Prof. Rhonda Dzakpasu has received a 2013 Research Award from the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) allowing her to conduct neuroscience-related research at the MBL’s Whitman Center in Woods Hole, MA. The MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the US and has a year-round scientific and support staff of nearly 300. During each summer 1,700 scientists and advanced students from around the world visit the MBL to study and conduct research. Prof.
Two physics Ph.D. students, Marguerite Brown and Bryce Yoshimura, have been named 2013-14 ARCS Fellows. Marguerite, who was also a 2012-13 ARCS Fellow, will be continuing her interdisciplinary research in the Blair lab on how microtubules, which provide structural support in cells, organize into different types of structures under different mechanical conditions. Bryce is conducting theoretical research in the Freericks group on using ion trap quantum simulators to study frustrated quantum magnetism.
Prof. Freericks led the theory effort on a University of Maryland/Georgetown University team that examined how to scale up ion trap quantum simulators to study complex frustrated spin states. The work was published in the May 3 edition of Science viewed as the top general science journal in the world.
Prof. David Egolf and a team of three former Georgetown undergraduates, Edward Banigan (C'07), Matthew Illich (C'11), and Derick Stace-Naughton (C'11), have had their research featured on the cover of the prestigious journal Nature Physics. They uncovered dynamical mechanisms behind the intriguing phenomenon of granular "jamming", in which free-flowing grains (sand, oranges, pharmaceuticals, etc.) develop into a disordered, solid-like state when the density is high enough.
Semiconducting molybdenum disulfphide is an attractive material for novel
nanoscale optoelectronic devices primarily due to its inherently large
direct bandgap. However, a major technological hurdle has been the
inability to create solid-state hole transport in MoS2 transistors. A
recent breakthrough achieved by members of the Physics Department will
appear in Nature – Scientific Reports, entitled “Electron-hole transport
and photovoltaic effect in gated MoS2 Schottky junctions”. The author
list includes a diverse group – a visiting engineering professor from
The Department of Physics is pleased to announce the creation of the Walter Mayer Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. This new fellowship has been established through the generous support of Dr. David Auth (G'69), a former graduate student of the late Professor Walter Mayer. The first recipient of the fellowship is Alexander Zajac (C'15). Alex will spend this summer working with Professor Amy Liu on a research project to study superconductivity in chemically-doped single-layer MoS2.
Two Georgetown undergraduates will be giving talks about their research projects at the American Physical Society March Meeting in Baltimore next week. The March Meeting is the largest physics meeting in the world and over 8500 physicists are expected to attend this year. On Tuesday, sophomore John Kerin will be presenting a talk titled "Nonlinear dynamical analysis of fibrillation". In collaboration with Georgetown graduate Dr. Justin Sporrer (C'03) and Prof. David Egolf, John has been using techniques from the field of chaos to study cardiac fibrillation.
At Georgetown University’s Patent Award ceremony (http://otc.georgetown.edu) held on Jan. 30, 2013, Dr. Claudia C. Stewart, Vice President for Technology Commercialization, presented the “Outstanding Contribution in Innovation and Commercialization” award to Prof. M. Paranjape. During the award ceremony, Stewart noted “Prof. Paranjape has consistently worked very closely with our office to facilitate the development of the non-invasive glucose monitoring technology to clinical utility, and has provided technical assistance that enabled us to successfully license the invention.
Profs. Jim Freericks and Veljko Zlatic have shown in a recent Physical Review Letters that a lightly doped Mott insulator may be an ideal material for building a thermoelectric refrigerator. A thermoelectric cooler uses electrons as the refrigerant and small refrigerators are commercially available. But it has been difficult to achieve cooling with such devices much below room temperature.
Georgetown leads an effort to develop a new way to calculate the quantum properties of a system in the presence of a strong driving field
The nonequilibrium many-body problem is one of the hardest problems to solve in quantum mechanics. A Georgetown led team including Prof. Freericks and Postdoctoral Fellow Karlis Mikelsons worked with Prof. Hulikal Krishnamurthy from the Indian Institute of Science to develop a new method for solving this problem based on what is called strong-coupling perturbation theory. The work was recently published in Physical Review Letters. With this numerically intensive method, the team was able to show how a Mott insulator thermalizes in the presence of a large amplitude dc electric field.