Britton Plourde Works to Develop Tools for Quantum Computer

Britton Plourde, right, works with JJ Nelson, a postdoc in his research group, on the vacuum sputter deposition tool in his research lab that is used for growing thin films of superconducting metals.

Britton Plourde, right, works with JJ Nelson, a postdoc in his research group, on the vacuum sputter deposition tool in his research lab that is used for growing thin films of superconducting metals.

January 18, 2018

Britton Plourde, professor in the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, has received a new grant from the National Science Foundation to work on developing tools for building a quantum computer. This is a collaborative project with a group in the Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

“One of the remarkable recent discoveries in information science is that quantum mechanics can lead to efficient solutions for problems that are intractable on conventional classical computers,” Plourde says. “While there has been tremendous recent progress in the realization of small-scale quantum circuits comprising several quantum bits (‘qubits’), research indicates that a fault-tolerant quantum computer that exceeds what is possible on existing classical machines will require a network of thousands or millions of qubits, far beyond current capabilities.” For more about Professor Britton Plourde's project, visit Syracuse University News

Fast Talker

Scotty Ely

Scotty Ely

January 12, 2018

PhD candidate in physics, Scott Ely, was recently awarded top honors for “Lightning Round” talk at the U.S. Large Hadron Collider Users Association Meeting.

he Large Hadron Collider, located on the border of France and Switzerland, is known for its powerful ability to sling particles near the speed of light. Here at Syracuse University, physics Ph.D. candidate Scott Ely is gaining a reputation for slinging scientific concepts almost as fast.

Ely was recently honored at the U.S. Large Hadron Collider Users (US LHC) Association Meeting this past fall for his winning “Lightning Round” talk. During the US LHC meeting, young scientists are given the opportunity to discuss their research in several quick-fire sessions. The presentations, which must be under 10 minutes, cover a wide range of topics from physics analyses to computational developments and hardware improvements. When the smoke cleared, Ely was named among the top presenters at the international conference. For more on this news please visit A&S News

Physicist Marchetti Named to Commission on Statistical Physics

M. Cristina Marchetti

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)

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

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

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

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

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.