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Department of Physics

News & Events

The Department of Physics congratulates the Class of 2016!

June 14, 2016 -

The graduates and their families were fêted by faculty and staff at our annual commencement reception, May 23, 2016. The reception was organized by Physics staff members Nancy Chevry, Síle Power and Scott Bortolotto. See the list of graduates.

Yitzi Calm and Kun Jiang recipients of the Dissertation Fellowship Award

April 21, 2016 -

Congratulations to Yitzi Calm and Kun Jiang, graduate students in the Department of Physics who were awarded Dissertation Fellowship Awards.  The Dissertation Fellowships are awarded to advanced graduate students based on the excellence of their research project and will fund both Yitzi and Kun as they continue their research during the next year. 

Luciano Silvestri and Bryan Rachmilowitz recipients of Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award

April 21, 2016 -

Congratulations to Luciano Silvestri and Bryan Rachmilowitz, graduate students in the Department of Physics who were awarded the Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award. The Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Awards program was established to underscore and reinforce the importance of the pursuit of teaching excellence of graduate Teaching Fellows and Teaching Assistants. Awards are for students who have assisted in laboratories in the sciences, and for those students in other disciplines who assist in teaching by leading discussion groups.

Peter Czajka, Class of 2016, recipient of the George J. Goldsmith Award

April 21, 2016 -

Congratulations to Physics major and graduating senior Peter Czajka for his achievement in receiving the 2016 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. Czajka is an exceptionally accomplished student and a skilled researcher.  During his senior year he was the President of BC’s chapters of Sigma Pi Sigma and the Society of Physics Students. In addition to Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honors society, he is also a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit University Honor Society and Phi Beta Kappa.  Over a three-year period Peter worked in the Opeil lab where he made exceptional progress in sample synthesis, measurement and analysis.  The title of his senior honors thesis is, “Low Temperature Thermoelectric Properties of Co- and Cr-doped CuAgSe” and in addition he is a co-author of a paper appearing in the research journal Energy Conversion and Management.  This fall, Peter will be beginning a Ph. D. in physics at Princeton University.

Physics Majors Win Undergraduate Awards

April 21, 2016 -

Dean’s Scholars: Andrew Gross, Sarah Steiger


Sophomore Scholars: Qi Ying Lim, Hanyi Lu, Christopher Noyes

Peter Czajka '16 and Andrew Boyce '16 inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

April 20, 2016 -

Congratulations to Peter Czajka and Andrew Boyce for being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.  Students are nominated for membership based on the excellence of their academic performance at Boston College. Although a high grade point average is required for membership, many students have also completed theses in their disciplines or other kinds of challenging academic projects. Students are selected annually during the spring semester of the academic year. 

Dr. Fazel Tafti joins the department as an Assistant Professor

April 7, 2016 -

Dr. Tafti received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Toronto in 2011.  His research group consists of physicists and chemists working together to discover new functional materials with a focus on superconducting, magnetic, multiferroic, and thermoelectric systems. Using an array of material synthesis and crystal growth techniques, the group tries to make higher temperature superconductors, exotic magnets, more efficient thermoelectric and energy related materials. They are also well-equipped with electrical and thermal transport measurements under high pressure and high magnetic fields. Their goal is to tune the behavior of electrons by means of both chemistry and physics methods.  

Associate Prof. Ying Ran has been designated as an Outstanding Referee of the Physical Review Journal

April 7, 2016 -

Associate Prof. Ying Ran has been designated as an Outstanding Referee of the Physical Review Journal by the American Physical Society for 2016. Initiated in 2008, the Outstanding Referee program expresses appreciation for the essential work performed by anonymous peer reviewers, their contributions to APS journals and to the physics community.

Professor Andrzej Herczyński to lead a research program at the Isaac Newton Institute in 2017

November 4, 2015 -

Together with colleagues from the UK, France, and the US, Professor Herczyński will be organizing a research program on Growth, Form, and Self-Organisation, to be held at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INI) in Cambridge, England. The program, first proposed in February 2014, was recently approved.

The GFS program, which will run between 22nd August and 20th December 2017, is timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the publication of the groundbreaking treatise On Growth and Form by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson (1860-1948). Thompson’s book, still in print, was the first to bring the tools of mathematics to analyze form of living organisms, from the shape of leaves, shells, and fish to bones, horns, and the human face.

GFS program will host over 100 scientists, who will be working at INI for periods of up to four months, and will include four specialized workshops. It will endeavor to bring diverse aspects of research related to shape selection, deformations, and self-organization into focus, aiming to stimulate new collaborations between mathematicians, biologists, physicists, and other scholars – as well as artists – whose work addresses or depends on the evolution of form, broadly understood.