Physicist Marchetti Named to Commission on Statistical Physics

M. Cristina Marchetti

December 19, 2017

Distinguished Professor M. Cristina Marchetti has been elected to the Commission on Statistical Physics as part of a select group of international scientists.

The Commission on Statistical Physics (C3) was established by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) in 1945 to promote the exchange of information and views among the members of the international scientific community in the general field of statistical physics. For details, please visit SU News

Physics Alumnus Wins Major Dissertation Award

Nathan Jurik G'16 (Photo by Gordon Watts)

November 27, 2017
An alumnus of the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is being recognized by the American Physical Society (APS).

Nathan Jurik G’16, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Oxford (U.K.), is the 2018 recipient of the Mitsuyoshi Tanaka Dissertation Award in Experimental Particle Physics. One of APS’ highest honors, the award acknowledges Jurik’s original work with a rare class of subatomic particles called pentaquarks. Such research became the basis for his Ph.D. thesis in the Department of Physics in A&S.

Each year, APS grants 15 dissertation awards. Jurik’s comes with a $1,500 prize; a certificate; and a travel reimbursement up to $1,000 to attend the 2018 APS April Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, where he is invited to speak. For more information, please visit A&S News

Physics Ph.D. Student Builds Successful Research Company

November 21, 2017

Aaron Wolfe expects to finish up his Ph.D. in physics this semester. He has been working on his doctorate since 2011 and should have been done by now, he says, but a few things have gotten in the way—like helping to run a company, Ichor Therapeutics, of which he is chief operating officer.

“I have always wanted to run a biotech company,” Wolfe says. And in fact, he co-founded a company once before. This was after he got his bachelor’s degree at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in biotechnology and completed coursework in finance and entrepreneurism at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. His company brought a product to market, but like most startups, it failed, and he moved on. For more information, please visit SU News

Physicist Seeks Big Answers from Tiny Particles

Mitch Soderberg

November 20, 2017

A large National Science Foundation (NSF) grant allows Mitchell Soderberg, associate professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, to lead a team researching particle physics in the ongoing quest to explain how the universe works.

Soderberg’s research involves measuring how neutrinos–subatomic particles with no electric charge–change from one type to another. The experiments he is involved with are central to moving the understanding of physics beyond the Standard Model–the 1970s theory of fundamental particles and how they interact.

The three-year $858,000 award funds work on experimental particle physics in Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers (LArTPC) technology, and continues Soderberg and his group members’ involvement on several experiments, including the MicroBooNE experiment at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) near Chicago. The technology can record three-dimensional images of particle trajectories. For more information, please visit SU News

American Physical Society to Honor Professor Lisa Manning

Lisa Manning

October 23, 2017

A professor in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is receiving a major early-career award from the American Physical Society (APS).    

Lisa Manning, associate professor of physics, is the 2018 recipient of the APS' Maria Goeppert Mayer Award. This national award, granted to a woman physicist every year, comes with $2,500 cash award plus additional funds for lectures at up to four institutions.

Manning will accept the award at the APS March Meeting in Los Angeles, where she also will give an invited talk.

“Lisa Manning is one of our department’s rising stars,” says Alan Middleton, professor and chair of physics, and associate dean for research and scholarship in A&S. “Her research achievements in the field of soft and living matter, combined with innovative teaching, mentoring and leadership, have earned her international recognition from the scientific community and high respect from colleagues and students.” For more information about Prof. Manning's award, please visit the Arts and Sciences News page

Duncan Brown Named to Internet2 Board of Trustees

Duncan Brown

October 20, 2017

Duncan Brown, the Charles Brightman Endowed Professor of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named to the Internet2 Board of Trustees. His three-year term will begin Nov. 1.

A Syracuse faculty member since 2007, Brown has distinguished himself in the fields of gravitational-wave astronomy and astrophysics. As co-leader of the University’s Gravitational-Wave Astronomy Group, he works primarily at the nexus of physics, astronomy and computing. Brown’s contributions to LIGO’s Nobel Prize-winning data have helped open a new window onto physics, astronomy and cosmology, while reframing fundamental questions about the origins and evolution of the universe. Recently, his team contributed to a major discovery: witnessing the collision of two neutron stars in deep space and the resulting afterglow that signified the process of gold being created. For more details, visit SU News

Yale Physicist to Deliver 10th Annual Wali Lecture Oct. 26

Priyamvada Natarajan

October 19, 2017

The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) will celebrate the 10th anniversary of one of its premier lecture series with a program by a renowned theoretical astrophysicist.

Priyamvada Natarajan, professor of astronomy and physics at Yale University, will deliver this year’s Kameshwar C. Wali Lecture in the Sciences and Humanities in A&S. Her presentation, “Mapping the Heavens: How Radical Ideas Have Transformed Our Cosmic View,” will be on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 4 p.m. in Shemin Auditorium in the Shaffer Art Building.

The lecture is free and open to the public, and coincides with Wali’s 90th birthday. For more information, contact the Department of Physics at 315.443.3901. For more information about the lecture, please visit Arts and Sciences News

Syracuse Physicists Usher in a New Golden Age of Astronomy

October 16, 2017

Syracuse University physicists are among a global team of scientists to make a revolutionary discovery confirming the origins of gold and other heavy metals whose presence in the universe has been a long-standing mystery.

On Aug. 17, just days before the total solar eclipse would mesmerize the country, the Syracuse team witnessed the telltale celestial event: the gravitational waves from the collision of two massive neutron stars in deep space—and the resulting afterglow that signified the process of gold being created from the cosmic smash-up.

The transformative discovery marks the first detection of colliding neutron stars by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory (LIGO) and the Virgo gravitational-wave detectors. Even more remarkable, it was the first time scientists were able to see the light from the collision with powerful telescopes that probe the farthest reaches of the universe. The public announcement today corroborates rumors and speculation about such a possible sighting that began swirling through cyberspace within days after the Aug. 17 event. Please visit SU News for more information.

Physicists at Forefront of Multinational Experiment

Prof. Sheldon Stone

October 16, 2017
Physicists in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) continue to make inroads on the world stage.

The High-Energy Physics (HEP) group in the Department of Physics recently hosted the 85th Large Hardon Collider beauty (LHCb) Week in Lake Placid, New York. The purpose of the quarterly meeting—occurring three times a year at the CERN physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, and once a year elsewhere in the world—is to share information about the ongoing LHCb experiment. For more information about the project, visit Arts and Sciences News

Professor Duncan Brown Explains Latest Breakthrough Discovery

October 16, 2017

Syracuse University physicists are among a team of collaborators who have made another scientific breakthrough discovery, looking deep into the heavens to find the origins of precious metals. Watch Duncan Brown, the Charles Brightman Endowed Professor of Physics, discuss their latest findings.

Four Questions for Astronaut Scholar Jordan Barrett

Jordan Barrett

October 3, 2017
From an academic standpoint, 2017 has been a very good year for Jordan Barrett ’18. Barrett is a senior physics and mathematics major in the College of Arts and Sciences and a participant in the Renée Crown University Honors Program. In May, he was one of two Syracuse University Students to be honored with a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship (Maizy Ludden is the other, and a third student, Ismael Gonzalez, received honorable mention). In June, Barrett was named a recipient of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation award. And just last month, he attended a gala event in Washington, D.C., for Astronaut Scholars nationwide. He recently had a few free moments to answer four questions from Syracuse University News.

STEM Curious Properties

September 13, 2017

Editor’s Note: The following piece was prepared for the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The article highlights three members of Syracuse’s Department of Physics: Mark Bowick, the Joel Dorman Steele Professor of Physics, as well as a visiting scientist and deputy director at KITP; Cristina Marchetti, the William R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Physics and a KITP general member; and Suraj Shankar, a Ph.D. student and KITP Graduate Fellow. 

A murmuration of starlings. The phrase reads like something from literature or the title of an arthouse film. In fact, it is meant to describe the phenomenon that results when hundreds, sometimes thousands, of these birds fly in swooping, intricately coordinated patterns through the sky.

Or in more technical terms, flocking.

For more on this article, please click here

Featured Media Coverage

August 28, 2017

Duncan Brown, the Charles Brightman Professor of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in a Quanta Magazine story titled “For Astronomers, Neutron Star Merger Could Eclipse Eclipse.”

Syracuse Revels in Mega-Science Experiment to Study Neutrinos

Image courtesy of GiroScience/Shutterstock Inc.

July 24, 2017

Physicists in the College of Arts and Sciences are helping usher in a new era of research.

On Friday, July 21, two members of the Department of Physics—Associate Professor Mitchell Soderberg and Assistant Professor Denver Whittington—joined dignitaries, as well as other scientists and engineers from around the world, for a special groundbreaking ceremony at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota.

Both professors are part of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). The project will occupy the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF), whose construction is officially underway at SURF. When complete, LBNF/DUNE will be the nation’s largest experiment devoted to the study of neutrino properties. For more information on this groundbraking story, visit the A&S News page

Jordan Barrett, Astronaut Scholar

Jordan Barrett

June 26, 2017

An undergraduate in the College of Arts and Sciences is now one of only 17 Syracuse University students who can call themselves an Astronaut Scholar.

Jordan Barrett 18, a rising senior studying physics and mathematics, has just been named a 2017-2018 recipient of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation’s (ASF) award.

Syracuse Alumnus Instrumental in LIGO’s Third Detection of Gravitational Waves

Alex Nitz

June 6, 2017

An alumnus of the College of Arts and Sciences has been instrumental in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)’s third detection of gravitational waves, demonstrating that a new window onto astronomy is fully open.

Alex Nitz G’15, who earned a Ph.D. in physics, helped detect the signal on Jan. 4, 2017, using a software package he began developing at Syracuse. As was the case with LIGO’s first two detections, the wave in question came from the merger of two black holes, resulting in the formation of a single larger black hole.

Nitz is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Albert Einstein Institute in Hannover, Germany. From 2010-15, he was a member of Syracuse’s Gravitational-Wave Research Group, part of the worldwide LIGO Scientific Collaboration. Read more at SU News

Physics Student Named Kavli Graduate Fellow

Suraj Shankar

June 5, 2017
A student in the College of Arts and Sciences is the winner of a graduate fellowship to the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Suraj Shankar is second person in Syracuse history to win prestigious fellowship. Suraj Shankar, a Ph.D. candidate in Syracuse’s Department of Physics, will use the prestigious, six-month fellowship to study theoretical soft condensed matter, starting in July. Boris Shraiman, a world-renowned theoretical physicist and permanent member of the KITP scientific staff, will be his mentor. To read more, visit A&S News

Phil Arnold 's artwork to be featured in the 'On My Own Time' exhibition at the Everson Museum

June 2, 2017

This year, the On My Own Time exhibition featured artwork from nearly 40 faculty and staff members ranging from paintings, ceramics, drawings, sculptures, photography, collage/assemblage, fiber art, glasswork, computer art, metalwork and mixed media. Members of the University community voted from April 28-May 17 for a favorite piece of art and a panel of professional artists assembled by CNY Arts served as judges for the works to be featured at the Everson Museum.

The selected artwork that will be featured in a public exhibition at the Everson Museum this fall includes our very own Phil Arnold's. To read more please visit SU News by clicking here

Jordan Barrett Named Goldwater Scholar

Jordan Barrett

May 1, 2017
Jordan Barrett, a junior physics and mathematics major in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Maizy Ludden, a sophomore majoring in biology in the College of Arts and Sciences and geography in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School, have been named 2017 Goldwater Scholars. For more on Jordan's recognition, please visit SU News.

Syracuse Physicist to Discuss Black Holes April 8

Prof. Paul Souder

April 8, 2017

Tickets on sale for Paul Souder lecture, benefiting Southern Cayuga Planetarium and Observatory

The intriguing and fascinating world of black holes is the subject of a lecture by nuclear physicist Paul Souder, benefitting the Southern Cayuga Planetarium and Observatory in Aurora, New York.  

Souder, a professor of physics at Syracuse University, will deliver a multimedia presentation titled “Why Black Holes Matter” on Saturday, April 8, at 11 a.m. at the historic Aurora Inn (391 Main St., Aurora) on Cayuga Lake. He will provide an overview of black holes, as well as share some recent findings, including the discovery of a rare, medium-weight black hole.

The event is open to the public; however, registration is required. Tickets are $45, and include the lecture, lunch and a silent auction. To register, please call 315.685.7163, or send a check, payable to “Friends of the Southern Cayuga Planetarium,” to P.O. Box 186, Aurora NY 13026. Seating is limited; tickets also are available at the door, while supplies last. For more information, please visit A&S News

AAPT Highlights Syracuse University Physics Lab Manager Sam Sampere

Sam Sampere

March 1, 2017
I was hired by Syracuse University in 1993, to fill the Lab Manager position,  responsible for both introductory labs and lecture demonstrations, vacated by two retirees (yes, one “newbie” to replace two people). Two retired high school teachers were attempting to introduce order into the chaotic demo room, were introduced to me as Fitz and Drenchko. At the time I did not realize just how fortunate I was. Fitz and Drenchko became the most amazing mentors imaginable, and were solely responsible for introducing and encouraging me to join AAPT. To read more on the article, visit the AAPT site

Syracuse Hosts International Masterclass on Particle Physics, March 13, 17

Particle physics owes much of its popularity to the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle thought to be a fundamental building block of the universe. (Courtesy of CERN.)

March 1, 2017
Dozens of local high school students and their teachers will get to be scientists for a day, thanks to the International Masterclass on Particle Physics at Syracuse University.

Students have the option to participate in a daylong Masterclass on Monday, March 13, or Friday, March 17, taking place in the Physics Building. More information at A&S News

Saulson Publishes Second Edition of Textbook on Gravitational Wave Detection Device

Prof. Peter Saulson

February 27, 2017
When a team of scientists confirmed Einstein’s theory about the existence of gravitational waves, including the important work of Syracuse University’s own physicists, there was little doubt that it would be the kind of discovery documented in scholarly textbooks. Now one of the researchers, a faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences, has done just that. Peter Saulson, the Martin A. Pomerantz ’37 Professor of Physics, has produced a second edition of his textbook about the device that helped in wave detection: “Fundamentals of Interferometric Gravitational Wave Detectors.” More details on SU News

Tonight, for Valentine’s Day: Love and Dreams at Holden Observatory

February 14, 2017
Holden Observatory, the second-oldest building on the Syracuse University campus, will open its doors at 9:30 p.m. today for a Valentine’s Day tour. If you’re lucky, if the gray clouds of February roll away for a few hours, you might be able to look through a magnificent 19th-century telescope and catch a glimpse of the rings of Saturn. For more info about the event, please visit SU News

Physicist to be Recognized by National Academy of Sciences

Prof. Peter Saulson

January 26, 2017
Professor Peter Saulson will receive NAS Award for role in LIGO's detection of gravitational waves. For more information, please visit A&S News