News and Events

First Result from Jefferson Lab’s Upgraded CEBAF Opens Door to Exploring the Universal Glue

May 3, 2017

Dr. Barry Ritchie and Dr. Mike Dugger built photon polarimeter for CEBAF.

Student awarded: Joshua won APS 4C award

November 14, 2016

Joshua Sadar who works with Dr. Quan Qing won the Outstanding Student Presentations Awards with his talk titled “Bottom-up preparation of nanopore array with self-aligned nanogap electrodes for single biomolecule characterization” at the APS Four Corners Section (Fall 2016 Joint Meeting with the Texas Section). Congratulations, Joshua!

Frank Wilczek (Nobel laureate 2004) to join ASU Physics

Fall 16

Frank Wilczek (Nobel laureate 2004) is joining Arizona State University as a professor in the physics department. Dr. Wilczek will work on a variety of important issues in theoretical physics. He will also be organizing workshops at ASU to gather the best and brightest physicists worldwide to help advance the discipline. “At aminimum I will be giving lectures to advanced students on frontier topics, basically (topics that) I’m working on,” he said. “(I will also) try to involve students at earlier stages in some of the more practical work, where they don’t need as much theoretical background.”

First US citizen to rank in the World Physics Olympiad in Zurich

Fall 16

AAbijith Krishnan, high school senior, has just won a Gold Medal at the 2016 International Physics Olympiad (IPhO 2016) held July 11-17 at the University of Zurich. Abi ranked 16th worldwide and is the first US citizen to rank in the history of the Olympiad. Krishnan is a graduating senior at the Basis High School Scottsdale. He has been conducting materials physics research at Arizona State University in the ASU SiO2 CIMD lab under the supervision of physics professors, Nicole Herbots and Robert Culbertson, since August 2015.

PhD Student Glenn Randall is interviewed by Popular Mechanics magazine to discuss Dark Matter and recent discoveries.

Fall 16

The theory says that very, very rarely, the photon we created won't actually have been a photon at all. We'll have randomly created. A tiny fraction of the time we send electrons into this hydrogen gas, something really remarkable happens. One of our electrons will smash into the nucleus of a hydrogen atom, creating a photon. As that photon flies off toward our detectors, it can randomly decay into a pair of particles, which we then measure. By studying the momentum on that pair of particles, we can tell if anything strange or inexplicable was going on with that short-lived photon, the one we created by smashing into the hydrogen gas.

Cambridge-bound grad values connections with ASU mentors

Fall 16

Aditya Dhumuntarao, a Barrett, the Honors College student who will be graduating in May with dual bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics, has earned top honors in both majors. He earned the top award for an undergraduate in each mathematics and physics — the Charles Wexler Mathematics Prize, and the Outstanding Physics Undergraduate Award. He was recently awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellowship, and is also the recipient of the inaugural Origins Project Undergraduate Research Scholarship.

Service Award - Dr. John Spence

Professor John Spence pictured with President Michael Crow on his 40 years of service to ASU.

CLAS Dean's Medalist - Christie Trimble

Fall 16

Trimble has been a remarkable contributor to the Nanoscience Laboratory. She has conducted research in nanoscale physics and graphene chemistry. Both projects have or will result in publications and presentations at national meetings. Trimble has been recognized with an award at the 2013 spring undergraduate research symposium and won a NASA space grant internship.

Student Teaching Excellence Award - Varda Hagh

Fall 16

Varda Hagh, a graduate student working with Mike Thorpe on jamming and rigidity theory, has been given a GPSA (Graduate and Professional Student Association) Student Teaching Excellence Award. This award is given by GPSA to recognize and promote excellence in graduate student teaching across all disciplines on all ASU campuses. Varda’s teaching is driven by two ideas; stimulating students’ interest in the subject matter by engaging them in the classroom and individualizing their learning experience. She believes in teaching as a performing art form that involves engaging her students. Her students nominated her for creating a comfortable and interactive classroom environment. After her teaching philosophy statement was evaluated by peer reviewers at GPSA, she was selected as a finalist and was observed by two of these reviewers in the classroom. Her reviewers reported her to be “a very clear communicator” with “great style”. She will be recognized as a recipient of this award in an Award Ceremony at the end of April. Mike Thorpe says that Varda is very conscientious in everything, and will complete her Ph.D. in about two years as a research assistant to with NSF support.

2015 American Physical Society - Four Corners Conference Success

Fall 15

The Department of Physics hosted the 2015 - APS 4C conference. The conference was a huge success with the help of faculty, staff, and students we were able to break conference records. Participation broke conference records •450 Attendees + Field Trip/”Guest Pass” Attendees •500 total •13 High School / Community College Teachers •35 Student Volunteers •374 paid registration: 20% non-students 80% students Program increased student and faculty participation •Total abstracts submitted: 319 •Invited abstracts: 51 •266 Contributed abstracts •Number of parallel sessions: 52 •Industrial careers panel, banquet,6 plenary talks, poster session •Most abstracts in APS 4C history

When going small is big news: ASU Professor shrinking down electron-laser technology Dr. William Graves

Fall 15

Free electron lasers — powerful devices that can peer deep into molecular structure and the ultrafast timescales of chemistry — cost billions to build and are miles long, but an Arizona State University professor is constructing a version that can fit on a tabletop. And it will cost a fraction of the price of its larger peers.This compact free electron laser will be accessible to millions of scientists, instead of hundreds, advancing countless fields of research and potentially expanding medical uses. “There’s almost no limit to what it can do,” said William Graves, associate professor in the university’s Physics Department and Biodesign Institute. “These things are brand new; they’ve never existed before. We think it’s really going to revolutionize X-ray science.”Free electron lasers, which use a high-power laser to make X-rays with electrons, have been around for five years, but only a few exist.

Computer Simulation Summer Workshop - Dr. Dmitry Matyushov

Fall 15

Allan Friesen (currently a high-school science teacher) and Dr. Dmitry Matyushov organized a summer school for talented high school students from the Phoenix valley. X youth participated in the workshop. The summer school was supported by the NSF (CHE-1464810), ASU's Center for Biological Physics, and by the Physics department. Three weeks of activities focused on learning how to perform computer simulations of biomolecules and to analyze simulation results. Students learned basics of UNIX, could submit parallel-processor computer jobs of hydrated proteins, and to analyze trajectories by writing their own computer scripts.

Society of Physics Student Activities Membership Grows

Fall 15

During this semester, the SPS chapter has blossomed! The ASU chapter of SPS has not only continued volunteer and outreach activities from the previous year, but also has expanded its members to over 50 students, participated in the second Regional Body Meeting involving physics communities from Arizona and New Mexico, and has created brand new online portals to push the activities of the chapter onward.

ASU Allivates Physics Teacher Shortage, Strengthens STEM Pathway

Fall 15

Seventy high school physics and chemistry teachers enhanced their teaching skills at Arizona State University over the summer. Most teach in Arizona public schools, but several came from other states and four were sent by the Ministry of Education in Singapore.

New Faculty - Christian Dwyer

Fall 15

Dr. Dwyer shares a little about himself and research areas. He is an electron microscopist with a background in scattering and condensed-matter physics.He obtained his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2004, and worked in academic/research institutes in England, Australia and Germany before coming to ASU in August. In his research he uses electron microscopes to understand how materials work at the nanometer and atomic lengths scales. He studies materials such as emerging 2D electronic materials, as well as more traditional materials like alloys and nanoparticles which are important for manufacturing and energy generation. A large part of his research focuses on developing new ways of using electron microscopes to reveal previously-inaccessible information, so that we can ultimately design better materials that are stronger, lighter, or more efficient. His research is intrinsically multidisciplinary, involving methods from theoretical physics, experimental physics, materials science, and applied mathematics.

Professor Krauss elected board chair for Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

Fall 15

ASU and Mayo Clinic collaborate to advance medicine through joint research

Fall 15

Arizona State University, in partnership with Mayo Clinic in Arizona, has announced the recipients of the 2016 ASU-Mayo Seed Grant Program. The program funds critical joint research projects in the health field led by scientists from both ASU and Mayo Clinic. The awardees this year are making innovative strides in the treatment of cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart failure and infectious diseases, as well as advancing nanobody technology and health-care practices. This project is titled " Developing a diamond junction device to improve monitoring of cancer therapy" with co-investigators Dr.Martin Bues, Mayo Clinic assistant professor of radiation oncology, SAC – Radiation Oncology

CLAS Dean's Medalist - James A. Cornelison

James A. Cornelisoin was selected as the Deans Medalist for the Department of Physics. Mr. Cornelison is a military veteran and has committed to being an outstanding undergraduate. As an undergraduate James has been involved in research with Dr. Groppi. James plans to attend graduate school with the intent of acquiring a doctorate degree in Astronomy. His interests include sub-millimeter instrumentation and its uses in the study of interstellar and intergalactic gas and dust

ASU Advanced Computing Center awards computing time to Varda Faghir Hagh.

Varda is a PhD student at Prof. Michael Thorpe’s research group and she works on percolation theory. Recently ASU Advanced Computing Center (A2C2) has generously extended a grant of 70,000 core hours to her to pursue research on rigidity percolation in jammed systems. They have also featured her research in the A2C2 Quarterly newsletter.

Aditya Dhumuntarao receives the first Origins Project Scholarship

Aditya Dhumuntarao, SPS President was the winner of The Origins Project Undergraduate Research Scholarship. These scholarship funds for joint research projects between ASU undergraduates and their faculty mentors consist of a $5,000 research fund for both the student and their mentor, for a total of $10,000 awarded per project.