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The University of Oklahoma announced today a historic gift that will transform the future of the OU College of Arts and Sciences.

Donated from the family of renowned educator and scientist Homer L. Dodge, a former OU faculty member, department chair and dean, the donation is allocated equally between OU’s College of Arts and Sciences and its Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy – predominantly benefiting student scholarships and research fellowships.

To read more, visit the Homer L. Dodge family donation news article

Prof. Venkatesan and his team published a paper in Nature on September 3rd reporting on an organic electronic device that can make multiple decisions (as many as 71) as opposed to just two for a silicon transistor. Besides consuming ultra- low energy, these devices may enable simpler circuits that would be ideally suited for executing tasks that are suited for artificial intelligence and machine learning or brain- like electronics. To read more, visit "New Molecular Device Has Unprecedented Reconfigurability Reminiscent of Brain Plasticity" at OU's Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships and the corresponding publication, "Decision trees within a molecular memristor" in Nature Magazine.

Robert Lewis-Swan, an assistant professor in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma and a CQRT member, contributed to a study led by physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published in Science. Read more OU Physicist Contributes to Study to Improve Precision of a Quantum Sensor. Congratulations to Robert and collaborators!

Howie Baer and Phillip Gutierrez

Located on the border between France and Switzerland is a laboratory operated by CERN and the location of a 17-mile (27-kilometre) ring underground, the Large Hadron Collider. This site is where University of Oklahoma physicists Phillip Gutierrez and Howard Baer carry out their work, now supported by a nearly $1.7 million grant from the Department of Energy.

Read more about the high energy physics grant.

Thirumalai “Venky” Venkatesan, director of the Center for Quantum Research and Technology at the University of Oklahoma, is one of 60 outstanding scientists from across the globe selected to join the Royal Society as a fellow. The distinguished group of scientists consists of 52 Fellows, 10 Foreign Members and one Honorary Fellow and were all selected for their exceptional contributions to science. They join the ranks of Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and Dorothy Hodgkin who all enriched the society with their expertise.

To learn more about Dr. Venkatesan's achievement, read the full article.

HDL undergraduate students Cora De Francesco and Julianna Voelker were selected as First Prize winners in the Multidisciplinary Research category at the 2021 Undergraduate Research Day. Both are advised by HLD Physics and Astronomy professor Karen Leighly. Cora and Julianna received an award of $500 for their research presentation on the subject of FeLoBAL Quasars. Congratulations!

Joseph Choi & Kellen Lawson are recipients of a 2021-2022 Bullard Dissertation Completion Fellowships from OU's Graduate college.  The fellowship will provide Joseph & Kellen with a semester's worth of GRA support to work on completing their PhD dissertation.

A hot super-Earth in our neighbourhood promises to be a suitable candidate to test rocky planet atmosphere models.

During the recent two and a half decades, astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets made of gas, ice and rock. Only a few of them are Earth-like. However, probing their atmospheres with the currently available instrumentation is challenging at best. Now, astronomers of the CARMENES consortium have published a new study, led by Trifon Trifonov from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, which reports the discovery of a hot rocky super-Earth orbiting the nearby red dwarf star Gliese 486. Despite its small separation from the parent star, the planet designated Gliese 486b possibly has retained a part of its original atmosphere. Therefore, Gliese 486b is uniquely suited to examine its atmosphere and interior with the next generation of space-borne and ground-based telescopes. The results are published in the journalScience.

Dr. Vera Maria Passegger, a postdoc in the Homer L. Dodge Department for Physics and Astronomy, contributed to characterizing the planet by deriving fundamental parameters of the host star. An accurate and precise determination of the star's mass, radius, and temperature is essential for constraining the size of the planet itself, and therefore its bulk density, and as well as for estimating the surface temperature.

More details are here: https://www.mpia.de/news/science/2021-05-gliese486b

Adrian Lucy ('14, Astrophysics & History of Science) has accepted a 4-year postdoctoral position at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the soon-to-be-launched JWST. Adrian will divide their time between personal research and functional support for MAST, the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes. While at OU, Adrian worked with Prof. Karen Leighly on quasar outflows. They are currently a graduate student at Columbia University, working with Dr. Jeno Sokoloski on finding symbiotic binaries with visible accretion disks. Their research is funded by an NSF graduate fellowship.

Dr. Joseph Tischler joined the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy as an Associate Professor at the beginning of 2021. He holds an Avenir Foundation Chair in Condensed Matter Physics. His experimental research program focuses on light-matter interactions, including the development of photodetectors, lasers, and new quantum technologies. Welcome Joe!

Antimatter Plot

Graduate student Daniel Vagie, member of the Sinha high energy theory group, recently co-authored a paper published in the prestigious journal Physical Review Letters. Collaborating with researchers at UCLA, Penn State, and IPMU (Japan), Vagie probed the fundamental question of baryogenesis.

“When the Universe began, there were equal amounts of matter and anti-matter. Then something happened in the first few seconds, and all the anti-matter essentially disappeared. What happened is a mystery - but it’s why we exist. The community calls it baryogenesis and it’s one of the biggest problems in fundamental physics,” says Prof. Sinha, who was not a part of the study. “Daniel published four papers with our group and then struck out on his own. The hallmark of a successful graduate career is an independent student. The fact that Daniel reached out to researchers  at other institutions and co-authored this important paper with them is a matter of great pride for our group,” he added.

There are a few major paradigms within which baryogenesis is studied. One of them, called Electroweak Baryogenesis, operates near the energy scale that is currently being probed by the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, an energy scale that is being intensely studied by OU’s high energy experimentalists and theorists alike. Another theory of baryogenesis, called Affleck-Dine Baryogenesis, operates at much higher energy scales but integrates supersymmetry, another favorite of OU’s theorists.

“The stakes are high: with no clear signatures of Electroweak Baryogenesis emerging at the Large Hadron Collider (for example through deformations of the Higgs sector beyond the Standard Model), we have to keep an open mind. It is very  challenging to directly probe Affleck-Dine Baryogenesis, since it operates at much higher energy scales than current or future collider technology will let us probe. But there are  indirect ways of getting at this: through the use of gravitational waves. The Affleck-Dine mechanism involves the formation of a condensate that contains the necessary ingredients to explain the matter anti-matter asymmetry. If the condensate fragments into spherically charged lumps called Q-balls, they can live sufficiently long to dominate the energy density of the Universe at very early times. These Q-balls can enhance the primordial gravitational waves predicted by the theory of inflation, as they rapidly decay into unequal amounts of matter and anti-matter," explains Vagie.

According to Prof. Sinha, "In theoretical high energy physics, we value democracy greatly. There are no senior "last authors" or leading "first authors". Author names are almost always alphabetic. Looking at Daniel's paper on arXiv, I notice that they comment "author order determined by coin-flip." Looks like they had a lot of fun! On a more serious note, though, Daniel's research focuses on very deep questions pertaining to the origins of mass and matter. These questions, and the answers we find, will live on forever. They're timeless."

The University of Oklahoma announced today a historic gift that will transform the future of the OU College of Arts and Sciences.

Donated from the family of renowned educator and scientist Homer L. Dodge, a former OU faculty member, department chair and dean, the donation is allocated equally between OU’s College of Arts and Sciences and its Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy – predominantly benefiting student scholarships and research fellowships.

To read more, visit the Homer L. Dodge family donation news article

Prof. Venkatesan and his team published a paper in Nature on September 3rd reporting on an organic electronic device that can make multiple decisions (as many as 71) as opposed to just two for a silicon transistor. Besides consuming ultra- low energy, these devices may enable simpler circuits that would be ideally suited for executing tasks that are suited for artificial intelligence and machine learning or brain- like electronics. To read more, visit "New Molecular Device Has Unprecedented Reconfigurability Reminiscent of Brain Plasticity" at OU's Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships and the corresponding publication, "Decision trees within a molecular memristor" in Nature Magazine.

Robert Lewis-Swan, an assistant professor in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma and a CQRT member, contributed to a study led by physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published in Science. Read more OU Physicist Contributes to Study to Improve Precision of a Quantum Sensor. Congratulations to Robert and collaborators!

Thirumalai “Venky” Venkatesan, director of the Center for Quantum Research and Technology at the University of Oklahoma, is one of 60 outstanding scientists from across the globe selected to join the Royal Society as a fellow. The distinguished group of scientists consists of 52 Fellows, 10 Foreign Members and one Honorary Fellow and were all selected for their exceptional contributions to science. They join the ranks of Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and Dorothy Hodgkin who all enriched the society with their expertise.

To learn more about Dr. Venkatesan's achievement, read the full article.

HDL undergraduate students Cora De Francesco and Julianna Voelker were selected as First Prize winners in the Multidisciplinary Research category at the 2021 Undergraduate Research Day. Both are advised by HLD Physics and Astronomy professor Karen Leighly. Cora and Julianna received an award of $500 for their research presentation on the subject of FeLoBAL Quasars. Congratulations!

Joseph Choi & Kellen Lawson are recipients of a 2021-2022 Bullard Dissertation Completion Fellowships from OU's Graduate college.  The fellowship will provide Joseph & Kellen with a semester's worth of GRA support to work on completing their PhD dissertation.

A hot super-Earth in our neighbourhood promises to be a suitable candidate to test rocky planet atmosphere models.

During the recent two and a half decades, astronomers have discovered thousands of exoplanets made of gas, ice and rock. Only a few of them are Earth-like. However, probing their atmospheres with the currently available instrumentation is challenging at best. Now, astronomers of the CARMENES consortium have published a new study, led by Trifon Trifonov from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, which reports the discovery of a hot rocky super-Earth orbiting the nearby red dwarf star Gliese 486. Despite its small separation from the parent star, the planet designated Gliese 486b possibly has retained a part of its original atmosphere. Therefore, Gliese 486b is uniquely suited to examine its atmosphere and interior with the next generation of space-borne and ground-based telescopes. The results are published in the journalScience.

Dr. Vera Maria Passegger, a postdoc in the Homer L. Dodge Department for Physics and Astronomy, contributed to characterizing the planet by deriving fundamental parameters of the host star. An accurate and precise determination of the star's mass, radius, and temperature is essential for constraining the size of the planet itself, and therefore its bulk density, and as well as for estimating the surface temperature.

More details are here: https://www.mpia.de/news/science/2021-05-gliese486b

Adrian Lucy ('14, Astrophysics & History of Science) has accepted a 4-year postdoctoral position at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the soon-to-be-launched JWST. Adrian will divide their time between personal research and functional support for MAST, the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes. While at OU, Adrian worked with Prof. Karen Leighly on quasar outflows. They are currently a graduate student at Columbia University, working with Dr. Jeno Sokoloski on finding symbiotic binaries with visible accretion disks. Their research is funded by an NSF graduate fellowship.

Dr. Joseph Tischler joined the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy as an Associate Professor at the beginning of 2021. He holds an Avenir Foundation Chair in Condensed Matter Physics. His experimental research program focuses on light-matter interactions, including the development of photodetectors, lasers, and new quantum technologies. Welcome Joe!

Hosted Conferences

Optical Tweezer
Mini Workshop

View the original event flyer below:

Optical Tweezer Mini Workshop.pdf

XIV International Conference on Interconnections between Particle Physics and Cosmology

 

Learn more about the PPC 2021 conference  

CQRT Inaugural Workshop

The inaugural 2-day workshop brought leading researchers from academia, national laboratories, and industry to OU’s Norman campus in May 2022.


Read more about the CQRT workshop  

 

Conference for Undergraduate
Women in Physics

In January 2020, The University of Oklahoma Norman Campus hosted a regional American Physical Society (APS) Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) meeting for undergraduate physics majors in the central region of the United States.


Learn more about the CUWiP meeting