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Visiting French student studies circumgalactic medium with Notre Dame astrophysicists

August 17, 2011 • Categories: News


Julie Bourguet, a master's candidate at the Université Paris Diderot, is spending the summer at Notre Dame in an internship with Nicolas Lehner, research assistant professor in the Department of Physics.

Lehner's current project concerns the properties and evolution of the circumgalactic medium, the gas which surrounds galaxies and is used in the formation of stars. The timeline for gas consumption in star formation is far shorter than the age of the Universe; thus, the fuel must be recycled by processes not yet explained through observation or simulation. Accounting for this is an important goal of modern astrophysics.…

Physics graduate student Katherine Rueff selected for inaugural joint Brazil-U.S. physics workshop: Exploring the Nature of the Evolving Universe

August 10, 2011 • Categories: News




The Sociedade Brasileira de Fisica (SBF) and the American Physical Society (APS) were pleased to announce the launch of the Brazil-U.S. Physics Student Visitation Program this year. Graduate student Kate Rueff is one of this year's recipients.…

Graduate student comments on stewardship science

August 04, 2011 • Categories: News


Physics graduate student Stephanie Lyons was asked by Stewardship Science, the SSGF Magazine (published annually by the Krell Institute for the NNSA Office of Defense Science's Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship program) to comment on what drew her to science and why stewardship is important. Lyons is a recipient of the Graduate Fellowship from the Krell Institute. Lyons says, "To lead the way, scientists should give back to the community through communication and outreach." Find the full article here: A Science Nerd Spreads the Word

NISMEC trains local teachers in guided inquiry

July 25, 2011 • Categories: News


The Northern Indiana Science, Mathematics and Engineering Collaborative (NISMEC) is hosting workshops this summer for local intermediate and high school science teachers, focusing on best-practice approaches to science education and the new Indiana science standards that take place this fall. Led by Notre Dame faculty and the South Bend Community Schools Corporation, NISMEC received two grants totaling more than $600,000 to support the workshops.…

Notre Dame iCeNSA collaboration results reveal new brain information

July 12, 2011 • Categories: News


Research by Maria Ercsey-Ravasz and Zoltan Toroczkai of the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications (iCeNSA) and Department of Physics, in collaboration with a group of neuroanatomists in France, has revealed previously-unknown information about the primate brain.…

Researchers reveal protein dynamics as regulators of cell-division

July 12, 2011 • Categories: News


A collaborative study between the laboratories of Jeff Peng at the University of Notre Dame and Felicia Etzkorn at Virginia Tech has discovered an important element of how Pin1, an enzyme involved in cell division, does its job. Their report, “Stereospecific gating of functional motions in Pin1,” appeared recently in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Prof. Peng is a Concurrent Professor of Physics.…

Furdyna presents plenary lecture at European Conference on the Physics of Magnetism 2011

July 06, 2011 • Categories: News


Department of Physics Professor Jacek Furdyna, the Aurora and Thomas Marquez Professor of Information Theory and Computer Technology, was invited to present a plenary lecture entitled “Exchange Coupling in Magnetic Semiconductor Superlattices and Multilayers” at the European Conference on the Physics of Magnetism 2011, held in Poznan, Poland June 27 to July 1, 2011. The material presented was the collective achievement of Prof. Furdyna and his collaborators J. Leiner, M. Dobrowolska and X. Liu from Notre Dame, Sanghoon Lee and Jae-Ho Chung from Korea University, and Brian Kirby from NIST. Other plenary speakers at the conference included Prof. Peter Gruenberg, 2007 Nobel Prize winner, Hideo Ohno, the discoverers of ferromagnetism in semiconductors, Laurens Molenkamp who presented his seminal work on topological insulators, and other prominent scientists working in the field of magnetism from around the world.…

ND REU program celebrating 25 years

June 23, 2011 • Categories: News


One of the oldest, continually-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs in the country, the Physics REU at the University of Notre Dame is marking its 25th year of National Science Foundation funding this summer.

Each year, the NSF has provided funding for 12 students from other universities while funds from the College of Science, other programs and individual faculty research grants have supported about eight students from Notre Dame. The REU started as a regional program, drawing students from five nearby states, but now receives students from as far as California, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona. More than 280 undergraduates applied this year for the 12 positions.

Garg elected Vice-Chair of Gordon Research Conference on Nuclear Chemistry

June 21, 2011 • Categories: News


Umesh Garg was elected the Vice Chair of the next Gordon Research Conference on Nuclear Chemistry at the 2011 meeting held during June 12-17, 2011, at the Colby Sawyer College, New London, NH. He will become Chair of the subsequent Conference.

The Gordon Research Conferences provide an international forum for the presentation and discussion of frontier research in the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, and their related technologies. These meetings have been recognized as the world's premier scientific conferences, where leading investigators from around the globe discuss their latest work and future challenges in a uniquely informal, interactive format.…

Former QuarkNet teacher honored as APS Pre-College Teacher of the Year

June 15, 2011 • Categories: News


College Park, Maryland, United States, February 14, 2011--The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) announced today that the 2011 Paul Zitzewitz Excellence in Pre-College Physics Teaching Award winner is Stacy McCormack, a high school physics teacher at Penn High School in Mishawaka, IN. This award is in recognition of contributions to pre-college physics teaching and awardees are chosen for their extraordinary accomplishments in communicating the excitement of physics to their students.…

Astrophysicist Garnavich’s research provides new insights into the evolution of a supernova

June 09, 2011 • Categories: News


University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Peter M. Garnavich and a team of collaborators have used observations from the Hubble Space Telescope to provide new insights into the evolution of a nearby supernova, “SN 1987A," the nearest supernova to the Earth in 300 years.…

Professors Aprahamian and Wiescher give invited talks in Brazil

June 07, 2011 • Categories: News

Professors Ani Aprahamian and Michael Wiescher gave invited talks at the Brazilian Physical Society's 45th anniversary celebrations. The meeting took place in Iguassu Falls, Brazil at a joint meeting of the Brazilian societies of Plasma, Materials and Condensed Matter, Particles and Fields, Nuclear, and Applied Physics. The meeting was attended by nearly 3,000 physicists including a number of Nobel laureates from all over the world.…

Mather receives Honorary Degree

May 26, 2011 • Categories: News

John Mather

Twelve distinguished figures in education, philanthropy, science, human rights, aerospace, the Catholic Church, business and athletics joined principal speaker Robert M. Gates

Herman recipient of inaugural Gradaute School award

May 25, 2011 • Categories: News



Shari Herman of Physics has been selected to receive the 2011 Graduate Administrative Assistant Award. In making the announcement, Sterling emphasized that, “the selection panel was impressed with the excellence of Shari’s achievements in all aspects of Physics graduate students’ experience. We learned that Shari is involved in such diverse activities as helping to design and produce a recruiting poster; building a data base for Physics’ 500 Ph.D. alumni/ae; and organizing a Thanksgiving Day celebration for international students to teach them about American culture.”…

Astronomer Bennett's team discovers new class of planets

May 23, 2011 • Categories: News


University of Notre Dame astronomer David Bennett is co-author of a new paper describing the discovery of a new class of planets — dark, isolated Jupiter-mass bodies floating alone in space, far from any host star. Bennett and the team of astronomers involved in the discovery believe that the planets were most likely ejected from developing planetary systems.…

New issue of Physics Tracks newsletter released

May 20, 2011 • Categories: News



Physics Tracks, May 2011 issue is complete. This issue features:



  • Information on the 2011 Ph.D. and undergraduates
  • 2011 departmental award winners
  • Physics faculty teaching award recipients

2011 graduate student award winners announced

May 17, 2011 • Categories: News

The Department of Physics has announced the recipients of the 2011 graduate student awards.

The 2011 Physics Research and Dissertation Award recipient is Xinghai Zhao. His advisor is Prof. Grant Mathews. The title of his dissertation is “Cosmic Expansion in Inhomogeneous Cosmologies and the Formation of Local-group Like Systems.”…

Faculty promotions and reappointments announced

May 17, 2011 • Categories: News

The University of Notre Dame has announced the following promotions and reappointments for Department of Physics faculty effective for the 2011-2012 academic year:

  • Prof. Colin P. Jessop has been promoted to Professor. Professor Jessop joined Notre Dame in 2004, and his research is focused on the search for new physical interactions beyond the standard model of particle physics.

Career conference held for middle school girls

May 05, 2011 • Categories: News







The Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics™ career conference at the University of Notre Dame (EYHND) took place on Saturday, April 30. In its fourteenth year of the event, Notre Dame hosted nearly 300 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade girls from local area schools. The goals of EYH are: (1) to introduce girls to women with STEM careers; (2) to make the girls aware of STEM career opportunities to help them decide how to study these in high school and college; and (3) to provide them with personal contacts with women working in a wide variety of occupations.…

2011 undergraduate award winners announced

May 02, 2011 • Categories: News



The Department of Physics has announced the recipients of the 2011 undergraduate awards.

The Outstanding Physics Major Award winners are Nicholas J. Mancinelli and Kimberly J. Schlesinger. Recipients of this award are selected based on a number of criteria including academic performance, contributions to the major, and potential for future success. It is the highest honor the department can award a graduate.…

Physics alumnus receives Fellowship from Woodrow Wilson Foundation

April 29, 2011 • Categories: News


Marcus Hedahl, who graduated from Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1995, has won a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Hedahl, a doctoral candidate in philosophy at Georgetown University, is one of 21 Fellows selected from 585 applicants. His dissertation, Owing It to Us: Duties Directed to One’s Own, deals with the duties that individuals owe to groups of which they are a member.…

2011 Sakurai Prize co-winner to deliver special lecture

April 21, 2011 • Categories: News


On Friday, May 6 at 7 pm in DeBartolo Hall (Room 101) Chris Quigg will deliver a special talk, "The Coming Revolutions in Particle Physics: The Large Hadron Collider Is Here...Physics Will Never Be the Same." Dr. Quigg is a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratoy.…

Astrophysicist Peter Garnavich featured in Notre Dame Magazine

April 13, 2011 • Categories: News


Astrophysicist Peter Garnavich and research at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is featured in the Spring 2011 issue of Notre Dame Magazine. The article, Wonder of Wonders, was written by Jay Walljasper after he interviewed Prof. Garnavich at the LBT in Arizona.…

Professors Ruggiero and Tanner win nanotechnology prize

March 30, 2011 • Categories: News


The inaugural Nanotechnology New Ventures Competition was held on the campus of Purdue University on Friday, March 25.

LightSprite, led by Notre Dame physics professors Steven Ruggiero and Carol Tanner, finished second and received $15,000.

Ruggiero and Tanner launched LightSprite for creating a platform designed to characterize nanoparticles and pathogens, a process that has environmental applications in invasive species detection as well as monitoring geometrical characteristics of proteins.…

Kolda Receives the 2011 Shilts/Leonard Teaching Award

March 25, 2011 • Categories: News


Professor Christopher Kolda is the 2011 Shilts/Leonard Award recipient. The Shilts/Leonard award is the premier teaching award within the College of Science.

Prof. Kolda is a theoretical high energy physicist who joined the university in 2000. He has served on a lengthy list of committees for the department, college, and the university including a current appointment as a Provost’s Fellow.…

LBT Director Richard Green to present lecture on March 29

March 08, 2011 • Categories: News


The Large Binocular Telescope is a marvel of precision engineering with massive scale. With its two 8.4 meter (27.6 foot) diameter primary mirrors on a common mount, it is the largest optical telescope in the world.

The primary mirrors are actively controlled at a slow rate to maintain their perfect figures, while the secondary mirrors change shape 1000 times a second to compensate for the blur of the atmosphere. The instrument complement includes pairs of optimized 36 megapixel CCD cameras, high-throughput optical spectographs, and unique multi-object infrared spectographs.…

New spectrometer installed in Nuclear Structure Laboratory

March 02, 2011 • Categories: News


Through the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA), Professor Michael Wiescher leads an active research program in Nuclear Astrophysics within Notre Dame’s Nuclear Science Laboratory (NSL). The goal of this research is to better understand the nuclear reactions responsible for energy production and the creation of elements in stars. The study of these nuclear reactions at stellar energies is hindered by very low count rates and high background levels.…

Jankó research featured on two journal covers

February 17, 2011 • Categories: News


A paper on fluorescence imaging titled, “Understanding fluorescence blinking is the first path to an imaging solution,” by Boldizsár Jankó’s theory group in the Department of Physics and Ken Kuno’s experimentalist group in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is the cover story of Laser Focus World

Research of Profs. Tanner and Ruggiero featured

February 14, 2011 • Categories: News


Notre Dame physicists are working on a laser transmission spectroscopy tool that will be able to detect the presence of nanoparticles in suspension, as well as determine the type and number of the nanoparticles. The tool can detect particles so tiny and diffuse that they cannot be seen with any existing technology, and it extends to a range many orders of magnitude below what has previously been achieved. No technology in existence can provide the size and shape of such things as viruses in suspension, making the tool truly groundbreaking in its performance.…

Berry named Outstanding Referee by APS

February 10, 2011 • Categories: News


Professor H. Gordon Berry has been named as an Outstanding Referee by the American Physical Society for 2011. The American Physical Society initiated the highly selective award program in 2008 to recognize scientists who have been exceptionally helpful in assessing manuscripts for publication in the APS journals. The selection of Outstanding Referees was made based on over two decades of database records on over 50,000 referees (some no longer in active service) who have been called upon to review manuscripts, of which over 35,000 were submitted in 2010. The basis for selection was the quality, number and timeliness of their reports, without regard for membership in the APS, country of origin, or field of research. This year 144 Outstanding Referees received this honor.…