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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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Optical Levitation with a Metalens

OPTICS & PHOTONICS — The work of Dr. Tongcang Li and his team from Purdue University Physics and Astronomy is featured "Optics in 2022," a special issue of Optics & Photonics News that highlights exciting peer-reviewed optics research that emerged over the past year. The work featured is titled, "Optical Levitation with a Metalens."

Purdue physicists awarded DOE grant for high energy physics and artificial intelligence

The United States Department of Energy announced Tuesday that they have awarded $4.3 million for research on artificial intelligence in high energy physics. $290,000 of this award has been granted to researchers at Purdue Physics and Astronomy to pursue Machine Learning techniques for measuring quark data the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), CERN. This award was granted to Dr. Andreas Jung, associate professor, and Dr. Miaoyuan Liu, assistant professor, both of the Purdue University Department of Physics and Astronomy. The award will disperse over three years.

Purdue Expert: Gamma Ray Explosion

Paul Duffell is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Purdue University. On Oct. 9, telescopes detected the brightest gamma ray burst ever recorded. In this video, Duffell explains what the explosion was, why it was so bright and what scientists hope to learn from it. He says that gamma ray bursts are explosive events more extreme than supernovae. Scientists have observed gamma ray bursts in the past, but Duffell says this burst was the brightest and closest that has ever been seen. He says this event lasted for around 10 minutes, while most gamma ray bursts are seen for only a few seconds. Duffell explains that this “brightest of all time” explosion gives scientists across several fields of study a rare look into the nature of gamma ray bursts.

A New Explanation for How Fireflies Flash in Sync

WIRED — Field research uncovers clues about firefly beetles’ coordinated blinking and confirms that a novel form of “chimeric” synchrony occurs naturally. To determine how fireflies sync their blinks, the Peleg research group reached out to the physicist Srividya Iyer-Biswas of Purdue University. Overnight, Iyer-Biswas’ doctoral student Kunaal Joshi analyzed their field data and developed a new model for emergent periodicity, which the scientists uploaded as a draft paper to the biorxiv.org preprint server last spring.

Community Quantum Open House

Calling all moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas, aunts, uncles, teachers and mentors, and the community of the curious. Have you heard the term "quantum" and wondered what all the hype is about? Here is your chance to learn and explore. The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Purdue is throwing open our doors to give you a show and tell experience of the the basics of what quantum is all about; the principal ideas, curious and counter intuitive phenomena, quantum related research, and how relevant quantum-related applications are impacting our lives. Learn more and register today!

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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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