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Stony Brook receives $10 Million DOE Grant for a New Energy Frontier Research Center  
Stony Brook University was selected to receive a $10 million Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) award by the U.S. Department of Energy to establish the Center for Mesoscale Transport Properties. The Center will conduct basic science research to advance and enable the design of materials and components to achieve higher performing, longer life, and safer energy storage systems, including batteries.

The succesful proposal has been led by Esther Takeuchi, who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and is Chief Scientist in Brookhaven National Laboratory's Global and Regional Solutions Directorate. In addition to faculty from the Departments of Chemistry, Physics and Materials Science, the collaborating institutions include Brookhaven National Laboratory, Columbia University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of California, Berkeley, and the University of North Carolina.

Our Department is represented by Profs. Marivi Fernandez-Serra and by Jim Misewich, who is currently Associate Lab Director for Basic Energy Sciences in Brookhaven National Laboratory. The Center commences activity on August 1, 2014 and will be housed at the University’s New York State Center of Excellence in the Advanced Energy Center in Stony Brook’s Research and Development Park.

See more here.

2014-06-26
Professor Rod Engelmann retires at the end of this semester  
Rod received his Diploma (1963) and PhD (1966) from the University of Heidelberg working on the weak interaction properties of hyperons. He was habilitated in Germany. Soon after that he joined Argonne National Laboratory. He came to Stony Brook in 1973 and advanced to the rank of full professor quickly in 1980. Early in his Stony Brook days, he led studies of high energy neutrino interactions and 200 GeV proton collisions at the newly commissioned Fermilab accelerator. In an extended stay at CERN in the 1980's, he exploited the UA2 data from the proton-antiproton collider to study the newly discovered Wand Z bosons and high transverse momentum processes. During a leave at BNL, he worked to characterize the magnets for the accelerator that ultimately became RHIC. For many years he worked on the DZero experiment, followed by the ATLAS experiment more recently. He was the adviser to nine graduate students.

Rod had a special talent for teaching the pre-med introductory physics courses. He started to work on internet-based education years before it became a major trend. He combined his understanding of the email, blogging and other WEB-based methods as a way to engage students. He used these and other computer-based tools to create novel and more effective ways to teach introductory physics. A 2009 interview with Rod about his teaching methods can be seen here

Rod will keep working with us on these matters, and we will rely on his advice and help in the coming years.

2014-05-20
Congratulations to Lisa Whitehead (Ph.D. 2007) for being recognized as CSWP Woman Physicist of the Month  
The American Physical Society's Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP) recognized Lisa Whitehead as "Woman Physicist of the Month".

Lisa received her Ph.D. in 2007 in the Experimental High-Energy Physics group, working on the K2K experiment. Currently she is in her third year at the University of Houston after serving a postdoctoral appointment at Brookhaven National Laboratory. As an experimentalist in neutrino physics she is a member of both MINOS and DAYA BAY. Her responsibilites include being Co-Convenor for Cosmogenic Isotopes for DAYA BAY as well as being a Co-Convenor of the ve appearance analysis group for MINOS. She has organized and hosted major collaboration meetings and shouldered other service activities such as being on the Fermilab User's Executive Committee. She has a Department of Energy Career Award.

We congratulate Lisa for her achievement and wish her more successes.

2014-02-11
Welcome New Faculty  
We welcome new faculty members Professor Vladimir Litvinenko (started in September, 2013) and Associate Professor Rosalba Perna (started in January, 2014).

Rosalba Perna joined our Astronomy group from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Previous to that she was Lyman Spitzer Fellow at Princeton University and Junior Fellow at Harvard University, the same institution where she got her Ph.D. in 1999. She had visiting appointments at the California Institute of Technology, at the Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Italy, and at the Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale, Italy. She studies high-energy astrophysics (Gamma-ray bursts, neutron stars, accretion disks, X-ray binaries, ultra-luminous X-ray sources), cosmology (gravitational lensing, interstellar medium and dust in high-redshift galaxies, foregrounds for Cosmic Microwave Background and 21 cm measurements, growth of supermassive black holes) and exoplanets with emphasis on the magnetohydrodynamics in the atmospheres of hot Jupiters.

Rosalba is a piano player (she has a Piano Diploma from the Conservatorio di Musica, Potenza, Italy) and she likes to travel. One of her trips was a 1200 km by bicycle tour through Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden.

b>Vladimir Litvinenko holds a joint appointment with Brookhaven National Laboratory's Collider-Accelerator Department, where he is the Deputy Head of the Accelerator R&D Division. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Prior to joining BNL Valdimir was tenured faculty in the Physics Department at Duke University, where he played a key role in building up the Free Electron Laser Laboratory. He came to the USA from the Institute for Nuclear Physics, Accelerator Laboratory, Novosibirsk, Russia. His Ph.D. is from the Novosibirsk State University and Institute for Nuclear Physics, Novosibirsk, Russia (1977). His research interests include free electron lasers, electron recovery linear accelerators, coherent electron cooling and the planned electron - ion collider. He is also interested in exotic high-energy colliders and accelerators including femto- and ato- second electron beams and next-generation light sources.

Vladimir is the director of the Center for Accelerator Science and Education. He is leading the effort to establish a strong accelerator physics group in our Department, including hiring junior faculty. He is currently teaching the graduate course in Accelerator Physics.

news-20-14
Juliet Lee-Franzini died January 19, 2014  
Juliet Lee-Franzini, Professor Emerita, died Jan. 19 in Frascati Italy.

Juliet was one of the pioneers of the department, taking an appointment at the newly established Stony Brook campus in 1963 as the founding faculty member of the high energy physics experimental group, following her Ph.D. and postdoc at Columbia University. In 1993 she left Stony Brook to take a position at Laboratori Nazionali de Frascati, where she was VIP Physicist and later Director of Research.

Lee-Franzini's research spanned a broad range of important topics in particle physics in experiments conducted at Nevis Labs, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Penn-Princeton Accelerator, Fermilab, Cornell, and Frascati, usually in collaboration with her husband Paolo Franzini. Her early work at Columbia measured the muon decay spectra and gave precision confirmation of the V-A nature of the weak interaction. Her search for the lepton-violating decay μ ➙ e γ pointed to the subsequent discovery of two distinct neutrino flavors. Under her leadership in the Columbia-Stony Brook experiment at Cornell, the spectroscopy of bound state mesons containing a bottom and anti-bottom quark was mapped out, leading to the understanding of heavy flavor potentials, and the indirect observation of mesons containing a single bottom quark. The work on the KLOE experiment at Frascati provided beautiful measurements elucidating CP-violation in the neutral K meson system.

Lee-Franzini was an exceptional mentor and her students now lead particle physics research programs around the world. She served on the board of directors of the Research Foundation of SUNY, and on the Executive Committee of the APS Division of Particles and Fields.

Paul Grannis

2014-01-24
Student from the Laser Teaching Center is Intel Finalist.  
This year Stony Brook faculty advised three of the Intel Science Talent Search finalists, and one of them, Kathy Camenzind, did her research in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. She worked with John Noé and Marty Cohen, at the Laser Teaching Center , studying the trapping forces in an optical tweezers setup. In the history of the Laser Teaching Center Kathy is the 3rd student reaching this high level of recognition.

One of the other finalists is Aron Coraor with a project advised in Geosciences. Last year Aron worked with Matt Dawber and a short video about his work in Matt's lab can be found here . The third finalist is Emily Pang, advised in the Department of Medicine.

Phil Allen advised Luran He, who reached the stage of semi-finalist, with a work on emergence of chaos in a scattering system.

In 2013 Kevin Chen, one of Matt Dawber's students was a finalist. Deriam Chirinos (advised by Jac Verbaarschot) and Grace Pan (another of Matt's students) were semi-finalists. In 2012 Juliana Coraor (sister to Aron Coraor, also advised by Matt Dawber) was a finalist.

Support from the Simons Summer Research Program is crucial to bringing talented high school students and faculty together. All of the students mentioned above (and many more) were supported by the program during at least a part of their research in Stony Brook. The Program gives academically talented, motivated high school students who are between their junior & senior years the opportunity to engage in hands-on research in science, math or engineering at Stony Brook University. Established in 1984, the Simons Summer Research Fellowship Program is supported by the Simons Foundation and individual faculty grants.

Congratulations to all students and faculty for this great success.

2014-01-23
Conference of Undergraduate Women in Physics is a great success.  
The East Coast Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) was hosted by Stony Brook University (SBU) and Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The three-day meeting was attended by more than 100 undergraduate physics majors. This was one of the eight regional conferences coordinated by the American Physical Society.

Students arrived Thursday evening and stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn. Friday's program was in BNL, with lectures, a poster session, visits to facilities and a dinner. Saturday there were presentations and a roundtable discussion in the Wang Center. The dinner, with a special talk about communicating science, was at the hotel. The complete program is here.

The Conference was a great success. Participants praised the excellent speakers, the well selected topics, the friendly ambiance, the excellent facilities and the perfect organization. Some of the students participated at earlier CUWiP meetings, and they called this one "the best".

Thanks to our Undergraduate Program Director, Abhay Deshpande, and the "Status of Women" Committee for setting up the interesting program. Thanks to faculty (Meigan Aronson, Sally Dawson, Marivi Fernandez-Serra, Angela Kelly, Joanna Kiryluk, Michael Rijssenbeek and Martin Rocek), postdocs and students (Mariola Lesiak-Bzdak, Ali Hanks, Alyssa Montalbano, Betul Pamak) for their presentations and participation in the roundtable discussions. The BNL side of the program was superbly organized by Noel Blackburn (outreach office) and Liz Flynn (BNL Director's Office). Stony Brook's Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program contributed to the welcoming atmosphere.

Special thanks to Jin Bentley and Nathan Leoce-Schappin for paying attention to every detail, resulting in a flawless execution of the plans for this meeting.

We acknowledge support from the BNL Director's Office and the Provost's Office. Support from the American Physical Society, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation is also acknowledged. (Photo credit to Brookhaven National Laboratory.)

2014-01-20

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Stony Brook University
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 CUWiP photo credit to Brookhaven National Laboratory.
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