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From the College of Natural Sciences
New Phononic Crystal Might Enable Better Mobile Communications

New Phononic Crystal Might Enable Better Mobile Communications

Using a microwave microscope, UT Austin researchers visualized elastic waves as they travel right to left, following a Z-shaped boundary in a phononic crystal, without losing energy. The image is approximately 0.1 millimeters high. Credit: Keji Lai/University of Texas at Austin.

Experts have taken a step towards the use of special materials called phononic crystals in cell phones and other mobile devices, an advance that is important to make more devices compatible with emerging 5G communications and other new technologies.

A Physicist’s Search for Beauty (Audio)

A Physicist’s Search for Beauty (Audio)

Here in part 2 of our continuing remembrance of Steven Weinberg, we're diving a little deeper into what we know because of him. Weinberg was one of the world's greatest theoretical physicists, and his passing last year was deeply felt not only by us here at The University of Texas at Austin, but by a broad community of scientists and science-loving people. Weinberg summed up the goal of his life's work as: "to know why things are the way they are." To him, that meant distilling the rules of physics down to their simplest, most beautiful essence.

Remembering Steven Weinberg (Audio)

Remembering Steven Weinberg (Audio)

Today, in the first of two parts of a special segment, we're remembering the life and legacy of one of the greatest theoretical physicists of all time — The University of Texas at Austin's Steven Weinberg, who died in July. We're exploring who he was as a scientist, writer and mentor — and a deep thinker about our place in the universe. We'll hear from colleagues who worked with him — fellow UT Austin physicists Katherine Freese, Willy Fischler and Can Kilic — and from his former student John Preskill.

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New Gravitational Wave Catalog Reveals Black Holes of ‘All Shapes and Sizes’

New Gravitational Wave Catalog Reveals Black Holes of ‘All Shapes and Sizes’

Today, an international scientific collaboration released the largest catalog ever of collisions involving black holes and neutron stars, raising the total to 90 events. The results suggest that intermediate-mass black holes are more common than scientists previously thought. The catalog also includes the second discovery of an intriguing object that seems too small to be a black hole, yet too large to be a neutron star.

Markert Recognized as a 2021 American Physical Society Fellow

Markert Recognized as a 2021 American Physical Society Fellow

The American Physical Society has selected Christina Markert, a professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin, as a 2021 APS Fellow. Fellowships are awarded based on outstanding contributions to the field of physics, and are received by no more than one half of one percent of the society's members each year.

New Model Reveals How Chromosomes Get Packed Up

New Model Reveals How Chromosomes Get Packed Up

To scrunch a chromosome (green), a condensin molecule opens and closes like a pair of fingers (light blue) connected by a hinge (dark blue).

One of the most astounding feats of nature is happening right now in cells throughout your body: noodle-like molecules called chromosomes, which carry part of your genetic blueprints and are about two inches (5 centimeters) long when fully stretched out, get stuffed into the cell's nucleus, which is at least 5,000 times smaller, with plenty of room for a bunch of other chromosomes. 

New Materials Could Lead to Computers That Work Like the Human Brain

New Materials Could Lead to Computers That Work Like the Human Brain

Mock-up of a quantum photonic device, which could form part of a neuromorphic computing system. From Silverstone et al., IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 22, 6 (2016). Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

For decades, computer chips have gotten denser, faster and more energy efficient. But in recent years, those improvements have slowed to a crawl.

First Confirmed Detection of Neutron Stars Crashing into Black Holes

First Confirmed Detection of Neutron Stars Crashing into Black Holes

For the first time, researchers have confirmed the detection of a collision between a black hole and a neutron star.

Graduating Senior Finds Passions in Exoplanets and Outreach

Graduating Senior Finds Passions in Exoplanets and Outreach

When Zoe de Beurs arrived at UT Austin, she wasn't sure of what she wanted to do. Now, at the end of her fifth year, she's graduating from the Dean's Scholars honors program as a physics, astronomy and math triple major with an African and African Diaspora Studies minor.

Cosmic Rumbles: New Faculty Probe Universe for Gravitational Waves

Cosmic Rumbles: New Faculty Probe Universe for Gravitational Waves

Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu.

Pablo Laguna (Ph.D., '87) and Deirdre Shoemaker (Ph.D., '99) study some of the most violent events in the universe, when cosmic heavyweights—black holes and neutron stars—collide, shaking the very fabric of space and time. These gravitational waves were first discovered in 2015. It was also the start of a new era in astronomy. The couple joined the Department of Physics in 2020.

Most Flexible 2D Material Discovered at UT Austin

Most Flexible 2D Material Discovered at UT Austin

A new kind of two-dimensional (2D) material with unique properties has been discovered by researchers with The University of Texas at Austin, bringing next-generation flexible electronic devices one step closer.

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Four Natural Sciences Faculty Receive Sloan Research Fellowships

Four Natural Sciences Faculty Receive Sloan Research Fellowships

​​Four faculty members from the University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences have received 2021 Sloan Research Fellowships, which honor outstanding early-career scientists in eight fields.

Marder Receives University’s Civitatis Award

Marder Receives University’s Civitatis Award

UTeach Executive Director and physics professor Michael Marder has been selected as the recipient of The University of Texas at Austin's 2020 Civitatis Award.

A Cornucopia of Newly Confirmed Gravitational Wave Detections

A Cornucopia of Newly Confirmed Gravitational Wave Detections

After months of thorough analysis, two international scientific teams, including scientists from The University of Texas at Austin, have released an updated catalog of gravitational wave detections, more than tripling the number of confirmed events. Each detection of a gravitational wave represents the discovery of a pair of extremely massive objects—black holes or neutron stars—far out in the universe smashing into each other, shaking the very fabric of space and time so much that sensitive detectors on Earth could feel them, sometimes more than a billion years later. 

Department of Energy Invests in High-power Laser Network, including UT Austin

Department of Energy Invests in High-power Laser Network, including UT Austin

The University of Texas at Austin with support from the U.S. Department of Energy will expand capabilities of the Texas Petawatt Laser, one of the highest-powered lasers in the world, with a broad range of applications for basic research, advanced manufacturing and medicine.

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