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.


LaBr3 detector modules for Next Generation PET scanners

On the left is a schematic of adjacent modules with overlapping photomultiplier tubes while the right is a photograph of a single module with PMT's and 8-mm thick light guide.  Improvements in timing resolution for time-of-flight PET is the research of Adjunct Prof. Joel Karp in Penn Radiology.

Dark Energy Survey

The Dark Energy Survey (DES) uses a 570-Megapixel digital camera at the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in the Chilean Andes to probe the origin of the accelerating universe. Penn scientists are among the 120 scientists from 23 institutions in the US, UK, Brazil, and Germany working on the project slated for first light in Fall 2012.



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.

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).