First results from Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol) announced

niemack image 2Measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) provide the foundation for modern cosmology: the study of the universe as a whole. Current CMB surveys extend beyond previous measurements by mapping the CMB temperature and polarization with better sensitivity and at smaller angular scales. There is a great deal of excitement surrounding recent CMB polarization measurements, which may provide information about the inflationary expansion that is believed to have occurred in the first millionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the big bang. Cornell’s experimental cosmology research group (including Prof. Michael Niemack, Dr. Francesco De Bernardis, Dr. Shawn Henderson, Brian Koopman, and Patricio Gallardo) recently announced the best measurements of the parity-symmetric (aka. “E-mode”) polarization on small angular scales. These measurements were made using the first 3-months of data from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol) with only one third of the ACTPol instrument installed. The data are consistent with the dark energy and cold dark matter dominated cosmological model and demonstrate the remarkable sensitivity of ACTPol. The ACTPol team is working on completing the ACTPol upgrade, which will enable measurements of the parity-antisymmetric (aka. “B-mode”) polarization that could lead to a better understanding of inflation in the early universe. Robust measurements of the “B-mode” polarization signal from inflation (if it exists) will probe physics at grand unification energy scales, a trillion times higher energy than is probed at the Large Hadron Collider. A copy of the preprint describing these exciting new results can be found at http://arxiv.org/abs/1405.5524

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May 2014: Prof. Julia Thom-Levy Receives 2014 Kendall S. Carpenter Memorial Advising Award

Thom5-1Associate Professor of Physics, Julia Thom-Levy, was announced to win to the 2014 Kendall S. Carpenter Memorial Advising Award. She, along with three other faculty members, will be honored at a trustee-faculty dinner on May 24. Prof. Julia Thom-Levy serves as a physics major adviser,  mentors on gender and work-life issues, and regularly advises troubled students.

To read more of the article in the Cornell Chronicle, click here.

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May 2014: Doctoral Student, Mike Roman, Restores Antique Clock in Physics Department

Roman and Miner ImageThe antique floor clock, 1881 E. Howard & Co. No.  74 Astronomical Regulator, in the department office was losing time and dripping green ooze. Mike Roman, doctoral candidate, had done much research on this clock and was on a treasure hunt to find this clock. After finally finding the clock here in the Physics department, he asked to restore the clock. After a lengthy proposal, Roman was exhausted the opportunity to tune up the clock. The clock now shines and keeps excellent time.

To read more about the article in the Cornell Chronicle, click here.
To read more about the article in the Cornell Chronicle Blog, click here.

 

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May 2014: Prof. Eun-Ah Kim, Prof. Michael Lawler, and Prof. J.C. Seamus Davis Research in Superconductivity Highlighted in Quanta Magazine

The April 30, 2014 Quanta Magazine feature article highlights inter-related efforts among researchers at the leading edge of high-temperature superconductivity. The Cornell research team of Eun-Ah Kim, Michael Lawler, and J.C. Séamus Davis play a key role in advancing theoretical models and developing methods to directly observe superconductors on the atomic scale.

To read more about the article in Quanta Magazine, click here.
To read more about the article featured in the Cornell Chronicle, click here.

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April 2014: Prof. Kyle Shen Featured in Nature Nanotechnology Journal for a Recent Discovery

Shen Image for WebsiteProf. Kyle Shen and his research group will be published in the May 2014 issue of Nature Nanotechnology for a recent discovery. The group’s findings are that they have shown how to switch a particular transition metal oxide, a lanthanum nickelate, from a metal to an insulator by making the material less than a nanometer thick. The team includes Kyle Shen as the lead researcher, Phil King, a recent Kavli postdoctoral fellow at Cornell, now a faculty member at the university of St. Andrews, Darrell Schlom, the Herbert Fisk Johnson Professor of Industrial Chemistry, Haofei Wei, Yuefeng Nie, Masaki Uchida, Carolina Adamo, and Shabo Zhu of Cornell Univeristy, and Xi He and Ivan Bozovic of Brookhaven National Laboratory.

To read more about the article in the Cornell Chronicle, click here.

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April 2014: Prof. Itai Cohen and Prof. Jane Wang’s Work on Fruit Fly Flight Featured in New York Times

Researchers have been investigating how flies recover when their flight is momentarily disturbed. For Prof. Itai Cohen and Prof. Jane Wang’s group, they’ve discovered a small group of neurons is solving calculus problems, or what for humans are calculus problems. In order to come to this conclusion, the group glued tiny magnets to the flies and use a magnetic pulse to pull them this way or that, yaw or roll. This research, done by Prof. Itai Cohen and Prof. Jane Wang, along with John Guckenheimr, Tsevi Beatus, and Leif Ristroph, has been featured in an article in the New York Times titled “Flies That Do Calculus With Their Wings.”

To read the article featured in the New York Times, click here.

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March 2014: Prof. Dan Ralph and Prof. Albert Sievers Named Outstanding Referee of the Physical Review and Physical Review Letters Journals

Prof. Dan Ralph and Prof. Albert Sievers are among 143 Outstanding Referees of the Physical Review and Physical Review Letters journals, as chosen by the journal editors for 2014.

The Outstanding Referee program expresses appreciation for the essential work that anonymous peer reviewers do for the Physical Review Letters journals. Each year a small percentage of their 60,000 active referees are selected and honored with the Outstanding Referee designation. Selections are made based on the number, quality, and timeliness of referee reports as collected in a database over the last 25 years. The program will recognize about 150 referees each year, although larger groups were selected in 2008 and 2009.

To view the full listing of other Outstanding Referees and details on the program, click here.
To view the press release, click here.

 

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March 2014: Physics Graduate Program Ranked in Top 10 in U.S. News and World Reports’ 2015 “Best Graduate Schools”

On March 11, US News and World World Report released the 2015 “Best Graduate Schools.” Eight of Cornell’s graduate engineering fields, three computer sciences specialties, and five other science areas were among the top 10, physics ranking at number 7 with a number 6 ranking in the condenses matter specialty.

Each year, US News surveys graduate programs in the areas of engineering, law, business, medicine, and education. Peer assessment in other areas, such as social sciences and humanities, is collected on a rotating basis. For the new rankings, peer surveys were conducted for Ph.D. programs in some of the sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) fields.

To read more about the article featured in the Cornell Chronicle, click here.
To view the Physics rankings, click here.
To view the Condensed Matter rankings, click here.

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