Large Synoptic Survey Telescope at Night

A simulated night sky provides a background for the LSST facilities building on Cerro Pachón. The LSST will carry out a deep, 10 year imaging survey in six broad optical bands over the main survey area of 18,000 square degrees. Penn physicists play important roles in the leadership and anticipated dark energy science that will come from LSST.


Dark Energy Studies

Professor Masao Sako uses Type Ia supernovae to study the expansion history of the universe.  The graphs show (left and middle) Hubble diagrams from a simulated 5-year Type Ia sample from the Dark Energy Survey.  The right graph shows the 95% confidence limits on dark energy parameters.

Topology and Liquid Crystals

Liquid crystal molecules can be molded into shapes which resemble a Hopf fibration, a complex shape from topology resembling a series of linked rings wrapped into a torus. This fascinating shape has applications in mathematics, quantum physics, and computer graphics.

From the lab of Bryan Gin-Ge Chen, former grad student of Prof. Randy Kamien.

LaBr3 detector modules for Next Generation PET scanners

On the left is a schematic of adjacent modules with overlapping photomultiplier tubes while the right is a photograph of a single module with PMT's and 8-mm thick light guide.  Improvements in timing resolution for time-of-flight PET is the research of Adjunct Prof. Joel Karp in Penn Radiology.

DNA-Carbon Nanotube Hybrid

Single-stranded DNA and carbon nanotubes are chemically compatible and readily self-assemble into DNA-carbon nanotube hybrids (pictured here).  These materials have applications in nanoelectronics, medicine, environmental safety and homeland security.  Dr. Robert R. Johnson of the University of Pennsylvania has used computer simulation to study the structure of these nanomaterials.