News: 2021


Prof. Jiwoong Park leads scientists to create material that can both move and block heat

October 1, 2021

Illustration of ultra-thin layers of crystal on top of each other indicating heat exchange

By stacking ultra-thin layers of crystal on top of each other, rotated slightly, researchers led by Jiwoong Park, professor of chemistry and molecular engineering, created a material that is extremely good at both containing heat and moving it—an unusual ability at the microscale.

Diversity Advisory Board awards geosci student, Haynes Stephens, for championing diversity, inclusion

October 1, 2021

Haynes Stephens

Haynes Stephens, a graduate student in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences, has been awarded by the Diversity Advisory Board for his efforts on behalf of diversity and inclusion in the PSD. Read more about his contributions to the Division.

Scientists use nuclear physics to probe Floridan Aquifer threatened by climate change

October 1, 2021

Reika Yokochi collects water samples

As rising sea levels threaten coastal areas, scientists like Reika Yokochi in the Department of the Geophysical Sciences are using an emerging nuclear dating technique to track the ins and outs of water flow.


DOE grant funds UChicago, Argonne research on AI models informing climate change

September 28, 2021

An image of snow on frozen power lines demonstrating the effects of severe weather events

A new project funded through a $3.25 million grant from DoE to UChicago and Argonne National Lab will allow researchers to apply artificial intelligence to accelerate the scientific simulation of complex physical systems, especially those relating to climate change.

QuSTEAM initiative awarded $5M to advance quantum science education

September 27, 2021

blue and grey spheres represent quantum states in motion

The University of Chicago and the Chicago Quantum Exchange are among the partnering institutions awarded $5 million from the NSF’s Convergence Accelerator. QuSTEAM: Convergence Undergraduate Education in Quantum Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics will be a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional program led by Ohio State intended to revolutionize and create more equitable pathways to quantum science education.

Center for Bright Beams awarded $22M to boost accelerator science

September 24, 2021

A UChicago postdoc works in a clean room at Cornell University doing electron beam research

UChicago is a partner a collaboration of researchers led by Cornell University that has been awarded $22.5 million from the National Science Foundation to continue gaining the fundamental understanding needed to transform the brightness of electron beams available to science, medicine and industry.

Five UChicago CS students named to Siebel Scholars 2022 class

September 24, 2021

Portraits of five computer sciences students who were named Siebel Scholars for 2022

Three PhD students and two students in the MS in Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MS-CAPP) program were named to the 2022 class of the Siebel Scholars. This year’s class of UChicago CS Siebel Scholars includes students studying quantum computing, security and privacy, and energy-efficient software, as well as master’s students working with policymakers, non-profits, and governments on applying data-driven and computational methods for transformative social impact.

Revolutionizing technology at the nanoscale, podcast with Paul Alivisatos

September 24, 2021

Paul Alivisatos with the BigBrains podcast logo at the bottom left

The Big Brains podcast speaks with Paul Alivisatos, the new UChicago president and nanomaterials pioneer. He discusses his field-defining research and how universities can support scientific discovery.

Introducing new faculty in the Physical Sciences Division

September 23, 2021

psd logo

Welcome to the new faculty joining the Physical Sciences Division in '21-22 academic year!

PSD in the News - September 2021

September 23, 2021

PSD against a white and turquoise background

This month PSD researchers have been featured for their efforts to develop a new carbon material for better bioelectronics, to engineer organic capsules that vacuum and deliver cargo at will, and to understand how particles might communicate with each other and relate as symmetries.

Sebastian Hurtado-Salazar wins 2022 New Horizons in Mathematics Prize

September 22, 2021

Sebastian Hurtado Salazar

Assistant Professor Sebastian Hurtado-Salazar of the Department of Mathematics has been awarded the 2022 Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics “for contributions to the proof of Zimmer’s conjecture.” He shares it with Aaron Brown of Northwestern University. Their work has shown there is a cutoff in how many dimensions a space can have and also have special symmetries called higher-rank lattices.

Rethinking the logic behind cells’ molecular signals

September 22, 2021

Scientific illustration of new, promiscuous models for molecular interactions, as opposed to 1 on 1.

Scientists are exploring combinatorial rules for new models of the molecular wiring of cells. Assistant Professor Arvind Murugan, Department of Physics, contributed to modeling work that showed how promiscuous systems of molecular interactions could offer advantages over one-to-one sets of interactions.

PSD Spotlight: Dave Schmitz

September 21, 2021

Dave Schmitz

PSD’s September spotlight is Dave Schmitz, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and the Enrico Fermi Institute and newly appointed Deputy Dean of Diversity and Inclusion for the PSD. Dave has been with the University of Chicago since September 2012.

Prof. David DeMille awarded Cottrell Plus SEED award

September 16, 2021

David DeMille

An interview with Prof. David DeMille, Department of Physics and JFI, recent winner of the Cottrell Plus SEED (Singular Exceptional Endeavors of Discovery) Award for 2021. DeMille discusses the broader questions he is trying to answer with his SEED project, "Developing a New Tabletop-scale Approach to Detect Particles One Million Times More Massive than the Higgs Boson.”

Biochemist Prof. Benoît Roux elected Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada

September 15, 2021

Professor Benoît Roux

Professor Benoît Roux of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Department of Chemistry, has been elected a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada. Benoît, who has been at UChicago since 2006 and is Canadian, uses theoretical and computational methods to advance our understanding of the structure, dynamics, and function of biological macromolecular systems at the atomic level.