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.

Molecular Electronics

A synthetic peptide candidate that can be used for single molecule electronic measurements.  Single molecules can act as a functioning part of a field effect transistor device as studied in Professor Charlie Johnson's lab.


DNA through a Solid State Nanopore

Dr. Meni Wanunu, Dr. Marija Drndic and others at the University of Pennsylvania have threaded DNA through solid state nanopores in order to gain information about chemically modified DNA. The image depicts chemically modified DNA translocating through a nanoscale pore in silicon nitride.


Topological Insulators

Recent physics research shows how spin-orbit coupling can rearrange electronic bands in a solid to make a "topological insulator" - a new quantum phase of matter with conductive surfaces even though its bulk is insulating.  Penn physicists Professor Charlie Kane and Professor Gene Mele pioneered the theoretical discovery of such materials in 2005.


Dark Excitons

Excitons are electrically neutral excited states of a material consisting of a bound state of an electron and a hole.  Prof. Jay Kikkawa explores previously unseen "dark exciton" states in carbon nanotubes and shows their dependence on geometry of the nanotube.