2014 News

Three faculty members of our department were elected to the 2014 class of Fellows of the American Physical Society

Three faculty members of our department were elected to the 2014 class of Fellows of the American Physical Society.

Eva Halkiadakis is cited for "... her leadership in precision electroweak and top quark measurements at the Tevatron and searches for Supersymmetry at the LHC and for pioneering work in pursuit of new physics in multi-jet final states."

Valery Kiryukhin is cited for "... use of x-ray and neutron scattering to understand multiferroics, colossal magnetoresistance and low-dimensional magnetism."

Scott Thomas is cited for "... contributions to the careful analysis of data from experiments at hadron colliders, to the phenomenology of many theories of physics beyond the Standard Model, and to supersymmetry, inflationary cosmology, and quantum gravity."

(12-16-2014)

Andrew Baker and Bob Bartynski have been elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

The AAAS selects its fellows "based on their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications."

Andrew's citation reads "for extraordinary contributions to scholarship in radio astronomy through innovative design of instrumentation, leadership of international collaborations and dedicated mentoring of students."

Bob's citation is "for seminal studies of electronic states at surfaces and interfaces, made possible by developing novel tools such as Auger Photoelectron Coincidence Spectroscopy and Inverse Photoemission."

You can read more at..

(11-26-2014)

The High-Z Supernova Search Team, of which Saurabh Jha is a member, is one of two collaborations sharing the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

The Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics recognizes major insights into the deepest questions of the Universe.

The prize cites the collaborations' discovery that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, and the winners will share a $3,000,000 award!! The Breakthrough Prizes were founded by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. The prizes aim to celebrate scientists and generate excitement about the pursuit of science as a career.

(11-25-2014)

Rutgers astrophysics graduate student John Wu, who spent a month this summer as one of two Americans among the 24 participants in the Vatican Observatory Summer School, is the subject of a feature story in Rutgers Today

Rutgers astrophysics graduate student John Wu, who spent a month this summer as one of two Americans among the 24 participants in the Vatican Observatory Summer School, is the subject of a feature story in Rutgers Today:

(10-27-2014)

$500,000 gift from an anonymous donor helps to establish the Peter Lindenfeld Graduate Fellowship in the Department of Physics and Astronomy

This gift is a special tribute to Professor Emeritus Peter Lindenfeld's tireless dedication to physics instruction. The fellowship will be used to support a Physics and Astronomy graduate student who embodies and exemplifies the teacher-scholar model of learning pioneered by Prof. Lindenfeld. The Department welcomes donations towards this fellowship so that it may further honor Peter Lindenfeld by extending the reach of this opportunity for graduate student support.

(9-7-2014)

Nathaniel Craig, former member of the NHETC who recently started an Assistant Professor position at UC-Santa Barbara, has been named a 2014 Regional Award for Young Scientists Finalist by the Blavatnik Foundation

This recognition comes with an award of $10,000 in unrestricted funds.

Nathaniel, who was an NHETC postdoc from 2010-2012, and a research associate from 2012-2014, worked closely with David Shih and Scott Thomas on problems in high energy theory beyond the Standard Model and on collider phenomenology that is central to the experimental efforts at the LHC.

(9-7-2014)

Sang-Wook Cheong and Seongshik (Sean) Oh have received five year, $1.7M and $1.5M, respectively, awards

Sang-Wook Cheong and Seongshik (Sean) Oh have received five year, $1.7M and $1.5M, respectively, awards from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's initiative on Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems (EPiQS) through the Materials Synthesis Investigator Program.

The aim of this program is to boost discovery of new quantum materials: substances in which the collective behavior of electrons leads to many complex and unexpected emergent phenomena.

Sang and Sean are two of only twelve investigators nation-wide to receive Materials Synthesis Investigator Awards. Rutgers University is in good company with Stanford University, and Princeton University as the only institutions to receive multiple investigator awards.

The announcement of the awards:

notes: "Recognizing that the discovery of new materials and improvement in materials' quality are key drivers of progress in this field, we will dedicate significant funds to promoting and strengthening materials synthesis within the EPiQS initiative. "

(8-14-2014)

Pankaj Mehta, Rutgers Physics & Astronomy PhD (2006), has been named a 2014 Simons Investigator

Pankaj, currently a Professor of Physics at Boston University, received the award for his theoretical work which "demonstrated the importance of interference between different signaling channels and provided a mathematical model of the concentrations of receptor cells, which adjust themselves in response to multiple and time-varying signals so as to respond optimally to environmental cues."

Pankaj wrote his thesis in theoretical condensed matter physics entitled "A scattering approach to quantum impurity models in and out of equilibrium" under the direction of Prof. Natan Andrei.

Pankaj joins our Prof. Rachel Somerville as one of the 2014 class of Simons Investigators.

(8-14-2014)

Claud Lovelace's Contributions to String Theory Noted in Popular Media

Lovelace150A very nice account of the contributions to the early days of string theory made by the late Rutgers Physics and Astronomy Professor Claud Lovelace can be found at the following website:

Prof. Lovelace bequeathed his entire estate to Rutgers University, endowing the Claud Lovelace Chair in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics and the Claud Lovelace Graduate Fellowship.

(8-13-2014)

Sang-Wook Cheong has been listed by Thomson-Reuters as one of The Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014

This list, which is comprised of 21 fields of science and is available at http://highlycited.com , represents some of the world's leading scientific minds. These researchers earned the distinction by writing the greatest numbers of reports officially designated by Essential Science Indicators as Highly Cited Papers, ranking among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication, and earning them the mark of exceptional impact.

Sang-Wook notes that his former PhD student, Yew San Hor, currently an assistant professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology, is also on the list.

Professor Sang-Wook Cheong is director of the Rutgers Center for Emergent Materials

(8-12-2014)

Rachel Somerville has been named a 2014 Simons Investigator

She is one of only 16 mathematicians, theoretical physicist or theoretical computer scientists who have been selected as Simons Investigators in 2014. Rachel is cited for "... her contributions to the development of `semianalytic modeling' methods that combine computational and pencil-and-paper theory, and her use of these methods, to further our understanding of the physical mechanisms of the formation, structural evolution and nuclear activity of galaxies."

The Award includes annual research support of $100,000 for a period of 5 years, renewable for an additional 5 years.

(7-25-2014)

Piers Coleman and David Vanderbilt were among 17 individuals named Simons Fellows Awardees in Theoretical Physics

This highly competitive award will allow Piers and David up to a semester long research leave with the objective to increase creativity and provide intellectual stimulation. Cornell University was the only other institution where two awardees were named.

Former colleague Glennys Farrar, now at NYU, is also among the awardees.

Congratulations Piers and David.

(7-8-14)

David Maiullo has been named an inaugural Fellow of the American Association of Physics Teachers

Fellowship in the AAPT is reserved for "individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to AAPT's mission to enhance the understanding and appreciation of physics through teaching."

David's work with our instructional program, his central role in the Faraday Lectures and Rutgers Day presentations, his tireless outreach activities to schools throughout the state and beyond, his increasing number of television appearances, and his presence at the World Science Festival in New York City are just a few of the activities that make him so deserving of this distinction.

Congratulations David, and thanks for being such a great ambassador for our Department and Rutgers University.

(6-30-2014)

Joel Lebowitz has been named by the French Acadmie as the recipient of the 2014 Grande Medaille de L'Academie

This award is presented in chemistry or biology on odd years, and in physics or mathematics on even years.

The medal is awarded by the French Academy annually to a French or foreign scholar who has contributed decisively to the development of science, both for the originality of their research and by the stimulating international influence it has had in creating a true research discipline.

(06-30-2014)

Larry Zamick awarded Outstanding Review Status for the Annals of Physics

The Elsevier Journal, Annals of Physics, which presents original work in all areas of basic physics research, publishing papers on particular topics spanning theory, methodology, and applications, reserves this status for reviews who are in the top 10th percentile in terms of the number of reviews completed for the journal.

(06-30-2014)

Gerfried Kumbartzki, Noemi Koller, and Larry Zamick, and collaborators, recent Physical Review C article has been selected as "Editor's Highlight."

Gerfried Kumbartzki, Noemi Koller, and Larry Zamick, and collaborators, recent Physical Review C article has been selected as "Editor's Highlight."

  • The article, entitled "Transition from collectivity to single-particle degrees of freedom from magnetic moment measurements on 3882Sr44 and 3890Sr52" can be found here..

(06-30-2014)

Rutgers astrophysics professor Saurabh Jha and graduate students Curtis McCully and Brandon Patel are on the CLASH (Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble) team that has announced the discovery of gravitationally lensed Type Ia supernovae

Rutgers astrophysics professor Saurabh Jha and graduate students Curtis McCully and Brandon Patel are on the CLASH (Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble) team that has announced the discovery of gravitationally lensed Type Ia supernovae that can be used to measure how much dark matter is in a cluster of galaxies. The results from the CLASH team appears in the May 1, 2014 issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

(06-04-2014)

2014 US News and World Report rankings are out and Rutgers Physics & Astronomy is tied for #15 among public institutions

The 2014 US News and World Report rankings are out and Rutgers Physics & Astronomy is tied for #15 among public institutions.

Rutgers Condensed Matter Physics is ranked #15 in the nation among ALL PhD granting institutions, public or private.

(05-21-2014)

Professor Daniel Friedan has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The Academy is one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research.

Daniel is the only individual from Rutgers to be elected this year, and is the sixth member of our Department to be elected to the Academy, joining Eva Andrei, Tom Banks, Greg Moore, Karin Rabe and Sasha Zamolodchikov.

(04-24-2014)

For the fifth year in a row, and the eleventh time since its inception in 1986, one of our majors has won the prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to 300 students across the whole nation, majoring in the sciences or engineering.

The latest of our winners is astrophysics major Asher Wasserman, who has been doing research with Andrew Baker.

Physics major Alexandra "Alex" DeMaio received an Honorable Mention.

Alex has been working with Sevil Salur. Last summer she did a research internship at Caltech, and this coming summer she will do a prestigious internship at CERN.

Physics major Taylor Smith, who has been working with Steve Schnetzer, was also awarded a prestigious CERN internship and will be working there this summer.

(04-02-2014)

Four current or former physics majors have been awarded NSF fellowships this year

Four current or former physics majors have been awarded NSF fellowships this year:

  • Kiersten Ruisard '12 (now at Maryland);
  • Carlos Vargas '12 (now at New Mexico State);
  • Victoria Yu '12 (now at UCLA);
  • Julia Gonski '14.
  • Former major Tom Holoien '13 (now at Ohio State) received an honorable mention.

Read more about the NSF FastLane Graduate Research Fellowship Program..

(04-02-2014)

Professor Yuri Gershtein, faculty member in our high energy experiment physics group, will receive a Trustees Award for Excellence in Research in 2014 at a ceremony later this year

This award is the university's highest honor for distinguished research contributions.

(04-01-2014)

Kam-Biu Luk, a former Rutgers Physics graduate student and currently a professor at Berkeley, has won a 2014 W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics

Kam-Biu Luk, a former Rutgers Physics graduate student and currently a professor at Berkeley, has won a 2014 W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics. Established in 1985 by friends of W.K.H. Panofsky (who among his credits was a former director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory and professor at Stanford) the $10000 prize is presented annually to a single researcher or researchers working on the same outstanding accomplishment in Experimental Particle Physics.

Professor Kam-Biu Luk was a former PhD student of Rutgers professor Thomas Devlin, who himself also won the Panofsky Prize in 1994.

(03-27-2014)

Eugenia Etkina, Professor in the Graduate School of Education and member of our graduate faculty, has won the 2014 Millikan Medal of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AATP)

The award recognizes educators who have made notable and creative contributions to the teaching of physics. The award recognized a number of Eugenia's achievements, in particular her role a co-creator of the Investigative Science Learning environment (ISLE) - an approach to teaching and learning physics that helps students learn physics by engaging in activities that mirror the practice of physics.

In addition to this award, Eugenia has received the AAPT Distinguished Service Citation in 2012, the 2012 New Jersey Distinguished Faculty Showcase of Exemplary Practices Award, 2011 Rutgers University Graduate School of Education Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, 2010 Rutgers University Warren I Susman Award for Excellent Teaching, and the 2007 Rutgers University Graduate School of Education Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Research Award.

(3-13-2014)

Professor Sang-Wook Cheong has been recognized by the 2014 journal editors of the Physical Review and Physical Review Letters as outstanding referee

Physical Review and Physical Review Letters began a program to recognize outstanding referees for their journals in 2008. This year, only 143 of the 60,000 referees for these journals were selected for this distinction.

Sang joins past winners: Elihu Abrahams, Eva Andrei, Jolie Cizewski, Piers Coleman, Charlie Glashausser, Gabi Kotliar and David Vanderbilt, as well as Eugenia Etkina from the Dept. of Education and member of our graduate program.

(3-12-2014)

Professor Len Feldman has been named a Fellow of the Materials Research Society

Similar to the American Physical Society, the number of MRS fellows selected each year is capped at 0.2% of the society membership, so this is indeed a notable distinction.

The citation reads: "For innovative applications of ion beam analysis; seminal contributions to the elucidation of surface and interface structures; and distinguished service to the materials community."

(3-12-2014)

Professor John Paul Chou, has been awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship

The Sloan recognizes the most promising young researchers in America. Over 30 Sloan Fellows have later gone on to win Nobel Prizes. John Paul joins Professors David Shih, Kristjan Haule, Emil Yuzbashyan, Alex Morozov, and Valery Kiryukhin to make six Sloan winners in our Department since 2001.

(2-18-2014)

Eva Andrei has been elected as Chair-Elect of the Section on Physics of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Eva will serve as Chair-Elect ('14-'15), Chair (`15-`16) and Retiring Chair(`16-`17). The Section on Physics, of which our own Jolie Cizewski is a member-at-large, is one of 24 that comprise the AAAS.

The AAAS is an international organization with a mission to "advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people." Well known for publication of the journal Science, the AAAS works to fulfill its mission by, among other activities, enhancing communication, promoting integrity, strengthening support for science and technology enterprise, articulating for science on social issues, and promoting responsible use of science in public policy.

(1-28-2014)

Physics Department support specialist David Maiullo has brought his entertaining and informative demonstations to a Weather Channel show

Physics Department support specialist David Maiullo has brought his entertaining and informative demonstations to a Weather Channel show.

(1-27-2014)

Rutgers undergraduate David Kolchmeyer, a high-energy physics student, wins the prestigious Churchill Scholarship for graduate study at University of Cambridge

Rutgers undergraduate David Kolchmeyer, a high-energy physics student, wins the prestigious Churchill Scholarship for graduate study at University of Cambridge.

(1-24-2014)

Professor Premi Chandra has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society

Her citation reads: "For contributions to the theory of frustrated antiferromagnets and glasses, ferroelectrics and heavy fermion materials."

APS Fellows are elected for exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise. The number of Fellows elected annually is no more than 1/2 of 1% of the Society membership, so Premi is indeed receiving a recognition of distinction.

(1-23-2014)

Professor Sevil Salur has won a prestigious NSF CAREER award

The CAREER award is given in support of early career development activities with special emphasis on integrating research and education. This is the 12th such award to our department since 2004.

(2-18-2014)