Experts in the News

To request a media interview, please reach out to School of Physics experts using our faculty directory, or contact Jess Hunt-Ralston, College of Sciences communications director. A list of faculty experts and research areas across the College of Sciences at Georgia Tech is also available to journalists upon request.

Every few seconds, somewhere in the observable Universe, a massive star collapses and unleashes a supernova explosion. Physicists say Japan’s Super-Kamiokande (Super-K) observatory might now be collecting a steady trickle of neutrinos from those cataclysms — amounting to a few detections a year.

In an article published in Nature, School of Physics Professor Ignacio Taboada provides a brief commentary on this new research: "The data from Super-K are still too weak to claim a discovery, but the prospect of detecting the diffuse neutrinos is extremely exciting”, says Tabaoda, who is also the spokesperson for the IceCube neutrino observatory at the South Pole. “Neutrinos would provide an independent measurement on the history of star formation in the Universe.”

Nature 2024-07-09T00:00:00-04:00

Groundbreaking research is shedding new light on how biofilms grow — using physics and mathematical models. Biofilms grow everywhere — from plaque on teeth, to medical devices, to the open ocean. But until now, it’s been difficult to study just what controls their growth. In a new study published in Nature Physics, researchers from the Yunker Lab in the School of Physics, including Lead Researcher Aawaz Pokhrel and Associate Professor Peter Yunker, leveraged physics to show that a biofilm’s geometry is the single most important factor in determining growth rate — more important than even the rate at which cells can reproduce. Since some research shows that 80% of infections in human bodies are caused by the bacteria in biofilms, understanding how colonies grow has important human health implications, potentially to help reduce their impact in medical settings or industrial processes. (This also appeared in Phys.org and Dental Review News.)

Nature Physics 2024-07-09T00:00:00-04:00

Recent demonstrations of moiré magnetism, featuring exotic phases with noncollinear spin order in the twisted van der Waals (vdW) magnet chromium triiodide CrI3, have highlighted the potential of twist engineering of magnetic (vdW) materials. In this paper, researchers, including School of Physics assistant professors Hailong Wang and Chunhui Du, reported the observation of two distinct magnetic phase transitions with separate critical temperatures within a moiré supercell of small-angle twisted double trilayer CrI3.

Nature Communications 2024-07-08T00:00:00-04:00

An observatory still under construction at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea has spotted what could be the most energetic neutrino ever detected. Such ultra-high-energy neutrinos — tiny subatomic particles that travel at nearly the speed of light — have been known to exist for only a decade or so, and are thought to be messengers from some of the Universe’s most cataclysmic events, such as growth spurts of supermassive black holes in distant galaxies. “It would be really interesting to see where in the sky the neutrino originated,” says Nepomuk Otte, an associate professor in the School of Physics. Otte is leading a proposed project — with a prototype now being tested in Utah — that would search for Earth-skimming neutrinos by monitoring the atmosphere just above the horizon for flashes of light.

Nature 2024-06-21T00:00:00-04:00

Knitting, the age-old craft of looping and stitching natural fibers into fabrics, is gaining renewed attention for its potential in advanced manufacturing. Beyond creating garments, knitted textiles hold promise for designing wearable electronics and soft robotics – structures that need to move and bend flexibly. A team of physicists from the Georgia Institute of Technology has taken the technical know-how of knitting and added a mathematical foundation to it. Led by Elisabetta Matsumoto, associate professor in the School of Physics, and Krishma Singal, a graduate researcher in Matsumoto’s lab, the team used experiments and simulations to quantify and predict how knitted fabric responses can be programmed.

Earth.com 2024-06-20T00:00:00-04:00

A group of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created the world’s first functional semiconductor made from graphene, a development that could lead to advanced electronic devices and quantum computing applications. Seen as the building block of electronic devices, semiconductors are essential for communications, computing, healthcare, military systems, transportation and countless other applications. Semiconductors are typically made from silicon, but this material is reaching its limit in the face of increasingly faster computing and smaller electronic devices, according to the Georgia Tech research team who published their findings in Nature earlier this year. In a drive to find a viable alternative to silicon, Walter de Heer, Regents' Professor in the School of Physics, led a team of researchers based in Atlanta, Georgia and Tianjin, China to produce a graphene semiconductor that is compatible with microelectronics processing methods.

Gas World 2024-04-26T00:00:00-04:00

Robotics engineers have worked for decades, using substantial funding, to create robots that can walk or run with the ease of animals. Despite these efforts, today’s robots still cannot match the natural abilities of many animals in terms of endurance, agility, and robustness. Seeking to understand and quantify this disparity, an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers from top research institutions, including Dunn Family Associate Professor at the School of Physics and the School of Biological Sciences Simon Sponberg, conducted a comprehensive study to compare various aspects of robotic systems designed for running with their biological counterparts. (This also appeared at The Jerusalem Post, TechXplore, and SciTechDaily.)

Earth.com 2024-04-26T00:00:00-04:00

In an opinion published in the May 2024 edition of APSNews, School of Physics Professor Andrew Zangwill reflects on the debate on the boundaries of physics and its impact on the discipline. Zangwill states “for more than a century, physicists have been drawing and redrawing the borders around the field, embracing and rejecting subfields along the way.”

American Physical Society News 2024-04-12T00:00:00-04:00

The stars aligned to give a Georgia Tech undergraduate student and an alum the moment of a lifetime during the recent solar eclipse. Corinne Hill is currently majoring in physics with a concentration in astrophysics. Nathaniel Greve graduated in 2023 with a degree in computer science. The couple met in 2021 when they both played alto saxes in the Georgia Tech marching band. After being unable to experience totality in 2017, Greve said the pair made plans to go to Wapakoneta, Ohio, for 2024′s eclipse. Hill’s friends in the Astronomy Club went to the Ozarks to experience the eclipse, but Hill agreed to go to Ohio instead.

Atlanta News First 2024-04-11T00:00:00-04:00

Crowds in Georgia and people across the U.S. are gearing up to watch the 2024 Great North American Eclipse. The eclipse’s path of totality stretches across 13 states in the U.S. Georgia is not included in the path of totality, but Atlanta is expected to experience the effects of a partial eclipse. Show host Rose Scott speaks with Georgia-based astronomy expert Jim Sowell, a principal academic professional with the School of Physics and an astronomy expert who serves as the director of the Georgia Tech Observatory.

WABE Closer Look with Rose Scott 2024-04-08T00:00:00-04:00

It’s been 10 years since the Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, successfully launched the astronomy outreach program called Aloha Explorations at the Air Force Maui Optical and Supercomputing site, or AMOS, in Maui, Hawaii. This STEM outreach project uses an 11-inch Celestron telescope, also known as the Aloha Telescope, to provide students in grades K-12 the ability to view live images from their classrooms and remotely control the telescope via an internet connection. The idea for this project originated from Dr. James Sowell, an astronomer and observatory director at the School of Physics. (This story also appeared at Los Alamos Daily Post and Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.)

Air Force Research Laboratory 2024-04-04T00:00:00-04:00

Georgia Tech students associated with the Astronomy Club are traveling to Missouri in order to be in the path of totality for the April 8 solar eclipse. The path of totality is the prime spot for viewing the moon travel between the Earth and the Sun. For the eclipse viewing trip, the Club plans to bring along astrophotography gear, an 8-inch Celestron telescope with a solar filter, and other equipment for members to use. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also covered this story.)

11 Alive 2024-04-01T00:00:00-04:00

Events

Jul 25

School of Physics Thesis Dissertation Defense

Using exact coherent structures to describe the dynamics and statistics of intermittent Taylor-Couette flow

Jul 29

Physics of Living Systems (PoLS) Special Seminar - Prof. Yi Wang

Physics of Living Systems (PoLS) Special Seminar |Prof. Yi Wang|The Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong| - Prof. JC Gumbart

Experts in the News

Every few seconds, somewhere in the observable Universe, a massive star collapses and unleashes a supernova explosion. Physicists say Japan’s Super-Kamiokande (Super-K) observatory might now be collecting a steady trickle of neutrinos from those cataclysms — amounting to a few detections a year.

In an article published in Nature, School of Physics Professor Ignacio Taboada provides a brief commentary on this new research: "The data from Super-K are still too weak to claim a discovery, but the prospect of detecting the diffuse neutrinos is extremely exciting”, says Tabaoda, who is also the spokesperson for the IceCube neutrino observatory at the South Pole. “Neutrinos would provide an independent measurement on the history of star formation in the Universe.”

Nature 2024-07-09T00:00:00-04:00

Groundbreaking research is shedding new light on how biofilms grow — using physics and mathematical models. Biofilms grow everywhere — from plaque on teeth, to medical devices, to the open ocean. But until now, it’s been difficult to study just what controls their growth. In a new study published in Nature Physics, researchers from the Yunker Lab in the School of Physics, including Lead Researcher Aawaz Pokhrel and Associate Professor Peter Yunker, leveraged physics to show that a biofilm’s geometry is the single most important factor in determining growth rate — more important than even the rate at which cells can reproduce. Since some research shows that 80% of infections in human bodies are caused by the bacteria in biofilms, understanding how colonies grow has important human health implications, potentially to help reduce their impact in medical settings or industrial processes. (This also appeared in Phys.org and Dental Review News.)

Nature Physics 2024-07-09T00:00:00-04:00

Recent demonstrations of moiré magnetism, featuring exotic phases with noncollinear spin order in the twisted van der Waals (vdW) magnet chromium triiodide CrI3, have highlighted the potential of twist engineering of magnetic (vdW) materials. In this paper, researchers, including School of Physics assistant professors Hailong Wang and Chunhui Du, reported the observation of two distinct magnetic phase transitions with separate critical temperatures within a moiré supercell of small-angle twisted double trilayer CrI3.

Nature Communications 2024-07-08T00:00:00-04:00

An observatory still under construction at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea has spotted what could be the most energetic neutrino ever detected. Such ultra-high-energy neutrinos — tiny subatomic particles that travel at nearly the speed of light — have been known to exist for only a decade or so, and are thought to be messengers from some of the Universe’s most cataclysmic events, such as growth spurts of supermassive black holes in distant galaxies. “It would be really interesting to see where in the sky the neutrino originated,” says Nepomuk Otte, an associate professor in the School of Physics. Otte is leading a proposed project — with a prototype now being tested in Utah — that would search for Earth-skimming neutrinos by monitoring the atmosphere just above the horizon for flashes of light.

Nature 2024-06-21T00:00:00-04:00

Knitting, the age-old craft of looping and stitching natural fibers into fabrics, is gaining renewed attention for its potential in advanced manufacturing. Beyond creating garments, knitted textiles hold promise for designing wearable electronics and soft robotics – structures that need to move and bend flexibly. A team of physicists from the Georgia Institute of Technology has taken the technical know-how of knitting and added a mathematical foundation to it. Led by Elisabetta Matsumoto, associate professor in the School of Physics, and Krishma Singal, a graduate researcher in Matsumoto’s lab, the team used experiments and simulations to quantify and predict how knitted fabric responses can be programmed.

Earth.com 2024-06-20T00:00:00-04:00

A group of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created the world’s first functional semiconductor made from graphene, a development that could lead to advanced electronic devices and quantum computing applications. Seen as the building block of electronic devices, semiconductors are essential for communications, computing, healthcare, military systems, transportation and countless other applications. Semiconductors are typically made from silicon, but this material is reaching its limit in the face of increasingly faster computing and smaller electronic devices, according to the Georgia Tech research team who published their findings in Nature earlier this year. In a drive to find a viable alternative to silicon, Walter de Heer, Regents' Professor in the School of Physics, led a team of researchers based in Atlanta, Georgia and Tianjin, China to produce a graphene semiconductor that is compatible with microelectronics processing methods.

Gas World 2024-04-26T00:00:00-04:00