Carnegie Mellon University

What's new at CMU Physics?

October 2017:

Announcement of a neutron star merger excites astrophysics community
• Dan Akerib (Stanford) to present 5th BennetT-McWilliams Lecture on Oct. 26

September 2017:

• Loesche Group is Awarded $2.5M NCNR Comprehensive Grant
• CMU Physics Team Measures Gravitational Redshift of Galaxies
• Assistant Professor Benjamin Hunt wins DOE's Early Career Award

July 2017:

Three Faculty openings announced in Condensed Matter Physics and Particle Physics

More News Snippets       Alumni in the NEws

Most Recent News Stories

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Good Month for Gravitational Astronomy

October has been a very good month for gravitational waves. On the heels of the 2015 detection of gravitational waves by the LIGO collaboration, three pioneers in the field were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on October 3. Two weeks later, the astronomy community is celebrating yet another stunning success with the announcement of multiple observations of a binary neutron star merger, detected first via the gravitational waves it emitted and thereafter in multiple electromagnetic bands.
Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Bennett-McWilliams Lecture 2017: Dan Akerib

Learn more about dark matter and the current state of the search for dark matter particles when Stanford Physicist Dan Akerib presents Carnegie Mellon University’s 5th Bennett-McWilliams Lecture in Cosmology, which is open to the general public, on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 4:30 p.m. in the Gates-Hillman Center’s Rashid Auditorium.
Friday, September 29, 2017

CMU Physics Partners with NIST to Promote Neutron Scattering in the Life Sciences

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced an award to CMU earlier this month supporting a Center of Excellence Initiative to promote neutron scattering in the life sciences through the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) Comprehensive Grant Program. The $2.5M award recognizes the long-standing activities of the Lösche group in the CMU Physics Department in the development and application of neutron scattering techniques in membrane biophysics and makes CMU a key partner of the NCNR in biological and biomedical research.
Thursday, September 28, 2017

CMU Physics Team Measures Gravitational Redshift of Galaxies

Einstein's theory of gravity, General Relativity works spectacularly well at the level of planets, stars and the solar system. But how can we test how well it works for larger objects like galaxies and even superclusters of galaxies? Astrophysicists at Carnegie Mellon found a way, measuring the frequency shift of light from massive galaxies due to gravity ("gravitational redshift"). Their results are consistent with Einstein's Theory and appear as a series of four papers in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ben Hunt Wins DoE Early Career Award

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Physics professor Benjamin Hunt a prestigious Early Career grant. The award will provide $750,000 over the next five years to study how layering different two-dimensional crystals (such as graphene and the magnetic insulator CrSiTe3) can lead to new, emergent properties in the composite layered structure. Hunt is an experimental condensed matter physicist and a member of the Quantum Electronics Group at Carnegie Mellon. He is generally interested in in the complex behavior that matter exhibits in the quantum limit: at low temperatures, in reduced dimensions (particularly, the properties of 2D electrons), and under large electric and magnetic fields.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Chasing the Secrets of Internal Cell Organization

The elasticity of lipid membranes principally rests on two physical degrees of freedom: membrane curvature and lipid tilt. Nearly twenty years ago, Hamm and Kozlov introduced a two-dimensional membrane model that extended Helfrich’s seminal curvature-elastic Hamiltonian to account for both membrane curvature and lipid tilt within a unified elastic framework. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University led by Physics Professor Markus Deserno have recognized a fundamental inconsistency in this widely accepted model and proposed a novel and more accurate theory in The Journal of Chemical Physics.
Friday, September 01, 2017

New HEDM Project at ANL

The National Science Foundation announced funding of a $1.5M new High Energy Diffraction Microscope (HEDM) at the Advanced Photon Source synchrotron. The project is led by Robert M. Suter of the CMU Physics Department and involves faculty at Purdue University, Colorado School of Mines and the University of Utah. The new instrument will take advantage of new detector and positioning technologies and will use modern software designs that allow enhanced experimental control and feedback as well as accelerated data reduction to produce microscope output on the time scale of the data collection. The instrument will relieve the high demand on the current facility where the measurement technique was developed under Suter's leadership.
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dodelson Takes Helm at CMU Physics

Renowned astrophysicist Scott Dodelson has been named the Head of the Department of Physics in Carnegie Mellon University’s Mellon College of Science. Dodelson conducts research at the interface between particle physics and cosmology, examining the phenomena of dark energy, dark matter, inflation and cosmological neutrinos.
Friday, August 18, 2017

The Solar Eclipse and Eddington's Experiment

At 1:45 on Monday afternoon, August 21, the moon will begin blocking the light coming to us from the Sun. Over the next half hour the skies will darken and then return to normal, birds will tweet their confusion, and many of those on campus will experience for the first time the wonders of a Solar Eclipse. Traveling to be in the path of the total eclipse, Assistant Professor Matt Walker will attempt to recreate the famous experiment of Arthur Eddington in 1919 that proved Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity to be correct.
Friday, May 12, 2017

BlueTides Simulation Explores Early Universe

A gigantic computer model, BlueTides, explores the development of the Early Universe as it reaches back to the earliest large-scale structures that were already in place a mere billion years after the Big Bang that started it all. CMU Physics professors Tiziana Di Matteo and Rupert Croft and their collaborators implemented a simulation that encompasses hundreds of thousands of galaxies and contains almost a trillion individual objects. BlueTides shows that the super-massive black holes at the fringe of the Universe, and the early quasars they power up, could have formed according to the known laws of physics.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Leonard Kisslinger Wins Carnegie Science Award for Work with Middle School Students

The CMU Physics Concepts Program is an outreach effort in which CMU students mentor middle school students in the Pittsburgh area. It was conceived by Physics Professor Emeritus Leonard Kisslinger more than 20 years ago and has been nurtured ever since. On May 12, 2017, Kisslinger receives the Carnegie Science Award for his leadership in STEM education. honoring his long-term engagement for middle schoolers in a district where more than half of the students come from disadvantaged families.
Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Buhl Lecture 2017

Princeton University physicist William Bialek will present Carnegie Mellon University’s annual Buhl Lecture at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, April 13 in the Mellon Institute Auditorium, 4400 Fifth Ave. in Oakland. His lecture, “The Physics of Life: How Much Can We Calculate,” is free and open to the public.
Monday, February 27, 2017

Glue-X Experiment at JLab

After nearly 20 years in promoting, designing, building and commissioning, the Gluonic Excitations (GlueX) experiment, led by CMU Professor Curtis Meyer, has produced its first scientific result. GlueX is the flagship physics experiment of a major upgrade to the DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab) and will utilize high-energy polarized beams of photons to produce a form of nuclear matter in which the gluons binding the quarks inside of protons and neutrons can directly contribute to the properties of the exotic matter.
Sunday, February 19, 2017

Search for Supersymmetry

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, colliding protons at almost the speed of light 40 million times every second. While many are familiar with the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson, the collider’s work is far from done. Carnegie Mellon scientists are now looking for light supersymmetric particles that would escape the detector undetected—much like how neutrinos that leave the LHC’s collisions without a trace. But theory predicts that these elusive particles appear with an entourage of known particles, such as W and Z bosons. So, now is the time to study these known particles to see if there are any missing pieces that could help fill-in the Standard Model’s puzzles.