News

2021

Quanta podcast: Amie Wilkinson sees the dynamic chaos in puff pastry

May 7, 2021

To a dynamicist like Amie Wilkinson, understanding the universe is about knowing all the right moves. Find out more on this podcast from Quanta Magazine.


Victor Barcilon, applied mathematician and geophysical scientist, 1939-2020

May 7, 2021

Prof. Emeritus Victor Barcilon, applied mathematician and geophysical scientist, died April 15, 2020. A long-time professor at the University of Chicago, Barcilon showed a gift for using a type of mathematics called asymptotic analysis to improve understanding of the physical principles behind the world, from the mechanics of neurons to the behavior of oceans, glaciers and rock over time.
 


In unique year, UChicago students find togetherness—apart

May 6, 2021

In a unique year, UChicago students find togetherness—apart. Students across majors joined astro professor Daniel Holz for “Are We Doomed?,” a class that uses readings and guest experts to inform different apocalyptic scenarios: nuclear war, climate change, artificial intelligence, and of course, pandemics and related biological issues.


Physicist Marc Kamionkowski, PhD’91, awarded 2021 Gruber Cosmology Prize

May 5, 2021

Theoretical physicist Marc Kamionkowski, PhD’91, has been awarded the 2021 Gruber Cosmology Prize, along with Uroš Seljak of UC Berkeley and LBL, and Matias Zaldarriaga of IAS, for their contributions to methods essential for studying the early universe through analysis of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background. The award is given through the Gruber Foundation, which was established at Yale to honor and encourage excellence in the fields of cosmology, genetics, neuroscience, justice, and women’s rights.


Physicists reveal how motion can be generated by frustration

May 3, 2021

An interdisciplinary team of UChicago physicists, including Michael Fruchart, Ryo Hanai, Peter Littlewood, and Vincenzo Vitelli, published a new theory for non-reciprocal matter in Nature. They describe how systems composed of many objects that have non-reciprocal interactions can evolve in surprising ways. This may underlie many phenomena we see around us, from neurons to bird flocks and quantum systems.


Physics students selected for DOE national lab research program

April 29, 2021

Edgar Marrufo and Aurora Ireland, graduate students in the Department of Physics, are among 78 outstanding U.S. graduate students who have been selected by The Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program to perform research in national laboratories.


PSD in the News - April 2021

April 29, 2021

This month PSD researchers have been featured for their efforts to build a quantum bit that can search for dark matter, use muscle response for digital authentication, design 'nanotraps' to catch and clear coronavirus from tissue, and harness molecules into a single quantum state. 


John C. Martin, 69, PhD’77 in Chemistry, led Gilead Sciences to breakthroughs in HIV and hepatitis C treatment

April 28, 2021

The PSD remembers organic chemist John C. Martin, PhD’77, who became a billionaire by developing and marketing a daily single-dose pill that transformed HIV into a manageable disease and who popularized another drug that cures hepatitis C. He died on March 30 at age 69.


In long-awaited breakthrough, physicists harness molecules into single quantum state

April 28, 2021

In a long-awaited breakthrough, Prof. Cheng Chin and graduate students in the Department of Physics have harnessed molecules into a single quantum state —one of the most important goals in quantum physics.


UChicago scientists design ‘nanotraps’ to catch and clear coronavirus from tissue

April 28, 2021

UChicago scientists, including Assoc. Prof. Bozhi Tian of Chemistry, design ‘nanotraps’ to catch and clear coronavirus from tissue. The potential COVID-19 treatment pairs nanoparticles with immune system to search and destroy viruses.


Unlocking the secrets of Earth’s early atmosphere

April 28, 2021

UChicago beamline scientists at the GeoSoilEnviroCARS facility housed at Argonne National Laboratory helped geologists unlock the secrets of Earth’s early atmosphere. The technique involves very small beams that can measure the exact composition of the atmosphere when Earth’s oldest rocks were formed.


Meet MS-PSD student, Fernando Bañales Mejia

April 27, 2021

Fernando Bañales Mejia was born and raised in Riverside, California. After graduating from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York, in 2017, he attended the University of Chicago for two years as a PSD Pathway scholar in the Master of Science in the Physical Sciences Division (MSPSD) program. He completed the program in 2020, during the pandemic.


Searching for the Universe’s most energetic particles, astronomers turn on the radio

April 27, 2021

Graduate student Katrina Miller writes for Scientific American about astronomers, like Assoc. Prof. in physics Abigail Vieregg who works on IceCube, searching for the Universe’s most energetic particles by turning on the radio.


Victor Veitch, first UChicago data science faculty, builds “safe and credible” AI systems

April 27, 2021

Victor Veitch, a new assistant professor in the Department of Statistics and the first faculty hire in the University of Chicago’s new data science initiative, wants to see a future of “safe and credible” artificial intelligence. In order to realize that vision, he’s interested in revising the foundations of machine learning so that models work in ways more palatable to humans and human values, instead of today’s black boxes and non-sequitur logic.


Icy clouds could have kept early Mars warm enough for rivers and lakes

April 27, 2021

Planetary scientist Edwin Kite led a study finding icy clouds could have kept early Mars warm enough for rivers and lakes.