News » Archives » 2011

Physics faculty named AAAS fellows

December 21, 2011 • Categories: News

Three Department of Physics faculty are among five University of Notre Dame faculty who have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in honor of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

AAAS, founded in 1848 as a nonprofit association, is the world’s largest scientific society and publisher of the prestigious journal Science.…

Researchers demonstrate new DNA detection technique

December 19, 2011 • Categories: News


A team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame have demonstrated a novel DNA detection method that could prove suitable for many real-world applications.

Physicists Carol Tanner and Steven Ruggiero

Accelerator upgrade featured on local news

December 14, 2011 • Categories: News

Link to online story and video:

NOTRE DAME – The Nuclear Science Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame is getting a big upgrade, literally. A new nuclear accelerator is being installed and the building construction should be finished by the end of the December.

Notre Dame and Department of Energy collaboration enables development of unique spectrometer

December 09, 2011 • Categories: News


A new, state-of-the-art instrument installed in the Radiation Laboratory will support a wide range of research at the University of Notre Dame. The AP-XPS (ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectrometer) was designed by Franklin Tao, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, in collaboration with the manufacturer.…

Toroczkai's work featured on Nature Physics cover

December 07, 2011 • Categories: News


The research work of Prof. Zoltán Toroczkai and former Notre Dame postdoc Mária Ercsey-Ravasz is featured on the cover of the December issue of Nature Physics

Physics alumna founds outreach event to educate and inspire girls

November 30, 2011 • Categories: News


Stephanie Morrison, a 2007 physics Ph.D. alumna, has been active in the Montana alumni community after graduation. In addition to alumni group leadership and fundraising, she has founded a successful annual outreach event, Chicks in Science, for grade- and middle-school-aged girls.…

Third issue of Physics Tracks newsletter

November 29, 2011 • Categories: News

The third issue of the department newsletter Physics Tracks is posted. Stories include:


  • nuclear accelerator construction
  • Garnavich invited to Nobel Prize ceremony
  • galaxies are the ultimate recyclers

Prof. Garg's research work featured in the APS journal Physics

November 28, 2011 • Categories: News

A recent paper based on the research work of Prof. Umesh Garg and his collaborators (M. Itoh et al., Phys. Rev. C 84, 054308) was featured in the APS journal Physics with a Viewpoint.

Physics highlights a selection of papers from the Physical Review journals. In consultation with expert scientists, the editors choose these papers for their importance and/or intrinsic interest. To highlight these papers, Physics

Prof. Bennett interview on

November 23, 2011 • Categories: News


Astrophysicist David Bennett was interviewed recently for The article, "Finding extrasolar planets with Einstein's 'useless' method," talks about Prof. Bennett's reseach and how he became interested in the gravitational microlensing method.…

Furdyna invited to organizing committee at annual conference, gives invited talk at international workshop

November 22, 2011 • Categories: News


Professor Jacek Furdyna, the Aurora and Thomas Marquez Chair, was invited to the Organizing Committee of the “56th Annual Conference on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials” held in Scottsdale, Arizona, October 30–November 3, 2011. He took part in organizing the sessions on Magnetic Semiconductors at that conference, and chaired the Session on Ferromagnetic Semiconductor Oxides on November 3.…

Astronomers find that galaxies are the ultimate recyclers

November 18, 2011 • Categories: News


A team of researchers from several universities and institutions including Chris Howk and Nicolas Lehner at Notre Dame has demonstrated how galaxies continue to form stars by recycling vast amounts of hydrogen gas and heavy elements across billions of years. The researchers also identified large masses of previously undetected material surrounding galaxies, and described the large-scale flows of this gas. The results were published in three papers in the Nov. 18 edition of Science

Aprahamian appointed to IOP review panel

November 04, 2011 • Categories: News


Prof. Ani Aprahamian, Freimann Professor in the Department of Physics, has been appointed to an Institute of Physics review panel to examine the health of physics research areas in the United Kingdom. The focus is on the quality, distribution of effort, future potential, and economic impact of the research. All areas of physics research will be evaluated but the first area to review is nuclear physics. The study will review support and progress of physics since the 2005 international review of UK Physics and Astronomy research in the international context. The group is to produce a report in April 2012. Prof. Aprahamian has served on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) global nuclear forum and is presently vice-chair of the National Academy of Science decadal review of nuclear physics.…

Ruchti to serve as NSF program officer

November 02, 2011 • Categories: News


Professor Randal Ruchti accepted an appointment from the National Science Foundation as a program officer with their experimental high energy physics program starting in October 2011. While there, he will be responsible for the university-based high energy physics program across the breadth of experiments in the U.S. and abroad. Prof. Ruchti will also represent NSF at major physics meetings to further the research agenda of the scientific community and the government. Additionally, he will work collaboratively within the NSF offices and directorates to further scientific and technical innovation and to advance the broader impacts of research.…

Physics majors present at Fall Undergraduate Research Fair

October 28, 2011 • Categories: News

The Fall Undergraduate Research Fair was held Thursday, October 27 in the Jordan Hall of Science. Undergraduate students presented posters and learned about research opportunities and internships. The Society of Physics Students (SPS) had an information table in the hall.

Two physics majors presented posters. Sophomore student Grace Meikle presented “Market Analysis of Solar Infrastructure in India,” based on her summer internship at a startup solar power company in Pune India called RelyOn Solar where she worked under the company owner Dr. Gundu Sabde. Junior physics major Patrick McIntyre presented “Applications of Multi-mode Interference in Fibers,” based on research he did this past summer at the University of Central Florida with Dr. Axel Schulzgen.…

Collon appointed to Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada committee

October 27, 2011 • Categories: News


The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), a federal agency which administers funding for university-based research, has appointed Philippe Collon, associate professor of physics, to a three-year term as a committee member of the Scholarships and Fellowships Selection Committee.…

Inspiring local 8th graders

October 26, 2011 • Categories: News



Some 140 eighth graders from Edison Intermediate Center in South Bend visited the Notre Dame campus during fall break to get a taste of college life, especially science study. The annual event is part of the Campus Tours Project, a collaboration among the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Department of Physics, Department of Biological Sciences, South Bend Community School Corporation and the City of South Bend.…

Looking at the sun

October 17, 2011 • Categories: News


On Friday, October 7, the astrophysics research group set up telescopes near the sundial outside of Jordan Hall of Science and invited the public to view the sun. Observers could see not only sun spots, but also had a chance to view through a hydrogen filter that permits viewers to see the prominences and the granular motion on the Sun.…

Installation of new accelerator underway

October 10, 2011 • Categories: News


The University of Notre Dame has begun installation of a new nuclear accelerator in its Nuclear Science Laboratory (NSL), located in the Nieuwland Hall of Science. A huge crane has been set up to facilitate the transport for the accelerator unit to its final position in the center of the NSL

Notre Dame physicists propose solution to constraint satisfaction problems

October 07, 2011 • Categories: News

Maria Ercsey-Ravasz, a postdoctoral associate and Zoltan Toroczkai, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, have proposed an alternative approach to solving difficult constraint satisfaction problems. Their paper, “Optimization hardness as transient chaos in an analog approach to constraint satisfaction,” was published this week in the journal Nature Physics

Notre Dame astrophysicist invited to Nobel Prize Ceremony

October 07, 2011 • Categories: News


Notre Dame astrophysicist Peter Garnavich has been invited to the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden on Dec. 10 when Nobel Laureates Brian Schmidt, Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter will receive the 2011 the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae.…

Furdyna delivers invited address in Minsk, Belarus

September 29, 2011 • Categories: News


Prof. Jacek Furdyna, The Aurora and Thomas Marquez Chair in Information Theory and Computer Technology, has been appointed as member of the Program Committee of the International Conference “Spins and Photonic Beams at Interface” (SPBI ’2011) which was held in Minsk, Belarus, on September 25-27, 2011. The conference commemorated the 100th

Astronomy Night Octobter 3 features refurbished historic Napoleon telescope

September 26, 2011 • Categories: News

The Napoleon Telescope, an antique instrument freshly refurbished and housed in a modern dome atop Nieuwland Science Hall, will focus on the moon and maybe Jupiter during Astronomy Night, on Oct. 3 from 8-10 p.m. (later in the week in case of clouds or rain). More modern telescopes will be set up in the North Quad. The first 300 students who come early will receive t-shirts and doughnuts, says organizer Peter Garnavich, professor of Physics, who last operated the Napoleon Telescope during a near approach of Mars in 2004.…

Department expands its social networking presence

September 23, 2011 • Categories: News

The Department of Physics has recently expanded its social networking presence by adding a group page to the Linkedin web site. Linkedin boasts itself as being the world's largest professional nelinkedintwork with 120+ million members. Notre Dame phfacebookysics current and former faculty, postdocs, staff and alumni are invited to join--along with anyone else with an interest in the department and its activities.…

Professor Hyder comments on satellite re-entry

September 23, 2011 • Categories: News


Twenty years after its launch into space, one NASA satellite is predicted to make its re-entry into earth’s atmosphere Friday.

NASA reports that there is a one in 3200 chance of this satellite actually hitting someone. With billions of people on earth, it's an extremely slim chance.…

JINA event open to the public on football Saturday

September 14, 2011 • Categories: News

The Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics presents the First JINA Exhibit ND vs. MSU Tailgate. This special event will take place on Saturday, September 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Jordan Hall of Science, North Vestibule.

ND and MSU physicists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics will guide you through hands-on activities including smashing atomic nuclei and seeing messages from exploding stars.…

Annual physics majors pizza party

September 07, 2011 • Categories: News

The annual physics majors pizza party is scheduled for Wednesday, September 14. The event will take place at the Nieuwland Science Hall Observatory from 5-7:00 p.m. No reservations are needed. All undergraduate physics majors and physics faculty are encouraged to attend.…

August Physics Tracks newsletter available

August 29, 2011 • Categories: News

The August issue of Physics Tracks is now available. This issue include articles on:


  • Physics REU celebrates 25 years
  • NISMEC trains teachers in guided inquiry
  • iCenSA collaboration results reveal new brain information

NDeRC teacher named 2011-12 Jacobs Educator

August 26, 2011 • Categories: News


John Gensic, a Notre Dame extended Research Community (NDeRC) K-12 Lead Teacher, has been named a 2011-12 Jacobs Educator by the Indiana University School of Education

Notre Dame astrophysicists identify missing fuel for Galactic star formation

August 25, 2011 • Categories: News


The Milky Way will have the fuel to continue forming stars, thanks to massive clouds of ionized gas raining down from its halo and intergalactic space. This is the conclusion of a new study by Nicolas Lehner and Christopher Howk, faculty in the Department of Physics at the University of Notre Dame. Their report, “A Reservoir of Ionized Gas in the Galactic Halo to Sustain Star Formation in the Milky Way,” will be published in Science

Physics t-shirts available

August 24, 2011 • Categories: News

Notre Dame Physics t-shirts are now available in the department office for only $10 each. Golf-style short and long-sleeve shirts and hooded sweatshirts are also available. Email to for more information.