Boston University Physics News
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) has achieved its “First Light”, an important milestone, in making its first measurement of the spectrum of a galaxy.
DESI is installed on the 4-m Mayall Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona, and will measure spectra of tens of millions of galaxies during the five-year survey, which will enable us to improve greatly our understanding of the mysterious phenomenon known as dark energy.
BU has been heavily involved in various aspects of DESI ranging from hardware fabrication, integration and testing, software development, simulation analysis, to overnight observing at the Mayall for the imaging survey and prototype run (ProtoDESI). The Scientific Instrument Facility (SIF) at BU, under the direction of Heitor Mourato, built many of the critical jigging pieces needed to assemble 5000 precision robotic fiber positioners, and also built the focal plane structure consisting of ten wedge shaped Focal Plane Petals.
When he was a graduate student at BU, Duan Yutong worked on DESI for four years under the supervision of Prof. Steve Ahlen of BU. He has helped construct the DESI focal plane and studied computer simulations to evaluate the systematics affecting DESI’s cosmology measurements. In the next several months, he will be working on the commissioning phase of DESI so that the instrument can begin making scientific observations starting in early 2020.
BU physicist, Mark Greenman, has been featured in this weeks BU Research for his work on Project Accelerate. Project Accelerate is a program designed to provide a rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) physics curriculum to high school students in school districts that don’t offer the class. To learn more about the project, check out the article here!
Research Professor Plamen Ch. Ivanov directed the Second International Summer Institute on Network Physiology (ISINP 2019) at the Lake Como School for Advanced Studies, Italy. Attended by 120 participants from 25 countries, the event focused on a new emerging interdisciplinary field at the interface of physics, biomedical engineering and medicine to understand health and disease through networks of organ interactions. Originated from research at the BU Laboratory for Network Physiology, and supported by the W. M. Keck Foundation and the Alessandro Volta Foundation, the event was organized by dedicated committee members: Jilin Wang, Rossella Rizzo, Congtai Hu and Dr. Xiyun Zhang at the BU Physics Department.
Physics Professor Chris Grant has been featured in BU Today for his work on the WATCHMAN project. This project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2023, will allow for the detection of antineutrinos from nuclear plants.
BU Physics rising senior, Salvatore Pace, has been named as a 2019 Goldwater Scholar, the premier national recognition for exceptional undergraduate STEM students. Sal works with professors Campbell and Grant to conduct research in condensed matter physics with a focus on non-equilibrium phenomena in many-body systems. Congratulations Sal!
Congratulations to Undergraduate Program Coordinator Courtney Clark. Courtney has been named as one of six winners of the 2019 CAS Outstanding Service Award. The award is presented by the college to BU staff members who perform responsibilities at an outstanding level, demonstrate exceptional care for students, serve as a role model for others, and promote exceptional working relationships both within a department and across the University. Courtney has been with the Physics Department for 10 years, and is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day functioning of the Physics Department's undergraduate program.
BU Physics Undergrad, Miranda Bryson, has been accepted into the DOE-INFN summer exchange program! The DOE-INFN program is a program dedicated to the exchange of eleven US and Italian students in science and engineering.
INFN, one of the leading organization worldwide promoting basic scientific research, is involved with cutting-edge activities in all major INFN-DoE areas of interest: Particle Physics, Astroparticle Physics, Nuclear Physics, Theoretical Physics and Detector Physics.
Miranda will be spending half the summer at CERN testing CMS muon electronics and half the summer in Milano learning about fast tracking algorithms being designed for LHCb! Congratulations Miranda!
Physics Professor David Bishop was elected to the National Academy of Engineering this February. The NAE is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and it has more than 2,000 peer-elected members. These members are drawn from senior professionals in business, academia, and government, who are among the world’s most accomplished engineers. Members are nominated and elected based on contributions to engineering research, practice, or education. Congratulations David!
Assistant professors Alex Sushkov and Liam Fitzpatrick were featured in a new video by BU Today. In the video and accompanying article, the two talk about the differences and rivalry between theoretical and experimental physics.
Science Magazine has been named as one of the 13 science stories likely to make headlines in 2019. The g-2 experiment focuses on studying the magnetism of a particle called the muon, hopefully to find results that could point to new particles or forces. Due to this, a result could be one of the biggest stories in particle physics this year!
Lee Roberts, along with Jim Miller and Rob Carey play important roles in the experiment and are continuing to be important in the Fermilab.