News & Events
2013-2014 GMAG PhD Dissertation Research Award
December 4, 2013 -
Congratulations to Chetan Dhital, a Ph.D. student working with Professor Stephen Wilson, who was awarded the 2013-2014 GMAG PhD Dissertation Research Award from the American Physical Society (APS). This prestigious award is given annually to a maximum of two students who have conducted outstanding dissertation research in the field of magnetism. The award includes a $500 cash prize and an invited talk at the APS March Meeting, which is in Denver in 2014.
Chetan's dissertation work focused on studying magnetic behavior in two different classes of intermediate bandwidth quantum materials. The first is a series of iridium oxide compounds with novel electronic behavior driven by the interplay of spin-orbit coupling and electron-electron correlation effects, and the second class is the new class of iron-based high temperature superconductors. The results of Chetan's research have been published in the APS journals Physical Review Letters and Physical Review B.
August 30, 2013 -
An international team of scientists led by BC Physics Assoc. Prof. Vidya Madhavan and including Asst. Prof. Stephen Wilson have reported the discovery of coexisting massless and massive "Dirac Fermions" in a new class of materials called topological crystalline insulators. This work will be published in Science and was released in the Aug 29th edition of the advanced online publication 'Science Express' (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2013/08/28/science.1239451.full). The findings are also described at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-08/bc-ntc082913.php. Former post-doctoral associate Dr. Yoshinori Okada was the lead experimentalist in this work along with BC physics graduate students Daniel Walkup, Wenwen Zhou and Chetan Dhital.
August 26, 2013 -
69 highly acknowledged researchers, 31 full, 18 external, and 20 honorary members have been elected to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences at the triennial election held on the first day of the General Assembly in June 2013. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) is the principal scientific body of Hungary. Created by public law, it is committed to the “advancement, shaping and serving of science”. According to its Statutes “Eligible to become External Members are scholars and scientists living abroad… who cultivate their fields of science on a well-recognized, extremely high and creative level, and maintain close relations with science and scholarship in Hungary.”
Professor Gabor J. Kalman, Distinguished Research Professor of the Physics Department at Boston College has been inducted as a newly elected External Member. His special fields are listed as many particle physics, plasma physics, strongly coupled Coulomb systems, relativistic many body systems, complex plasmas.
According to the citations “He has developed a unique approach for the analysis of charged particle systems in the liquid state (Quasilocalized Charge Approximation, QLCA), which was applied to demonstrate that an optic mode develops in charged bilayer liquids. His name is associated with the development of quadratic response functions, the description of the role of impurity ions in plasma and the study of various instabilities.”
Prior to their election the new Members had received the required 50% majority of votes of their respective scientific sections. The Academy currently has 193 External Members from all disciplines of science.
First National Science Foundation CAREER Workshop
July 18, 2013 -
Associate Professor Vidya Madhavan was the recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation this spring, which was used to organize and co-chair the first NSF CAREER workshop (Faculty Early Career Development). The primary objective of the workshop was to assist CAREER awardees in continuing their path to research leadership in their fields. A report of the event is available at: http://www.bc.edu/sites/nsfworkshop/NSF_CAREER_Workshop/Reports.html
New Insight into Thermal Transport
July 9, 2013 -
Professor David Broido and collaborators have predicted that an unlikely material, cubic boron arsenide, should have an extraordinarily high thermal conductivity on par with that of diamond, long known to be the best conductor of heat. The finding gives new insight into the nature of thermal transport and may open new opportunities for passive cooling of microelectronics. The paper, "First-Principles Determination of Ultrahigh Thermal Conductivity of Boron Arsenide: A Competitor for Diamond?", was featured as an Editor’s Suggestion in the journal Physical Review Letters It has also been featured in a Viewpoint article by the American Physical Society as well as an article on AAAS EurekAlert.
June 26, 2013 -
Prof. Willie J. Padilla and researchers in his lab recently reported a breakthrough in efforts to create accessible and effective THz imaging. Using both optical and electronic controls, the team developed a single-pixel imaging technique that uses a coded aperture to quickly and efficiently manipulate stubborn THz waves, according to a recent report in the journal Optics Express.
2013 George J. Goldsmith Award
June 26, 2013 -
The Department of Physics is happy to congratulate Timothy Sleasman class of 2013 who received the third annual George J. Goldsmith Award. Named in memory of longtime Physics Department faculty member George J. Goldsmith, who is remembered for both his scholarship and his selfless dedication to the students of Boston College, this award is given annually to a graduating Physics major in recognition of excellence in academic achievement and research.
Mr. Sleasman was an exceptionally accomplished student with a double major in Physics and Math and worked throughout his tenure at Boston College in Professor Padilla’s laboratory. Mr. Sleasman will pursue his PhD in Electrical Engineering at Duke University working in Professor David Smith’s Meta Group.
Yu (Sophia) Dai is the recipient of 2012 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad
May 30, 2013 -
Since 2003, the Chinese government has been awarding students who are able to study in a foreign country on their own accord. The awards are given to honor students for their ability to study abroad without government-funded sponsorships under the umbrella of the China Scholarship Council. Often, these students study in highly acclaimed institutions where they might face many challenges in being a student in a foreign country. Ms. Dai was recently offered a Postdoctoral research opportunity at the California Institute of Technology and will transition in September of 2013.
May 28, 2013 -
“Controlling light propagation with nanowires” by Dr. Y. Peng and Prof. K. Kempa (Appl. Phys. Lett. 100, 171903 (2012)) has been selected by the journal Applied Physics Letters to feature in the Editor's Picks of 2012, as one of the most notable APL articles published in 2012. Back in March, this paper made it to " the top 20 most read APL papers in 2012". Work featured in this paper has been supported by the prestigious Keck Foundation grant, awarded to a group of BC scientists, led by Professors Naughton and Kempa of the Department of Physics.
April 26, 2013 -
A visit to the Kennedy Space Center when he was in elementary school inspired Nathan Nesbitt to pursue a career in the sciences. Today, the graduate student in the Physics Department is searching for innovative energy solutions he hopes will one day help solve the problem of climate change.