News

From the College of Natural Sciences

Keck Foundation Awards $1.5 Million for New Method to Cool Atoms and for Student Research

Keck Foundation Awards $1.5 Million for New Method to Cool Atoms and for Student Research

Graduate student Erik Anciaux works on the “Ultra-Bright Atom Laser” project in the Raizen lab.

The W. M. Keck Foundation has awarded scientists at The University of Texas at Austin two grants totaling $1.5 million to develop a powerful, alternative method for cooling atoms and involve more undergraduate students in using new advanced technologies for research.

New Device Bends Light at Sharp Angles

New Device Bends Light at Sharp Angles

Most modern computers and communications devices use electrons to transmit and process information. But when they're crammed onto smaller and smaller devices, electrons become unruly, generating a lot of heat. Scientists have long dreamed of replacing electrons with particles of light called photons. Because photons don't generate much heat and move at light speed, computer chips could theoretically be made much smaller and faster than current chips.

Scientists Create New Tool to Study Emerging Materials for Spintronics

Scientists Create New Tool to Study Emerging Materials for Spintronics

As traditional electronics begin to reach their physical limits of compactness and speed, scientists and engineers are looking for new ways to stay on track with Moore's Law. One possible solution is to develop spintronics, devices that use a property of electrons known as spin to represent the 0's and 1's in computers. A class of materials called topological insulators (TIs) might have the right properties for spintronics, but since they were discovered less than a decade ago, scientists still know little about their properties.

In Memoriam: Physicist Peter Antoniewicz

In Memoriam: Physicist Peter Antoniewicz
We were saddened to hear that physicist Peter Antoniewicz died on June 14.Peter Roman Antoniewicz was born February 5, 1936, in Tarnów, a city in southeastern Poland. He and his family immigrated to the U.S. in 1949. Antoniewicz received a Ph.D. in physics from Purdue University in 1965. His research focused on condensed matter physics...

Researchers Build World's Thinnest Light Bulb from Graphene

Researchers Build World's Thinnest Light Bulb from Graphene

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A team of scientists and engineers from Columbia University, Seoul National University (SNU), Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) and The University of Texas at Austin have demonstrated — for the first time — a visible light source using graphene, an atomically thin form of carbon. This new type of light source could form the basis of faster communications devices and computer displays that are thin, flexible and transparent.

Bacteria Suppress Their Antibiotic-Resistant Cousins

Bacteria Suppress Their Antibiotic-Resistant Cousins

Researchers studying a dangerous type of bacteria have discovered that the bacteria have the ability to block both their own growth and the growth of their antibiotic-resistant mutants. The discovery might lead to better ways to fight a class of bacteria that have contributed to a growing public health crisis by becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotic treatments.

The Greatest Show in Classical Physics

The Greatest Show in Classical Physics

Glowing electric pickles, flaming money, and flying toilet paper help the Physics Circus at The University of Texas at Austin teach science to non-physicists.

Physicist Recognized for Teaching Excellence

Physicist Recognized for Teaching Excellence

A professor in the College of Natural Sciences has been named to the University of Texas at Austin's respected Academy of Distinguished Teachers for 2015.

New Research Points Way to Less Vulnerable Computer Memory

New Research Points Way to Less Vulnerable Computer Memory

Have you ever been working on a document on your computer and it suddenly crashes? Maybe the power goes out or there's a software glitch that causes it to freeze and you lose everything you've been working on for the past hour. New research published today in the journal Nature Communications might eventually lead to computers and other electronic devices that don't have this vulnerability.

Peter Onyisi is Having a Smashing Time Hunting Particles

Peter Onyisi is Having a Smashing Time Hunting Particles

Physicist Peter Onyisi, assistant professor in the College of Natural Sciences, was part of a team at CERN working with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that discovered something that looked like the Higgs boson particle.

Capping Decades of Searching, Scientists Observe Elusive Particle That is its own Antiparticle

Capping Decades of Searching, Scientists Observe Elusive Particle That is its own Antiparticle

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and Princeton University have observed an exotic particle that behaves simultaneously like matter and antimatter, a breakthrough that could eventually enable powerful computers based on quantum mechanics.

Improved Method for Isotope Enrichment Could Secure a Vital Global Commodity

Improved Method for Isotope Enrichment Could Secure a Vital Global Commodity

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have devised a new method for enriching a group of the world’s most expensive chemical commodities, stable isotopes, which are vital to medical imaging and nuclear power, as reported this week in the journal Nature Physics.

Trapping a Bacterium in a Laser Beam Aids Study of Biofilms

Trapping a Bacterium in a Laser Beam Aids Study of Biofilms

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a technique to move and position a single bacterium using a highly focused laser. The precise control offered by this tool will allow researchers to better study how bacterial biofilms form.

The Ultimate in High Speed Cinematography Reveals Laser Gymnastics at Speed of Light

The Ultimate in High Speed Cinematography Reveals Laser Gymnastics at Speed of Light

Scientists in the Department of Physics have captured the ultimate high-speed movie of a laser pulse as it zips through a piece of glass at the speed of light. The new imaging technique will help scientists understand how intense laser pulses propagate through air, glass fibers and fusion pellets, and thus could have applications in atmospheric chemical analysis, fiber optic communications, and power generation.

Scaling Theory Better Predicts Gas Production in Barnett Shale Wells

Scaling Theory Better Predicts Gas Production in Barnett Shale Wells

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a simple scaling theory to estimate gas production from hydraulically fractured wells in the Barnett Shale. The method is intended to help the energy industry accurately identify low- and high-producing horizontal wells, as well as accurately predict how long it will take for gas reserves to deplete in the wells.