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.
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.
Physics alum Jessamyn Fairfield has written a feature for the March 2017 issue
of Physics World about neuromorphic electronics, novel devices whose function
mimics synaptic function. Neuromorphic features can be realized in a variety of
materials, from nanomaterials to polymers, and may enable the development of
electronic skin, novel computational paradigms, or smart neuroprosthetics.
Jessamyn is currently a professor at NUI Galway in Ireland, and did her PhD
research in the Drndic lab on semiconducting nanocrystal optoelectronics.
Physics and Astronomy graduate student, Dillon Fox, is challenged to answer the question "What is energy?" judged by a team of eleven year old scientists in training in a bid to amplify effective communication with the public. To watch Fox's Flame Challenge video entry, visit OMNIA
published in Advanced
kirigami structures will someday literally reshape our world. These
metamaterials have the unique ability to control their shape and design in
response to external stimuli. With the introduction of notches, kirigami
structures gain even more mobility and control. These enhanced kiri-kirigami
implement thermal control and light control that can be especially useful in
architecture and energy saving buildings.