News

From the College of Natural Sciences
UT Austin Physicist Wins Award at Breakthrough Prize Ceremony

UT Austin Physicist Wins Award at Breakthrough Prize Ceremony

Raphael Flauger, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics, has won a prestigious award for early career achievement for his outstanding contributions to theoretical cosmology. At last night's Breakthrough Prize Awards Ceremony, sometimes called "The Oscars of Science," Flauger received the New Horizons in Physics Prize as a young scientist who has already produced important work in fundamental physics.

Researchers Win $2 Million Grant to Develop Atomically Thin Semiconductors

Researchers Win $2 Million Grant to Develop Atomically Thin Semiconductors

A research team led by Xiaoqin Elaine Li, an associate professor in the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a grant of $2 million over the next four years from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to research and develop thin, flexible semiconductors that might eventually lead to bendable computer screens and wearable electronics.

Much in the Works at the Physics Machine Shop

Much in the Works at the Physics Machine Shop

Pieces of detectors for particle colliders and neuroscience research line the shelves in the UT Austin Physics Machine Shop. The air constantly hums with the noise of advanced machines at work.

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Grad Student Aims to Shape Understanding of Universe

Grad Student Aims to Shape Understanding of Universe

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the first graduate student earning a degree at UT Austin and our new Discovery Fellows campaign, we're launching a series of posts to introduce you to current graduate students from across the College of Natural Sciences.

New Nanostructure Could Lead to Advanced Optical Devices

New Nanostructure Could Lead to Advanced Optical Devices

When a quantum dot (right) is placed next to it, the light scattering properties of a much larger gold nanoparticle (center) change. A polarized light shining on the nanoparticle generates an electric field (surrounding bands of color).

Physicists Xiaoqin "Elaine" Li, Gennady Shvets and their colleagues have been exploring new ways to manipulate light on the nanoscale. In a paper published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they describe work that could lead to better biological sensors and improved devices for optical communications and computing.

College Welcomes New Faculty in New Academic Year

College Welcomes New Faculty in New Academic Year

The College of Natural Sciences welcomes 11 new faculty this fall. Whether searching for evidence of exotic new physics, enabling the creation of personal robots, or addressing critical problems in cancer research, these industrious and innovative faculty members build on the college's reputation for pioneering research and research-based teaching.

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.

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.