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Creation of quark-gluon plasma droplets with three distinct shapes  
On December 10, 2018 the PHENIX collaboration, including professors Drees, Hemmick and their team, reported the "Creation of small droplets of quark-gluon plasma with three distinct geometries" in Nature Physics. Stony Brook's contribution to the publication was led by Senior Postdoctoral Fellow Carlos E. Perez-Lara.

In collisions of heavy nuclei at relativistic energies droplets quark-gluon plasma (QGP), a state of hot, dense nuclear matter in which quarks and gluons are not bound into hadrons. The rapid expansion of the nearly inviscid fluid translates any initial spatial anisotropy effectively into correlated momentum anisotropies among the particles produced, a pattern known as collective flow. Such flow patterns have recently also been seen small systems created in p+p and p+Au collisions, despite expectations that the volume and lifetime of the produced medium would be too small to form a QGP. PHENIX used the versatility of the RHIC accelerator at Brookhaven National Laboratory to measure flow patterns of particles produced in proton-gold (p+Au), deuteron-gold (d+Au) and helium-gold (3He+Au) collisions. The combination of these three uniquely different initial geometries and the measurement of two flow patterns provided unprecedented model discrimination. Hydrodynamical models, which include the formation of a short-lived QGP droplet, provide the best simultaneous description of the PHENIX measurements

See the Nature Physics paper, or read the press release by the University.
Dima Kharzeev appointed Distinguished Professor  
Congratulations Distinguished Professor Dr. Dmitri Kharzeev

Dr. Kharzeev was one of eight faculty from Stony Brook University that were selected by the SUNY Board of Trustees for its highest honor - the rank of Distinguished Professor. More information can be found here.

Dr. Kharzeev is nationally and internationally recognized as one of the world's leading theorists in nuclear physics. He is best known for his groundbreaking work on the Chiral Magnetic Effect (CME) - the induction of electric current parallel to an external magnetic field in the presence of imbalance between the right- and left-handed particles. CME is currently studied in heavy ion collisions at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Though the theory behind CME was initially developed in the context of nuclear physics, it has far-reaching implications for condensed matter physics, astrophysics and cosmology. Based on Dr. Kharzee's prediction, he and a team of condensed matter scientists at BNL discovered CME in a new class of chiral materials. This discovery points to a range of potential applications in sensing, quantum computing, and medical imaging. Dr. Kharzeev is a highly cited author of about 200 scientific publications. He is a Fellow of AAAS and APS, and has several prestigious awards.
SUNY Quantum Information Science Center at Long Island  
A team of four Stony Brook physicists, led by Prof. Vladimir Korepin and comprising Profs. Eden Figuera, Dominik Schneble, and Tzu-Chieh Wei has been awarded a SUNY grant for the development of a Center for Quantum Information Science.

Korepin and Wei, both theorists, work on entanglement theory in many-body systems, models of quantum computation, quantum algorithms, and simulations of complex quantum systems, while experimentalists Figueroa and Schneble work with systems of atoms and photons. Figueroa's group uses atomic ensembles to store and entangle photons for purposes of quantum simulation and as part of a room-temperature quantum communication network. Schneble's group uses atomic clouds at nanokelvin temperatures to engineer ultracold atomic quantum systems with which fundamental questions can be addressed through direct quantum simulation.

The team's expertise and core research activities reflect the four pillars of Quantum Information Science in communication, computing, simulation, and sensing. With the envisioned Center for Quantum Information Science at Long Island, SUNY aims to foster Stony Brook University's strong capabilities for solving basic science questions and stimulating technology developments, as well as to train a next-generation, quantum-smart workforce.
Ken Dill receives the 2019 APS Delbruck prize  
Distinguished Professor Ken A. Dill, the Louis and Beatrice Laufer Endowed Chair of Physical and Quantitative Biology, has been awarded the American Physical Society's 2019 Max Delbrück Prize in Biological Physics. The prize was awared for his independent contributions to a new view of protein folding, from the introduction and exploration of simple models, to detailed confrontations between theory and experiment.

More information can be found here.
In Memory of Tom Bergeman  
Thomas (Tom) Bergeman passed away on 27 October 2018, two weeks before his 85th birthday..

There will be a memorial service Sunday November 25, 2018 from 2:00 - 4:00 PM at Moloney's Central Islip Funeral Home. The posting can be found here.

Tom joined the department in the mid 1970's to help with a thesis on molecular spectroscopy, and later did many important calculations on Rydberg atoms. He then turned his attention to atom cooling and his 1987 paper on magnetic traps has become a classic, paving the way for Bose condensation experiments. He has worked on molecular structure to guide the field of cold molecules, on a variety of many body problems, and had been engaged with dozens of collaborators world-wide. He was an undergraduate at Caltech, did his Ph.D. at Harvard with Bill Klemperer, a post-doc at Columbia, and came here after a few years at Fordham.

Stony Brook: a thriving teacher eduction program  
School districts in the United States consistently rank physics as the highest teacher shortage area among all academic disciplines. Although the number of high school students taking physics has more than doubled over the past two decades, less than half of public school physics courses are taught by an instructor with a degree in the subject.

The Stony Brook physics teacher education program was part of a recent study by the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) of eight diverse and thriving programs. Besides Stony Brook's Physics MAT, programs at Georgia State, Boulder, Rutgers, Rowan, Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, Brigham Young and Austin were selected for the study. As programs at large universities that typically graduate five or more physics teachers a year these programs serve as role models.

Common characteristics of these model programs were identified and embodied in the Physics Teacher Education Program Analysis (PETRA) Rubric. This rubric is intended to provide programs feedback and help them emulate the success of the programs studied.

The full report can be found here.

Stony Brook's MAT is particularly noted for institutional commitment to teacher education, leadership and collaboration between iSTEM and physics faculty, and most importantly knowledge and skills of physics teachers. For the past 4 years our program has been consistently invited to join the PhysTEC 5+ Club that highlights postsecondary institutions for graduating five or more physics teachers in a given year. Last year we were ranked 3rd, see here for more details.
Chairs Colloquium: Physics and Astronomy 2018/19  
On September 9th 2018 Prof. Axel Drees gave the traditional chairs colloquium, the first colloquium of the academic year, to welcome all new members of the department and give them overview of the department and the ongoing research, and too welcome back everyone else with a review of has happened the previous year.

The slides can be found here.
New faculty joining the department in 2018/19  
Professor Phil Armitage

Phil is a professor of astrophysical and planetary sciences. His research focuses on the formation and evolution of planetary systems and the physics of accretion in protostellar and black hole environments. He will hold a joint position with the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Simons Foundation's Flatiron Institute as Group Leader for Planet Formation. He earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Prior to joining Stony Brook, he was a professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, he did postdoctoral work at the University of Toronto's Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics and at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Munich, Germany.

Assistant Professor Jan C. Bernauer

Jan is a professor for experimental nuclear physics. He participated in nuclear physics experiments worldwide to investigate the structure of the proton, in particular "the proton radius puzzle", and other questions related to the structure of strongly interacting matter. He will hold a RIKEN BNL Research Center Fellowship. Jan earned a Doctorate at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universitaet Mainz, Germany. He joins us from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he held positions as postdoctoral associate and research scientist at the Laboratory for Nuclear Science.

Assistant Professor Jennifer Cano

Jennifer is a professor of theoretical condensed matter physics. She studies topological phases of matter and is interested in the classification, experimental probes, material realizations of topological insulators and semi-metals, and in the bulk-boundary correspondence. She will hold a joint position with the Center for Computational Quantum Physics at the Simons Foundation's Flatiron Institute. She earned a Ph.D. in physics from the UC Santa Barbara and held a postdoc position at the Center for Theoretical Science at Princeton University before joining Stony Brook.

Assistant Professor Cyrus E. Dreyer

Cyrus is a professor of theoretical condensed matter physics. His research involves developing and implementing first-principles methods based on density functional theory to explore materials for electronic and optoelectronic devices. He will hold a joint position with the Center for Computational Quantum Physics at the Simons Foundation's Flatiron Institute. He earned a Ph.D. in physics from the UC Santa Barbara. Before joining Stony Brook he was a postdoctoral associate at the Theoretical Condensed Matter group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University.

Associate Professor Will M. Farr

Will is a professor of astrophysics. His research interests include gravitational-wave astronomy, compact object formation and evolution, the gravitational dynamics of planets and stars, and astrostatistics. He will hold a joint position with the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Simons Foundation's Flatiron Institute as Group Leader for Gravitational Wave Astronomy. He earned a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Will joins Stony Brook from the University of Birmingham, where he held a position as lecturer at the Institute of Gravitational Wave Astronomy. Prior he did postdoctoral work at Northwestern University.

ATLAS observes Higgs to bb decays  
At the International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP) in South Korea, on July 10th, 2018 Prof. Giacinto Piacquadio presented the latest results on measurements of the Higgs boson , including the first observation of Higgs boson decays to b-quarks by the ATLAS experiment.

The Stony Brook ATLAS group played an important role in making this observation possible: see here for more informations about why observing Higgs to b-quark decays is considered a milestone in particle physics.

In addition, over the next two years Prof. Piacquadio will take the lead at CERN of the overall ATLAS Higgs team composed of more than 500 physicists, supported in his role by the National Science Foundation.

Simulating QED with ultracold atoms in an optical lattice  
In the July 26, 2018 issue of Nature, the Ultracold Atomic Physics group of associate professor Dominik Schneble reports an experiment on the "Spontaneous emission of matter waves from a tunable open quantum system". They engineered a microscopic array of artificial emitters that decay by emitting single atoms (rather than single photons) into the surrounding vacuum. With their fully controllable system, Schneble's team observed behavior beyond the exponential decay usually seen in spontaneous emission, including partial backflow of emitted radiation, and the formation of an exotic bound state containing evanescent waves. The NSF-funded work creates a novel platform for studies of dissipative many-body physics and is of relevance for future applications in emergent quantum technologies.

See the Nature News and Views or the Nature paper, or read the press release by the University.

IceCube neutrinos point to long-sought cosmic ray accelerator  
On July 12 2018, the National Science Foundation held a press release on a breakthrough in multi-messenger astrophysics related to the origins of high energy cosmic rays. IceCube’s observation of a high energy muon neutrino event, identified as IceCube-170922A, from the direction of a known flaring blazar TXS 0506+056, prompted observations of associated photon counterparts, such as gamma-rays, X-rays, and optical and radio radiation, from other instruments on Earth and in space. This ultimately provided the first evidence for a known blazar as a source of high-energy astrophysical neutrinos, which were discovered by IceCube in 2013. The new results are published in two papers in Science. The IceCube group at Stony Brook, led by associate professor Joanna Kiryluk, is deeply involved in the precise measurement and characterization of the diffuse astrophysical (electron and tau) neutrino flux.

More information can be found here:

IceCube Neutrinos Point to Long-Sought Cosmic Ray Accelerator

July 12, NSF Press Conference on Breakthrough in Multi-messenger Astrophysics

Two Science article (published July 12): here and here.

2018 Chancellor's Award for Excellence  
Prof. Abhay Deshpande receives the 2018 Chancellor's Award for Exellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity. 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. Congratulation to Abhay! More information can be found here.

2018 Award for Excellence In Graduate Mentoring  
Distinguished Prof. Chang Kee Jung recieves the 2018 Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring from the Dean of the Graduate School. The Graduate Council Fellowships and Awards Committee reviews outstanding candidates, based on their scholastic merit and contributions to the community, from all of our graduate programs. The selection for this prestigious award acknowledges the awardee's deep devotion to mentoring and the important contribution to academic excellence at Stony Brook University. Congratulation to Chang Kee!

2018 President's Doctoral Thesis Award  
Hans Niederhausen receives the "2018 President's Doctoral Student Thesis Award". Hans works on the IceCube experiment together with Prof. Kiryluk and defends his thesis "Measurement of the High Energy Astrophysical Neutrino Flux Using Electron and Tau Neutrinos Observed in Four Years of IceCube Data " in May. He was nominated for the award by the department and succeeded in this university wide, extremely competative selection. Congratulation to Hans! More infoirmation can be found here.

Dr. David honored with Knight's Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit  
In 2017 Gabor David was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit for his accomplishments in experimental nuclear physics.

Research Prof. David received his PhD at Stony Brook in 1991, went to Columbia University, then worked at BNL until 2016 on the PHENIX experiment. His main topic is direct photon and neutral meson production in heavy ion collisions, he played crucial role in discovering jet quenching at RHIC, as well as prompt and thermal radiation and flow of photons. He is also a guest professor at Debrecen University (Hungary) since 1999 and the architect of a decades long, fruitful cooperation of Hungarian and American physicists, mostly graduate students.

Catpuring the irreversible nonequilibrium essence of turbulence  
Prof. Jin Wang and a fomer physics graduate student at Stony Brook, Dr. Wei Wu, along with another researcher recently demonstrate a new perspective of the turbulence. The paper has been published in Annals of Physics . More infoirmation can be found here.


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