Ernie Moniz Chosen as DOE Secretary-Designate

Ernest J. Moniz is Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, Director of the Energy Initiative, and Director of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment at the MIT Department of Physics and a former postdoctoral scholar in the Penn Physics Department.  He has been nominated by President Obama to lead the US Department of Energy in his second term.

CNT transistors detect disease biomarkers

Prof. Charlie Johnson's lab has produced new experiments demonstrating that carbon nanotube transistors can detect minute quantities of biomarkers of diseases like salmonella, lyme disease, and prostate cancer in less time than conventional methods.

Profs. Jain and Bernstein to search for dark matter with the Euclid telescope

Professors Bhuvnesh Jain (r) and Gary Bernstein (l), both of the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the School of Arts & Sciences, have major roles in the Dark Energy Survey, an international collaboration to study the mysterious force using a new imaging system recently installed at an observatory in the Chilean Andes.

Zhengqing John Qi Wins IBM Ph.D. Fellowship

Zhengqing John Qi, a doctoral candidate in Charlie Johnson's group in Physics and Astronomy, has won an IBM Ph.D. Fellowship.

Vijay Balasubramanian Named Lasry Professor

Dr. Vijay Balasubramanian has been named the Cathy and Marc Lasry Professor of Physics & Astronomy. His research focuses on basic questions concerning the nature of space and time. His other interests include string theory, particle physics, high energy physics and neuroscience. He teaches the capstone course for the computational neuroscience minor in the Biological Basis of Behavior program and, in addition to his appointment in the physics & astronomy department, is an associate professor of neuroscience in the department of neuroscience in the Perelman School of Medicine.

2012-2013 Dean's Scholars

Congratulations to our Physics Majors who have been named Dean's Scholars for the 2012-2013 Academic Year:

Priyanka Anand, Sarah Foster and Colin Fadzen

Penn Physics Research Enhances Studies of Human Perception

Two graduate students from the Living Matter lab of Dr. Vijay Balasubramanian have moved into research on human perception. John Briguglio examines whether our sensory apparatus is tailored to our natural environment-- specifically, the textures of the natural landsape of Botswana.

Penn Physics Professor Finds Light under the Sea

Penn Physics and Astronomy Assistant Professor Alison Sweeney's research on undersea biooptics may have implications for solar energy and the development of biofuels. As reported on the SASFrontiers website, Sweeney's research indicates that proteins in mollusc shells, called reflectins, help propagate solar energy underwater to optimize photosynthesis in algae colonies.

Penn Physicists Help Show Math Behind Growth of "Coffee Rings"

Physicists Arjun Yodh and D.J. Durian and their groups explore how particles stack up as they reach an evaporating drop's edge. The different particles make smoother or rougher deposition profiles depending on their shape.

Read more about this work in:

APS Physics Forum:

Penn Humanities Forum

David Spergel, the Charles A. Young Professor of Astronomy at Princeton University, is giving the Penn Humanities Forum lecture today at the Rainey Auditorium of the Penn Museum at 5pm.  The title is "The Edges of the Visible Universe".  Pre-registration is required.  The event details are located at

This lecture is co-sponsored by the department.