Boston University Physics News
Assistant Professor Anushya Chandran was recently named a 2018 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. Chandran's research focuses mainly on quantum many-body theory and non-equilibrium systems. Congragualtions Anushya for recognition!
Work done by the Ahlen group and the Scientific Instrument Facility (SIF) at BU have been featured in a press release by the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument or DESI project. The SIF at BU and the Ahlen group, which consists of Professor Steve Ahlen and grad student Yutong Duan, and have contributed to the production of a large number of components for DESI.
The DESI will be installed and run from Kitt Peak National Observatory. The project aims to provide new insights about the universe’s expansion and large-scale structure. In addition, it aims to help set limits on theories related to gravity and the formative stages of the universe, and could even provide new mass measurements for a variety of elusive yet abundant subatomic particles called neutrinos.
The project will use an array of 5,000 swiveling robots, each carefully choreographed to point a fiber-optic cable at a preprogrammed sequence of deep-space objects, including millions of galaxies and quasars, which are galaxies that harbor actively feeding, massive black holes. It aims to scan one-third of the sky and will capture about 10 times more data than predecessor surveys.
From March 11th to March 15th, BU Physics will be hosting the Non-thermal Quantum Systems Conference. This conference, located in the Rajen Kilachand Center, will emphasize short talks, long open discussion periods and a large number of junior participants including speakers.
This BU-CUNY workshop continues in this tradition and aims to bring together a group of creative experts, young and old, to push the non-equilibrium frontier. In this workshop there will be two main topics which will be discussed. The first is the attempt to unify concepts between classical mechanics and high energy physics on glassiness, scrambling, chaos and thermalization in the context of many-body quantum systems. The second topic is theoretical ideas in dynamical control of quantum information motivated by recent exciting experiments in superconducting and quantum optical platforms demonstrating small-scale coherent quantum computation.
The workshops will be organized by BU physics professors Chris Laumann, Anushya Chandran, Anatoli Polkovnikov, BU Physics student Phillip Weinberg as well as CUNY professors Vadim Oganesyan and Sarang Gopalakrishnan.
Congratulations to Prof. Larry Sulak who has been awarded the 2018 W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics, recognizing outstanding achievements in experimental particle physics, by the American Physical Society. This award was established in 1985 by friends of W. K. H. Panofsky and the Division of Particles and Fields, Stanford University and SLAC, and is the top APS prize in the discipline of experimental particle physics. The citation recognizes Larry's seminal work on developing the water Cherenkov technique:
“For novel contributions to detection techniques, including pioneering developments for massive water Cherenkov detectors that led to major advances in nucleon decay and neutrino oscillation physics."
The prize will be presented at the APS April Meeting Prize and Award Ceremony on Sunday, April 15, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.
Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Directed Multiscale Assembly of Cellular Metamaterials with Nanoscale Precision:
CELL-MET - A National Science Foundation Research Center
Synthesizing Personalized Heart Tissue for Clinical Use
The NSF Engineering Research Center in Cellular Metamaterials – CELL-MET – is designed to stimulate translation of research to practice by facilitating worldwide corporate, clinical, and institutional partnerships. CELL-MET—with Boston University as the lead institution— aims to transform cardiovascular care by combining breakthroughs in nanotechnology and manufacturing with tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, while also developing areas of expertise in education, diversity, administration, and outreach.
CELL-MET will use the latest multiscale 3D printing technologies to engineer scaffolds that guide cells to assemble into complex tissues that exhibit desired behaviors. The scaffolds will incorporate actuators to apply dynamic electrical and mechanical signals as well as cellular “glues” that include biological signaling molecules, all of which can be chosen to foster desired activity of the cells and tissue. The researchers will also employ optogenetics and other imaging techniques to monitor and control cellular activity. The ultimate goal is to fabricate personalized heart tissue that could be used in the shorter term to test the efficacy of drugs and eventually to replace diseased or damaged muscle after a heart attack.
CELL-MET will be housed at Boston University, the lead institution on the grant. David Bishop, an ENG professor of electrical and computer engineering, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of physics, and head of ENG’s Division of Materials Science & Engineering, will direct the center. Two partner institutions—the University of Michigan and Florida International University—as well as six affiliate institutions—Harvard Medical School, Columbia University, the Wyss Institute at Harvard, Argonne National Laboratory, the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, and the Centro Atómico Bariloche/Instituto Balseiro in Argentina—will offer additional expertise in bioengineering, nanotechnology, and other areas.
For more: http://sites.bu.edu/cell-met/
Research Professor Plamen Ch. Ivanov initiated and directed the First International Summer Institute on Network Physiology (ISINP 2017) at the Lake Como School for Advanced Studies, Italy. Attended by participants from 16 countries, the event laid the foundations of a new 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: Drs. Xiyun Zhang, Fabrizio Lombardi, Chengyu Huo (postdoctoral fellows) and Jilin Wang (PhD student) at the BU Physics Department.
Congratulations to Prof. Larry Sulak for being recognized with the American Physical Society Division of Particles and Fields Instrumentation Award. Larry presented a review of his seminal contributions to the water Cherenkov technique at the DPF meeting prize ceremony on August 4. Larry is seen here with DPF chairperson Marcela Carena.
Photo crdits: Reider Hahn, Fermilab
Bernard (Bernie) Chasan, emeritus professor of physics, passed away in Boston on July 24th. Born in 1934 in Brooklyn, NY, he graduated from Columbia College and earned his PhD in physics from Cornell University.
Chasan joined Boston University’s physics department in 1962 and immediately became an integral member of the faculty. He was described by colleague and Professor Emeritus George Zimmerman as “one of the go to members who could be relied on to help whenever there was a situation that required it.” Professor Karl Ludwig shared similar sentiments, acknowledging Chasan’s mentor role and efforts to ensure others had the support they needed. “Bernie was a very thoughtful and caring mentor when I arrived at BU in 1988. [He] always looked out for others, particularly young members of the department,” said Ludwig. Chasan was also immensely respected and liked by his students, “known among [them] as a particularly devoted and spirited teacher,” according to (name). In addition to his academic role at BU, Chasan also served as the chair of the Department of Physics from 1983-85.
During his time at BU, Chasan studied nuclear physics and biophysics and became an expert Atomic Force Microscope scientist. The difficulty in successfully using an AFM was a skill that Chasan mastered. “It is really more of an art than a science,” said biophysicist Rama Bansil, who collaborated with Chasan on several projects. “Bernie’s just got the right touch.” Chasan collaborated with colleagues across BU and beyond, including working with Massachusetts General Hospital urologist Horacio Cantiello studying the chemical transition between cell membranes across protein channels.
In addition to his research, Chasan was devoted to his students and educational outreach efforts. He developed an undergraduate biophysics course in which he used physics as a way to explain biological processes, such as protein folding and membrane structures. He first taught this course as a summer course for minority students, and several outstanding undergraduate minority students majoring in physics, biology, biochemistry and engineering attended. This course gave students a firsthand look into biophysics and allowed them access to Rama Bansil’s lab.
Chasan’s connections to colleagues extended beyond just the lab and the classroom. He is remembered by several colleagues for his friendship, his love of music and great sense of humor. “He loved puns and would insert them into the conversation given the slightest opportunity,” said Professor William Klein. “Being with Bernie was always fun and interesting and he could talk intelligently about almost any subject…Bernie would always have something of interest to contribute, and it was clear that his opinions were based on a deep, rather than superficial, knowledge. That knowledge came from his inquisitive mind and his wide range of interests, “ Klein went on to say.
Bernie Chasan contributed immensely as a friend, teacher, researcher and mentor during his time at Boston University, and he will not soon be forgotten.
Written by: CAS News
Artticle can be found here
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.