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nuggetThursday, Dec 19 2002

How does your black hole grow?

Like some unstoppable evil in a horror movie, a black hole constantly feeds and grows. Now, 30 years after that discovery, researchers can finally describe this inexorable growth quantitatively. A team publishing in the 23 December print issue of PRL derives an explicit relationship between the size of a black hole and the energy it has absorbed. Such knowledge may aid in computer simulations of black hole mergers, understanding gravitational wave physics, and other astrophysical studies. (Text courtesy of Physical Review Focus) More...
nuggetSaturday, Nov 16 2002

New APS Fellows

Four members of Penn State Physics, Sam Finn, Jorge Pullin, Paul Weiss, and Tom Winter, have just been selected as fellows of the American Physical Society. More...
nuggetMonday, Sep 23 2002

Composite fermions

Composite fermions are electron-vortex bound states, formed in extreme quantum conditions when electrons are confined to two dimensions and exposed to a strong magnetic field. They are responsible for many phenomena, including the fractional quantum Hall effect. More...
nuggetTuesday, Sep 3 2002

Improved Synthesis of Thin Film MgB2

Professors Xiao-xing Xi, Qi Li and collaborators have discovered a new way to make high-quality thin films of magnesium di-boride, a high-temperature superconductor. This work was recently featured in the New York Times and Scientific American. More...
nuggetTuesday, Aug 20 2002

Avalanche Dynamics in Wet Granular Materials

Professor Schiffer's group has studied the dynamics of avalanching wet granular media in a rotating drum apparatus, finding novel avalanche types unique to wet media. They also explored the details of viscoplastic flow (observed at the highest liquid contents) where lasting contacts during flow establish coherence across the entire sample and a novel robust pattern formation in the granular surface. (Featured on the cover of Physical Review Letters Online). More...
nuggetThursday, Aug 1 2002


Spintronics uses the electron spin (as opposed to charge) to create new classes of electronic devices. Professor Samarth's article on spintronics recently appeared in Scientific American. More...
nuggetTuesday, Jan 1 2002


Carbon nanotubes are stronger than diamond, can conduct electricity better than copper, and may form the basis for nanometer-scale electronics. More...
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