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Aprahamian elected chair of APS Division of Nuclear Physics and chair of Physics Today committee

December 23, 2014 • Categories: News



Ani Aprahamian, the Frank M. Freimann Professor of Physics at the University of Notre Dame, has been elected to chair of the American Physical Society’s Division of Nuclear Physics for 2014-2015. The Division of Nuclear Physics, founded in 1966, involves scientists and educators who focus on understanding nuclei, the first moments of the universe, the origin of the elements, and the potential application of nuclei and nuclear techniques for social benefit. It is one of 14 divisions in the American Physical Society.…

Morten Eskildsen named a Fellow for the American Physical Society

December 12, 2014 • Categories: News

Morten Eskildsen

The American Physical Society (APS) recently announced that Morten Eskildsen, professor of physics, was elected as a Fellow for the society’s Division of Condensed Matter Physics. Eskildsen is one of 32 condensed matter physicists elected as Fellows this year and was selected from more than 6,000 physicists studying the field in the United States.  He was nominated for his insightful studies of the vortex lattice in conventional and unconventional type-II superconductors.

Notre Dame brings Masterclass to John Adams High School

December 11, 2014 • Categories: News

John Adams High School

A Masterclass collaboration between the Department of Physics and John Adams High School in South Bend has accelerated student interest in physics – nearly 50 students signed up for astronomy teacher Daniel Walsh’s class this year, up from 11 in last year’s class when the program first started at John Adams.


Notre Dame hosts European Nuclear Science and Society Symposium in London

December 09, 2014 • Categories: News

Notre Dame London Global Gateway

The Department of Physics at the University of Notre Dame recently hosted the first annual Notre Dame Europe Symposium on Nuclear Science and Society on October 27-29 at the Notre Dame London Global Gateway.  Sponsored by Notre Dame International and organized by physics professors Ani Aprahamian, Umesh Garg, and Michael Wiescher, the symposium attracted more than 50 scientists representing more than 20 institutions across Europe. Over the three day symposium, the talks focused on the applications of nuclear science in the healthcare and energy, especially the research work currently underway in the United Kingdom.

Notre Dame physicists educate and inspire using CERN data

December 03, 2014 • Categories: News


Researchers and educators around the world now have access to data that CERN has recently made public from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment — considered to be one of the largest international scientific collaborations in history. Two programs managed at the University of Notre Dame, QuarkNet and I2U2, have played important roles in developing tools and programs for the early use of this data that could address some of the most fundamental questions about the origin and composition of the universe.

University of Notre Dame astrophysicist to present Christmas Star lecture

November 24, 2014 • Categories: News

Christmas star lecture

University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Grant Mathews will give three presentations of his popular program titled “What and When was the Christmas Star?” in the Digital Visualization Theater of Notre Dame’s Jordan Hall of Science.

Innovations in capturing starlight will help astrophysicists detect planets

November 14, 2014 • Categories: News

Justin Crepp

Justin Crepp, the Freimann Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Notre Dame, has published a study Thursday (Nov. 13) in the journal Science that details how next-generation planet-hunting instruments will benefit from advancements in infrared technology that change how astronomers capture starlight.

New paper explains methods that may lead to new insights about dark matter

November 13, 2014 • Categories: News

Illustration of dark matter falling into a neutron star, forming a black hole and radiating out (Courtesy of NASA)

A new paper, co-authored by University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Joseph Bramante, discusses how detecting imploding pulsars may lead to insights about the properties of dark matter. The paper, “Detecting Dark Matter with Imploding Pulsars in the Galactic Center,” was recently published in Physical Review Letters, the flagship journal for the American Physical Society.

Pulsars, or pulsating stars, are rotating neutron stars that emit pulses of light visible to astronomers on Earth. Pulsars are created from the collapsing cores of supermassive stars that have exploded into supernovae. These supermassive stars, 10 to 40 times the mass of the sun, have been found at the center of the galaxy, leading astronomers to predict a certain number of pulsars should also reside there, but that predicted number of pulsars has not yet been observed.

Notre Dame physicist among 2015 Breakthrough Prize winners

November 12, 2014 • Categories: News

Peter Garnavich

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2015 Breakthrough Prizes in Fundamental Physics and Life Sciences. The foundation awards $36 million in prizes to the world’s top scientists, including the High-Z Supernova Search Team, of which Peter Garnavich, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, is a member.

Notre Dame network physicists create model to predict traffic patterns

November 10, 2014 • Categories: News

Zoltán Toroczkai

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have designed a simple, yet highly accurate traffic prediction model for roadway transportation networks. They have recently published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

“Transportation networks and in particular the highway transportation network are like the body’s circulatory system for the nation,” says Zoltán Toroczkai, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, who co-authored the study with physics graduate student Yihui Ren and national and international collaborators.

Army veteran Luis Morales honored by NSF in Washington, D.C.

November 06, 2014 • Categories: News

Luis Morales

Physics graduate student and U.S. Army veteran Luis Morales is one of 11 military veterans who was honored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with Graduate Research Fellowships on November 5, 2014 in Washington, D.C. During the official visit to the NSF headquarters, the group was recognized with a formal ceremony highlighting veterans and their contributions science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The 11 fellows will also participate in a poster session to discuss their research and personal motivations in pursuing graduate school in their field of interest.

Understanding the galactic context of mankind

October 31, 2014 • Categories: News

Justin Crepp

Justin Crepp, the Frank M. Freimann Assistant Professor of Physics, has published an article, “Understanding the galactic context of mankind” on the website Science 2034.  Science 2034 is an initiative from The Science Coalition that asks scientists, policy makers, and thought leaders to share what they think science will do for individuals, society and the world 20 years from now.

Physics students to present research at Fall Undergraduate Research Fair

October 30, 2014 • Categories: News

The 2014 Fall Undergraduate Research Fair will be held on Thursday, October 30 in the Jordan Hall of Science. Events start at 6 pm, and twelve physics majors will be presenting posters in the Jordan Hall Galleria area starting at 7 pm. Representatives from organizations providing, promoting, and supporting undergraduate research opportunities will also be present.…

Astronomy Star Party Tuesday, October 28

October 28, 2014 • Categories: News

Join the Department of Physics for the annual Astro Star Party! Telescopes will be available for you to gaze at the beautiful night sky with astrophysicists at the Fieldhouse Mall, right next to the Clarke Memorial Fountain (Stonehenge). Free t-shirts and donuts will be provided to the first 400 attendees. …

Hildreth appointed to National Science Foundation Advisory Committee on Cyber-Infrastructure

October 15, 2014 • Categories: News


Michael Hildreth, professor of physics, recently accepted a three-year term to serve on the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee on Cyber-Infrastructure. The committee advises the National Science Foundation on matters related to vision and strategy regarding solutions to problems of efficiently connecting laboratories, data, computers, and people, with the goal of better enabling computational and data-enabled science and engineering. His term with the committee will begin Spring 2015.

Notre Dame faculty share research discoveries on NPR's 'Science Friday'

October 13, 2014 • Categories: News

"Science Friday"

Three University of Notre Dame faculty in the College of Science will speak about their research at 7 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 15) in the Leighton Concert Hall at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. They will appear on the national radio show “Science Friday” to be broadcast on National Public Radio stations across the country.

Notre Dame professor's star discovery may help answer big questions

October 02, 2014 • Categories: News

Professor Tim Beers is part of a team that has found a rare star that may help explain the origins of the universe, giving us clues about what happened just after the Big Bang. It's the first of its kind seen in our galaxy.

WSBT Video:

Science Week events

October 01, 2014 • Categories: News


October 6-10 is being recognized as Science Week at the University of Notre Dame, as the College of Science celebrates its 150 year anniversary. There are special events and lectures the entire week. For a full schedule go to Science Week Events.

Peng named editor for Biophysical Journal

September 19, 2014 • Categories: News

Jeffrey Peng

Jeffrey Peng, associate professor for chemistry and biochemistry and concurrent associate professor of physics was recently selected to serve a three-year term on the editorial board of Biophysical Journal beginning July 1, 2015.


Notre Dame celebrates 150 years of science

September 10, 2014 • Categories: News


The University of Notre Dame’s College of Science will celebrate 150 years of science at Notre Dame beginning this month through September 2015. The college will host numerous events throughout the year in collaboration with the local community and national sponsors.

The Center for History will offer a year-long exhibit, “From Astrophysics to Zebrafish: 150 Years of Science at Notre Dame.” Focusing on Notre Dame’s history of scientific research and education, the exhibit includes artifacts of early scientific lab equipment, fossils and photographs of legendary Notre Dame scientists and their discoveries. The exhibit is open to the public through Aug. 2, 2015. Admission is charged.

Fighting to Explore Our Universe: Prof. Justin Crepp

September 05, 2014 • Categories: News


What Would You Fight For?
Fighting to Explore Our Universe

The work of Notre Dame astrophysicist Justin Crepp could lead to the discovery of worlds similar to our own and revolutionize our understanding of the universe.

For centuries, humankind has looked to the night sky in awe and wondered, “Are we alone?” The research of Justin Crepp, the Freimann Assistant Professor of Physics

Crepp joins NASA’s TESS science team

September 04, 2014 • Categories: News


NASA has named University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Justin Crepp as a member of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) science team. A space mission coordinated through MIT, Harvard, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, TESS will discover thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest stars in the sky.…

Notre Dame physicist receives $4.3 million NSF award for work at CERN

September 03, 2014 • Categories: News


University of Notre Dame Professor of Physics Mitchell Wayne of the High Energy Physics group has received a $4.3 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support work on the Phase I upgrade of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector at the Large Hadron Collider

Science dean Crawford appointed associate provost and VP

September 02, 2014 • Categories: News

Greg Crawford

Gregory P. Crawford, William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science and professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed associate provost and vice president of the University, effective July 1, 2015.

Crawford will begin laying the groundwork for his new position but continue as dean this academic year, during which time the University will conduct an international search for a successor.

Astronomers discover chemical signature of first-generation very massive stars

August 21, 2014 • Categories: News

An optical image of the star SDSS J0018-0939, obtained by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (Credit: SDSS/NAOJ)

A team of international astronomers has discovered a low-mass star that exhibits the peculiar chemical abundance ratios associated with the process of creating new atomic nuclei (nucleosynthesis) in a first-generation very-massive star. The team, which includes Timothy Beers, the Notre Dame Chair in Astrophysics at the University of Notre Dame, used the 8.2 m Subaru Telescope’s High Dispersion Spectrograph to make the discovery. The team members published a report, “A chemical signature of first-generation very-massive stars,” in the Aug. 22 issue of the journal Science.

Caprio named 2014-15 Kaneb Faculty Fellow

August 06, 2014 • Categories: News


Prof. Mark Caprio has been named a 2014-15 Kaneb Faculty Fellow. Each year, the Kaneb Center names faculty fellows in recognition of their records of teaching excellence. Kaneb Faculty Fellows share their teaching abilities and experiences through workshops, discussion groups, research, and individual consultation.…

REU students compete in the Physics Olympics

July 31, 2014 • Categories: News


On July 24, the Department of Physics and Notre Dame’s Physics Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program hosted the annual Physics Olympics in the Jordan Hall of Science. REU students from Michigan State, Purdue, and Notre Dame participated in the challenges. The Physics Olympics allows the REU students from these three universities universities to participate in friendly competition.

Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium

July 29, 2014 • Categories: News

The Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS) will be held on Friday, August 1, 2014 in the Jordan Hall of Science from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Tentative 2014 Schedule

Oral Presentations: Rooms 105 and 322
Poster Presentations: Galleria…

Sensing Our World teaches students about energy conservation and transformation

July 15, 2014 • Categories: News

Sensing Our World 2014

Sensing Our World, a summer program for middle school students led by Gordon Berry, emeritus professor of physics, was held in the Jordan Hall of Science last week. The program encourages experimentation in science, mathematics, and technology through hands-on activities. This year the program focused on the conservation and transformation of energy.  Throughout the week, the students visited the Notre Dame's power station, the wind turbines, the Museum of Biodiversity, the Snite Museum of Art, and the Digital Visualization Theater.

Physics faculty promotions

July 01, 2014 • Categories: News

The Department of Physics congratulations the following faculty on their promotions effective July 1, 2014:

  • Morten Eskildsen to Professor
  • Kevin Lannon to Associate Professor
  • Wanpeng Tan to Research Associate Professor