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From the College of Natural Sciences
Newly Identified Gravitational Waves Include Best Pinpointed Black Hole Pair

Newly Identified Gravitational Waves Include Best Pinpointed Black Hole Pair

Numerical simulations of gravitational waves caused by the collision of two black holes. Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center/C. Henze

The scientists looking for gravitational waves report that last year they observed four additional ripples in space-time. During about a nine-month period, scientists involved with the National Science Foundation's LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) collaboration and the European-based Virgo gravitational-wave detector encountered eight gravitational waves—twice as many as previously reported—including a newly identified binary black hole that was the most precisely located in the sky to date.

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UT Austin Selected for New Nationwide High-Intensity Laser Network

UT Austin Selected for New Nationwide High-Intensity Laser Network

The Texas Petawatt Laser, among the most powerful in the U.S., will be part of a new national network funded by the Dept. of Energy, named LaserNetUS. Credit: University of Texas at Austin.

The University of Texas at Austin will be a key player in LaserNetUS, a new national network of institutions operating high-intensity, ultrafast lasers. The overall project, funded over two years with $6.8 million from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, aims to help boost the country's global competitiveness in high-intensity laser research.

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Physicists Catch Higgs Boson Interacting with Top Quarks

Physicists Catch Higgs Boson Interacting with Top Quarks

Artistic view of the Brout-Englert-Higgs Field. Image credit: Daniel Dominguez/CERN.

The ATLAS Collaboration, an international team of physicists including Peter Onyisi from the University of Texas at Austin, has announced the observation of Higgs bosons produced together with a top-quark pair. Observing this extremely rare process is a significant milestone for the field of high-energy physics.

UT Austin Mourns Passing of George Sudarshan, Titan of 20th Century Physics

UT Austin Mourns Passing of George Sudarshan, Titan of 20th Century Physics

World-renowned physicist E.C. George Sudarshan died of natural causes this week at the age of 86. A professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin from 1969 to 2016, he made many important contributions to theoretical physics. Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan was born in Kottayam, Kerala, India on Sep. 16, 1931. He received his Ph.D. de...
The Physics of Rapidly Spreading Cancer

The Physics of Rapidly Spreading Cancer

Using a computer simulation that models the physical and chemical interactions of cancerous cells (colored dots), researchers discovered that over time, tumors develop a distinctive two-part structure: slow moving cells moving randomly in a dense core (blue and purple), surrounded by a band of cells moving faster and more directly outward (green, yellow, red). Arrows indicate direction of motion. The image at right is the same tumor cut in half to reveal the inner structure. Image credit: Anne Bowen, Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Scientists have recently discovered a method in cancer's madness. Before now, they've been perplexed by how cancer cells, growing alongside healthy cells, often spread much faster into surrounding tissue than randomness would dictate. It's as if cancerous cells are intentionally moving directly outward, invading healthy tissue.

Gregory Fiete Named a Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics

Gregory Fiete Named a Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics

Gregory Fiete has been named a Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics. Photo by Alex Wang.

Gregory Fiete, associate professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin, has been named one of this year's 12 Simons Fellows in Theoretical Physics by the Simons Foundation. The fellowship program provides researchers a full year of academic leave, enabling recipients to focus solely on research for the long periods often necessary for significant advances.

New ‘Nanotweezers’ Open Door to Innovations in Medicine, Mobile Tech

New ‘Nanotweezers’ Open Door to Innovations in Medicine, Mobile Tech

It's difficult to conceptualize a world where humans could casually manipulate nanoscale objects at will or even control their own biological matter at a cellular level with light.

Researchers Demonstrate How to “Freeze” Sand

Researchers Demonstrate How to “Freeze” Sand

Using a novel imaging technique, a team of U.S. and German researchers found that wiggling the walls of a box packed with sand-sized glass spheres causes the spheres to form crystal structures similar to those formed when liquids freeze. By increasing the order among grains, the grains took up less space. One possible application would be to pack sand or other granular material more densely to save on shipping costs.

How UT Scientists Contributed to Nobel-Winning Gravitational Wave Discovery

How UT Scientists Contributed to Nobel-Winning Gravitational Wave Discovery

In the same week that the scientific community celebrated news that University of Texas at Austin alumnus Michael Young was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on circadian rhythms, three scientists won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of gravitational waves, work that also was heavily influenced by UT Austin scientists and alumni.

Construction Begins on International Neutrino Facility

Construction Begins on International Neutrino Facility

Ground is broken! Attending the underground ceremony today were, from left: Fermilab Director Nigel Lockyer; Executive Director of Programmes Grahame Blair, Science and Technology Facilities Council; Professor Sergio Bertolucci, National Institute for Nuclear Physics in Italy; Director for International Relations Charlotte Warakaulle, CERN; Rep. Randy Hultgren, Illinois; Rep. Kristi Noem, South Dakota; Sen. Mike Rounds, South Dakota; Sen. John Thune, South Dakota; Associate Director of Science for High-Energy Research Jim Siegrist, U.S. Department of Energy; Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios; South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard; Project Manager Scott Lundgren, Kiewit/Alberici; Executive Director Mike Headley, Sanford Underground Research Facility; and Chair of the Board Casey Peterson, South Dakota Science and Technology Authority. Photo: Reidar Hahn, Fermilab.

With the turning of a shovelful of earth a mile underground, a new era in international particle physics research officially begins.

Physicists Launch Experiment to Probe a Muon Mystery

Physicists Launch Experiment to Probe a Muon Mystery

The Muon g-2 magnet ring with instrumentation, awaiting muons. Credit: Fermilab.

Physicists have been puzzled ever since an experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the late 1990s found that muons, elementary particles produced when cosmic rays hit our atmosphere, have slightly different magnetic properties than predicted. If true, it could mean a shakeup is in store for the theoretical framework that physicists use to describe the universe.

Biofilm Discovery Suggests New Way to Prevent Dangerous Infections

Biofilm Discovery Suggests New Way to Prevent Dangerous Infections

Microbial biofilms—dense, sticky mats of bacteria that are hard to treat and can lead to dangerous infections—often form in medical equipment, such as flexible plastic tubing used in catheters or in tubes used to help patients breathe. By some estimates, more than 1 million people contract infections from medical devices in U.S. hospitals each year, many of which are due to biofilms. A study from The University of Texas at Austin suggests a possible new way to prevent such biofilms from forming, which would sharply reduce incidents of related hospital-borne infection.

UT Austin Mourns Death of Groundbreaking Physicist Cécile DeWitt-Morette

UT Austin Mourns Death of Groundbreaking Physicist Cécile DeWitt-Morette

The University of Texas at Austin mourns the loss of renowned physicist and professor emerita Cécile DeWitt-Morette, who was a faculty member in the Department of Astronomy and the Department of Physics. DeWitt-Morette received international acclaim for her work in theoretical physics and for the educational institution she established in Europe, L'École de Physique des Houches, which helped launch many of the world's leading physicists and mathematicians.

Surprising Property of Ferroelectrics Might Lead to Smaller, Lighter Electronics

Surprising Property of Ferroelectrics Might Lead to Smaller, Lighter Electronics

In this artist’s conception, a needle from a scanning impedance microscope touches a domain wall in a ferroelectric material. Image credit: Ella Maru Studio.

A research team led by physics professor Keji Lai at the University of Texas at Austin has discovered that a material he studies has an unusual property that could one day lead to cell phones and other electronic devices that are smaller, lighter and more energy efficient.

Physicists Improve Key Component of Future Atom Microscope

Physicists Improve Key Component of Future Atom Microscope

Mark Raizen, a professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin, and his team have developed the world's highest resolution atom lens, a key component of a new kind of microscope called an atom microscope, which can image the surface of a material at the atomic scale and reveal its chemical composition.

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