Physics is the broadest of the sciences, and more than any other seeks to explain the natural world in the most universal manner possible. Physicists emphasize basic knowledge, looking for the hidden symmetries that underlie the natural world, and try to express them in the most universal terms possible. The breadth of problems studied in modern physics and astronomy is great. Our department has active research programs in areas ranging from theoretical astrophysics and observational astronomy to complex systems, condensed matter physics, atomic, molecular and optical physics, and nuclear and particle physics.
The Search for Dark Matter
Professor Eric Dahl is part of a group of physicists that has just launched an unusual new experiment in an attempt to be the first to directly confirm the existence of dark matter.
He spoke with the Northwestern Newscenter recently about his research. Read the full article here.
Prof. Sara Solla and the the BRAIN Initiative
Sara A. Solla, Professor of Physiology and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Northwestern University, has been invited to participate in a new national panel on the `Physical and Mathematical Principles of Brain Structure and Function'. This is of the first steps in the implementation of the BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative
Neurotechnologies) Initiative announced by President Obama on April 2, 2013.
Professor Solla, who represents Northwestern University, is a theoretical physicist working in computational and theoretical neuroscience. Her research focuses on constructing mathematical models to understand how networks of neurons acquire, store, and process information. Current projects include the decoding of neural signal from primary motor cortex for the guidance of prosthetic limbs, and the encoding of sensory signals by neurons at the base of rats' whiskers.
Congratulations to Victoria Martin on her Promotion!
Beginning August 1st, Dr. Victoria Martin will become a reader at the University of Edinburgh, a position equivalent to an associate professor. Dr. Martin is currently a member of the ATLAS collaboration at CERN, and a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.
MINERvA Publishes First Results
Laura Fields Cheryl Patrick
New results have been released from the MINERvA collaboration, which includes postdoc Laura Fields and graduate student Cheryl Patrick. MINERvA observes neutrino-nucleus interactions in order to better understand the behavior of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. Both Fields and Patrick work with Prof. Heidi Schellman.
Read more at Fermilab Today.
Chaos Turns Fifty
Fifty years ago Edward Lorenz revealed deterministic predictability to be an illusion and gave birth to a field that still thrives. In an invited piece featured as the cover article of Physics Today, Prof. Motter and his colleague Prof. Campbell from Boston University discuss developments that led to the discovery of chaos and implications of this fascinating phenomenon to a broad range of areas.
Read the original article here.
New Evidence of Star Formation Close to the Center of Our Galaxy
Prof. Farhad Zadeh and his colleagues have discovered evidence of star formation close the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Astronomers have doubted whether it was possible for stars to form so close to a black hole. But as Prof. Zadeh told the Northwestern Newscenter, "what we seem to have found are patches of dust and gas that have become so dense that they are able to overcome their inhospitable surroundings."
Read the full story from the Northwestern News Center here.