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.


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.


The Epoch of Reionization


Astrophysicists are interested in tracing the development of large scale structure during the so-called Epoch of Reionization - the period in the history of the universe in which the first luminous sources turn on and ionize neutral hydrogen in their vicinity.  Prof. Adam Lidz studies the theory of how to detect and gain information from radition emitted during this period.


Alternatives to Dark Energy

Perhaps the deepest mystery in physics today is the origin of the accelerating expansion of the universe.  Professors Khoury and Trodden work, among other things, on the possibility that it is due to a dark sector with new light degrees of freedom.  Screening mechanisms, such as chameleon and symmetron, may explain why such scalars, if light, have escaped detection.


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.