News

Lluis Galbany involved in LIGO neutron star excitement

Lluis is a member of the ePESSTO collaboration which followed up the astronomical transient resulting from the merger of two low-mass neutron stars in the galaxy NGCC 4993 on August 17th 2017. ePESSTO runs the 3.58m New Technology Telescope (NTT) at La Silla Observatory for 10 nights per month, divided in 3 runs of 4+3+3 nights. They took the first optical spectra during the first day of the first subrun of August (18th), the day after the discovery of the event (+1.48 days), and three more spectra the following three nights (19-21th). In addition, two simultaneous Ultraviolet/Optical/Near-infrared spectra were also taken on the second and fourth night with X-Soooter at the 8.1m Very Large Telescope al Cerro Paranal Observatory. Coordinated optical (Ugrizy) and Near-infrared (JHKs) imaging was performed with NTT, GROND and PanStarrs. The resulting light-curve and spectral sequence is presented in a Nature paper: Smartt et al (2017) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaap/ncurrent/full/nature24303.html?foxtrotcallback=true

This transient did not look like any known supernova type. It evolved very fast in a few-days scale from a blue 7000K featureless continuum to a red 4000K continuum with two broad Caesium Cs I at 7400 A and Tellurium Te I at 8300 A features. When compared to a series of physical models, light-curve and spectral best fits were found for low-mass (0.04 Msun) high-velocity ejecta with an opacity consistent with a blend of elements with atomic masses in the 90–140 range, and powered by a source which was constrained to have a power law slope of −1.2, consistent with the r-process decay timescales. All these results made us conclude that the object was consistent with a blue-kilonova resulting of a neutron-star merger.

Congratulations to Ben Carlson who has been elected as the Early Career Member of the executive committee for the Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) of the American Physical Society!

Congratulations to Ben Carlson, postdoc in the high energy experiment group, who has been elected as the Early Career Member of the executive committee for the Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) of the American Physical Society.

2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Physics and Astronomy Department awarded two of our Alumni the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2017

Dr. Rosa Kao (‘81), Assistant Director for IT of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center  

&

Dr. Doug Strickland (‘68), Founder and Chairman of Computational Physics, Inc. 

Dr. Rosa Kao and Dr. Doug Strickland

The Department of Physics and Astronomy held a Luncheon, Meet and Greet, and Gala in Dr. Rosa Kao's and Dr. Doug Strickland's honor. 

 

Dr. David Snoke's article "The New Era of Polariton Condensates" in the October issue of Physics Today

The October issue of Physics Today features an article by Professor David Snoke,

in collaboration with Jonathan Keeling of St. Andrews University, entitled “The

New Era of Polariton Condensates.” They explain that light and matter quasiparticles

provide our best hope for creating unusual quantum effects like superfluidity

and quantum condensation in everyday applications. 

 

http://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/PT.3.3729

Adam Leibovich Named a 2017 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS)

Congratulations to Adam Leibovich for being named a 2017 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) by the APS Council of Representatives upon the recommendation of the Division of Particles and Fields (DPF).  

Adam was elected for pioneering contributions to the heavy quark effective field theory and its application to the color-octet mechanism for quarkonium production.

 

Congratulations Adam!

 

Dr. Singh and Undergraduate Students attend the AAPT Conference

Dr. Chandralekha Singh and Undergraduate Students Brittany Coopersmith, Helena Richie and Meghan Cilento attend the AAPT Conference on September 29th and 30th. Brittany, Helena and Meghan all presented posters of their work. 

 

 

Vincent Liu Named a 2017 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS)

Congratulations to Vincent Liu for being named a 2017 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) by the APS Council of Representatives upon the recommendation of the Division of Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics (DAMOP). 

Vincent was elected for elucidating Landau damping of collective excitations in Bose-Einstein condensates, advancing the study of spin-polarized Fermi gases by introducing the concept of breached pair superfluidity, pioneering the theory of higher orbital bands in optical lattices and working with experimentalists to confirm the theory. 

Congratulations Vincent!

Taylor-Allderdice Highschool visits Physics and Astronomy

Dr. Michael Hatridge and Dr. Roger Mong Receive New Initiatives Grants From Charles E. Kaufman Foundation

Public Lecture by 2004 Nobel Prize Winner: David J. Gross

University of Pittsburgh Shadow Bandits Video

Welcome to the Department New Graduate Students!

The Physics and Astronomy Department would like to welcome our new Graduate Students! 

2017 Eclipse!

(Photo Cred: Yun-Yi Pai)

 

 

(Photo Cred: Liu, Gangqiang)

University of Pittsburgh Shadow Bandits

2017 SURF Students Poster Session

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) students attended a Poster Session on Thursday, August 3rd to display their research from the SURF Program. 

 

Mentor Dr. Brian Batell, Alaina Einsig, Mentor Dr. Arthur Kosowsky

Mentor Dr. Michael Wood-Vasey and Emily Yaruss

SURF Student: Abigail Bault (Not Pictured: Mentor Dr. Jeffrey Newman)

SURF Student: Alaina Einsig

 

SURF Student: Emily Yaruss

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