News: 2021


PSD in the News - April 2021

April 29, 2021

PSD against a white and turquoise background

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

John C. Martin

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

Prof. Cheng Chin in his laboratory at the University of Chicago, where his lab announced a breakthrough in bringing multiple molecules at once into a single quantum state—one of the most important goals in quantum physics.

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

A scanning electron microscope image of a nanotrap (orange) binding a simulated SARS-CoV-2 virus (dots in green).

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

An image of the sphere of Mars sliced and up against the sphere of Earth to illustrate differences in their atmospheres.

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

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

An artist’s composite of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica

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

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

Illustration of Mars Rover Perserverance

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

Laura Gagliardi and Angela Olinto elected to National Academy of Sciences

April 27, 2021

Laura Gagliardi and Angela Olinto, on a maroon background

Chemist Laura Gagliardi and astrophysicist and dean Angela Olinto elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Alivisatos has big shoes to fill—and he’s ready to fill them

April 26, 2021

Paul Alivisatos

UChicago’s incoming President Alivisatos is committed to supporting students from a broad array of backgrounds and to fostering a pride in academic inquiry in the same way President Zimmer has been. The Chicago Maroon on this and many other positive qualities he shares with the current president.

2021 Academy of Arts & Sciences

April 26, 2021

Amie Wilkinson, Benson Farb, Angela Olinto, and the

Pioneering mathematicians Amie Wilkinson and Benson Farb and astrophysicist and Dean of the Physical Sciences Angela Olinto have been elected to the 2021 American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Asst. Prof. Sarah Sebo discusses human-robot interaction and “inner speech”

April 22, 2021

Sarah Sebo

Assistant professor in computer science, Sarah Sebo, discusses human-robot interaction and "inner speech" — in humans, and now, robots.

PSD Spotlight: Jolene Hanchar

April 21, 2021

Jolene Hanchar

PSD’s April spotlight is Jolene Hanchar, Department Administrator for the Department of the Geophysical Sciences. Jolene has been with UChicago for 20 years, since 2001.

Assistant Professor Chenhao Tan weighs in on the science of making tweets go viral

April 19, 2021

Chenhao Tao

Assistant Professor Chenhao Tan weighs in on the science of making tweets go viral and if negative tweets are longer lasting.