Dahmen’s infectious enthusiasm for physics has made her a fine lecturer, but her commitment to teaching goes far beyond the classroom. She has one of the largest undergraduate research groups in our department, regularly mentoring four to six undergraduates at a time, involving them in independent, hands-on projects, and providing them with precious personal attention that prepares them well for future success. Three of the undergraduate women that she originally mentored have gone on to obtain doctoral degrees in physics, chemistry, and theoretical astrophysics.
Congratulations to our outstanding teachers and TAs! The spring 2015 "Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students" is out, and once again, Physics Illinois has the highest number, with 95 teaching assistants and faculty recognized as among the best on campus.Our top turnout on the list each semester is a testimony to the dedication of our people and the exceptional quality of our innovative teaching methodologies and curriculum. The list is compiled by the Center for Teaching Excellence.
In this SAWBO Video, Physics Illinois alumnus Pai Buabthong shares his Illinois experience and how his work as a 2-D animator and app developer for SAWBO has enabled him to make a difference. SAWBO stands for Scientific Animations Without Borders™. Based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, SAWBO transforms extension information on topics such as agriculture, disease and women's empowerment, into 2D, 2.5D and 3D animations, which are then voice overlaid into many languages from around the world. All SAWBO animations are made freely available by download to anyone wishing to use them for educational purposes.
Researchers, led by a team from the Beckman Institute, combined the power of two computational programs to determine the atomic structure of the abiological molecule cyanostar. This breakthrough will allow researchers to investigate the structure of more abiological molecules, which are relatively unknown.
The Large Hadron Collider has just restarted at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland, and the members of the ATLAS experiments are getting ready for the deluge of data. On June 24-26, the University of Illinois hosted the 2015 US ATLAS Meeting, an intensive four day workshop that brought together about 100 members of the ATLAS experiment from US institutions across the country.
Putting a hole in the center of the donut—a mid-nineteenth-century invention—allows the deep-fried pastry to cook evenly, inside and out. As it turns out, the hole in the center of the donut also holds answers for a type of more efficient and reliable quantum information teleportation, a critical goal for quantum information science.
Now, by taking advantage of the mathematical properties intrinsic to the shape of a donut—or torus, in mathematical terminology—a research team led by physicist Paul Kwiat of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has made great strides by realizing “superdense teleportation”. This new protocol, developed by coauthor physicist Herbert Bernstein of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, effectively reduces the resources and effort required to teleport quantum information, while at the same time improving the reliability of the information transfer.
On the night of May 21, 2015, at CERN in Switzerland, protons collided in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the record-breaking energy of 13 TeV for the first time. These test collisions were to set up systems that protect the machine and detectors from particles that stray from the edges of the beam.
Illinois high-energy physicist Mark Neubauer comments, “While these were test collisions to help commission critical systems at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), it was the first time that proton-proton collisions have been achieved at this energy. This important milestone sets the stage for a physics run in early June that will be the beginning of a journey at this unprecedented energy to discover new physics beyond the standard model.
"Possible discoveries include observations of new particles or symmetries, elucidation of the nature of dark matter, a deeper understanding of the origin of particle masses, or unexpected new phenomena in the spirit of exploration in fundamental physics.”
More than 500,000 people in the United States die each year of cancer-related causes. Now, emerging research has identified the mechanism behind one of the most common mutations that helps cancer cells to replicate limitlessly. The team’s findings, published in the May 14 issue of Science, have exciting implications for new, more precise and personalized cancer treatments with fewer side effects compared with current treatments.
Author: Susan McKenna, Alex Kreig, and Siv Schwink
University of Illinois Professor of Physics Brian DeMarco has been selected as a member of the Defense Science Study Group (DSSG), a program that gives leading scientists and engineers a chance to participate in the dialogue on technological challenges and advancements relating to national security. Over the course of the program, DSSG members focus on defense policy, related research and development, and the systems, missions, and operations of the armed forces and the intelligence community.
“I’m excited about this opportunity because it is a chance to learn about how science can inform and impact policy within the federal government and defense agencies,” DeMarco comments. “The DSSG is also a pathway into important organizations such as JASON that can have a broad impact on how we react as a nation to challenges such as energy generation and climate change.”
Pakpoom Buabthong, a senior in physics, displays the Deployer cellphone app, which enables users to access and share animated educational videos created by Scientific Animations without Borders. Pictured with Buabthong are SAWBO co-founders Julia Bello-Bravo and Barry Pittendrigh