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News: Research

September 10, 2019
Lukasz Fidkowski, an assistant professor of physics at the University of Washington, is one of the winners of a 2020 New Horizons in Physics Prize from the Breakthrough Foundation. The prize to early-career scientists, announced Sept. 5, recognizes Fidkowski and his three co-recipients “for incisive contributions to the understanding of topological states of matter and the relationships between them,” according to the citation.Fidkowski’s area of research is in condensed matter physics. This... Read more
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August 7, 2019
Christopher Phillips, a research specialist in the Department of Astronomy, explains why there will be ideal conditions for stargazing in August.Featured on Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber  
A physics student wears an immersive headset to attempt a physics experiment in virtual reality.
August 5, 2019
In a recent undergraduate physics lab, students donned immersive headsets and held controllers in both hands to conduct an experiment in virtual reality (VR). As they manipulated objects in the virtual world, physics doctoral student Jared Canright bounced around the room, answering questions and addressing glitches. For the undergraduates, the VR experience was a novel way to learn a challenging physics concept. For Canright, it was an important step in his graduate research. Canright is... Read more
July 17, 2019
Scientists have visualized the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely tuned, high-performance electronic devices.Physicists from the University of Washington and the University of Warwick developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in operating microelectronic devices made of atomically thin — so-called 2D — materials.... Read more
Jiun-Haw Chu Portrait
July 10, 2019
Jiun-Haw Chu was nominated for his research on high-temperature superconductivity and materials with unique properties emerging from the laws of quantum mechanics, the probability-based rules that govern the behavior of matter at the subatomic level. These materials could revolutionize telecommunications and other fields. Chu uses strain tuning, a method he developed, to deform the 3D crystalline structure of materials and probe them for exotic combinations of quantum-level properties for... Read more
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June 6, 2019
UW honors longtime Harvard professor and one of America's leading climate change scientists, James Anderson (BS, Physics, 1966).Featured on Columns 
April 11, 2019
David James Thouless, Nobel laureate and a professor emeritus at the University of Washington, died in Cambridge in the U.K. on April 6, 2019. He was 84 years old.Thouless was a theoretical physicist whose most well-known work focused on the properties of matter in extremely thin layers. His research explained the behavior of matter in some of its most unusual states — including superfluidity and superconductivity. For these efforts, in 2016 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics along with... Read more
March 29, 2019
Radio astronomy Ph.D. candidate Ruby Byrne agrees that “Epoch of Reionization (EoR)” is a mouthful of jargon. But it simply refers to an exciting time in the universe’s history when stars and galaxies first turned on and lit up the heavens. The EoR also goes by the name of “cosmic dawn,” said Byrne. And understanding this cosmic dawn — which happened a few hundred million years after the Big Bang — would give us deeper insight into dark matter, star and galaxy formation, and dark energy in the... Read more
March 12, 2019
How big is the proton? That seems like a straightforward question, but a clear answer is hard to come up with. Several experiments have reported measurements of the proton radius, but their values differ by 4%. The puzzle is sometimes framed in terms of the proton’s three-dimensional charge density, but this is a misconception, says Gerald Miller from the University of Washington, Seattle. In a new study, Miller shows how the proton radius can be defined in a unified way according to photon-... Read more
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March 8, 2019
Shih-Chieh Hsu, associate professor of physics at UW, and the rest of the FASER team seek to answer one of the outstanding questions in particle physics: What is dark matter made of?Featured on UW News