News: 2021


UChicago-led research team develops “blueprint” for quantum materials

October 21, 2021

A University of Chicago-led research team has written a blueprint on a special class of qubit materials. Their work is featured on the cover of Nature Reviews Materials this month.

Researchers at the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and institutions in Japan, Korea, and Hungary published a blueprint for a class of materials that is quickly emerging as an important player in quantum science: crystals with defects.

2-D room-temperature magnets could unlock quantum computing

October 21, 2021

An illustration of a man waving a banner

Prof. David Awschalom of physics comments on the big obstacles to creating commercial spintronic devices or shrinking conventional data storage.

Weizmann Institute of Science joins Giant Magellan Telescope, a top priority for science worldwide

October 20, 2021

Giant Magellan Telescope

On September 14, 2021, the GMTO Corporation welcomed the Weizmann Institute of Science into its international consortium of distinguished universities and research institutions building the Giant Magellan Telescope, which includes the University of Chicago. The new partnership reinforces that completing the largest and most powerful Gregorian optical-infrared telescope ever engineered is a top priority for the global scientific community.

Ancient Martian ‘lake’ may have just been ephemeral puddles

October 20, 2021

Curiosity Mars rover

Asst. Prof. Edwin Kite, Department of the Geophysical Sciences, responds to a new study on Martian terrain that suggests the ‘lake’ believed to be at the landing site of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover may have only been a series of smaller, transient puddles.

PSD Spotlight: Sarah Lippert

October 19, 2021

Sarah Lippert

PSD’s October spotlight is Sarah Lippert, newly appointed Assistant Dean of Students in the Physical Sciences Division. Sarah has been with the University of Chicago since December 2008.

Bo Hammer, IMSI, awarded 2022 Excellence in Physics Education Award from APS

October 18, 2021

Philip Hammer

Philip (Bo) Hammer, Executive Director of IMSI, has been awarded the 2022 Excellence in Physics Education Award from APS. Hammer was cited for his work creating a national task force on the underrepresentation of African Americans in physics & astronomy.

Chemist Mark Levin named 2021 Packard Fellow

October 14, 2021

Mark Levin

Assistant Prof. Mark Levin of the Dept. of Chemistry has received a 2021 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering. Levin is one of 20 early-career scientists and engineers nationwide to receive the fellowship, providing $875,000 over five years to support his research into inventing a new chemical reaction that can “live-edit” molecules down to the level of single-atom precision.

Nation’s first quantum accelerator, Duality, announces first corporate supporters

October 14, 2021

Illustration of quantum interactions in a field

Duality, the nation’s first accelerator focused exclusively on supporting quantum science and technology companies, has announced that Amazon Web Services is among its first corporate supporters, along with Caruso Ventures, Lathrop GPM LLP, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff, Silicon Valley Bank, and Toptica Photonics to support its inaugural cohort of six startups, and help fuel quantum innovation in Chicago and the region.

To watch a comet form, a spacecraft could tag along for a journey toward the sun

October 14, 2021

Siding Spring comet

Darryl Seligman, T.C. Chamberlin Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences, says ‘Centaurs’ near Jupiter could provide a unique opportunity to learn about the solar system.

Three UChicago scientists named 2021 fellows of American Physical Society

October 13, 2021

Portraits of Yau Wah, Liang Jiang, and Aashish Clerk who were named fellows of the American Physical Society

Prof. Yau W. Wah of the Dept. of Physics is among three UChicago professors to have been named 2021 fellows of the American Physical Society. Wah was recognized for “leadership in the experimental study of rare neutral kaon decays, in particular, the search for KL to pi0 nu nu-bar, the so-called ‘golden mode’ of rare kaon decays.” Prof. Liang Jiang and Prof. Aashish Clerk of Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering were also recognized.

From the deserts of Wyoming to the Human-Computer Integration Lab: PSD graduate students engage in summer research projects

October 12, 2021

Washakie Basin, Wyoming, against a large blue sky, to show where fossils are hunted

From an expedition to hunt for fossils in the deserts of Wyoming to building a virtual reality headset, University of Chicago Physical Sciences Division graduate students were exploring a range of questions during the Summer Quarter. Here is how six students spent the summer.

New wearable device controls individual fingers for sign language, music applications

October 11, 2021

a hand with a wearable electronic device affixed

Computer science researchers in Asst. Prof. Pedro Lopes’ Human Computer Integration Lab recently presented their design for DextrEMS, a wearable device combining electrical muscle stimulation and mechanical brakes to control individual fingers.

Students granted DOE Graduate Student Research Award for HEP at Fermi, data science at Argonne

October 8, 2021

Daniel King, left, Alexander Hryciuk

The Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program has selected two PSD students for its national laboratory research award. Chemistry students, Daniel King, will join research on data science for AI applications to chemical, geological, biochemical, and materials sciences at Argonne National Laboratory. Physics student, Alexander Hryciuk, will join experimental research on high energy physics at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Sixty-five students were awarded nationwide.

Asst. Prof. Edwin Kite awarded funding from first RSCA Scialog initiative

October 8, 2021

Edwin Kite

Assistant Professor Edwin Kite, Department of the Geophysical Sciences, has been awarded funding from the first Scialog initiative, which is short for “science + dialog.” Created by Research Corp. for Science Advancement, the Scialog format brings together early-career scientists to write proposals for high-risk, high-reward collaborations. Kite’s group proposed to create stochastic simulation of evolving planetary biospheres. They were among 20 groups selected, with $55,000 granted from Simons Foundation.

Dust collected from a speeding asteroid analyzed with massive accelerator

October 1, 2021

A team that includes UChicago, Argonne beamline scientist Barbara Lavina and physicist Jiyong Zhao will be among the first to study asteroid fragments from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft. This summer they took readings of asteroid fragments using X-ray scattering methods at beamline 3-ID-B at the Advanced Photon Source. Next, the fragments will return to Argonne for more extensive readings using Mössbauer spectroscopy techniques.