The National Science Foundation (NSF) receives around 50,000 grant applications each year, disbursing more than $7 billion in research funds. Only one in five projects receive awards, but the winners are not judged solely on the scientific merits of their proposed research…The Science Outreach Initiative, organized under the School of Arts & Sciences, helps even the most fundamental, early-stage research connect with the world at large, through education, engagement, and community service.
Professors Charles Kane and Eugene Mele along with Professor Shoucheng Zhang of Stanford University will be awarded the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics for their groundbreaking theoretical contributions leading to the discovery of a new class of materials called topological insulators, and for their prediction of specific compounds exhibiting the novel properties expected of these new materials. Both Professors are due to be honored with the medal April 23, 2015 at an award ceremony at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
Improving crop yields in marginal, sandy soils is critical to feeding the world’s growing population. But when water is added to dry soils—either from rainfall or irrigation sources—it tends to flow in channels, as opposed to spreading out evenly, an effect that prevents water from reaching all plant roots. Douglas Durian at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and his colleagues have now modeled sandy soils in the laboratory, identifying several strategies that can suppress the formation of water channels and ensure that water is more uniformly distributed to crops.
Congratulations to Professor Alison Sweeney for receiving the 2014 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation announced Wednesday that Alison Sweeney, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania, will receive a 2014 Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering.
A Message from Penn President Amy Gutman on Packard Fellowship Win
Evolution in extreme environments has produced life forms with amazing abilities and traits. Beneath the waves, many creatures sport iridescent structures that rival what materials scientists can make in the laboratory.
With exotic science equipment in tow, University of Pennsylvania Physics Professor Larry Gladney gave Philadelphia high school students an eye-popping demonstration of the interactions among sound, light, and energy, but the key message was: "Don't give up."
"The only thing that succeeds is persistence," said Gladney, who conducted experiments before 120 students Wednesday at the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts as part of program sponsored by HistoryMakers, a Chicago-based entity that aims to record, preserve, and share the life stories of African Americans.
Arjun Yodh showed how one form of a solid can transition to another by becoming a liquid first.
Two solids made of the same elements but with different geometric arrangements of the atoms, or crystal phases, can produce materials with different properties. Coal and diamond offer a spectacular example of this effect.
Natural selection in an extreme environment has gradually sculpted the giant clam into an exceedingly efficient farmer; it turns the fierce sunlight in its equatorial ocean home into algae, and those single-celled plants into food.