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Monday, Nov 29 2004

New APS Fellow

Congratulations to Dr. Peter Schiffer on his election to be an APS fellow.
nuggetSaturday, Nov 6 2004


Professor Mahan's work on the theory of ultra-high efficiency nanoscale thermoelectrics is featured in the October 29 issue of Science magazine. Among other applications, thermoelectrics are used to convert heat into electrical power on deep-space probes such as the Voyager probe shown here.
Wednesday, Nov 3 2004

Department Newsletter Available

The latest departmental newsletter is now available.
nuggetSunday, Oct 31 2004


A new breed of carnivorous pumpkins has been developed at Penn State to help control the squirrel overpopulation problem.
nuggetMonday, Sep 20 2004

Only in Quantum Physics: Spinning While Standing Still

Penn State physicists Moses Chan and Eunseong Kim's recent discovery of supersolid behavior in solid Helium has been featured in the September 21 issue of the New York Times and in the November issue of Physics Today. More...
Tuesday, Sep 14 2004

Faculty Appointments

The Department of Physics at The Pennsylvania State University invites applications for several faculty appointments effective the Fall semester of 2005. Applicants should have a Ph.D. and an outstanding research record. Rank will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. We seek to recruit in the following areas: AMO physics, Condensed matter experiment, Nano-biological physics, Particle astrophysics experiment, Quantum gravity. However, exceptional candidates in any of the department's current areas of research will be considered. Candidates at the junior level should submit a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, a brief description of research plans, and arrange for four letters of recommendation to be sent to: Jayanth Banavar, Box 262, Department of Physics, 104 Davey Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 Nominations and applications for senior positions should be sent the address above together with a list of at least six references. Applications completed by December 15, 2004, will be assured of consideration. However, applications will be considered until the positions are filled. Job application assistance is available for dual career situations. Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforce.
nuggetMonday, Aug 16 2004

Tonk's Gas created in Penn State lab

David Weiss's lab has created a Tonks-Girardeau gas, a strongly interacting one-dimensional system of boson particles, by trapping atoms within a far off resonance optical lattice. Although Tonks-Girardeau bosons are strongly interacting, they behave very much like noninteracting fermions. By changing the trap conditions, the atoms can be made to act either like a Bose-Einstein condensate or like a Tonks-Girardeau gas. More...
Wednesday, Apr 28 2004

Postdoctoral Position

X-RAY AND NEUTRON SCATTERING STUDIES OF CONFINED SYSTEMS The Department of Physics at Penn State University is looking to fill a postdoctoral research associate position to study the structure and dynamics of liquids and solids in confined geometries and on surfaces by x-ray and nuetron scattering. Candidates must have a Ph.D. in Physics, Chemistry or related fields; with experience in x-ray or neutron scattering techniques. Deadline for applications is 1 July 2004 or until the position is filled. Please send application, including vita, statement of research, and at least two letters of recommendation, to Prof. Paul Sokol, PMB#184, Department of Physics, Penn State University, 104 Davey Laboratory, University Park, PA 16802 USA. Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforce.
nuggetTuesday, Apr 27 2004

Andy's Retirement

We wish Andy and Betty Danko much happiness during their retirement. Photo of Andy and Betty cutting his retirement cake in the overpass of Davey/Osmond Lab.

nuggetTuesday, Mar 30 2004

National Institutes of Health-University of Cambridge Graduate Partnerships Program Scholarship

Danielle Perry (on the right), a senior physics major at Penn State University and member of the Schreyer Honors College, has won National Institutes of Health-University of Cambridge Graduate Partnerships Program Scholarship. This is the first time a Penn State student has won the five-year, fully funded fellowship for study and research at Cambridge University in England. The approximate value of a NIH-Cambridge Fellowship is $250,000. Ms. Perry will join an elite group of six doctoral students who will perform their dissertation research on a collaborative project with mentors and laboratories both at Cambridge University and the NIH. Ms. Perry serves as an officer in the Society of Physics Students, the Association for Women in Mathematics, and is a volunteer counselor for the International Hospitality Council. She was also a Pennsylvania state finalist for the Rhodes competition and has also won a Fulbright Scholarship for study in Australia, as well being honored by the PSU Commission on Women as the 'Most Acheiving Undergraduate Woman' for this academic year. Ms. Perry will graduate from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science in physics and a minor in mathematics. She will graduate with Honors in Chemistry, having done research in physical chemistry of synthetic cells with possible uses in drug delivery. Danielle has also conducted research in Japanese avant-garde literature.
nuggetMonday, Feb 23 2004

Faculty Scholar Award

Professor Diehl has received the Faculty Scholar Award for her research into the fundamental properties of weakly adsorbed atoms on surfaces that has led to a new paradigm for the understanding of weak adsorption. She discovered that alkali metal atoms such as potassium and cesium often occupy the top sites, i.e. they sit on top of other atoms on surfaces rather than in the spaces between them. After this unexpected discovery she found that even more surprisingly, noble gases such as xenon and krypton, do the same. These experimental results are now understood to occur because these structures, somewhat paradoxically, allow the deepest penetration of the adsorbed atoms into the surface. More...
nuggetWednesday, Feb 4 2004

Stress Propagation: Getting to the bottom of a granular medium

Penetration by an object through a dense granular medium (for example, by a finger pushing slowly into the sand on a beach) presents an interesting physics problem that is closely related to issues of practical importance in soil science. Here we measure the penetration-resistance force for an object approaching the solid bottom boundary of a granular sample, analogous to the finger approaching a flat rock buried in the beach. We find that the penetration resistance near the boundary increases exponentially, which demonstrates the existence of an intrinsic length scale to the 'jamming' caused by a locally applied stress. (Nature 427, 503) More...
nuggetTuesday, Feb 3 2004

But No Kinetic Details Needed

The complex processes involved in embryonic development or cells' response to changes in their environment hinge on the interaction networks formed by cellular components. Reka Albert is modeling gene regulatory and signal transduction networks to understand the principles of biological regulation. See her recent article in the Dec. 2003 SIAM News ,"... But No Kinetic Details Needed", about the robustness of gene control networks. More...
Monday, Jan 12 2004

Faculty Position

A senior level faculty position at the interface of Physics and Chemistry with Biology and Engineering is available. The aim of the position is to help bridge Penn State’s strong and growing initiatives in Nanoscience and the Life Sciences. The candidate should have a Ph.D. degree and a previous record of national and international distinction in research and education. The home department(s) of a successful candidate will depend upon background and interest. The appointee is expected to conduct an exceptionally vigorous and visible interdisciplinary research program that incorporates excellence in undergraduate and graduate education. Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, a brief statement of research plans, and a list of references. The information should be sent to: Chair of the Search Committee, Box N, Departments of Physics and Chemistry, 104 Chemistry Building, University Park, PA 16802. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled. Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforce.
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