Dark Energy Survey Camera

The focal plane of the DEcam - the camera for the Dark Energy Survey.

Self-assembling Building Blocks

Self-assembling building blocks occur in a diverse set of supramolecular, macromolecular, and other complex systems that impact numerous fields such as industrial dyes and pigments, xerographic receptors, organic semiconductors, transistors, light-emitting diodes and solar cells.  Prof. Paul Heiney collaborates with chemists and material scientists on the study of such molecular systems.


Nanoscale Electronic Nose

Prof. Charlie Johnson's group at Penn have coupled olfactory receptor proteins from mice to carbon nanotubes to create a prototype electronic nose. Olfactory receptors are embedded in nanodiscs that mimic the environment of the olfactory cell membrane.  Odorant molecules bind to the receptor, which produces an electrical response in the carbon nanotube (gray cylinder).



Penn physicists study graphenes, atomically thin sheets of carbon atoms in a honeycomb lattice. Graphene is the prototype Dirac material hosting a solid state realization of an ultra-relativistic electron gas and accessing new phenomena that are controlled by electric and magnetic fields and by the atomic registry when graphenes are stacked.

Quintic Calabi-Yau manifold

In superstring theory, the fundamental building block is an extended object, namely a string, whose vibrations would give rise to the particles encountered in nature. In order to solve certain classic problems of unified gauge theories, the 4-dimensional effective theory should be in a space which is a Calabi-Yau manifold of complex dimension 3.