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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty and Staff Highlights

Posted on: Dec. 15, 2021

Read about new faculty, promotions, awards and featured media coverage from the Department of Physics.

Other News

The LHCb group has been awarded a new NSF grant entitled “New Physics with Precision Measurements of B and C Quarks at LHCb”.

Professors Marina Artuso, Stefan Ballmer, Britton Plourde, and Mitchell Soderberg have each been awarded a Small Equipment Grant from the Syracuse University Office of Research. The Small Equipment Grant Program is designed to strengthen research capacity and capability at Syracuse University.

Eric Coughlin portrait.

Eric Coughlin had two recent publications in the Astrophysical Journal. The first paper explores new results on tidal disruption events in stars. He also discusses “zombie cores,” when a star is initially destroyed by a black hole but then re-aggregates into a stellar core at a later time.

The second paper explores a possible mechanism for rebrightening (ie, increases in luminosity) in supernovae, and in particular proposes an explanation for a source that displayed rebrightening without emission line features. You may read the paper by visiting the The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System.

Jennifer Ross portrait.

Professor Jennifer Ross was awarded a new grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the microtubule severing enzyme, katanin. Moreover, she is part of a collaborative team that was just awarded a new grant Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant is titled “Autonomous Bio-synthetic Hybrid Materials driven by Biomolecular Circuitry,” and will last 4 years.

Sam Sampere portrait.

Physics Lab Manager, Sam Sampere presented at the AAPT Demo Show 2021. He was the star of the show at the American Association of Physics Teacher’s Demo show. Watch the video at the AAPT YouTube channel.

Joseph Paulsen portrait.

Prof. Joseph Paulsen and his collaborator Prof. Nathan Keim (Penn State) had a manuscript published in Science Advances, titled: “Multiperiodic orbits from interacting soft spots in cyclically-sheared amorphous solids”. Joey, and his research group also had a manuscript published in PRL, titled: “Sculpting Liquids with Ultrathin Shells”. Co-authors are postdocs Yousra Timounay and Mengfei He, former SU undergrad Lindsay Murphy, REU student Alex Hartwell, grad student Eric King, and collaborator Prof. Vincent Démery (ESPCI Paris).

Britton Plourde in his lab at Syracuse University.

Professor Britton Plourde received an award from the Brookhaven National Laboratory to perform Quasi‐particle Modeling for Engineered Quantum Systems. The project is a collaboration between the Plourde Lab at Syracuse University, physicists at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and Tufts University, and machine-learning experts at Brookhaven National Lab.

Mitch Soderberg portrait.

Professor Mitch Soderberg's research group on neutrinos, MicroBooNE, had two major results. These first results for “low energy excess” search using photon detectors and wire plane electronics were revealed at Fermilab during “Wine & Cheese'' on October 1 and October 27, respectively. The results are summarized in this article. Also, The ArgoNeuT experiment, where Professor Soderberg is spokesperson, just published a new article. Results of search for Heavy Neutral Leptons presented at Fermilab “Wine & Cheese” on Oct. 8. The paper was published in PRL on Sept. 15, 2021. Read more about the project in A&S News.

Alison Patteson portrait.

Professor Alison Patteson had a new article accepted at the journal Small on optimizing anti-vimentin antibodies to block the SARS-CoV-2.

Physics Department Lab Manager Sam Sampere hosted the New York State Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). The meeting was in conjunction with the New England and the New Jersey Sections of AAPT. Professor Emeritus Allen Miller was the keynote speaker and discussed the theme, “Enhancing Physics Education via High School – College Collaboration.” An article in the fall 2021 College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Newsletter highlights this event and outreach and engagement work led by Professor Eric Coughlin.

Research Professor Antun Skanata published a paper on mechanisms of host-pathogen coexistence and evolutionary game theory in Nature Communications.

Professor Scott Watson and a group of collaborators hosted a Simons Center workshop (which included former PhD graduate Brandon Melcher).

In The Media

Professor Paul Souder's work on PREX-2 profiled in Physics Today “Lead’s thick neutron skin.”

Sheldon Stone portrait.

Late Professor Sheldon Stone and postdoctoral researcher Ivan Polyakov were featured in a Symmetry article. The article talks about LHCb’s new tetraquark, how it links to basic principles in physics, and how it could help improve our understanding of quark interactions within atomic nuclei.

Tomasz Skwarnicki portrait.

Professor Tomasz Skwarnicki recently published a new article in Physical Review Letters that received the distinction of Editors’ Suggestion. The work is on LHCb data analysis, which was performed with Dr. Thomas Britton. This achievement was covered in a Syracuse News article in 2016. Tomasz was the lead author of the new article with two collaborators from Tsinghua University.

In other news, a recently released issue of the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) features 2019 work of Skwarnicki in collaboration with LHCb. His publication was chosen as the illustration of the work funded by the Division of Physics of the NSF. His publication can be found on the Physical Review Letters 122, 222001 (2019); https://arxiv.org/abs/1904.03947. To see Prof. Prof. Skwarnicki’ s work featured on the brochure, visit the NSF website (page 22). A&S News published an article about this accomplishment.

Professor Alison Patteson highlighted in the A&S News article which describes her work and mentions her MIRA Award.

Professors Alison Patteson and Jennifer Schwarz have been interviewed for the new spotlight in the WCNY’s Cycle of Health. The broadcast occured on the 2nd of December. To see the full length interview visit the WCNY site.

The gravitational wave group was highlighted in an A&S News article which talks about how the Cosmic explorer recently received a resounding endorsement in the National Academies' Astro2020 Decadal Survey.

Kameshwar Wali portrait.

This past September the Department of Physics, supported by the Syracuse University Humanities Center and the South Asia Center, hosted the The Kashi and Kameshwar C. Wali Lecture. The keynote speaker was Wildlife Conservation Scientist Dr. Krithi K. Karanth. Her talk was titled Living With Wildlife. Learn more about the Kashi and Kameshwar C. Wali Lecture lecture.