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Women lead: Profiles of six pre-eminent faculty members

March 09, 2016 • Categories: News

Women Lead: International Women's Day

The power to lead is the power to transform. Notre Dame is proud to celebrate women whose scholarship and leadership are leaving an indelible imprint on the global community.

Faculty selected as APS Outstanding Referees

March 03, 2016 • Categories: News



Freimann Professor Ani Aprahamian and Professor Stephan Frauendorf have been named Outstanding Referees by the American Physical Society for 2016. 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 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. Like Fellowship in the APS and other organizations, this is a lifetime award. In initiating the program, APS expresses appreciation to all referees, whose efforts in peer review not only keep the standards of the journals at a high level, but in many cases also help authors to improve the quality and readability of their articles—even those that are not published by APS.…

Kolata publishes elementary cosmology textbook

March 02, 2016 • Categories: News


Prof. Jim Kolata has always had an appreciation for the many ways in which the subfields of physics intersect, nowhere more so than in the field of cosmology. Though an experimental nuclear physicist and a long-time leader in Notre Dame’s radioactive beam program, Kolata developed in 1989 a course in elementary cosmology aimed at curious students wanting to understand the current developments in that rapidly advancing field. That course is today a stalwart of the Notre Dame Physics Department’s curriculum, taught to nearly 200 students a year. Kolata has now brought together his notes and insights from teaching that course, combined with the latest news from the field, and published a textbook on the subject. Entitled "Elementary Cosmology: From Aristotle's Universe to the Big Bang and Beyond” and published by the Institute of Physics, the book begins with an introduction to the concept of the scientific method. It then describes the way in which detailed observations of the Universe, first with the naked eye and later with increasingly complex modern instruments, ultimately led to the development of the "Big Bang" theory. Finally, the book traces the evolution of the Big Bang including the very recent observation that the expansion of the Universe is itself accelerating with time.…

Imaging trace element distributions in single organelles and subcellular features

March 02, 2016 • Categories: News

The chemical compositions of organelles within cells, and the relationship of the chemical compositions to the organelle morphologies and functions, are key for understanding biochemical processes in healthy and diseased cells. However, progress in the field has been hampered by limitations of the techniques commonly used for chemical analysis. Macro-analytical techniques analyze a large number of organelles of certain type, so the results represent the average composition of a population of organelles and cannot reveal compositional differences between single organelles. Most relevant micro-analytical techniques lack the required spatial resolution and/or elemental detection sensitivity to measure the chemical compositions of single organelles, including trace elements, with the exception of the nucleus.…

Bringing legendary science faculty to Notre Dame

February 26, 2016 • Categories: News


During the one year anniversary of the death of Fr. Hesburgh, the College of Science recalls and appreciates the impact that he had on science at Notre Dame.
When former Notre Dame President Father John J. Cavanaugh challenged “Where are the Catholic Salks, Oppenheimers, and Einsteins?” in a widely-read essay in the late 1950s, Father Theodore Hesburgh was already in the process of providing an answer. In both direct action, from building facilities to recruiting top scholars, and cultural transformation, from welcoming women students to asserting academic freedom, Hesburgh laid the foundations for the College of Science’s accelerating research, discovery, and mission-driven entrepreneurship in the 21st century. 

Giant gas cloud boomeranging back into Milky Way

January 28, 2016 • Categories: News

This graphic shows the location of the Smith Cloud as seen from Earth, if it were visible

Since astronomers discovered the Smith Cloud, a giant gas cloud plummeting toward the Milky Way, they have been unable to determine its composition, which would hold clues as to its origin. University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Nicolas Lehner and his collaborators have now determined that the cloud contains elements similar to our sun, which means the cloud originated in the Milky Way’s outer edges and not in intergalactic space as some have speculated.

Rebounding galactic cloud discussed in Thursday’s Hubble Hangout; expert available for comment

January 28, 2016 • Categories: News

Hubble Hangout

Thursday (Jan. 28) during a Hubble Hangout, University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Nicolas Lehner will discuss a new study about high velocity clouds around the Milky Way Galaxy that were jettisoned and are falling back in.

Thomson Reuters Names Four Notre Dame Faculty among the Top 1 Percent of Highly Cited Scholars

January 20, 2016 • Categories: News


The Thomson Reuters’ Highly Cited Researchers list identifies the top 1 percent of the almost 9 million scholars and scientists who publish their academic findings every year [accounting for more than 2 million journal papers]. Four Notre Dame faculty members — Bertrand Hochwald and J. Nicholas Laneman from the College of Engineering and Timothy Beers

Physicists offer theories to explain mysterious collision at Large Hadron Collider

January 08, 2016 • Categories: News

Image from CERN of the CMS detector illustrates one of the proton collisions that may have produced a mysterious particle

Physicists around the world were puzzled recently when an unusual bump appeared in the signal of the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, causing them to wonder if it was a new particle previously unknown, or perhaps even two new particles. The collision cannot be explained by the Standard Model, the theoretical foundation of particle physics.

Annual Graduate Physics Students conference a success

January 05, 2016 • Categories: News

GPS poster session

The Graduate Physics Students 2015 Annual Conference was held in December. The first day of the event featured research talks by six students: Chris Seymour, “Commissioning of the St. George Recoil Separator;” Gary Uppal, “A Spatial Model for Bacteria Interaction and Evolution;” Michael Skulski, “Further Exploration of the 33S(α,p)36Cl Reaction Cross Section;” Rodolfo Capedevilla, “A Search for Light Stops in a Gauge Extension of the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model;” Vu Nguyen,  “Inversion of Diffusion on Networks;” and Tyler Anderson, “Measurement Campaign for Astrophysically Relevant 36Cl Production Cross Sections.”…