Prof. Alison Sweeney's paper on open water camouflage just came out and is getting some nice press - a write-up in Science News, and a forthcoming online piece for National Geographic

Deep-sea “glass squids” have cells resembling fiber-optic cable located on the bottoms of their eyes.  A new paper by Amanda Holt and Alison Sweeney shows that these cells are “pipes" for light that are deliberately leaky.

$40 Million Grant Establishes Simons Observatory

Mark Devlin, Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, will be the spokesperson for the newly formed Simons Observatory. The Simons Foundation funded Observatory will mark a new astronomy facility in Chile’s Atacama Desert that will merge and expand existing efforts to explore the evolution of the universe from its earliest moments, to today. Devlin’s research focuses in the area of cosmology and the evolution of structure in the universe as well as extra-galactic and galactic star formation.

Physics and Astronomy Professor Awarded the 2016 Charles Ludwig Award for Distinguished Teaching

Congratulations to Professor Paul Heiney, the recipient of the Ludwig Award which recognizes his years of dedicated service and committment to our students.

As Dean of the College, Dennis DeTurck wrote in his letter, “The Ludwig Award carries a special significance because the entire process of soliciting nominations and selecting the recipient is carried out by the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education, without intervention by the faculty or administration.”


The Drndic Group Team Up at the Philly Science Festival

"The Drndic group and Project BioEyes from University of Pennsylvania demonstrated how DNA affects physical features in living organisms, like zebrafish, and the importance of DNA sequencing in an educational exhibit at Philadelphia Science Festival on Saturday April 30 2016 as a part of National DNA Day initiative.

Physics and Astronomy Researchers Maxim Lavrentovich, Eric Horsley, Asja Radja, Alison Sweeney and Randall Kamien Explore First-order Patterning Transitions on a Sphere as a Route to Cell Morphology

A common set of intricate cell surface patterns are observed in many different kinds of organisms, from insects to plant pollen to fungal spores to eyelash mite carapaces.  These patterns are most famous in the popular imagination when they’re found on pollen, and can be reticulate, hexagonal, striped, spiky, knobbed, lobed, etc.  To boot, the patterns definitely aren’t random - one tree species will produce billions of nearly identical pollen cells within a single tree and do so stably for millions of years - pollen is a great way to identify things in the fossil record.

Physics and Astronomy Professor in Newly Funded Simons Collaboration

The Simons Foundation has just announced the establishment of the Simons Collaboration on Cracking the Glass Problem, bringing together an international team of scientists, including Professor Andrea Liu, under the direction of Professor Sidney Nagel of the University of Chicago. 

More info on the award can be found here.


Physics and Astronomy Postdoctoral Fellow Wins Young Scientist Award

Keisuke Yoshihara, a postdoctoral fellow in experimental particle physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania, received a "Young Scientist Award" at the 71st Annual Meeting of the Physical Society of Japan, which took place 19-22 March 2016.

Dr. Yoshihara earned this recognition as a result of his work as a graduate student at the University of Tokyo on the discovery and subsequent study of the Higgs boson in the ATLAS Experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider.

Physics and Astronomy PhD Student Wins Teaching Award

Congratulations to PhD Candidate Elodie Resseguie, who has been awarded the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students. The Dean's Award seeks to recognize teaching that is intellectually rigorous, exceptionally coherent, and that has considerable impact upon students.

Physics and Astronomy Professor Wins SAS Teaching Award

Congratulations to Professor Masao Sako, award winner of this year's Dean's Award for Innovation in Teaching in the School of Arts and Sciences. This award is presented annually to SAS faculty members who utilize innovative teaching techniques in the service of outstanding teaching.

Finding A Plants Fingerprint in the Veins of its Leaves

Working collaboratively with Max Planck Institute and the New York Botanical Gardens, Professor Eleni Katifori of the Department of Physics and Astronomy theorizes that the veins of plant leaves can serve as a fingerprint. The idea is to deeply explore the tiniest veins of a leaf to extract as much information possible which will reveal hidden traits and characteristics unique to the plant.

To read the article in full, visit Penn News