2016 News

Distinguished Professor Rachel Somerville, Downsbrough Chair in Astrophysics and Simons Investigator, has been appointed to the Simons Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA) to lead the Galaxy Formation Group

This appointment, anticipated to last three to five years, will be held jointly with her appointment as Distinguished Professor at Rutgers.

The new Center for Computational Astrophysics is in the process of being established in New York City by the Simons Foundation, and will be directed by David Spergel of Princeton University.


Distinguished Professor Natan Andrei has been awarded the 2017 Lars Onsager Prize of the American Physical Society

The Prize is given "recognizing outstanding research in theoretical statistical physics, including quantum fluids."

Natan, who will share the prize with Paul Wiegmann of the University of Chicago, is cited "For the pioneering discovery of the exact solution of the Kondo and Anderson models, opening a new field of exact treatments of quantum impurity systems."

Natan joins Daniel Friedan and Sasha Zamolodchikov of the NHETC, who won the Onsager Prize in 2010 and 2011, respectively.


Sang-Wook Cheong and Saurabh Jha have been listed by Thomson Reuters as among the Highly Cited Researchers of 2016

This distinction places Sang and Saurabh among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication, earning them the mark of exceptional impact.

Saurabh received the same distinction in 2015, and Sang in 2014.


50 years of excellence in nuclear physics graduate education at Rutgers University

npl50cornerSaturday, October 1, 2016, 1:00 - 5:00 PM, Physics Lecture Hall, Rutgers University, 120 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854

2016 is the 50th anniversary of the first Ph.D. degree at the Rutgers-Bell Nuclear Physics Laboratory. In recognition of 50 years of excellence in nuclear physics graduate education at Rutgers, we will be hosting a commemorative event on October 1. This event will present an opportunity for former and current students, postdocs and faculty to recognize the accomplishments of the alumni in nuclear physics. We will unveil a plaque recognizing the historical significance of the Rutgers-Bell Tandem Nuclear Physics Laboratory.


Eva Halkiadakis and Vitaly Podzorov promoted

At its June 15, 2016 meeting, the Board of Governors has approved the promotions of:

  • Eva Halkiadakis to Professor 1
  • Vitaly Podzorov to Professor 1

Congratulations Eva and Vitaly on your well-deserved promotions.


Andrew Baker and collaborators, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, have measured with unprecedented precision the mass of a supermassive black hole

Andrew Baker and collaborators, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, have measured with unprecedented precision the mass of a supermassive black hole, 660 million times as massive as the Sun, in the center of a galaxy some 73 million light years away.

Read more at:


Alexander (Sasha) Zamolodchikov of the New High Energy Theory Center, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Sasha joins members Eva Andrei, Karin Rabe, and David Vanderbilt, elected in 2013, as well as Joel Lebowitz of Math and Physics, and Paul Falkowski, Morrel Cohen, and JC Phillips who are affiliated with Physics and Astronomy.

Congratulations Sasha!!


"That Physics Show" featuring our very own Dave Maiullo performing on Broadway, received a very nice write-up in the New York Times

bdemosmallThe show has also been nominated for a Drama Desk Award in the category of Unique Theatrical Experience. The Drama Desk Awards are the only major New York City theater honors for which productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway compete against each other in the same category. The organization, was established in 1949 by a group of New York City theater critics, editors, reporters, and publishers.

Congratulations Dave!

UPDATE: At the 2016 Drama Desk Awards on Jun 5, 2016, Dave took home the award for "Most Unique Theatrical Production" of the year for Broadway/Off Broadway.

(4-8-2016) (5-12-2016) (6-6-2016)

Scott Thomas of the New High Energy Theory Center has been awarded a 2016 Board of Trustees Award for Research Excellence

This award is the University's highest honor for distinguished research contributions. Scott will receive the award at a ceremony on May 5, 2016.


For the 7th consecutive year one of our majors, Jennifer Coulter, has won the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, given to only 300 science and engineering students across the whole nation

This year she is the only winner from Rutgers. In addition to being our 7th winner in a row, Jennifer is also our 9th winner since 2006.

Jennifer works with Sevil Salur who has quite an impressive track record of mentoring talented students. Both Alexandra DeMaio (Rutgers 2015) [Goldwater Honorable Mention(2014), NSF Graduate Fellowship (2015)] and Aditya Parikh (Rutgers 2016) [Goldwater Scholarship (2015), NSF Graduate Fellowship (2016)] were Aresty Summer Researchers in Sevil's lab, and later were supported by an REU supplement to her NSF grant.

Congratulations Jennifer, and way-to-go Sevil!


Eva Andrei is featured in Elsevier's "Virtual Special Issue on Women in Physics," an on-line publication celebrating women in physics in honor of International Woman's Day, which is today, Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Highlighting the work of 36 women physicists from around the world, the issue contains a brief profile of Eva's career, and a link to the article in Thin Solid Films where her measurements of the topological insulator Bi2Se3, performed with collaborators Torgny Gustafsson and Sean Oh, are described.

Read more at:


The group of Eva Andrei, along with collaborators from Belgium and Japan, have discovered a new way to control and guide electrons in graphene by removing a single carbon atom from its perfect honeycombed lattice

ea16 They showed that the vacancy can stably host a local charge which traps electrons in satellite orbits, resembling a tunable artificial atom.

This is the first observation of a stable and tunable charged vacancy in graphene and could potentially lead to the fabrication of artificial atom arrays for performing the electronic equivalent of optical operations.

The article appeared in Nature Physics advanced online publication on February 22, 2016.


Distinguished Professor Jolie Cizewski has been named recipient of the 2016 Daniel Gorenstein Memorial Award

The award includes a small stipend and the honor of presenting the Gorenstein Memorial Award Lecture. The award was established in 1993 and is given for outstanding scholarly achievement to a Rutgers faculty member who has also performed exceptional service to the University community. Without a doubt, Jolie's accomplishments in both categories are exceptional.

Jolie joins Noemie Koller, the first woman to receive the Award, as the second Gorenstein Award winner from Physics and Astronomy. Only four other departments have two award recipients (English, History, Math, and Sociology).

Congratulations Jolie on this well-deserved recognition.


The National organization of the Society of Physics Students (SPS), an organization of the American Institute of Physics (AIP), has named the Rutgers SPS Chapter a Distinguished SPS Chapter for 2014-15

Congratulations to the Chapter, and particularly 2014-15 Officers, on the fine work they did to earn that status:

  • Alex DeMaio, President
  • Aditya Parikh, Vice President
  • Yianni Tamanas, Treasurer
  • David Osterman, Outreach Coordinator
  • Dhir Patel, Webmaster
  • Donald Chawla, Events Coordinator
  • Kudos also to faculty advisors Alyson Brooks and Matt Buckley.


Saurabh Jha used data from Rutgers' share of of the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) to help identify the most luminous supernova ever discovered

The SALT data were used to measure the distance (redshift) of the supernova, called ASASSN-15lh and discovered by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae based at Ohio State University.

Two of Jha's former undergraduate students (Ben Shappee, Rutgers '09, and Tom Holoien, Rutgers '13, both summa cum laude graduates in Physics & Astronomy) helped discover the supernova as part of the ASASSN project. The results were published by Subo Dong (Peking University) et al. in the journal Science: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6270/257

Read more at..