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Department of Physics

News & Events

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.

Krastan Blagoev, Ph.D. 1998, Boston College Physics Department, was recently elected Fellow of the American Physical Society

November 4, 2015 -

Krastan Blagoev, Ph.D. 1998, Boston College Physics Department, was recently elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), in the Division of Biological Physics. To be elected Fellow in the APS is a considerable achievement.  It is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the current membership and it is recognition by your peers of your outstanding contributions to physics.  The citation, which appears on his Fellowship Certificate, reads as follows:

“For his pioneering contributions in new physics concepts to solve major problems in cancer and aging and for his unparalleled role in integrating physics principles in biology and medicine.”

Krastan Blagoev is currently the Program Director for the, Physics of Living Systems at the National Science Foundation and he is affiliated with The Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at the Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Ilija Zeljkovic Joins Faculty as Assistant Professor

June 4, 2015 -

The Department of Physics is pleased to welcome Dr. Ilija Zeljkovic as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Zeljkovic earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University working with Dr. Jennifer E. Hoffman and was a Post Doctoral Fellow with Dr. Vidya Madhavan at Boston College. He is an experimental condensed matter physicist interested in studying emergent phenomenology in a variety of quantum materials, including topological insulators, unconventional superconductors and transition-metal dichalcogenides. In his research, Dr. Zeljkovic employs a combination of low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy and thin film growth techniques.

Professor Ruihua He Receives National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award

May 20, 2015 -

Boston College Assistant Professor of Physics Ruihua He, whose research explores new classes of quantum materials, has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, the agency’s most prestigious grant for early-career faculty who best exemplify the role of teacher-scholar.

Markian Bojko, Class of 2015, honored with George J. Goldsmith Award

April 28, 2015 -

Congratulations to Physics major and graduating senior Markian Bojko for his achievement in receiving the 2015 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. Bojko is exceptionally accomplished student and a skilled researcher.  Studying transport properties in correlated electron systems, he has co-authored a published paper and an abstract for this year's March Meeting of the American Physical Society, with a second manuscript in preparation for submission.  Mark will be attending medical school in the fall.

Yitzi Calm and Matthew Gochan recipients of Donald J. White Teaching Excellence Award

April 28, 2015 -

Congratulations to Yitzi Calm and Matthew Gochan, 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.

Physics Majors Win Undergraduate Awards

April 10, 2015 -

2015 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship

The Department of Physics is happy to congratulate James Brogan, class of 2016, as the recipient of the 2015 Goldwater Scholarship. The Excellence in Education Foundation established the scholarship fund named for former Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona, to support the undergraduate study of students who demonstrate talent and interest in Mathematics or the Natural Sciences. The purpose of the scholarship is to strengthen the training of American students in Science and Mathematics and to encourage talented students to pursue graduate study, teaching, and research in these areas.

The scholarship will cover undergraduate expenses for tuition, books, fees, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year for two years. Goldwater Scholarships thus represent outstanding opportunities for those students who have a demonstrated interest in a career in Science or Mathematics.

Dean’s Scholars

The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences selected the brightest scholars from the junior class based on their overall academic performance, recommendations from their departmental faculty, co-curricular initiatives, and their sense of purpose in how they approach their future. The Department of Physics congratulates the following students for being named Dean’s Scholars: Andrew Boyce, James Brogan, Peter Czajka, Ian Madden

Sophomore Scholars

The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences selected academically distinguished members of the Sophomore Class, who are ranked in the top three percent of their class, to receive this award. The Department of Physics congratulates the following students for being named Sophomore Scholars: Andrew Gross, Thomas Kessler, Sarah Steiger, Ao Zeng

Burch group work published in Physical Review Letters reports signs of a new fractionalized particles

April 7, 2015 -

The combination of electronic correlation and spin-orbit coupling is thought to precipitate a variety of highly unusual electronic phases in solids, including topological and quantum spin liquid states. The burch group has found evidence for such frtionalized excitations in the compound RuCl3 using Raman spectroscopy, as reported in Physical Review Letters.

Professors Kempa and Herczynski co-author a Nature Communication article

December 17, 2014 -

Professors Kempa and Herczynski co-author a Nature Communication article proposing a new direction in optoelectronics research, based on Nature's own designs. Titled "Bio-inspired Networks for Optoelectronic Applications," and written in collaboration with researchers in South China Normal University, (Guangzhou, China), the paper shows that using natural structures such as spider webs and leaf venation networks can lead to a new generation of highly efficient solar cells, flexible touch screens, and other devices.