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.
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.
Fluid Physics at the Molecular Scale
The image shows flagella driven by dynein molecular motors. The vectors show the position and time-dependent velocity. There is also a graph of the body velocity. Note the desychronization event.
This work comes from Adjunct Professor Jerry Gollub's lab.
MRSEC Research at Penn
The P&A department plays a large role in the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM). One focus of LRSM research between faculty from different departments and schools is soft matter and how it conforms, assembles, and reconfigures in response to the geometry and chemistry of bounding surfaces and interfaces.
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.
Citation: For his contributions to the study of B physics at the Tevatron and Babar, and for his outstanding efforts in science teaching and outreach programs for middle- and high school students and teachers.
Nominated by: Division of Particles and Fields
Origami is capable of turning a simple sheet of paper into a pretty paper crane, but the principles behind the paper-folding art can also be applied to making a microfluidic device for a blood test, or for storing a satellite’s solar panel in a rocket’s cargo bay.