin, and
Kazimierz Borkowski have have received a $600k grant from the National Science
Foundation to investigate Type Ia supernovae. These supernovae are thought to occur
when a white dwarf star, the extremely dense remains of a low-mass star, happens
to have a companion star close enough to drop material onto the white dwarf, raising
its mass over a critical limit. Recent discoveries by the NC State researchers have
shown that not all Type Ia supernovae are alike. Reynolds utilized the orbiting
Chandra X-ray Observatory to study the remnant of Keplers supernova of 1604, and
determined that this Type Ia explosion may have had a progenitor star of much higher
mass than is usual. Borkowski led another X-ray study that found older remnants of
Type Ia supernovae that also appear to be unusual.
The team has suggested reasons for the discrepancies they have found, and has proposed
a series of studies to explore the nature of Type Ia supernovae. The work will center
on using high-performance computers to simulate the evolution of a white dwarf and its
companion before the explosion, to study the explosion itself, and to predict the
appearance of the supernova remnant hundreds and thousands of years after the
Given the importance of these explosions for the origin of many chemical elements
in the universe, and for studying its expansion, this project will address a very
important problem in astrophysics, Reynolds said.
CHiPS Announces New NSF Grant
The NC State Center for High Performance
Simulations - or CHiPS - has received a new 5-year NSF grant that
will provide $1.7M for petascale quantum simulations in nano science and technology.
The software and simulations developed in this project are targeted at the world's
most powerful supercomputers, which will be able to sustain a petaflop (a thousand
trillion floating point operations per second). The team, led by Prof. Jerry Bernholc
from Physics, includes Prof. Wenchang Lu, also from Physics, Prof. C. Timothy Kelley
from Mathematics, and Computer Science Professors Shirley Moore and Stan Tomov from
the University of Tennessee.
The petascale quantum simulation tools will enable many scientific and technological
endeavors, which are currently considered too risky to pursue. New research avenues
will likely emerge, as results of such simulations are analyzed and new generally
applicable concepts are created. Advances in nanoscale simulations are relevant to
virtually every area of scientific endeavor including nanophysics, chemistry,
biochemistry and molecular biosciences, earth sciences, engineering, environmental
sciences and materials science. Students and postdocs trained in this area will have
significant opportunities for advancement and making substantial impact on their own.
Professor David Haase quoted in Sports Illustrated cover story.
In The Big Hit, a cover story in Sports Illustrated, NC State Physics Professor David
Haase is quoted in a discussion of the intensity of collisions players experience in
playing American football. Frequently cited as an expert on the physics of sports,
Professor Haase was asked to put football collisions in perspective. The Haase quote
Another physics professor, David Haase of North Carolina State, suggests an
experiment that can be performed in any backyard. "Jump off a 13-foot ladder and
land on your feet," says Haase. "You would be traveling approximately 8.81 meters
per second, which is about 20 miles per hour. It would hurt, but bending your knees
would absorb most of the energy, so it doesn't sound too bad. But football players
do not collide feet first. Now imagine diving off a 13-foot ladder and landing on
the ground head and shoulders first.
Professor Haase has not quit his day job as a nuclear physicist. For example, he
is currently involved in the Electric Dipole Moment of the Neutron, or EDM, project.
Official Grand Opening of Riddick Hall scheduled.
As the department waits for the newly renovated Riddick Hall to be available for
occupancy sometime late this summer, we are planning for a gala event to be held
during Fall Break on the 12th and 13th of October. Associated with the College of
Physical and Mathematical Sciences annual "Alumni and Friends College," the department
event will include an official ribbon cutting, reception, and tour of a brand new
Riddick Hall. As details become available, we will be sure to feature them here
on the department's webpage. For now, we encourage all friends, alumni, and
students to keep the dates open and plan to join in the festivities.
A Deeper Understanding of Fermions
In a pair of Physical Review Letters,*
Professor Lubos Mitas
and his group have provided insight
into fundamental properties of fermions. For quite some time theorists have based
their studies of fermionic systems antisymmetry on the conjecture that for ground
states there are only two domains which are created by a hypersurface or node. Professor
Mitas provided the first analytical proof of this fundamental property. He further
showed that for an arbitrary number of fermions there are only two nodal domains. These
results are not only fundamentally important, in addition they have the potential
of opening new channels for the Monte-Carlo methods which rely on the accuracy of
PRL96, 130201 and
NC State Scientist Discovers New Explanation for Pulsar's Spin
John Blondin, along with Anthony Mezzacappa
at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, used the CRAY X1E supercomputer to develop
a three-dimensional model of a pulsar's creation, and in the process discovered
that conventional wisdom concerning the formation of these celestial objects wasn't
correct. Their findings are published in the January 4th edition of the
New Class of Supernovas
Steve Reynolds and
Kazik Borkowski, who along with a team from NASA, Rutgers, and Naval Research
Labs discovered a new class of supernova while studying Kepler’s Supernova,
which occurred in 1604. Details were presented at the annual meeting of the American
Wireless service improvements
The NSF 2006 Performance and Accountability Report highlighted
Hans Hallen and Sasha Duel-Hallen on their collaborative work on new tools to
improve the quality of service for wireless customers.
The report is available online.
New Directorship for Professor Beichner
Professor Robert Beichner has been named Director of the university's Discipline
Based Education Research Center. Administered through Provost Larry Nielsen's
office, the Center is a newly created entity, and Professor Biechner will be
its first Director. When he assumes his new duties in January of 2007, Professor
Beichner will maintain an office in Cox Hall. The department wishes Professor
Beichner well in his new position, and we are delighted to know that Bob will
not give up his departmental teaching duties and will maintain an active Physics
Education Research program.