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Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy has a rich and long history dating back to the latter part of the 19th century. Our faculty and students are exploring nature at all length scales, from the subatomic (quarks and gluons) to the macroscopic (black holes and dark energy), and everything in between (atomic and biological systems).

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Three professors to receive Purdue’s most prestigious research awards

Three Purdue professors advancing quantum science and work-life and work-life family research policy have been chosen to receive the university's most prestigious research and scholarship awards. Each recognizes recent accomplishments of high significance and impact. Two of these professors are from Physics and Astronomy. The 2021 Arden L. Bement Jr. Award is awarded to Michael J. Manfra. The 2021 Herbert Newby McCoy Award is awarded to Yong Chen.

U.S. Department of Defense awards $2.8M to Purdue University scientists for quantum education program

The U.S. Department of Defense is awarding $2.8 million to a collaborative group of Purdue University professors in order to develop a quantum education program at Purdue. This grant is supported by the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education, Outreach, and Workforce Initiative Programs. Professors involved in this grant are Mahdi Hosseini, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Courtesy in Physics; Muhsin Menekse, Associate Professor of Engineering Education and Science Education; and Erica Carlson, 150th Anniversary Professor of Physics and Astronomy.

Purdue University research team included in NSF $15M AI award

The newly-created $15 million NSF HDR Institute of Accelerated AI Algorithms for Data-Driven Discovery (A3D3) aims to incorporate AI algorithms with new processors such that they can analyze unprecedented data sets. A team of researchers at Purdue University were selected as part of the A3D3 award. The team will be led by Dr. Mia Liu of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

World Cancer Research Day: Animated Dynamics predicts a cancer drug’s effectiveness

Today, September 24, is World Cancer Research Day. We are pleased to feature Animated Dynamics on The Line. The company, which licenses technology through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization, helps improve the results of personalized cancer care. Researchers can use the technology to determine how a specific tumor will respond to chemotherapy even before a patient begins treatment.

A quest for symmetry: Purdue physicists discover symmetry in the Wigner solid

An exciting and expanding branch of physics research involves topological properties in electronic systems. The physics community has placed particularly large efforts on investigating topological properties which involve electron-electron interaction. There is an ongoing quest to see if two-dimensional topological matter displays a fundamental link, or symmetry, between the stability regions of the electronic phases. This symmetry is commonly referred to by physicists as “particle-hole symmetry.” According to Gábor Csáthy, Professor and Interim Head at Purdue University Department of Physics and Astronomy, particle-hole symmetry was already discovered and known in the fractional quantum Hall regime, but his lab has recently published “Particle-hole symmetry and the reentrant integer quantum Hall Wigner solid” in Communications Physics in which they have discovered that this symmetry also applies to the Wigner solid.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, 525 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2036 • Phone: (765) 494-3000 • Fax: (765) 494-0706

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