Boston University Physics News
Congratulations to Pankaj Mehta, who has been promoted to the rank of Full Professor. Mehta's research explores theoretical problems at the interface of physics and biology; large-scale, collective behaviors observed in biological systems emerge from the interaction of many individual components.
Professor Anders Sandvik has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics "for the development of the stochastic series expansion algorithm, and for numerous creative applications of this method to the study of quantum phase transitions." For more information about the prize, please read the article on the APS website.
BU Physics professor Ed Kearns has been selected as this year's winner of the W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics "for pioneering and leadership contributions to large underground experiments for the discovery of neutrino oscillations and sensitive searches for baryon number violation." He shares the prize with Henry Sobel of UC Irvine. Please check out APS's website for the full article.
Former BU Physics chair and professor emeritus Sidney Redner has been awarded the 2021 Leo P. Kadanoff Prize "for leadership in transcending traditional disciplinary boundaries by applying and advancing deep concepts and methods of statistical physics to gain novel insights into diverse real-world phenomena." To read more about the Prize, please check out the APS website.
Wanzheng Hu, an assistant professor, has just received an NSF Career Award. With her NSF CAREER award funding, she is experimenting with high-temperature superconductors, using ultrashort laser pulses to control the arrangement of atoms in iron-based materials. The goal is to steer materials towards desirable states on demand, which will advance the understanding of phase transitions and competing interactions in quantum materials. To learn more, please see the BU Research article.
The Department has recently put tother a proposal for teaching in Fall 2020. Please find the proposal here. If you have any questions on a specific course, please contact the course instructor
The images of George Floyd's murder, which have horrified and enraged citizens around the world, serve as a chilling reminder of the long history and deep scars of systemic anti-black racism that permeate our society.
We share in the rage and sorrow and acknowledge our own tacit complicity to the legacy of racism and injustice.
We commit to reflect and listen, to learn from our Black colleagues, and to stay vigilant and aware of all forms of racism and inequity that persist in academia and in our communities.
We pledge to be proactive and work together to dismantle the many structural barriers that continue to limit access, representation, and diversity in science, and more broadly, in academia.
In addtion, our particle physics colleagues across the country have organized to stop all work this Wednesday as a call for anti-racism action NOW https://www.particlesforjustice.org/!
There is great solidarity across our physics community both in mourning and rage but also in a strong call for action. My own reservation - and the reason I pondered this for a few days - is with calling this a "strike" rather than a "protest and call for action" - this probably has to do with my experiences with strikes in the old country.
If you wish to learn more, you can watch the 2016 documentary "I Am Not Your Negro" based on James Boldwin's work online. It's an important piece in my view and there are many others.
Hope all of you are well and safe!
Congratulations to graduate student Eric Boyers for winning the 2020 CAS Susan K Jackson award. The award is presented by the college to BU honors those people who create and nurture community. Eric is an active and dedicated participant in the department, working to improve graduate student life and experience. He has also organized social events, including a seminar series for graduate students. Congratulations Eric!
Two BU Physics students, Nik Gjonbalaj and Kevin Reiss, have been named as 2020 Goldwater Scholars, the premier national recognition for exceptional undergraduate STEM students. Nik works with David Sperka in high energy experimental physics, optimizing the L1 trigger of the CMS experiment at the LHC for axion-like particles. He is currently applying deep neural networks to this optimization process to maximize the efficiency of our trigger within the computational constraints at CMS. Kevin has been working with Professor David Campbell and Salvatore Pace to explore some open questions regarding the Fermi-Pasta-Ulam-Tsingou (FPUT) lattice, which is a model of masses connected by nonlinear nearest neighbor interactions. Congratulations!
To read more about this, please see this BU Today article.
The department has outlined a response to the COVID-19 crisis. The guidelines and procedures outlined here are meant to: (a) protect everyone’s safety; (b) provide our students with the highest level educational experiences possible within the constraints of the current situation; and (c) continue carrying out and supporting our research activities as effectively as possible. We want to limit social interactions to protect ourselves and those most at risk, and also contribute, as citizens, to minimizing the stresses on the system (health care, supply chains, industry, etc). Please reach out to the relevant staff member for questions or concerns about teaching, research, or administrative tasks.