News

From the College of Natural Sciences

Physicist Allan MacDonald Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Allan MacDonald, professor of physics, receives one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist or engineer in the United States.

Making Music with Physics

Leah Hesla was 29 when she decided to go back to school to study physics. She already had an undergraduate degree in music, and a Master’s degree in musicology (from UT), but there was something missing. Now, four years later, she’s graduating with her B.S. in physics, and has been accepted into the prestigious Science Writing MFA program at Johns ...leah hesla

The Dance of Quantum States

Topology is the branch of mathematics that tells you that a donut and a coffee cup are the same type of thing. They are topologically equivalent because they each have one handle, and you can continuously distort the shape of a donut into a coffee cup without changing the number of handles. Greg Fiete, an assistant professor of physics, was rece...Mug_and_Torus_morph

Willy Fischler Honored by Top Physicists

Top physicists from around the world will gather at the University of California, Santa Cruz, on June 15 and 16 for a symposium in honor of two eminent theoretical physicists: Willy Fischler, professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin and Thomas Banks, professor of physics at UCSC. Fischler and Banks, who are being honored on the oc...Willy Fischler
Thinnest Superconducting Metal Created

Thinnest Superconducting Metal Created

AUSTIN, Texas — A superconducting sheet of lead only two atoms thick, the thinnest superconducting metal layer ever created, has been developed by physicists at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Ken Shih and colleagues report the properties of their superconducting film in the June 5 issue of Science. Superconductors are unique because they ...

Solar Cells, Batteries Research Receives $15 Million

AUSTIN, Texas--With a $15 million grant, scientists and engineers aim to revolutionize solar cells and energy storage technologies as one of two Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) established at The University of Texas at Austin by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The White House announced the creation of 46 new EFRCs nationally in conju...

Fusion at Our Service

(L to R) Mike Kotschenreuther, Swadesh Mahajan, Prashant Valanju and Erich Schneider. Photo: Marsha Miller Fusion has long been pursued as a pure and virtually inexhaustible source of energy. It is fusion reactions, after all, that power the stars. When fusion—the joining of two similar atomic nuclei to form a heavier nucleus—occurs in an uncon...(L to R) Mike Kotschenreuther, Swadesh Mahajan, Prashant Valanju and Erich Schneider

Invisible Waves

This video still of particles suspended in water shows how internals waves can billow and mix water along the continental slope. Hidden beneath the surface of the sea, powerful “internal” waves are shaping the underwater edges of continents and contributing to ocean mixing and climate. Physicists Hepeng Zhang and Harry Swinney simulated such wave...This video still of particles suspended in water shows how internals waves can billow and mix water along the continental slope.
Nuclear Fusion-Fission Hybrid Could Destroy Nuclear Waste And Contribute to Carbon-Free Energy Future

Nuclear Fusion-Fission Hybrid Could Destroy Nuclear Waste And Contribute to Carbon-Free Energy Future

AUSTIN, Texas — Physicists at The University of Texas at Austin have designed a new system that, when fully developed, would use fusion to eliminate most of the transuranic waste produced by nuclear power plants. The invention could help combat global warming by making nuclear power cleaner and thus a more viable replacement of carbon-heavy energy...

Markert Wins Hamilton Book Award

AUSTIN, Texas — The winners of this year's University Co-op Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards, among the highest honors of literary achievement given to published authors at The University of Texas at Austin, were announced Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the Four Seasons Hotel. Michael H. Granof, chairman of the University Co-operative Society, hosted the e...

Q & A with Michael Marder

Michael Marder is a physics professor a co-director of UTeach How long have you been interested in science education? In a way, since I was young. I grew up in Champaign-Urbana, and at the time, the University of Illinois was trying a number of radical education experiments, and I was part of them. In eighth and ninth grade, for instance, I was i...marder_illustration_web

Supersonic Sharpshooter

Mark Raizen and his research group can now stop over 85 percent of the atoms in the periodic table and many molecules. That means big-named, important elements can now be controlled, and in fact, Raizen has already proven it with molecular oxygen. “Our methods open up whole new avenues of research,” says Raizen, professor of physics. The tool he us...supersonic shooter
Invisible Waves Shape Continental Slope

Invisible Waves Shape Continental Slope

AUSTIN, Texas—A class of powerful, invisible waves hidden beneath the surface of the ocean can shape the underwater edges of continents and contribute to ocean mixing and climate, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have found. The scientists simulated ocean conditions in a laboratory aquarium and found that “internal waves” generat...

Splitting Light Could Improve Telecommunication Networks

AUSTIN, Texas--A new method for speeding and slowing a pulse of light simultaneously could lead to much faster optical telecommunication networks and more efficient optic-based computers. In a paper published in Physical Review A, University of Texas at Austin physicists Pablo Bianucci, Ken Shih and Gennady Shvets report the first ever demonstrati...

Most Powerful Laser In The World Fires Up

Dr. Todd Ditmire, director of the Texas Center for High-Intensity Laser Science.AUSTIN, Texas—The Texas Petawatt laser reached greater than one petawatt of laser power on Monday morning, March 31, making it the highest powered laser in the world, Todd Ditmire, a physicist at The University of Texas at Austin, said. The Texas Petawatt is the only o...Dr. Todd Ditmire, director of the Texas Center for High-Intensity Laser Science.