Boston University Physics News
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.
New faculty, L-R: Anushya Chandran, Chris Grant, and Chris Laumann
This fall we welcome three new assistant professors to the department:
Anushya Chandran joins our condensed matter theory group. She studies quantum mechanical systems in which disorder “localizes” particles, as well as the non-equilibrium behavior of quantum mechanical systems. As a secondary student she earned a Certificate of Merit (All India 92) and went on to attend the Indian Institute of Technology at Madras. Anushya held a Centennial Fellowship at Princeton, where she did her PhD work with Shivaji Sondhi. After graduating, she took a postdoctoral fellowship at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada. Anushya’s papers are highly cited and she has given over 20 invited talks worldwide, including at Oxford, Cambridge, Illinois, Los Alamos, Harvard, Max Planck Institute Dresden, and the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore. In addition, she has organized programs on many-body localization and many-body physics at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara and at the Perimeter Institute. Anushya looks forward to working with BU condensed matter faculty and students.
Chris Grant is a particle experimentalist who studies neutrinos. It is widely believed that better understanding the neutrino could be key to physics beyond the Standard Model. Chris has played an important role on key experiments investigating fundamental properties of the neutrino. For his doctoral work at the University of Alabama, Chris worked to perfect the KamLAND experiment in Japan to carefully measure the flux of neutrinos from the Sun. As a Nuclear Science and Security Consortium Postdoctoral Fellow and Fermilab Intensity Frontier Fellow at UC Davis, Chris worked first on the Double-Chooz experiment to precisely measure the neutrino mixing effect. More recently he has been working on the SNO+ experiment in Canada and the CAPTAIN and DUNE experiments based at Fermilab. Chris already has 17 publications with over 650 citations. At BU, Chris has a particular interest in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students.
Chris Laumann also joins our condensed matter theory group. His work examines the fundamental quantum mechanical nature of the universe, particularly how that nature manifests itself in the dynamics of systems and in quantum information processing. He was a member of the 1998 US Physics Olympiad Team and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude with a double major in physics and mathematics from Harvard. Chris was awarded a Marshall Scholarship, enabling him to earn master’s degrees from the University of Edinburgh and Cambridge University. After earning his PhD from Princeton, Chris was named Lawrence Golub Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard. As an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington from 2013-2016, Chris won a Sloan Research Fellowship. He has over 35 publications, including 10 in Physical Review Letters. Chris looks forward to working with students and colleagues on research in quantum many-body phenomena and quantum information processing.
Graduate student Farrukh Mateen (ENG '18) and Physics Professor Raj Mohanty have been featured in BU Research for their work building small wireless micromechanical devices. These micromachines, which can be turned on and off remotely, could have applications ranging from remote sensors to brain implants.
Physics Teacher in Residence Mark Greenman has been named the Janet Guernsey New England Physics Teacher of the Year for 2016. The award is bestowed annually by the New England Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers to an outstanding local high school or college physics teacher.