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2017 SEED Grant Recipient: Eden Figueroa-Barragan  

The SBU-BNL Seed Grant program began 19 years ago and serves to foster collaborative efforts between scientists at the University and Brookhaven National Lab. It is a key element for developing synergistic activities that can grow joint research programs that are aligned with the strategic plans of both institutions.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s awardees:

Eden Figueroa-Barragan (SBU) and Andrei Nomerotski (BNL): "Towards a Quantum Network Connecting SBU and BNL".

2017-06-14
2017 SEED Grant Recipient: Matt Dawber  

The SBU-BNL Seed Grant program began 19 years ago and serves to foster collaborative efforts between scientists at the University and Brookhaven National Lab. It is a key element for developing synergistic activities that can grow joint research programs that are aligned with the strategic plans of both institutions.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s awardees:

Matthew Dawber (SBU) and Andrei Fluerasu (BNL): "Unlocking the Secrets of Domain Wall Dynamics in Ferroelectric Superlattices with Coherent X-Rays".

The research focus of Matt Dawber's laboratory is on ferroelectric materials, and in particular artificially layered thin films of these materials known as superlattices. Within these materials the electrical polarization arranges itself in nanoscale patterns called domains, which move in response to temperature or electric field. Due to their extremely small size this motion can be hard to detect, but one powerful approach is to illuminate them with coherent x-rays, measure the scattering from them and look for correlations as function of time during domain wall motion. In a coherent x-ray beam the x-rays are in phase with each other, which means that the scattering features from the sample have detailed information about the arrangement of domains encoded within them that is lost when conventional incoherent x-ray beams are used. Andrei Fluerasu, is the Lead Beamline Scientist at the CHX beamline at NSLS-II at Brookhaven National Laboratory, a unique resource for producing highly intense and focused coherent x-ray beams and performing scattering experiments with those beams. This seed grant will allow the two teams to bring the cutting edge capabilities of CHX to bear on the samples produced in Dawber's laboratory and unlock the secrets of domain wall dynamics in these fascinating and technologically important materials.

2017-06-13
Congrats Grads!  

Congratulations on your well-deserved success!

To see 2017 Commencement photos click here.

2017-05-19
URECA Researcher of the Month: Joshua LaBounty  

This month, URECA showcases 15 students, all graduating seniors, Class of 2017, who have contributed to the research life of this campus.

Joshua LaBounty is an Honors College student from Plattsburgh, NY majoring in Physics with a minor in Astronomy. Since sophomore year, he has been working with Dr. Abhay Deshpande on a number of projects related to a proposed Electron Ion Collider (EIC) experiment. This past summer, with the support of the URECA Summer Program, he worked extensively on creating a prototype for a magnetic field cloaking device. As part of this project, Joshua traveled with other members of his lab to take measurements at Brookhaven National Lab and Argonne National Lab. While at Argonne, they were able to utilize an MRI magnet to demonstrate cloaking up to 0.45 Tesla. His undergraduate senior thesis, "Identification of Leptoquark Events in Simulated electron-proton Collisions", utilizes computer simulations to determine whether the proposed EIC can be used in a search for leptoquarks, hypothetical particles which exist in some models of physics beyond the standard model. He has presented these projects at the past three URECA symposia. In addition to his academic work, he has also been Hall Council treasurer for the past three years and has been an avid participant in Roth Regatta. This fall, Joshua will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Washington.

See more here.

2017-05-16
2017 NSF Research Fellow: Samantha Scibelli  

Seven Stony Brook student researchers earned prestigious fellowships from the 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

“Stony Brook students, both graduate and undergraduate, have again demonstrated their outstanding potential for cutting-edge research. This year’s seven NSF GRF recipients span a remarkable range of science disciplines, showing the strengths of research activities across the University,” Interim Vice President for Research Rich Reeder said. “The funding provided by these fellowships permits students to pursue graduate education and research in areas of their choosing. These GRF awards also provide a nice addition to Stony Brook’s research funding.”

Physics Major Samantha Scibelli earns the Graduate Reasearch fellowship. Her research focus is in astrophysics, specifically in star formation where she uses long-wavelength telescopes to peer into the depths of dense clouds to uncover the origins of stars and planets. She plans to pursue a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics at The University of Arizona in the fall.

See more here and here.

2017-05-09
MAT Physics Program  
Photo: From left to right, Axel Drees (Physics & Astronomy Chair), Angela Kelly (Associate Director, Science Education, Associate Prof. Physics), Linda Padwa (Associate Director, Science Education, Coordinator, NYS Master Teacher Program), Robert McCarthy (Physics & Astronomy Undergraduate Director), Keith Sheppard (Director, Institute for STEM Education, Associate Professor, Biochemistry & Cell Biology)







The Master of Arts in Teaching Physics program at Stony Brook is one of the most successful programs of its type in the United States. The PhysTEC coalition finds that we have been within the top 5 programs in the country for the last three years. The reason for our success is that we require strong academic content, a BS in Physics, to enter the program. The program is actually better than the graph shows because other programs only require a degree in physics education whereas we require a major in physics and students take pedagogy courses in the Science Education Program. The fact that our physics teachers have strong content knowledge leads employers to hire them.

2017-04-30
Three Minute Thesis: The Art of the Fast Pitch  

Fifteen Stony Brook University graduate students shared the insight and analysis of their work as part of a program sponsored by the Graduate Student Organization, the Career Center and the Graduate School and supported by The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. The Three Minute Thesis competition, or 3MT as it is also known, challenges graduate students to present their dissertation findings to an audience in 180 seconds.

The 3MT is an international event founded at the University of Queensland in Australia to teach grad students how to pitch research projects by sharpening their communication skills. Among the key objectives of the coaches from the nationally renowned Alda Center was to show the students how to make their message vivid and engaging while still communicating the essential points.

This year, the first prize went to Zoya Vallari. She studies tiny fundamental particles called neutrinos. Neutrinos are some of the most enigmatic particles as their behavior deviates from the most comprehensive and successful model of particle physics - the Standard Model. They come in 3 varieties and change from one kind to another as they travel. This phenomenon is known as the Neutrino Oscillation.

Vallari is a member of the Neutrino and Nucleon decay (NN) Group under the supervision of Prof. C. K. Jung. She works with over 400 physicists from 11 different countries on T2K experiment. This experiment studies one of the three varieties of Neutrino Oscillation – muon neutrino to electron neutrino. They send a beam of muon neutrinos traveling 300 kilometers through the earth, from the east coast and detect them at the west coast of Japan.

Neutral Current Single Pi0 (NC1Pi0) particles have a similar footprint in the detector as an electron neutrino and thus it can be easy to mistake the two. Hence, these particles form a dominant background to electron neutrino signal. Vallari's study of these interactions will help calculate the number of Pi0 particles that are expected in the detector so that they can accurately measure the number of electron neutrinos that were produced due to oscillations. This gives a better precision on the mixing angles of neutrinos.

A very high precision comparison of neutrino vs. antineutrino oscillations is needed to calculate CP violation, which would help the scientific community determine why is there an extra matter particle to every billion matter-antimatter pair (matter-antimatter asymmetry) in the universe. It was this tiny fraction of extra matter particles that forms all known matter around us. "

See more here.

Zoya is also actively involved with the department and campus, serving as the president of the Graduate Women in Science and Engineering, member of the Physics and Astronomy Diveristy committee, etc. See her input in the Stony Brook Press "Breaking Boundaries, Home and Abroad".

2017-04-25
The Chancellor's Awards for Excellence 2017  

The Chancellor's Awards for Excellence are System-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. These programs underscore SUNY's commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, advancing the boundaries of knowledge, providing the highest quality of instruction, and serving the public good. Through these awards, SUNY publicly proclaims its pride in the accomplishment and personal dedication of its instructional faculty, librarians and professional staff across its campuses. The awards provide SUNY-wide recognition in five categories:

  • Faculty Service,
  • Librarianship,
  • Professional Service,
  • Scholarship and Creative Activities, and
  • Teaching.

This year, the Department of Physics & Astronomy would like to congratulate: Laszlo Mihaly (Excellence in Faculty Service), Warren Siegel & Dmitri Kharzeev (Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities), and Betty Gasparino (Excellence in Professional Service).

Thank you for all you do!

See more here.

2017-04-20
The Chancellor's Awards for Excellence 2017  

The Chancellor's Awards for Excellence are System-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. These programs underscore SUNY's commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, advancing the boundaries of knowledge, providing the highest quality of instruction, and serving the public good. Through these awards, SUNY publicly proclaims its pride in the accomplishment and personal dedication of its instructional faculty, librarians and professional staff across its campuses. The awards provide SUNY-wide recognition in five categories:

  • Faculty Service,
  • Librarianship,
  • Professional Service,
  • Scholarship and Creative Activities, and
  • Teaching.

This year, the Department of Physics & Astronomy would like to congratulate: Laszlo Mihaly (Excellence in Faculty Service), Warren Siegel & Dmitri Kharzeev (Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities), and Betty Gasparino (Excellence in Professional Service).

Thank you for all you do!

See more here.

2017-04-19
Thomas Allison Wins 2017 Discovery Prize  

Thomas Allison, an assistant professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Physics at Stony Brook University, posed this fundamental question on the way to winning the 2017 Discovery Prize.

In a presentation delivered April 13 at the Charles B. Wang Center Theatre, Allison convinced a panel of three distinguished judges that his project deserved a $200,000 cash prize to help fund his postdoctoral research. The award will finance equipment that will help scientists see how molecules move and behave in real time.

Allison was chosen from among four faculty finalists, including Gábor Balázsi, associate professor, Laufer Center for Physical and Quantitative Biology/Department of Biomedical Engineering; Matthew Reuter, assistant professor, Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics/Institute for Advanced Computational Science; and Neelima Sehgal, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Each presenter spoke for 10 minutes and then responded to five minutes of questions from the judges.

See more here and here.

2017-04-14
Neelima Sehgal 2017 Discovery Prize Finalist  

What happened in the first fraction of a second after the Creation of the Universe? Neelima Sehgal, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook, asked this question as a finalist for the 2017 Discovery Prize.

In a presentation delivered April 13 at the Charles B. Wang Center Theatre, Sehgal explained to a panel of distinguished judges how the $200,000 cash prize would help fund Stony Brook’s buy-in to the Simons Observatory, a sensitive microwave telescope with the potential for detecting primordial gravitational waves from a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. Sehgal co-leads the lensing working group for the Simons Observatory Collaboration, and the de-lensing analysis of this group will prove critical to uncovering a gravitational wave signal from the newborn Universe.

See more here.

2017-04-13
Tevatron scientists earn award for best article  

On March 23, Professor Valery Rubakov, editor-in-chief of the Russian journal Physics-Uspekhi, awarded five physicists, including one at Stony Brook University, for co-authoring the journal’s Best Article of 2015.

The article, titled “The top quark (20 years after its discovery),” was written by Eduard Boos of Moscow State University, Oleg Brandt of the University of Heidelberg, Dmitri Denisov of Fermilab, Sergey Denisov of the Institute for High-Energy Physcs in Russia, and Paul Grannis of Stony Brook University. Dmitri Denisov and Paul Grannis are co-spokespersons of the DZero experiment.

The article is published in Physics-Uspekhi, volume 58, pages 1133-1158 (2015). You can read it for free during 2017 through IOP Science.

2017-04-03
The 2017 IceCube Masterclasses: connecting students and researchers through IceCube  

The fourth edition of the IceCube Masterclass hosted over 200 students at 14 institutions in Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the US. Stony Brook University, which joined the masterclass program for the first time, had a full program for women. The positive interaction with scientists is again one of the things that students value most from this program.

The Masterclass was created to promote research careers in astrophysics, and more broadly in science. Prof. Joanna Kiryluk of the department of Physics and Astronomy collaborated with WISE and SBU students to run an IceCube Masterclass on campus for the high school students.

See more here

2017-03-22
Women in Engineering Day Inspires Enthusiasm in STEM  

To celebrate Women’s History Month, Stony Brook University’s Women in Science and Engineering Honors Program (WISE) held the Women in Engineering Day on March 10 in collaboration with the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, iCREATE – Division of Information Technology, Physics and Astronomy, and student organizations Women in Computer Science, Society of Women Engineers and the American Society for Civil Engineers.

Students were the given the opportunity to visualize themselves as engineers and researchers by the various lab tours and demonstrations given by Jim Quinn, director of laboratories; Richard (Rick) Darienzo and Olivia Donaldson, PhD candidates from the Department of Materials Sciences and Chemical Engineering; Richard Lefferts, CASE NSL technical director from the Department of Physics and Astronomy; and Wei Yin, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

See more here

2017-03-20
Remembering Peter Paul  

Peter Paul passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family at his home in Setauket on March 11, 2017 at the age of 84. Peter was born in Dresden, Germany. He received a PhD from the University of Freiburg and came to the USA for a postdoctoral position at Stanford University, where he met and married Aniko in 1963.

He was a Professor, and later a Distinguished Service Professor, in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University from 1967 until 2015, serving as chairman twice. He was the recipient of numerous awards. Among them were American Physical Society Fellow, Institute of Physics Fellow, Sloane Research Fellow, Alexander Humboldt Foundation Senior Scientist, and the Order of Merit First Class from the German Government. In 2015, he was inducted into the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame.

In partnership with his colleagues, Peter built a first-class nuclear physics group at Stony Brook which is consistently ranked among the top four in the U.S. In 1973, Peter saw that the future of the group required improving the existing Van de Graaff accelerator at Stony Brook. He spearheaded a small group that developed, designed and constructed the Stony Brook superconducting linear accelerator for heavy ions, the first such machine at a university lab.

In 1980, Peter became a member of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee(NSAC), that advises the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation on the U.S. nuclear physics program. Later, as Chair of NSAC, he led the development of the 1998 Nuclear Science Long Range Plan which led to the construction of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory(BNL).

In 1998 Peter was appointed Deputy Director for Science and Technology at BNL. From 2001 until 2003 he served concurrently as Interim Director of BNL. During his tenure at BNL, the lab made major advances in its large research facilities: RHIC began its highly successful research operation, the $100-Million Center for Functional Nanomaterials began construction; the electron-ion collider was conceptualized as successor to RHIC, and the National Synchrotron Light Source-II was inserted into the DOE facilities construction plan. Peter returned to Stony Brook, where he played an invaluable advisory role to our Nucleon decay and Neutrino research group. After 2011 he continued his engagement as Stony Brook’s Associate Vice President for Brookhaven Affairs until his retirement in 2015.

Peter had great foresight in the way physics could be developed, and he helped lay the plans for many new facilities and new institutes. He was one of the first people hired by the young university, and he helped to build Stony Brook from a dream to a reality. He had many opportunities to leave for prestigious jobs at other institutions, but he was fiercely dedicated to Stony Brook and later BNL and stayed to help build them. He inspired many to come join him at Stony Brook and BNL, and he helped to develop their careers by his encouragement and leadership. Many of us will remember Peter for his infinite energy and enthusiasm, never giving any indication that he might slow down at some point. He will be dearly missed.

2017-03-11
SBU Awarded NSF Funding for Multidisciplinary Project to Advance Technology  

As lead institution for the U.S. ATLAS collaboration, Stony Brook University has received additional National Science Foundation (NSF) funding toward the project. This recent $5.4M award for U.S. ATLAS Operations: Discovery and Measurement at the Energy Frontier will stimulate development of a scientific and technically educated workforce, advancing the multidisciplinary application of technology and the popularization and dissemination of science to the general public.

Stony Brook Physics Professor John Hobbs is principal investigator for U.S. NSF operations of ATLAS, which will receive a total amount of over $54M in funding to date. This ongoing project provides the U.S. contribution to the international ATLAS experiment at the powerful Large Hadron Collider (LHC) located at CERN in Switzerland.

See more here

2017-03-10
A road trip to test a magnetic cloak at Argonne National Laboratory  

In December, five students from Stony Brook University in New York and their research professor, Nils Feege, loaded a prototype of a magnetic cloak into an SUV and set off for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, nearly 900 miles away.

The magnetic cloak isn’t a magical garment, but rather a crucial piece of equipment for a possible next-generation particle collider to study nuclear physics.

The proposed Electron-Ion Collider, by smashing beams of electrons and protons together at near light speed, would be the most powerful microscope yet developed for understanding how the mass of the proton is dynamically generated from the interaction of quarks and gluons, and in doing so help illuminate the forces that account for the mass of the visible universe.

Feege and his team needed to build a cylinder with two counterbalancing layers that would shield the beams from the magnetic field of the detector near the collision point without distorting the rest of the field.

Feege and his students spent nearly three years building their prototype at Stony Brook. Initial tests looked promising, but they needed to do a full-scale test in a strong and uniform magnetic field that was large enough to fit the device itself while leaving enough room to measure the field around it.

Hence the road trip to Argonne, where the team came to be the first visitors to use a new facility built by Argonne’s high-energy physics division called the 4 Tesla Magnet Facility.

See more here.

2017-02-24
Dr. Zamolodchikov Appointed As Chen Ning Yang-Wei Deng Endowed Chair in Physics and Astronomy  

The impact that Professor Alexander Zamolodchikov has had on the field of physics can be measured by a simple metric: 18,000. It’s the number of times his published research has been cited; one of the highest in physics to date. A pioneer in modern theoretical physics and member of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Zamolodchikov is known internationally for his contributions to the study of condensed matter physics, conformal field theory and string theory. Adding to an extensive list of titles and awards, Dr. Zamolodchikov became the inaugural Chen Ning Yang – Wei Deng Endowed Chair in Physics and Astronomy on January 6 at an investiture ceremony in Beijing, China at Bright Ocean’s headquarters.

The Chair was established through the generosity of Dr. Wei Deng, the founder and chairman of Bright Oceans Corporation, a high-tech industrial group in China. Dr. Wei Deng was inspired to honor Chen Ning Yang’s scientific legacy as one of China’s most venerated scientists, recipient of the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics and the first director of Stony Brook’s Institute of Theoretical Physics — now the Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics.

“The C.N. Yang – Wei Deng Endowed Chair is expected to help Stony Brook University transform their research achievements into actual benefits,” Wei Deng told the Xinhua Net Press, “Which will better serve people all over the world, including the people in China and America.”

See more here.

2017-01-06

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