Boston University Physics News
Professor Claudio Chamon was named a 2017 Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics. The Simons Fellows program provides funding to faculty for up to a semester long leave from administrative and teaching obligations with the aim of increasing research creativity and productivity. Chamon's research focuses on topological phases of matter in 3D.
Assistant Professor Kirill Korolev received a 2017 Cottrell Scholar Award to investigate the benefits of chirality - a type of morphological asymmetry - in the microbial world. Korolev and colleagues will study competition between strains of cells with different chiralities with the aim of understanding the origin and role of these puzzling phenomena. Korolev will also develop a new course in modeling, nonequilibrium physics, and biophysics at Boston University.
Assistant Professor Liam Fitzpatrick  was recently named a 2017 Sloan Research Fellow. The two-year fellowships are awarded annually to 126 researchers for their unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field of work. Fitzpatrick's research applies quantum field theory to questions in particle physics, cosmology, quantum gravity, and material science.
Physics professor Rama Bansil and graduate student Maira Constantino (GRS ’17) have been featured in BU Research for their work on Helicobacter pylori, a corkscrew-shaped bacterium that can cause ulcers and stomach cancer. Along with collaborators, they have shown that H. pylori is able to traverse the gel-like mucin lining of the stomach using a combination of enzymatic secretions and a spiral swimming motion. Their work has implications for drug delivery and cancer treatment. Read the full story in BU Research. Image credit: Jackie Ricciardi
Associate Professor Tulika Bose has been appointed Physics Co-Coordinator for the CMS experiment at CERN. Starting in September 2017, Bose will be one of two lead scientists charged with reviewing the entire scientific output of the CMS experiment. She will help to define the goals and types of research that collaborators undertake in the hunt for new physics—i.e. theorized exotic particles and new unpredicted phenomena. Additionally, Bose will be responsible for organizing activities to produce and review the physics results of the CMS experiment, whose collaborators publish over 100 papers each year. This new leadership role comes at a particularly exciting time, as substantial new discoveries about our universe are anticipated over the next few years. Prior to this role, Bose served as Trigger Coordinator for the CMS experiment from 2014-2016.
On March 30th, the Physics Department welcomed 50 high school students from neighboring Quincy public schools to explore educational and research opportunities in STEM. Students explored pathways of study in astronomy, toured biology teaching labs, gained first-hand experience in the Quantum Physics and Marine Biology research labs, and were introduced to the design and fabrication of custom scientific equipment and electronics in the SIF and EDF. The day was capped off by a lecture and discussion with Professor Sheldon Glashow on his Nobel Prize winning work.
Students took away a greater understanding of research and the opportunities an education at Boston University provides. “It’s amazing how much knowledge undergrads and graduates have. BU is a great facility that allows students to explore their curiosity”. Many of our visitors left feeling inspired after interacting with our passionate students and faculty, “I definitely think I’ll look into research more. The passion with which the students and professors spoke in regards to their research makes me want to take on something as fulfilling”.
- Tereasa Brainerd, Department Chair, BU Astronomy
- Rob Carey, Director of Undergraduate Studies, BU Physics
- Courtney Clark, Undergraduate Coordinator, BU Physics
- Sheldon Glashow, University Professor, BU Physics
- Shaun Russell, Administrative Coordinator, BU Physics
- Ed Shapiro, Nobel Laureates' School Visits
- Kathryn Spilios, Director of Instructional Labs, BU Biology
- BU Marine Biology Research Lab
- BU Quantum Physics Lab
- Electronics Design Facility (EDF)
- Quincy Public Schools
- Scientific Instrument Facility (SIF)
Congratulations to physics professor Kenneth Rothschild for being elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors! Rothschild holds over 50 US patents based on his biophysics research in FTIR spectroscopy of rhodopsins. His research has been vital to the development of the rapidly growing field of Optogenetics, and led him to co-found AmberGen, a technology company that develops new medical diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
Read the full story in BU Today.
The new US News & World Report Global Ranking places BU 32nd in the world and our Physics Department 26th in the world. The Physics ranking places us 14th in the US and 9th among US private universities. Among US private universities, only MIT, Harvard, Chicago, Caltech, Stanford, Princeton, Columbia, and Yale were ranked higher. These ratings are a testament to the work of our faculty, our staff, our students and the support we receive from the College and the University. Congratulations to all!
US News and World Reports Global Ranking (Physics)
Profs. Ami Katz and Liam Fitzpatrick were awarded funding from the Simons Foundation as principle investigators on a new worldwide collaboration called "The Nonperturbative Bootstrap". The objective of the collaboration is to apply quantum field theories to a wide variety of strongly coupled systems, crossing traditional boundaries between string theory, condensed matter physics, and phenomenology, and making strong connections to modern mathematics and computer science.
Daniel Smith (CAS '18) describes his work analyzing positive kaon interactions in liquid argon.
Congratulations to all of our student researchers who presented at the 19th Annual Boston University Undergraduate Research Symposium:
- Jessica Allan (mentor: Sulak), Assembling and Preliminary Testing of the CMS GE1/1 Chambers at CERN
- Owen Burek (mentor: Rohlf), Live Data Monitoring at the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment
- Sakib Matin (mentor: Klein), My Fault: Computer Simulation of Earthquakes Using the OFC Model
- Sara Metti (mentor: Ludwig), Development of Active X-Rays Optics
- Shanon Rubin (mentor: Sandvik), Dynamical Scaling of Simulated Classical Annealing in Two-Dimensional Ising Spin Glasses
- Daniel Smith (mentor: Kearns), Study of Positive Kaon Total Interaction Cross Section on Liquid Argon in LArIAT
- Glenn Steranka (mentor: Erramilli), Calibration of the Jet Energy Scale for H > bb Decays in e+e- Collisions at sqrt(s)=1.4 TeV with the CLIC Detector
The symposium, which was held on Friday, October 21, is part of BU's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). UROP provides assistance - through placement and funding - to undergraduate students interested in faculty-mentored research.