Professor Marija Drndić and her team have just published results on realizing a new sequencing technique based on threatind a string of DNA through a tiny hole and using a nearby sensor to read each letter as it passes through an atomically thin layer of carbon called graphene. The team's latest study shows how to drill nanoporers, the tiny holes, without ruining graphene's electrical sensitivity, a risk posed by simply looking at the material through an electron microscope.
Prof. Randy Kamien and Penn collaborators Kate Stebe and Shu Yang in SEAS developed a technique for controlling liquid crystals by means of physical templates and elastic energy, rather than the electromagnetic fields that manipulate them in televisions and computer monitors. They envision using this technique to direct the assembly of other materials, such as nanoparticles.
The Penn Graduate Program in Medical Physics has received an extended period of accreditation through 2015 from the Board of Directors of the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs (CAMPEP). CAMPEP promotes consistent quality education of medical physicists by evaluating and accrediting Graduate, Residency and Continuing Education programs that meet high standards established by CAMPEP in collaboration with its sponsoring organizations.
The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics was won by Peter Higgs and Francois Englert for development of the theory of the scalar field that gives mass to elementary particles. Penn physicists Brig Williams, Joe Kroll, Evelyn Thomson, and Elliot Lipeles played important roles in the design and construction of the ATLAS detector and analysis of its data to find the Higgs particle. See the Penn News item for more information.
In seeking new ways to have students learn by directly engaging with their peers and professors, Prof. Ken Lande and Lecturer Robert Johnson are implementing "case-study" laboratories for introductory physics. Students learn how to recognize and explore original observations and deal with unexpected obstacles as part of the process of doing research.
Anshuman Pal is the international award winner in the Mathematical & Physical Sciences category for The Undergraduate Awards. The Undergraduate Awards is the world’s only pan-discipline academic awards program that identifies the leading creative thinkers and problem solvers through their undergraduate coursework. Anshuman will travel to Dublin for the Global Summit in November to receive his medal.
Graphene Frontiers, a company developed through Penn's Center for Technology Transfer's UPStart program by Physics Prof. Charlie Johnson and Zhengtang Luo, a former postdoctoral researcher in Johnson’s lab, has been awarded a $744,600 grant from the National Science Foundation. Graphene Frontiers, founded in 2011, is developing roll-to-roll production of graphene, the “miracle material” at the heart of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics.