Air-fluidized grains

Spatiotemporal heterogenous dynamics in air-fluidized grains near jamming. The colors represent the average speed over a time interval large enough for grain-sized rms displacement. The most mobile grains are in red, the least are in blue, across the rainbow. Note the stringy correlations of the mobile grains in red. From the lab of Prof. Doug Durian.

Protein-Nanotube Hybrid

The image depicts a nanobiosensor consisting of a carbon nanotube (gray) covalently attached to the coxsackie-adenovirus receptor (magenta). This device detects the adenovirus, one of the viruses responsible for the common cold, when Knob proteins from the virus capsid (orange) bind to the receptor (magenta). These devices were synthesized in Prof. Charlie Johnson's group.


Jammed States of Matter

Almost any system composed of discrete pieces large enough that thermal fluctuations can be ignored can have a jamming transition: a point at which fluid flow is impeded by a change of state into a stable amorphous solid.  The behavior is general enough to explain a pile of sand, a jar of candies, or cars in a traffic jam.  Professor Andrea Liu was involved in recent theoretical breakthroughs in the study of this phenomenon.


Nanotech Gene Sequencing

Prof. Marija Drndic is researching a technique to sequence genes by reading DNA bases as they translocate through a silicon nitride nanopore.  As strands of DNA in a salt solution are driven through the pore by an applied electric field, the electric current passing through changes with the size of the base.  This method could be essential for swift sequencing of genes and personalized medicine.

Vector Bundles on Calabi-Yau Manifolds

Supersymmetric vacua of the heterotic string and M-theory are explored through the study of complex algebraic geometry.  The figure is from a recent paper by Prof. Burt Ovrut and collaborators on the Kahler cone substructure associated with the SU(2) bundle for different Kahler moduli.