News: 2019


PSD in the News - October 2019

October 30, 2019

Physical Sciences data map logo

This month, PSD researchers have been featured for shaping the emerging field of AI, developing blood tests to detect diabetic complications and cancer, creating new models for moon formation, and more.

A proof about where symmetries can’t exist

October 30, 2019

President Robert Zimmer

A year ago a trio of mathematicians solved what’s called Zimmer’s conjecture, which is named after mathematician and University of Chicago president, Robert Zimmer. Their proof stands as one of the biggest mathematical achievements in recent years. President Robert Zimmer discusses the original question and geometric symmetries with Quanta Magazine.

NASA moon rocks help form new picture of early moon and Earth

October 30, 2019

Illustration showing a large object crashing into the Earth, which may have resulted in the creation of the moon

Conducted in the lab of Prof. Nicolas Dauphas, a study measured rubidium in both the Earth and moon and created a new model to explain the differences in their makeup. The breakthrough reveals new insights into a conundrum about the moon’s formation that has gripped the field of lunar science over the past decade, known as the “lunar isotopic crisis.”

UChicago scientists model how cooling atmosphere can tip climate into glacial periods

October 30, 2019

Seal makes track in iceberg

In a new study, Asst. Prof. Malte Jansen and former UChicago postdoctoral researcher Alice Marzocchi lay out how an initial change in climate could start a chain of events that leads to an ice age. Their model shows how the increase in Antarctic sea ice in a colder climate could trigger a waterfall of changes that could contribute to tipping the global climate into glacial periods.

Giant Magellan Telescope signs contract for telescope structure

October 30, 2019

Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile

GMTO Corporation, the organization managing the development of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) on behalf of its U.S. and international founders, has signed a contract with MT Mechatronics and Ingersoll Machine Tools to design, build and install the telescope’s precision steel structure. The GMT is a 24.5-meter (80-ft) diameter next-generation giant optical-infrared observatory that will explore the frontiers of astronomy, including seeking to answer one of humanity’s most pressing questions: “Are we alone?” The GMT will study the atmospheres of planets orbiting stars far from our solar system to search for signs of biochemistry.

Michelson Center for Physics wins AIA Chicago Design Excellence Award

October 25, 2019

Physical Sciences data map logo

The Michelson Center for Physics at the University of Chicago was awarded an AIA Chicago Design Excellence Award in the Distinguished Building category at Navy Pier on October 25. The Design Excellence Award recognizes the best work by Chicago architecture firms worldwide as well as Chicago-based projects by national and international firms.

​Theorists discover the ‘Rosetta Stone’ for neutrino physics

October 24, 2019

Picture of the world's first neutrino observation in a hydrogen bubble chamber.

Three physicists at the University of Chicago and two national laboratories have discovered a fundamental identity in linear algebra—based on studying particle physics. 

​PSD grad student collaborates with artist to create aural depictions of melting continent

October 24, 2019

Artist Katie Wood lowering microphone close to melting snow in Indiana Dunes National Park

Geophysical sciences graduate student Grant McDonald and artist Katie Wood developed an audio work of the sounds of Antarctic glaciers to call attention to climate change and its effects on the melting continent. 

PSD Spotlight: Yamuna Krishnan

October 22, 2019

Yamuna Krishnan

Prof. Yamuna Krishnan of the Department of Chemistry is November 2019’s PSD Spotlight. She has been at the University for five years and particularly enjoys the “breadth of science covered by the PSD—from computer science and math to chemical biology.”

Department of Energy awards funding for next-generation dark matter research

October 22, 2019

Physical Sciences data map logo

The Department of Energy announced that it has awarded funding to boost research on dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up an astounding 85% of the matter in the universe. The University of Chicago is a partner in the Fermilab-led initiative, Toward unprecedented sensitivity with skipper CCDs.

Students envision future of tech—from AI to computer programming

October 22, 2019

Student in green shirt looking at computer screens

The DOE partnered with the University of Chicago and its affiliated laboratories, Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory on a recent event to teach and inspire middle and high school students to consider a future in developing AI technology.

2018 Nobel laureate in Physics, Prof. Donna Strickland, to speak at UChicago

October 17, 2019

Donna Strickland, 2018 Nobel laureate

On October 24, the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Lectures at the University of Chicago—named in honor of the second woman to win a Nobel Prize in Physics—will feature the third woman to win, 2018 Nobel laureate Prof. Donna Strickland.

UChicago STEM Education Partners with Activate Learning on New K-5 Science Curriculum

October 16, 2019

Teacher shows student an acorn

UChicago STEM Education at The University of Chicago and Activate Learning today announced an exciting partnership to publish Activate Learning PRIME™, a K-5 investigation-centered science curriculum.

​Astronomers use giant galaxy cluster as X-ray magnifying lens

October 16, 2019

Picture of Magellan Telescopes at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile at night with the night sky full of stars.

Astronomers at the University of Chicago, MIT and elsewhere have used a massive cluster of galaxies as an X-ray magnifying glass to peer back in time, to nearly 9.4 billion years ago. In the process, they spotted a tiny dwarf galaxy in its very first, high-energy stages of star formation

UChicago and Argonne scientist Ian Foster awarded $1 million by DOE Office of Science

October 16, 2019

Ian Foster

The Department of Energy has awarded University of Chicago and Argonne scientist Ian Foster $1 million over three years as part of the inaugural Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellowship program.