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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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Neuromorphic computing will be great… if hardware can handle the workload

EUREKALERT — A joint effort between physicists believe they may have discovered a way to rework hardware…. By mimicking the synapses of the human brain. They published their findings, “Spatially Distributed Ramp Reversal Memory in VO2” in Advanced Electronic Materials which is featured on the back cover of the October 2023 edition. “The brain-inspired codes of the AI revolution are largely being run on conventional silicon computer architectures which were not designed for it,” explains Erica Carlson, 150th Anniversary Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Purdue University.

Arianna Meenakshi (Meenakshi) McNamara, 2024 AWM Schafer Prize Winner

AWM — Arianna Meenakshi McNamara is a mathematics and physics major (with honors in both) at Purdue University. She has carried out research in graph theory at Purdue and has participated in REUs in topology and discrete math at Carnegie Mellon University and in mathematical physics at Louisiana State University. Her research work led to two papers that are already published and several in-prep works. Her work was described as strong and independent by all of her mentors, and she received numerous awards for her scholarship, including a Goldwater Scholarship, an Astronaut Scholarship, and a National Merit Scholarship. She has also presented her research at various national conferences and seminars.

The James Webb Space Telescope is a giant leap in the history of stargazing

NEW YORK TIMES — Nearly a million miles away, the James Webb Space Telescope just took a picture. Since transmitting its first data in late 2021, Webb has made stunning discoveries. Take a visual odyssey through this New York Times “Webb”site which you through discoveries so far by NASA's Webb Space Telescope. The image of CasA was returned for Principal Investigator Dr. Danny Milisavljevic, of Purdue Physics and Astronomy, in the first round of returned images.

Purdue honors researchers with Seed for Success Acorn Awards

PURDUE UNIVERSITY NEWS — Purdue on Wednesday (Nov. 1) honored more than 100 researchers with the university’s prestigious Seed for Success Acorn Awards for 2021-'23. The award recognizes Purdue principal investigators and co-investigators who obtain their first research grants with external funding of $1 million or more for a single proposal. These Purdue Physics and Astronomy affiliated professors received the award: 2023- Sabre Kais; 2022- Laura Pyrak-Nolte, Mahdi Hosseini, and Erica Carlson; 2021- Yong Chen, Arnab Banerjee, Xingshan Cui, Sabre Kais, Rafael Lang, Alex Ruichao Ma, Michael Manfra, Leonid Rokhinson, and Vladimir M. Shalaev.

50 Years of QCD

Physical Review Journals has chronicled the rich 50-year history of QCD discovery. Part of the mentioned QCD history involved a STAR Collaboration publication by Purdue alumni Levente Molnar, then-postdoc Olga Barannikova, and Prof. Fuqiang Wang, of Purdue Physics and Astronomy. The paper, “Systematic measurements of identified particle spectra in pp, d+Au, and Au+Au collisions at the STAR detector,” has been cited 1,042 times. It was Molnar’s thesis work and is a culmination of a series of publications led by the Wang group.

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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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