News

2021

University of Chicago to award four honorary degrees at 2022 Convocation

November 9, 2021

Katherine H. Freeman and Nergis Mavalvala

Two physical scientists will be among the four scholars awarded honorary degrees at the University of Chicago 2022 convocation. Katherine H. Freeman, an organic biogeochemist, developed the paleo-carbon dioxide proxy record that has contributed to the study of climate change. Nergis Mavalvala, a leading astrophysicist and LIGO collaborator, is notable for her work on the discovery of gravitational waves and for developing precision quantum optomechanics.


Priorities for next 10 years of astronomy include exoplanets, early days of universe

November 5, 2021

On Nov. 4, the National Academy of Sciences released its Astro2020 decadal survey, "Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s," which outlines a strategy and vision for a decade of transformative science at the frontiers of astronomy and astrophysics. Several University of Chicago projects were endorsed by the report and will lead the field for the next decade and beyond.


US Extremely Large Telescope Program ranked as top Astro2020 initiative

November 5, 2021

Giant Magellan Telescope illustration

Astro2020 ranked the US Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP) as the top frontier project for ground-based observatories, recommending federal support for the final construction stages of the Giant Magellan Telescope. The recommendation detailed that building an extremely large telescope “is absolutely essential if the United States is to maintain a position as a leader in ground-based astronomy.”


Prof. David Awschalom discusses the quantum revolution on NPR

November 5, 2021

David Awschalom

Prof. David Awschalom discusses the quantum revolution on WBEZ 91.5 FM Chicago prior to the opening of the fourth annual Chicago Quantum Summit.


Prof. Laura Gagliardi, Department of Chemistry, elected Foreign Member of the Italian National Academy

November 4, 2021

Laura Gagliardi

Laura Gagliardi, the Richard and Kathy Leventhal Professor in the Department of Chemistry, has been elected Foreign Member of the Italian National Academy, called Academia Nazionale Dei Lincei. This is an august body of scholars, whose Vice-President is Giorgio Parisi, recipient of the recent Nobel in physics.


Asst. Prof. Blase Ur comments on Facebook rebranding as Meta to emphasize ‘metaverse’ vision

November 4, 2021

A still of Blase Ur on WTTW television Chicago Tonight

Asst. Prof. Blase Ur, Department of Computer Science, discusses the meaning of the ‘metaverse’ on WTTW, in light of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rebranding his company as Meta in an effort to encompass its virtual-reality vision for the future — what Zuckerberg calls the 'metaverse.'


Using chemistry to extract water from the air, even in the desert

November 3, 2021

Desert scene

Laura Gagliardi, the Richard and Kathy Leventhal Professor in chemistry, and a team of scientists developed a device to extract water out of air. The breakthrough can work even in dry climates like deserts, and could have implications for water shortages associated with climate change.


Scientists are one step closer to error-correcting quantum computers

November 2, 2021

David Schuster with a quantum device

Prof. David Schuster, Department of Physics, comments on why demonstrating quantum error correction is a necessity for building useful quantum computers.


Technique opens ‘new window’ to understanding planets in other solar systems

October 29, 2021

An artist’s concept of a planet in another solar system that is as large as Jupiter, but close enough to its sun to be very hot.

An international team of scientists using the Gemini Observatory telescope in Chile has found a way to measure the amount of both water and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere of a planet in another solar system, roughly 340 light years away.


PSD in the News - October 2021

October 28, 2021

PSD against a white and turquoise background

This month PSD researchers have been featured for their efforts to create materials that can move and block heat, use a massive accelerator to analyze dust from an asteroid, and build wearable devices for signing ASL and playing piano.


Chicago Quantum Summit will gather leaders Nov. 4 to help build quantum ecosystems

October 28, 2021

Illustration of high energy physics at the quantum scale

On Nov. 4, the fourth annual Chicago Quantum Summit will bring together academic, government, and industry leaders to discuss how the field can strengthen and expand the quantum ecosystem, on local and global scales.


MicroBooNE’s new findings provide clues on longtime mystery in neutrino physics

October 27, 2021

A scientist stands inside the tunnel chamber of MicroBooNE neutrino detector at Fermi National Lab

Four complementary analyses released by the international MicroBooNE collaboration at Fermi National Laboratory show the same thing: no sign of the theoretical particle known as the sterile neutrino. Instead, the results align with the Standard Model of Particle Physics prediction: there are only three kinds of neutrinos.


Two PSD members honored in Spring 2022 APS Prizes and Awards

October 25, 2021

Giulia Galli, Philip (Bo) Hammer

Two members of the Physical Sciences Division are among those who will be honored in the American Physical Society’s Spring 2022 Prizes and Awards. IMSI Director Phillip (Bo) Hammer was recognized as part of the TEAM-UP Task Force for the 2022 Excellence in Physics Education Award. Prof. Giulia Galli of molecular engineering and chemistry was recognized with the 2022 Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics.


Scientists find strange black ‘superionic ice’ that could exist inside other planets

October 25, 2021

Scientists using diamonds and an X-Ray beam to recreate the conditions deep inside planets

Vitali Prakapenka, Research Professor with Center for Advanced Radiation Sources (CARS), GSECARS, is among a group of beamline scientists who have seen a new state of matter at high temperature and pressure called superionic ice. With the help of several powerful tools, they have found a way to reliably create, sustain, and examine the ice, which will inform new understandings of planetary formation.


Quantum biosensing: medicine at the smallest scales

October 22, 2021

illustration of photons entering a molecule to demonstrate a system for biosensing

Chemistry professor and director of the new QuBBE initiative, Greg Engel, explains the convergence between the sensitivity that is possible with quantum measurement and the absolute need in biology to understand things on exactly these scales, a combination that makes quantum biosensing the frontier of biological measurements.