Skip to main content
Indiana University Bloomington

Current News

News Archive

11/19/14 IUB Professor of Physics Mike Snow has won one of two awards for the 2014 NIST Precision Measurement Grant Competition. The award will support a project to perform absolute neutron flux measurements needed for precision measurement of the lifetime of the neutron. The scientific interest in precision measurements of the neutron lifetime is due to its direct influence on the amount of helium produced in the Big Bang. The Big Bang Theory (the real one, not the TV show) makes a precise prediction for the relative amounts of hydrogen and helium in the early universe before stars started to form. Work by many members of the IU astronomy department has also been devoted to this general topic. IUB Associate Professor of Physics Chen-Yu Liu is leading a different experimental effort to also measure the neutron lifetime with high precision. No faculty member from Indiana University has ever won this competition until this year. However it is interesting to note that one of the award winners of the competition when it was first started in 1970 was an IUB alumnus: James Faller, who was an IU undergraduate major of physics in the 1960s before going to Princeton for his PhD work. Faller later played a major role in the decision to put "corner cubes" on the Moon: decades later these cubes were used to make extremely precise measurements of the Earth-Moon distance good enough to conduct a powerful test Einstein's ideas of curved spacetime. Faller also conducted some of the most sensitive experiments to measure Newton's famous gravitational constant G (a number well-known to all physics students).

10/21/14Congratulations to Professor Emeritus Andy Bacher for receiving the 2014 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director’s Science and Technology Awards for Excellence in Publication. This award was given to Andy and his co-authors in the basic science category for their paper entitled “Measurement of the T+T Neutron Spectrum Using the National Ignition Facility”, published last year in Physical Review Letters (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.052501).

09/30/14 - IU physics PhD Allena Opper recently accepted a position as program director for nuclear physics at the National Science Foundation. Allena earned her PhD at IU in 1991 for work in experimental nuclear physics at the (former) IUCF facility under the direction of Scott Wissink. She later became a professor of physics at Ohio University and moved to George Washington University, where she had been serving as the chair of the GWU physics department before accepting the NSF position.

08/25/14 - Many congratulations to professor Babak Seradjeh, who just received NSF’s prestigious CAREER award for his project entitled “Dynamics, Correlations, and Disorder in Topological Matter.”

05/12/14 - Many congratulations to Professor Lisa Kaufman, who has just been announced as one of 35 recipients of a Department of Energy Early Career Research Award. She received this most prestigious DOE junior faculty award for a project entitled “Characterization of Backgrounds for EXO”.

05/10/14 - Among the proud 2014 Physics graduates were five students representing the first class of Master of Science degree recipients from the Medical Physics Program, some of who participated in the IU graduate convocation ceremony this past Friday, May 9. The jubilant new professionals include Safa Almohsen (featured in the photograph, right), Marjan Khosravi (featured in the photograph, left), Zander Nevitt, Mark Ostyn and Mohammad Qutub. These intrepid pioneers are off to begin careers in clinical medical physics, research and development, doctoral degrees or residency training. The Department is so very proud of them all! Medical Physics is the application of physics to the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of human disease. There are four principle fields: radiation oncology, imaging, nuclear medicine, and radiation protection. The Bloomington program is part of a state-wide, three campus collaboration including the IU School of Medicine, Purdue University and IU Bloomington, incorporating the Departments of Radiology and Radiation Oncology, the Medical Physics Program within the School of Health Sciences, and the Department of Physics. The multidisciplinary course of study encompasses biochemistry, biophysics, biology, medicine, informatics and computational sciences, and advanced mathematics as well as physics.

03/12/14 - Professor Jinfeng Liao is the recent recipient of an NSF CAREER award for his project entitled “New States of Strongly Interacting Matter in Heavy Ion Collisions”. This is the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award in support of junior faculty. Congratulations!

12/13/13 - Professors Mark Messier and Mike Snow have been selected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society for the Division of Particles and Fields.

The citation for Prof. Messier reads: "For study of neutrino mass and mixing from discovery with atmospheric neutrinos by Super-Kamiokande, confirmation and precision measurements using MINOS, and leadership of the NOvA long-baseline experiment to further define the fundamental nature of neutrino oscillation."

The citation for Prof. Snow reads: "For his contributions to the understanding of fundamental nuclear and particle interactions through innovative studies employing very low energy neutrons and the development of measurement techniques in neutron science. "

The new Fellows will be formally honored at the 2014 April APS meeting, which will be held April 5 - April 8 in Savannah, Georgia.

11/27/13 - Physics Professor Mike Snow was part of a group that has announced an improved value for the lifetime of the neutron. The new result has less than half as much uncertainty as the previous value obtained with their method, but leaves unanswered a discrepancy between their method that uses a beam of neutons and methods using trapped ultracold neutrons. Read more about it on the American Physical Society research highlight site.

11/21/13 - Congratulations! Swain West Building Manager Dave Sprinkle is one of six members of the Indiana University Bloomington staff who have been selected to receive the 2013 Staff Merit Awards. We will celebrate their service, commitment, and contributions to the university at the annual Staff Merit Awards ceremony to be held from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. in the Frangipani Room at the Indiana Memorial Union. The Staff Merit Awards are given to staff members who have exhibited an extraordinary commitment to service, workplace innovation, and job performance.

11/20/13 - Congratulations also to Ben Brabson, as the 2013 recipient of the Office of Sustainability’s Campus Catalyst Awards for excellence in teaching. This is a fitting tribute to Ben’s great efforts in teaching Environmental Physics (P310/P510), a course he has taught since 1994. Details on the Campus Catalyst Awards can be found : here.

09/03/13 - In search for dark matter components, IU physicists edge closer by watching radiation shifts

Work is a collaboration with Northrop Grumman, University of Wisconsin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 4, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Nuclear magnetic resonance -- that phenomenon where nuclei of certain atoms, when in a magnetic field, take in and give off measurable amounts of electromagnetic radiation -- is everywhere.

Indiana University Health Proton Therapy Center uses a type of it to visualize nuclei of atoms inside the human body, and chemists like IU's David Giedroc use nuclear magnetic resonance to determine protein structure. Its radio frequency range of between 40 and 50 megahertz is akin to that of short wave amateur radio. Even water, when you zoom in on the single proton found in the nuclei of its two hydrogen atoms, produces a measureable nuclear magnetic resonance signal.

Two isotopes of xenon gas were placed inside a 2-millimeter glass vapor cell and then polarized inside a magnetic field in a search for nuclear magnetic resonance frequency shifts. The test station is also used by Northrop Grumman in developing sub-atomic gyroscopes.

Now, a team of physicists at IU Bloomington that has been hunting for nuclear magnetic resonance frequency shifts 100 billion times smaller as part of a search for new particles in nature that are very weakly coupled to matter, has never been closer to confirming whether the predicted particles do exist. Print-Quality Photo

Led at IU by College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Physics professor W.M. Snow in collaboration with researchers at Northrop Grumman Corp. and the University of Wisconsin, the team this week announced a new set of nuclear magnetic resonance frequency shift measurements in two polarized isotopes of the noble gas xenon. The new results provide the highest level of sensitivity to date for the possible presence of exotic new particles with masses in the sub-electron volt range (less than the mass of a single neutron, proton or electron).

These new predicted particles -- called WISPs, or weakly interacting sub-electron volt particles, by some theorists -- include one particular hypothetical elementary particle called an axion that could be a component of dark matter or dark energy in the universe.

"If eventually found to be present, these axion particles would exert a force between a normal hunk of matter and spin-polarized matter in which the nuclei of the atoms are all set up to spin in the same direction, similar to the protons in your body used in magnetic resonance imaging," Snow said. "If present, the axion force would change the precession frequencies of the two xenon isotopes differently."

The experiment used a test apparatus for a new type of navigation system being developed by Northrop Grumman that employs spin-polarized nuclei -- in this case the xenon isotopes 129Xe and 131Xe -- as atomic-scale gyroscopes that always point in the same direction. Applications for use of the new navigation technology are likely to emphasize small size and low power requirements, including personal and unmanned vehicle navigation in GPS-denied and GPS-challenged locations.

IU nuclear physicist W.M. "Mike" Snow The team's final results improved on the precision of the search by two orders of magnitude for WISP-induced forces with ranges near 1 millimeter, and Snow said they expect that the sensitivity of this technique can be increased by at least two more orders of magnitude. As such, they are now preparing special nonmagnetic materials made of an alloy of gallium and indium as a precaution against the effects from magnetic fields that could also affect the xenon nuclei. And as their tests become more precise, the odds of witnessing the two isotopes respond differently to the axion force become greater.

"A Laboratory Search for a Long-Range T-odd, P-odd Interaction From Axion-Like Particles Using Dual Species Nuclear Magnetic Resonance With Polarized 129Xe and 131Xe Gas," appeared as an "Editor's Selection" in this month's Physical Review Letters. Co-authors with Snow were C.B. Fu, E. Smith and H. Yan, all of IU Bloomington and the IU Center for Exploration of Energy and Matter, M. Bulatowicz, R. Griffith, M. Larsen and J. Mirijanian, all of Northrop Grumman, and T.G. Walker, University of Wisconsin.

Funding for the research came from Northrup Grumman, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

For more information or to speak with Snow, please contact Steve Chaplin, IU Communications, at 812-856-1896 or stjchap@iu.edu.

http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/24523.html

08/30/13 - Physics major named Wells Scholar

Aaron Dy, of Evansville, Ind. A senior at IU and a 21st Century Scholar, Dy is majoring in physics and minoring in mathematics and biology. He has been elected to Phi Beta Kappa and awarded the Kochert Scholarship by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Brown Memorial Scholarship by the Department of Physics. He is focused on the application of physical principles and technologies to biomedical problems, particularly as they relate to cancer research.

He is beginning his fourth year as a research assistant at the IU Biocomplexity Institute, where he is working under James Glazier, the institute director. This past spring he received a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates grant for his work with the institute. With a second NSF REU grant, he spent the summer at the University of Colorado working to develop a new 3-D hydro-focused cytometer for biofuel analysis. His work as a medical physics intern at the Evansville Deaconess Hospital and the IU Health Proton Therapy Center will be presented at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine conference.

Dy graduated from Harrison High School as valedictorian. As an entering IU freshman, he received the Della J. Evans Scholarship from the Hutton Honors College and an IU Excellence Scholarship. He has been a Hutton Honors College mentor and an undergraduate math instructor and is president of the IU College Democrats. He will hold an Urcel Daniel Scholarship within the Wells Scholars Program.

Photo

08/15/13 - Lifetime Achievement Prize Awarded to S.Y. Lee

Professor S.Y. Lee of Indiana University will receive the USPAS Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Accelerator Physics and Technology. Professor Lee is recognized “for his extraordinary contributions to accelerator education including mentoring a large cadre of highly-regarded students, for overseeing the Indiana University - USPAS Master's Degree Program in Accelerator Physics and for serving as USPAS Director from 1998 to 2002.”

Professor Lee's award will be presented at the 2013 NA Particle Accelerator Conference in Pasadena, California. This special prize is awarded by the U.S. Particle Accelerator School on behalf of its Board of Governors.

For more information please visit http://uspas.fnal.gov

08/01/13 - IU researchers helping to determine future of US high-energy physics program

IU physics department faculty Rick Van Kooten, Steve Gottlieb, Lisa Kaufman, Rex Tayloe, Jon Urheim, and Mark Messier are leaders in an effort of 700 physicists in Minneapolis this week to explore and plan the future direction of particle physics for the next decade. The American Physical Society is organizing the meeting, known as the "Snowmass Community Summer Study 2013", this week at the University of Minnesota.

The individual topics of study are organized into frontiers according to their method of study. High-energy physicist Van Kooten, is leading an effort within the "Energy Frontier" to assess future investigations of the recently discovered Higgs particle. Gottlieb, high-energy theorist is a leader of the "Computing Frontier" that considers the computing needs of future experiments and theoretical calculations. Within the "Intensity Frontier" where the world's most powerful proton beams are used to create neutrinos, Lisa Kaufman and Rex Tayloe are leading groups studying the fundamental nature of the neutrino and neutrino oscillations. Neutrino physicist John Urheim, is an expert panelist discussing the LBNE neutrino oscillation experiment. In addition, employing his skills speaking about physics, Mark Messier, spokesperson of the NOvA neutrino experiment, is participating in a "physics slam" competition, held on Friday night in the University of Minnesota ice arena.

See also this Symmetry Magazine article.

06/01/13 - The Sixth Meeting on CPT and Lorentz Symmetry will be held in Bloomington June 17-21. The Conference brings together dozens of scientists from all over the world to discuss theories and experiments searching for new physics. The meeting is being organized by the IU Center for of Spacetime Symmetries.

04/14/13 - The NOvA neutrino detector in Minnesota is now online and currently collecting calibration data from cosmic ray events in expectation of beginning to measure neutrino signal from neutinos generated at Fermi National Laboratory in Illinois. Read more at IUNews...

03/27/13 - Congratulations to Emilio Cobanera, whose dissertation, “A New Theory of Dualities and Dimensional Reduction: Applications to Phase Transitions, Topological Quantum Order, and Quantum Information Processing” has been selected as the winner of the Esther L. Kinsley Ph.D. Dissertation Award for 2012-2013. This is the highest honor for research that Indiana University bestows upon its graduate students.

01/24/13 - Long distance mentoring of high school student Jiayi Peng by Physics Assoc. Prof. John Beggs helped her win the $50,000 second-place prize in the national Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology "for her study of how neuronal networks could self-organize to the critical point and thereby avoid diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and disorders like autism and epilepsy."

'Without Dr. Beggs, I could not have made such progress'

"The work Beggs and Peng have done together has also led to the pair co-authoring a research article, “Attaining and Maintaining Criticality in a Neuronal Network Model,” that has just been published in Physica A, a peer-reviewed academic journal for the field of statistical mechanics. Beggs’ research was funded by the National Science Foundation."

More information from the Inside IU.

10/05/12 - Congratulations to IU physics alumna Kathleen Plinske on receiving the 2012 Outstanding Young Alumni award from the College of Arts And Sciences. Kathleen graduated with a BA in physics and Spanish in 2001 and is now the President of the Osceola and Lake Nona campuses of Valencia College in Florida. Award information should soon be posted on the College Awards and Recognitions page.

09/24/12 - Teppei Katori (Ph.D. 2008 with Rex Tayloe) has been selected to receive the 2013 Henry Primakoff Award for Early-Career Particle Physics from the American Physical Society. Teppei has been recognized for his outstanding contributions in accelerator-based neutrino experiments, notably his cross section measurements and searches for Lorentz and CPT violation.
The Award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions made by early-career physicists. It consists of a certificate and a monetary award, which this year will be presented at the APS April Meeting in Denver, CO, April 13-16, at a special Ceremonial Session during which Teppei will give an invited lecture.

08/28/12 - Gang Shen who received his PhD in 2010 under supervision of Chuck Horowitz will receive the 2013 Dissertation Award in Nuclear Physics of the American Physical Society. Gang is recognized "for development of a new self-­consistent equation of state of hot and dense matter intended for use in numerical simulations of core-­collapse supernova, neutron star mergers and related extreme astrophysical phenomena. This equation of state provides a unified description of matter at the relatively low density and temperature where nuclei are present, and the high density and temperature phase where uniform nuclear matter with neutrons, protons and electrons exists." The award is given to a recent Ph.D. in experimental or theoretical nuclear physics from a North American university within two years from graduation.

07/09/12 - For Immediate Release: IU physicists, IT personnel contribute to success of Higgs boson search - More information from the IU News Room

07/04/12 - CERN experiments observe particle consistent with long-sought Higgs boson More... View the report 9am CEST - NY Times article - CERN - The U.S. LHC groups - See specific IU contributions and details

05/07/12 - Teppei Katori, IU grad student alumus, awarded the 2012 IUPAP C11 Young Scientist Prize

07/02/12 - Tevatron scientists announce their final results on the Higgs particle More...

06/13/12 - "The White House has announced that Indiana University School of Education alumna Stacy McCormack, the 2011 Indiana Teacher of the Year and a teacher at Penn High School in Mishawaka, is the Indiana recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for teaching science. The award is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the U.S." More at the IU News Room.

06/05/12 - Prof. Lisa Kaufman part of international team unveiling first results of underground search for neutrino properties. The Enriched Xenon Observatory 200 experiment reports the best result to date showing that neutrinos behave like other elementary particles at the quantum level. More at the IU News Room.

06/03-09/12 - During June 3-9 2012, the Indiana University Center for Spacetime Symmetries (IUCSS), http://www.indiana.edu/~iucss, hosted a summer school on the Lorentz- and CPT-violating Standard-Model Extension in the Physics Department. Organized by Ralf Lehnert and Mike Snow, the school attracted 72 registrants from about a dozen countries. The school offered reviews of theoretical and experimental aspects of Lorentz and CPT violation in the SME context, aimed at educating interested workers in the field. The lectures and scientific expertise of the attendees covered a broad range of topics spanning astrophysics, atomic physics, neutrino physics, nuclear physics, particle physics, theoretical physics, and mathematics. The school web site is http://www.indiana.edu/~lorentz/sme2012. The school was the fourth event sponsored by the IUCSS since its inauguration in 2010. Previous meetings included the Fifth Meeting on CPT and Lorentz Symmetry (CPT'10) in June 2010, which is the major scientific conference in the field, and workshops on Theoretical Aspects of the Standard-Model Extension (August 2011) and on Exploring Lorentz Symmetry with Neutrinos (March 2012). Additional events currently being planned for the 2012-2013 academic year will be announced at a later date on the IUCSS web site, http://www.indiana.edu/~iucss/workshops.shtml.

05/07/12 - Teppei Katori, IU grad student alumus, awarded the 2012 IUPAP C11 Young Scientist Prize... More

05/03/12 - Sloppy shipping of human retina leads IU researchers to discover new treatment path for eye disease...More at the IU News Room.

05/01/12 - Thesis work of Denver Whittington on looking for tiny differences between top quarks and antitop quarks that would be a signal for Lorentz violation featured as Fermilab's Result of the Week.

04/30/12 - With NOvA building complete, IU physicists, astronomer ready to construct particle detector... More at the IU News Room.

04/19/12 - Profs. Sima Setayeshgar and Mike Snow honored for excellence in teaching by receiving Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching and Outstanding Graduate Teaching awards, respectively, as selected by undergraduate Physics majors and graduate students at our Annual Awards Colloquium.

03/08/12 - Area high school students can register for summer science and math institute at IU Bloomington in a program initiated by Physics graduate students. More at the IU News Room.

03/07/12 - Congratulations to Prof. Radovan Dermisek for receiving an Outstanding Junior Faculty Award - only 4-5 of these are awarded each year from the entire campus.

03/02/12 - Treasured faculty member Prof. Brian Serot passed away March 2, 2012

02/20/12 - Prof. Steve Gottlieb has been elected to a three-year term as an APS Councilor through the Division of Computational Physics. The Council is the governing board of the American Physical Society.

01/05/12 - IU Physics Research Scientist Jason Gardner has been appointed editor-in-chief of prestigious Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. His introductory editorial is online. Read more on Dr. Gardner's research here.

01/01/12 - Prof. Alan Kostelecky's 1985 paper "The neutrino as a tachyon" listed as number 1 "hottest article" in Physics Letter B for 2011.

12/13/11 - With mounting evidence of a possible sighting of the Higgs Boson from the Large Hadron Collider, IU physicists find themselves in thick of new results. Members of the IU Department of Physics belong to the ATLAS detector collaboration, which reported their recent results on the search...read more at the IU News Room.

12/02/11 - Adam Szczepaniak has been named a 2011 Fellow of the American Physical Society "For the development of perturbative and nonperturbative methods in Quantum Chromodynamics in the lightcone and equal time formalisms and for their application to properties of exotic mesons". Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one's professional peers and normally restricted to 1% of the membership of the American Physical Society in any given year.

12/01/11 - Mark Gebhard, Master Electronic Technician, is one of six IU Bloomington staff selected to receive the 2011 Staff Merit Award. For the last 24 years, Mark has been instrumental in designing, building and repairing equipment essential to the success of astrophysics and neutrino physics experiments. His ability to quickly and expertly conceptualize, implement, and trouble-shoot these highly specialized instruments is not only remarkable in itself but it has been essential to the success of many research projects. As further evidence of his commitment to IU, Mark has taken his own time to chronicle the history of the Indiana University Department of Physics in a 700 page volume.

11/04/11 - IUB Physics team led by Prof. Tayloe developed a novel neutrino and neutron detector called SciBath, which has now been installed for testing at Fermi National Laboratory. Read more from Fermilab..

10/20/11 - Researchers in the IU Biocomplexity Institute have developed a computational model for early embryonic development in vertebrates. The model was simulated in the CompuCell3D environment, which reproduced early stages of embryonic development when segments called somites form...Read more from IU News Room.

09/23/11 - Observed "faster than light" travel of neutrinos was predicted by IU theorist Prof. Alan Kostelecky and coworkers in 1985. On the other hand, IU alum Chang-Kee Jung (now at SUNY Stony Brook) remains skeptical. Read more from the IU News Room.

09/08/11 - Prof. Lisa Kaufman involved in the slowest Standard Model process ever: As a member of the EXO collaboration, Prof. Kaufman has been involved in the measurement of an extremely rare process of two-neutrino double-beta decay of an isotope of Xenon: How slow is slow? EXO knows!. IU and Kaufman provided key parts for the calibration system that was used to understand the detector's behavior and for measuring the purity of the liquid xenon. Kaufman was instrumental in organization of the running of the experiment and data taking, as well as installing an emergency recovery system for the xenon.

09/06/11 - IU PhD and postdoctoral research Nikodem Poplawski is featured in the episode "Parallel Universes: Are They Real?" on "Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman" appearing on both the Discovery and Science Channels. More from this episode.

08/29/11 - Recruiting is underway for the new IU Bloomington Medical Physics program. Classes begin Fall 2012; to learn more about the program, please visit the IUB Medical Physics website or read more from IU News Room.

06/29/11 - IU physics PhDs offer tutoring assistance in math, physics to area high school students. The summer program is now running in its second year. Read more from IU News Room.

06/24/11 - MINOS experiment observes rare neutrino events. Scientists of the MINOS experiment at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory announced the results from a search for a rare phenomenon, the transformation of muon neutrinos into electron neutrinos. Read more at the Fermilab news room.

04/19/11 - IU alumnus and postdoctoral research Nikodem Poplawski has a different way of looking at the universe. Read about his research in the IU news article

04/13/11 - The Indiana University Board of Trustees rededicated and renamed the IU Cyclotron Facility as the Integrated Science and Accelerator Technology (ISAT) Hall. President McRobbie used the opportunity to award the President's Medal to Professor Emeritus Robert Pollock. See the IU news article.

03/28/11 - The American Physical Society has recognized Indiana University physicist Charles Horowitz with a lifetime award as an Outstanding Referee for his work assessing manuscripts submitted to the society's publications. See the IU news article.

03/25/11 -Physics graduate student Justin Stevens awarded the College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Year Research Fellowship of $18,000 for 2011-12. This 10-month fellowship is intended to provide support for him while he is conducting his research and writing your dissertation. With this award the College recognizes the quality of his past graduate work and expresses the confidence of the College and his department in his promise as a developing scholar.

03/11/11 -Physics graduate student Leo Mesquita awarded the McCormick Science Grant for 2011. The grant of $2,500.00 is intended to provide support for him while he is conducting his research in collaboration with Professor Rob de Ruyter. Charles O. McCormick III, M.D., established the McCormick Science Grant Fund to honor his father and grandfather and to support basic science research.In creating the fund Dr. McCormick asked the College to identify the graduate student member of a faculty/graduate student team whose research is judged most creative, visionary, and innovative.

02/11/11 - IU Physics Professor Chuck Horowitz named an "Outstanding Referee" by the editors of the American Physical Society journals.