The Illinois Physics community strongly rejects antisemitism, racism, and discrimination in all forms

Illinois Physics
10/18/2019

Our unique culture of open collaboration—the "Urbana style" of physics—draws talent from around the globe and from every walk of life. The strength of diverse perspectives allows us to attack the most relevant and pressing questions in physics with tremendous breadth of experience, unparalleled innovation, and great synergy. 

"Students, faculty, and staff at Illinois Physics come from different backgrounds and cultures from around the world and speak many languages," says Department Head and Professor Matthias Grosse Perdekamp. "In this diverse environment, success in physics education and research critically depends on a strong culture of inclusion in which all contributions are welcome, and we strongly reaffirm our commitment to respect and tolerance for all."

The Illinois Physics community issues this official statement:

The Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign strongly rejects all hateful acts of antisemitism, racism, and discrimination on campus and elsewhere. As scientists, we recognize that acts of intolerance not only create a climate of intimidation and fear, but also stifle both scientific education and scientific progress. Research consistently suggests that as diversity increases, so do productivity, creativity, and innovation in human endeavors. As a department, we are committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive community at this university. We recognize that it is our responsibility to use our privilege as scientists and academics to create and defend an environment where people of all races, religions, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations are treated with respect and dignity, and where their contributions are welcomed and encouraged.

All members of the Physics community are invited to endorse the statement, please go to: https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/1967297.

For more information about Illinois Physics' commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, please visit the department's corresponding web page, which describes our unique culture of open collaboration and lists our diversity-focused organizations.

Recent News

  • Research

An international team of researchers led by Paul Scherrer Institute postdoctoral researcher Niels Schröter now provide an important benchmark for how "strong" topological phenonena can be in a real material. Writing in Science, the team reports experiments in which they observed that, in the topological semimetal palladium gallium (PdGa), one of the most common classifiers of topological phenomena, the Chern number, can reach the maximum value that is allowed in any metallic crystal. That this is possible in a real material has never been shown before. Moreover, the team has established ways to control the sign of the Chern number, which might bring new opportunities for exploring, and exploiting, topological phenomena. Illinois Physics Professor Barry Bradlyn contributed to the theoretical work elucidating the team's experiments.

At the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), over 200 physicists across dozens of institutions are collaborating on a project called COMPASS. This experiment (short for Common Muon and Proton Apparatus for Structure and Spectroscopy) uses CERN’s Super Proton Synchrotron to tear apart protons with a particle beam, allowing researchers to see the subatomic quarks and gluons that make up these building blocks of the universe. But particle beams aren’t the only futuretech in play – the experiments are also enabled by a heavy dose of supercomputing power.

New findings from physicists at the University of Illinois, in collaboration with researchers at The University of Tokyo and others, clarify the physics of coupling topological materials with simple, conventional superconductors.

Through a novel method they devised to fabricate bulk insulating topological insulator (TI) films on superconductor (SC) substrates, the researchers were able to more precisely test the proximity effect, or coupling when two materials contact one another, between TIs and SCs. They found that when the TI film is bulk insulating, no superconductivity is observed at the top surface, but if it is a metal, as in prior work, strong, long-range superconducting order is seen. The experimental efforts were led by physics Professor Tai-Chang Chiang and Joseph Andrew Hlevyack, postdoctoral researcher in Professor Chiang’s group, in collaboration with Professor James N. Eckstein’s group including Yang Bai, Professor Kozo Okazaki’s Lab at The U. of Tokyo, and five other institutes internationally. The findings are published in Physical Review Letters, which has been highlighted as a PRL Editors’ Suggestion.

  • Accolades

Illinois Physics Assistant Professor Barry Bradlyn has been selected for a 2020 National Science Foundation CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development) Award. This award is conferred annually in support of junior faculty who excel in the role of teacher-scholars by integrating outstanding research programs with excellent educational programs. Receipt of this award also reflects great promise for a lifetime of leadership within the recipients’ respective fields.

Bradlyn is a theoretical condensed matter physicist whose work studying the novel quantum properties inherent in topological insulators and topological semimetals has already shed new light on these extraordinary systems. Among his contributions, he developed a real-space formulation of topological band theory, allowing for the prediction of many new topological insulators and semimetals.