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Martin Rocek Honored by Czech Foundation  
Martin Rocek's many contributions to theoretical physics have been recognized by the 2017 Neuron Award, an honor presented to seven scientists of Czech background working in natural or social sciences.

The Neuron Awards are funded and administered by a private foundation in the Czech Republic, to individuals "who are role models and inspiration for younger generations of scientists". Martin's colleagues and students will fully agree with this characterization, for his role as instructor, mentor, tutor and advisor over so many years, in addition to his pioneering research advances.

Martin traveled to Prague to receive his award, which cites particularly his contributions in supersymmetry, and to be interviewed on national television.

ATLAS finds H -> bb decay mode  
On December 6th the ATLAS collaboration publishes first evidence for the Higgs to b anti-b quark decays (see full publication here ).

Stony Brook group of Prof. Giacinto Piacquadio and the ATLAS Stony Brook group played a key role in designing and carring out the analysis, demonstrating that H to bb searches at the LHC are not hopeless as previously widely thought. Piacquadio presented preliminary result to the LHC community in an LHC seminar at CERN in Summer 2017. Asked about the relevance of the measurement he says: " It is a big deal because without H to bb decays we were missing the biggest chunk of Higgs boson decays, which has several physics implications, for example on constraining the total Higgs boson decay width." For an article for the general public have a look at the ATLAS highlight .

Chang Kee Jung named fellow of the AAAS  

Distinguished Professor Chang Kee Jung has been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a high honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. He was named a fellow in the AAAS Section on Physics for his leadership role in neutrino research, particularly for establishing evidence for electron-neutrino appearance from a muon neutrino beam.

In Memory of John Noe  

Dr. John Wherry Noe, age 72, of Sound Beach, Long Island, died on November 18, 2017 in Hadley, Massachusetts. John was born on November 29, 1944, in the Bronx. He attended Bronx High School of Science, City College of NY, and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania. John was a physicist, researcher, and mentor for 43 years at Stony Brook University. He was a major contributor to the Superconducting LINAC accelerator, collaborated on the PHENIX Detector at Brookhaven National Lab, and served as the Director of the Laser Teaching Center at Stony Brook University, where he mentored many dozens of students and launched them on successful scientific careers. Born to mother Bessie Wherry and father Ralph Wilson Noe, John was predeceased by brother Ralph Noe and is survived by children Lisanne Carr-Jos and husband Philip Jos, Michelle Carr-Mal and husband Niranjan Carr-Mal, Daniel Noe and wife Abigail Noyce, and grandchildren Eloise Jos, Claudia Jos, Arayana Carr-Mal, Cordelia Noe-Noyce and dearest friend Bonnie Frank. John, a philanthropist, was passionate about science, music, contra dancing, travel, the outdoors, and mentorship. In lieu of flowers, a donation in John's name can be made to any of his favorite charities: The Poughkeepsie Farm Project, The Suzuki Association of the Americas, or The Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

Rouven Essig receives grant from Heising-Simons foundation  
Uncovering the identity of dark matter, which makes up about 85% of the matter in the Universe, is among the most important goals of particle physics today. YITP faculty member Rouven Essig, in collaboration with Javier Tiffenberg (Fermilab), has received nearly $1-million from the Heising-Simons Foundation for the SENSEI experiment. SENSEI (Sub-Electron Noise Skipper-CCD Experimental Instrument) is a novel, ultra-sensitive, table-top direct-detection experiment that will search for two compelling classes of dark matter: Hidden-Sector Dark Matter with MeV-to-GeV masses and Ultralight Dark Matter with eV-to-keV masses. These two classes of dark matter are scientifically well-motivated but remarkably under-explored, and have been receiving increasing attention over the last few years.

Motivated by theoretical work by Prof. Essig and his collaborators, SENSEI will search for dark matter particles that scatter off, or are absorbed by, electrons. SENSEI has unprecedented sensitivity to the resulting tiny ionization signals, allowing it to probe orders of magnitude of unexplored dark-matter parameter space. The grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation will enable an experiment consisting of 100-grams of special silicon CCDs, called Skipper-CCDs. In contrast to most particle physics experiments, it is truly table-top in size. A prototype consisting of less than 0.1 gram is currently taking data at Fermilab.

Prof. Essig's collaborators on SENSEI include his former postdoc Tien-Tien Yu (now at Oregon), Tomer Volansky (Tel-Aviv), as well as Juan Estrada, Miguel Sofo-Haro, and Javier Tiffenberg (Fermilab), His theory collaborators include Prof. Marivi Fernandez Serra and her former student Adrian Soto (Stony Brook), as well as Jeremy Mardon, Volansky, and Yu.

Neutron Star merger  
On October 17th the LIGO and Virgo collaborations announced the first detection of gravitational waves produced by colliding neutron stars. See the LIGO here.

The first detection of gravitaonal waves from the merger of two neutron stars was accompanied by optical and radio counterparts that revealed the producion of very heavy elements (such as gold) during the merger. These observasions conirmed the prediction of neutron star mergers as the site of rapid synthesis of heavy elements made by Jim Lattimer and his advisor, David N. Schramm, in 1974.

Edward Shuryak receives 2017 APS Feshback Prize in Theoretical Nuclear Physics  
Edward Shuryak receives the 2017 APS Herman Feshbach Prize in Theoretical Nuclear Physics "for his pioneering contributions to the understanding of strongly interacting matter under extreme conditions, and for establishing the foundations of the theory of quark-gluon plasma and its hydrodynamical behavior".

Edward Shuryak was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and graduated from Novosibirsk University in 1970 with a dual degree in physics and mathematics. Under the supervision of S.T. Belyaev Shuryak received his Ph.D. in 1974 from the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics where he continued on as a researcher while simultaneously teaching at Novosibirsk. He became a full professor in 1982, the year in which he also gave the first series of lectures at CERN about quark-gluon plasma, a new form of matter the name of which he proposed. In 1989 he became the leader of the Nuclear Theory Group at the State University of New York, Stony Brook where in 2004 he became a distinguished professor. He is the author of approximately 350 papers which in total have been cited nearly 30,000 times; four of these papers have been cited more than 1,000 each, and six have been cited more than 500 times each. Shuryak is a 2004 recipient of the Dirac medal, from University of New South Wales, Sydney, and the 2005 Humboldt Prize. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society.

In Memory of Bob de Zafra  

Robert (Bob) deZafra, died peacefully on 10 October, 2017 from an incurable pneumonia following successful knee replacement surgery. He was a close friend and cherished colleague who served in the physics department for 38 years, and retired in 1999. Bob was born in Westchester County, NY in 1932, raised in Connecticut, earned his B.S. from Princeton, and his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. He is survived by his wife of 34 years who published extensively in immunology as Julia Phillips-Quagliata.

The biographical information cannot convey the extent and depth of the many facets of his life. We knew him as a scientific colleague who had worked on positron annihilation, optical pumping, laboratory spectroscopy of interstellar molecules, detection of trace gases in the atmosphere, and ground-based observation and measurements of the South Pole ozone layer. For this last activity, he made several trips to the Antarctic to lend his expertise to the teams working there. His contributions were so vital and revealing that a major mountainous feature was named deZafra Ridge in 2002 (and a German rock band has adopted the name). Among his important papers was an introduction to optical pumping that has served as a bible for generations of students.

Some of us also knew him as intensely civic minded. In 1995 he helped found the Three Village Community Trust and also served on the land usage committee of the Three Village Civic Association. He was relentless in his insistence for common sense and reasoned logic into discussions of environmental issues such as clean water and air. His actions demonstrated the popular maxim "think globally, act locally" because of his thorough dedication to community issues, such as the greening of 25A. He received public recognition from multiple civic organizations. In addition to these civic activities, he was also politically involved, advising and cajoling legislators and other local political leaders in his unique and pragmatic style about issues that needed their attention and support. Most local residents are unaware of the benefits they enjoy as a result of his efforts.

Bob liked to sketch, and there are several examples of his extraordinary skill at this diversion. Because he touched so many lives in various different ways, he will be dearly missed by many people.

2017 Nobel Prize in Physics  

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awared to Rainer weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne"for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves". One of the keycore members of LIGO, Will Farr, will join the faculty of the Department of Physics and Astronomy in Fall 2018, he receivied his Ph.D. in 2010 from MIT and currently holds a faculty position at the University of Birmingham. Will Farr studies gravitational waves and exoplanets, and he leads the rate extraction group in the LIGO collaboration. He will have a joint appointment with the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flatiron Institute in Manhattan, where he will lead the Gravitational Wave Astrophysics group.


Today Stony Brook University and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) announced that they have established the Center for Frontiers of Nuclear Science. Bolstered by a new $5 million grant from the Simons Foundation and augmented by $3 million in research grants received by Stony Brook University, the Center will be a research and education hub to ultimately help scientists unravel more secrets of the universe's strongest and least-understood force to advance both fundamental science and applications that transform our lives. Prof. Abhay Deshpande will lead the Center as its inaugural Director.

See more here.

Anja von der Linden and Marilena Loverde Receive Prestigious 2017 DOE Early Career Awards  

Anja von der Linden and Marilena Loverde receive prestigious 2017 Department of Energy Early Career Awards.

Von der Linden was awarded for her project, "Towards Precision Cluster Cosmology with Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)"; Marilena Loverde, also appointed in the Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics, was awarded for "Discovering Dark Energy, Dark Matter, and Neutrino Properties with Cosmic Structure".

See more here.

T2K presents first indications of CP violation by neutrinos  

At the Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) meeting at Fermilab on August 4, 2017, Prof. Chang Kee Jung presented new T2K results that indicate CP violation by neutrinos at 95% C.L. (2 sigma significance).

The Stony Brook Nucleon decay and Neutrino (NN) group led by Profs. C.K. Jung, C. McGrew and M. Wilking has been playing a leading role in the T2K experiment since its inception. In particular, for these new results, assistant Prof. Wilking and graudate student Xiaoyue Li have made significant contributions.

See here for an excellent ScienceNews ariticle on the T2K results.

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 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.

Congrats Grads!  

Congratulations on your well-deserved success!

To see 2017 Commencement photos click here.

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 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.

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.

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".

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.


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