Prof. David Smith received press on his Physics Review Letters’ August publication with Yaroslav A. Urzhumov “Fluid Flow Control with Transformation Media.” Read the Physics article “Leave No Trace” here.
Archive for August, 2011
The Department of Physics at Duke University invites applications and nominations for a tenure-track position at the assistant professor level in the area of experimental condensed matter physics, broadly defined. The appointment begins in fall 2012. The successful candidate should show a strong commitment to research and teaching.
Send research and teaching statements, a CV, and the names and letters from three references to cmsearch at phy dot duke dot edu.
Applications, including letters, received by November 15, 2011 will be guaranteed consideration. Duke University is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We value diversity in all of its many facets and meanings.
Physics is a mature and evolving scientific discipline, which has witnessed many breakthroughs. In the 21st century, physics is poised for more discoveries and breakthroughs, many of which will come out of interdisciplinary research and teaching. In the last several years, faculty in our department have been working on better ways to articulate and present our work to prospective students, our undergraduate and graduate students, and others both inside and outside of Duke. The result is the following document, “Six Big Questions” which the faculty prepared and approved this summer to help guide our planning, research, teaching and communications as we move forward. –Professor Haiyan Gao, Chair of the Department of Physics
Graduate student Jon Mueller has received the Inaugural Best Student Presentation Award for his presentation at the annual Domestic Nuclear Detection (DNDO) Academic Research Initiative (ARI) Grantees Conference. April’s meeting of the DNDO was the first year that graduate students were able to deliver oral presentations on their research. The DNDO is a part of the United States Department of Homeland Security and it funds many types of research around the country, including projects at Duke’s HIGS facility (high intensity gamma-ray source).
As we start the new school year several faculty are beginning new positions in the department. This summer Prof. Dan Gauthier stepped down as Chairperson after a five year term and Prof. Richard Palmer stepped down as Director of Graduate Studies. On June 28, the Physics Department held a farewell party to recognize their efforts. On July 1, Prof. Haiyan Gao became the new Chair of the Physics Department and Prof. Shailesh Chandrasekharan is the new Director of Graduate Studies.
View more photos on Flickr here.
Earlier this month Profs. Albert Chang and Haiyan Gao attended an extremely successful conference, the 7th Joint Meeting of Chinese Physicists Worldwide – International Conference on Physics Education and Frontier Physics.
At the last plenary session on Education where Prof. Chang spoke, more than fifty high school students attended his very interesting and interactive lecture. The education program of this conference series has become more and more successful each year and Prof. Chang is the leader and originator of this highly successful program.
The overall Education program featured four plenary speakers, and a one and a half hour long Round Table Discussion. The discussion panel consisted of eight leading physics educators and included several of the plenary speakers as participants. The scope of the plenary talks and the round table discussion focused on new methodologies to measure students’ ability to reason and to draw conclusions based on acquired scientific knowledge, new and effective pedagogical methods, new tools for creating physics applets, as well as changes in educational systems to foster creativity.
View more photos from the conference on Flickr here.
At the LHC, Prof. Ashutosh Kotwal is heading up the ATLAS experiment’s research team on searches for Zprime bosons. In August this ATLAS group submitted a new paper on this research to Physical Review Letters. This is the world’s most sensitive search for Zprime bosons, which are new kinds of particles predicted in theories of force unification. Prof. Kotwal’s team has also searched for Gravitons, which are massive particles hypothesized to mediate the force of gravity and explain why gravity is so much weaker than other forces.
Update: Read the publication “Search for Dilepton Resonances in pp Collisions at √s=7 TeV with the ATLAS Detector” on the Physical Review Letters site here.
What’s an alumnus of the Duke Physics department doing as a post-doc in the sociology department at the University of Chicago? Ask Jacob Foster ’03, who is doing just that. “Many of the most interesting and challenging problems for people who want to work on complex systems are in the social sciences,” he says. Foster, who earned his PhD in physics from the University of Calgary, adds, “The training I got at Duke and at Calgary put me in a pretty good position to act as an interpreter between the two disciplines.”
Foster applies his physics-based knowledge of complex systems to questions in the social sciences involving other kinds of complex systems—such as human interactions. He first became interested in complex systems as a physics undergraduate, working with Professor Henry Greenside. He also became interested in the study of knowledge at Duke while taking a literary theory class from Professor Thomas Ferraro. After studying mathematical physics at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, he went to the University of Calgary, where he worked with the complex systems group in the physics department. (more…)