Boston University Physics News Archive: 2010

Department is home to four 2010 APS Fellows
December 17, 2010:

The American Physical Society has selected four professors from the Boston University Physics Department to be APS Fellows: Plamen Ivanov, William Klein, Andrei Ruckenstein, and George Zimmerman.

Plamen Ivanov, Biological Physics. “For his pioneering applications of statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics to physiology and biomedicine, and for uncovering fundamental scaling and multifractal properties, self-organized criticality, sleep- and circadian-related phase transitions in physiologic dynamics.”

William Klein, Statistical & Nonlinear Physics. “For seminal contributions in the physics of nucleation and phase transitions arising from fundamental advances in statistical field-theoretic techniques, and their application to general mean field systems.”

Andrei Ruckenstein, Condensed Matter Physics. “For advances in the theory of Bose condensation and collective effects in atomic gases, the Hubbard and non-Fermi liquid impurity models, and high-temperature superconductivity.”

George Zimmerman, History of Physics.

Congratulations to all of our new Fellows!

Pumpkin Drop 2010: in the news
November 02, 2010:

The 2010 Pumpkin Drop was a great success, garnering a huge amount of coverage in the news. You can view the various clips from each station in via the list below. The event was also covered by the Boston Herald and the Daily Free Press.

  • CNN, Headline News, Play
  • WHDH (NBC) (Boston), 7 News Today in New England, Play
  • WBZ (CBS) (Boston), WBZ News, Play
  • WHDH (NBC) (Boston), 7 News at 11PM, Play
  • WFLA (NBC) (Tampa Bay), NewsChannel 8 Today. Play
  • WFTX (FOX) (Fort Myers), Fox 4 Rising, Play
  • WLUK (FOX) (Appleton, WI), Good Day Wisconsin, Play
  • KTHV (CBS) (Little Rock, AR), THV This Morning, Play
  • WRIC (ABC) (Richmond, VA), Good Morning Richmond Weekend Early Edition, Play
  • KRDO (ABC) (Colorado Springs, CO), Good Morning Colorado – Sunday, Play
  • KLAS (CBS) (Las Vegas), 8 News Now Sunday Morning II, Play
  • WFRV (CBS) (Green Bay, WI), Sports Xtra, Play
  • KABC (ABC) (Los Angeles), News, Play
  • WQAD (ABC) (Davenport, IA), News 8 at 10 PM, Play
  • WMTW (ABC) (Portland, ME), News 8 This Morning, Play
  • WVTM (NBC) (Birmingham, AL), Tail Fins and Chrome, Play
  • WPRI (CBS) (Providence, RI), Eyewitness News at 7AM, Play
  • WBAY (ABC) (Green Bay, WI), Action 2 News, Play
  • KVUE (ABC) (Austin, TX), KVUE News Daybreak Saturday, Play
  • WPIX-TV (WB) (NY, NY), PIX News at 6PM, Play
  • KTVX (ABC) (Salt Lake City, UT), ABC 4 News at 10pm, Play
  • KSAT (ABC) (San Antonio, TX), Inside Edition Weekend, Play
  • WCCB (FOX) (Charlotte, NC), Fox News Got Game, Play
  • WTTE (FOX) (Columbus, OH), FOX 28 News at 10, Play
  • KCTV (CBS) (Kansas City, MO), KCTV5 News: More in the Morning Saturday, Play
  • WFSB (CBS) (Hartford, CT), Eyewitness News at 11pm, Play
  • WDAF (FOX) (Kansas City, MO), Fox 4 News at 5 PM, Play
  • KASA (FOX) (Albuquerque, NM), KRQE News 13 on Fox 2, Play
  • KCAL (CBS) (Los Angeles, CA), KCAL 9 News at 2:00PM, Play
  • WLNE (ABC) (Providence, RI), WLNE6 News at 6, Play
  • WMUR (ABC) (Manchester, NH), News 9 at Five Continues, Play
  • WUSA (CBS) (Washington, D.C.), 9News Now at 5pm, Play
  • KCOY (CBS) (Santa Barbara, CA), 12 News at 5, Play
  • WJLA (ABC) (Washington, DC), ABC 7 News at 11:00, Play
  • WNCN (NBC) (Raleigh, NC), NBC 17 News at 11, Play
  • WGNO (ABC) (New Orleans, LA), ABC 26 News, Play
  • WTIC (FOX) (Hartford, CT), Play
  • WBRZ (ABC) (Baton Rouge, LA), WBRZ News 2 Louisiana at 10, Play
  • KVVU (FOX) (Las Vegas, NV), Fox5 News at 11:00PM, Play
Mohanty's nanomechanical devices vital in "Phonon computer"
October 06, 2010:

Faculty member Raj Mohanty and his nanomechanical devices are vital in a novel “Phonon computer”, as described in an article from the New Scientist titled Breaking the noise barrier: Enter the phonon computer. Congratulations to Raj and his hard work!

Newborn Physicist: Lydia Eunice Imboden
September 30, 2010:

Baby Lydia Eunice Imboden

September 26, 2010 at 8:52 – 9 lb 21 inches

Best wishes to Mattias and Bahar Imboden!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Professor Kenneth Lane wins APS J.J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics
September 29, 2010:

Physics Professor Kenneth Lane has been awarded the 2011 J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics of the American Physical Society, sponsored by the family and friends of J. J. Sakurai. He will share the prize with Drs. Estia Eichten of Fermilab, Ian Hinchliffe of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Chris Quigg of Fermilab.

The Prize was established to recognize and encourage outstanding achievement in particle theory. The citation will read:

“For their work, separately and collectively, to chart a course for the exploration of TeV scale physics using multi-TeV hadron colliders.” The J. J. Sakurai Prize will be presented at the APS April 2011 meeting in Anaheim, California, April 30-May 3, 2011, at a special Ceremonial.

UPDATE: BU Today has posted an article about the award on November 5th, 2010. Congratulations again to Ken!

Newborn Physicist: Iishir Kolarkar
September 17, 2010:

Born: September 4, 2010 at 3:51 AM, 7.0 lbs. 20” long

Dear all,

We’re delighted to include you in our happiness at the birth of our son, Iishir!

Shalinee and Ameya

प्रिय मित्रान्नो अन् परिवार,
आमच्या आनंदात आपण सर्वांना सहभागी करण्यात आम्हाला अत्यन्त प्रसन्नता होत आहे. आपले आशीर्वाद तान्ह्या ईषिर सोबत सदा असावेत.
शालिनी न् अमेय

Newborn Physicist: Mishika Rebekah Black
September 14, 2010:

Congratulations to the proud parents: Tulika Bose and Kevin Black.

Kevin and I are delighted to announce the arrival of our daughter, Mishika Rebekah Black, on September 11th 2010 at 8:51 AM EDT. Mishika weighed 6 pounds 13 ounces and was 19 inches long at birth. We all are doing great.


Val Voroshilov published in Physica C: Superconductivity
September 08, 2010:

Val Voroshilov has published a paper on properties of electrons in a square lattice. This is his first paper in a major scientific magazine (Physica C: superconductivity and its applications) since his arrival in the USA. The paper can be accessed via

Vivienne Marie Harrington: Newborn Physicist
August 19, 2010:

Our daughter, Vivienne Marie Harrington, was born on Aug. 10 at Hopital de la Tour in Meyrin, Switzerland. She was 4.04 kg, 51.5 cm. (I trust that I don’t have to convert to pounds and inches for physicists. She’s big.)

Baby and mother are fine. Since Larry asked me and I didn’t know at the time, the Apgar score was a perfect 10.

Robert Harrington.

Engineering and Physics Professor Ted Moustakas wins the prestigious MBE Innovator Award for 2010.
August 19, 2010:

Engineering Professor Ted Moustakas, who also holds an appointment as Professor of Physics, has been selected to be the winner of the 2010 MBE Innovator Award. MBE stands for Molecular Beam Epitaxy, a versatile and advanced thin-film growing technique. His citation reads “For pioneering contributions in the development of MBE growth of nitride materials and the development of nitride optoelectronic devices prepared by MBE”. Congratulations to Professor Moustakas! You can also check out his group page at:

Ophelia Tsui and collaborators published in Science Magazine
June 25, 2010:

Prof. Ophelia Tsui, postdocs Zhaohui Yang and Yoshihisa Fujii, former postdoc Fuk Kay Lee, and a collaborator from Hong Kong Polytechnic University uncovered a mechanism by which the glass transition temperature of polymer films can be decreased with decreasing film thickness – a question that has been under debate since 1994. Their result shows that the phenomenon is attributable to a mobile layer at the free surface of the films that provides an additional flow channel to the films that can sustain material flow even below the bulk glass transition temperature. As a result, the glass transition is postponed. This work has been published in Science in June 2010. The paper can be accessed via

Newborn Physicist: Isabella Mya Saint Clair
June 22, 2010:

Good morning,

I thought you would enjoy this wonderful news! Congratulations to the proud parents: Erica and Evan!
Born: Saturday, June 19, 2010
Message from Erica

Id love to introduce our newest little physicist, Isabella Mya (thats right folks…ITS A GIRL)!! She came round Saturday morning at 1:50 after 22 hrs of labor and 3.5 hrs of pushing, weighing in at 6lbs 5 ounces and 18inches long. We’re both thankfully doing great after the ordeal, and starting to get used to our new little family! Looking forward when we are all well enough and not sleep deprived to bring her in and show off!

Erica, Evan and Isabella Mya

Convocation speech and photos now online
June 02, 2010:

We now have photos of the 2010 Convocation online, at our image gallery. You may also view Sheldon Glashow’s speech to the graduating class here. Congratulations once again to all our 2010 graduates!

Photos and Abstracts from 2010 APS Meeting
April 29, 2010:

George Zimmerman was recently the chairman for an APS meeting titled “The 50th Anniversary of the Prediction of Superfluidity of He3” this past March. You may check out the list of talks and their abstracts at the APS website. You can also view George’s photos on the Forum on the History of Physics website. Congratulations to George for all his work in these meetings!

Professor James Rohlf inducted into Academy of Science and Engineering at the Univ. of Minnesota, Duluth
April 07, 2010:

Professor James Rohlf was inducted into the Academy of Science and Engineering at the Univ. of Minnesota, Duluth. You can read more at the SCSE website.

Celli and Bansil in NSF's Science Nation video
April 01, 2010:

Jonathan Celli and Professor Rama Bansil star in a movie highlighting research done in the Biological Physics group in the Bansil-Erramilli group. The movie was produced by the National Science Foundation, as an episode in Science Nation. You can view the video on their website, which is also embedded below.

LHC meets great success
March 30, 2010:

The Boston University Physics Department joins in celebrating with our research groups both in Atlas and CMS the great success of the Large Hadron Collider, which ran at 7 TeV earlier today. You can read the official CERN press release on their website and find more information on their LHC First Physics website.

Our first group of undergraduate juniors in the BU/UniGe program were working on the experiments in Geneva today. They are, from left to right, Max Yellen, Chelsea Bartram, Mike Lloyd, Michael Hedges, Andrea Welsh, Elim Cheung, Ashley Rubinstein. Behind them are photos of the CMS detector and TV monitors of the CMS Control Rooms.

Here in Boston, we also assembled to watch the news come in as it happened as a community. Furthermore, our own Professor Tulika Bose was interviewed by the BBC, which you can replay online at their website. You can also read more about the event at BU Today.

First Long-Baseline Neutrino in T2K
February 25, 2010:

The T2K experiment in Japan has recorded its first long-baseline neutrino event in the Super-Kamiokande detector, announced by a press release from KEK, the Japanese high energy physics laboratory. In this experiment, a beam of neutrinos is created at the new J-PARC accelerator facility in Tokai, Japan and sent 295 km to the Super-Kamiokande detector. The experiment plans to study, for the first time, the appearance of electron neutrinos from a quantum mechanical flavor oscillation of muon neutrinos. A graphical display of the first event, recorded on February 24, 2010, is shown here.

KEK Press Release

Boston University participants in T2K include: Professors Ed Kearns, Jim Stone, and Larry Sulak, postdoctoral associate Jen Raaf, and graduate students Mike Litos, and Fanny Dufour, now at the University of Geneva.

Josef Elijah Wenzler: newborn physicist
February 11, 2010:

Dear Friends,
Congratulations to Josef, Enea, and Phebe.
Hey Mirtha,
Happy new Year. I wanted to tell you that the new baby is here. Josef Elijah Wenzler was born on Jan 4th. He weighed 8lbs 6oz and was 30 inch long. We are all very happy and can not wait to be released from the hospital.

All the best to you for 2010.


Ramanujan Lecture: Economic Fluctuations and Statistical Physics: Quantifying Extremely Rare and Much Less Rare Events
January 25, 2010:

At the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, India, the Fourth Ramanujan Lecture of the CAMCS, SINP, will be delivered by Prof. H. Eugene Stanley, Professor of Physics, Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Physiology and Director, Center for Polymer Studies, Boston University, USA on “Economic Fluctuations and Statistical Physics: Quantifying Extremely Rare and Much Less Rare Events “ on 29th January, 2010. For more information, check out the CAMCS events page.

Professor Stanley recognized as Outstanding Referee of Physical Review and Physical Review Letters
January 22, 2010:

Professor Gene Stanley has been recognized by the American Physical Society as one among the 157 Outstanding Referees of the Physical Review and Physical Review Letters journals, as chosen by the journal editors for 2010.

Initiated in 2008, the Outstanding Referee program expresses appreciation for the essential work that anonymous peer reviewers do for their journals. Each year a small percentage of their 42,000 referees are to be selected and honored with the Outstanding Referee designation. Selections are made based on the number, quality, and timeliness of referee reports as collected in a database over the last 20 years. The program will recognize about 150 referees each year, although larger groups were selected in 2008 and 2009. A full listing and further details on the program are available on the APS website.