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From the College of Natural Sciences
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.

Physicists Offer Insight into Improving Perovskite Solar Cells

Physicists Offer Insight into Improving Perovskite Solar Cells

Solar panels. Photo credit: Flickr user zak zak. Used via Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0.

Physicists from the University of Texas at Austin and the Department of Energy (DOE) recently published a new study on how perovskite solar cells degrade, which could help improve the performance and durability of solar cells.

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16 Inspiring and Eye-Opening Texas Science Stories of 2017

16 Inspiring and Eye-Opening Texas Science Stories of 2017

It's been a busy year for scientists and researchers at the College of Natural Sciences. Discoveries, findings, advancements and technology developed right here made news around the world. Here are just a few of the top science stories of 2017.

UT Austin Researcher Xiaoqin Elaine Li Recognized for Quantum Materials Research

UT Austin Researcher Xiaoqin Elaine Li Recognized for Quantum Materials Research

Xiaoqin Elaine Li, associate professor in the Department of Physics, is one of two UT Austin recipients of the 2018 Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Science from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST).

Physicist Uses Cosmic Rays to Map Internal Structures of Pyramids

Physicist Uses Cosmic Rays to Map Internal Structures of Pyramids

Scientists have discovered a mysterious void in Eygpt's Great Pyramid using cosmic ray. Photo by David McEachan/via CC0 license

A UT Austin faculty member spoke to reporters about the discovery of a hidden void in Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza. The almost 100-feet long cavity was detected by scanning the pyramid using high-energy particles called muons.

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UT Austin Ranks No. 10 Among U.S. Universities for Science in Latest Nature Index

UT Austin Ranks No. 10 Among U.S. Universities for Science in Latest Nature Index

The University of Texas at Austin ranked No. 11 among all U.S. institutions (academic and nonacademic) and No. 10 among U.S. universities for publication of scientific research, according to the latest report from the Nature Index.

Visualizing Science 2017: Finding the Hidden Beauty in College Research

Visualizing Science 2017: Finding the Hidden Beauty in College Research

Five years ago the College of Natural Sciences began an annual tradition called Visualizing Science with the intent of finding the inherent beauty hidden within scholarly research. Each spring faculty, staff and students in our college community are invited to send us images that celebrate the splendor of science and the scientific process. Every year they deliver the moments where science and art meld and become one, and this year is no exception.

Eyewitness to a Cosmic Car Wreck (Audio)

Eyewitness to a Cosmic Car Wreck (Audio)

Astronomers have long been able to watch the universe's blockbuster special effects unfold in dazzling 3D Technicolor. But until now, it's been like watching a silent movie. Today that all changes. Scientists announced this morning that they have for the first time ever detected both light and gravitational waves from a massive explosion in space caused by the collision of two super-dense neutron stars. On today's show, we talk to astrophysicist Pawan Kumar about what this breakthrough means for his field.

How UT Scientists Contributed to Nobel-Winning Gravitational Wave Discovery

How UT Scientists Contributed to Nobel-Winning Gravitational Wave Discovery

​A day after celebrating the 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, we were thrilled to wake up this morning to the news that three scientists won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of gravitational waves, work that was heavily in...
UT Austin Launches $15.6 Million Center for Materials Research

UT Austin Launches $15.6 Million Center for Materials Research

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering and the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin have received a $15.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to discover and advance new types of materials for use in many applications including energy storage, medical devices and information processing.