Enhanced Thermal Hall Effect in the Square-Lattice Néel State

Monday, October 7, 2019 - 13:52
Common wisdom about conventional antiferromagnets is that their low-energy physics is governed by spin–wave excitations. However, new experiments on several cuprate compounds have challenged this concept. An enhanced thermal Hall response in the pseudogap phase was identified, which, remarkably, persists...

First Video of Viruses Assembling

Sunday, October 6, 2019 - 14:21
For the first time, researchers have captured images of the formation of individual viruses, offering a real-time view into the kinetics of viral assembly. The research provides new insights into how to fight viruses and engineer self-assembling particles...

Shape-Shifting Structured Lattices

Thursday, October 3, 2019 - 12:23
Complex lattices that change in response to stimuli open a range of applications in electronics, robotics, medicine...

An Optical Tweezer Array of Ultracold Molecules

Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 16:48
Ultracold molecules have important applications that range from quantum simulation and computation to precision measurements probing physics beyond the Standard Model. Optical tweezer arrays of laser-cooled molecules, which allow control of individual particles...

Quantum Convolutional Neural Networks

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 14:20
Machine learning techniques have so far proved to be very promising for the analysis of data in several fields, with many potential applications. However, researchers have found that applying these methods to quantum physics problems is far more challenging...

Loeb Lecture in Physics: Yann LeCun

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 10:55
Photo of Prof. Yann LeCun Three lectures by Yann LeCun (September 16-18, 2019): "The unreasonable effectiveness of deep learning, " "The energy-based formulation of learning, " and "Intriguing connections between deep learning and physics."

Lessons in Learning

Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 11:46
For decades, there has been evidence that classroom techniques designed to get students to participate in the learning process produces better educational outcomes at virtually all levels. And a new Harvard study suggests it may be important to let students know it.

How Early-Stage Embryos Maintain Their Size

Monday, September 2, 2019 - 15:15
What controls the size of an embryo and, by extension, the size of tissue, organs and the whole organism? For as much as we know about embryogenesis, questions about how an embryo maintains its size early in development are still unanswered...

Theory of a Planckian Metal

Monday, August 26, 2019 - 14:10
Graduate student Aavishkar Patel and Professor Subir Sachdev have recently presented a new theory of a Planckian metal that could shed light on previously unknown aspects of quantum physics. Their paper, published in Physical Review Letters, introduces a lattice model...


Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 10:33
Image of the ATLAS experiment drawn with the ColliderScope Experimental music from experimental physics, ColliderScope is a musical project of Lawrence Lee, a Postdoctoral Fellow working at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. With a unique form of audio synthesis, waveforms are designed to show images from the world of experimental particle physics...

Shape-Shifting Sheets

Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 10:23
sheet of paper with kiribati tessellations Researchers have developed a mathematical framework that can turn any sheet of material into any prescribed shape, inspired by the paper craft kirigami (from the Japanese, kiri, meaning to cut and kami, meaning paper). Unlike its better-known cousin origami, which uses folds to shape paper, kirigami relies on a pattern of cuts in a flat paper sheet to change its flexibility and allow it to morph into 3D shapes...

Using Math to Help Treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Other Diseases

Thursday, August 22, 2019 - 10:22
Protein aggregation — in which misfolded proteins clump together to form large fibrils — has been implicated in many diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and type II diabetes. While the exact role these fibrils play in diseases isn’t fully understood, many of the current treatments for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s target the aggregation process...

Schrödinger's Cat with 20 Qubits

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 - 16:15
Dead or alive, left-spinning or right-spinning—in the quantum world particles such as the famous analogy of Schrödinger's cat can be all these things at the same time. Postdoc Ahmed Omran and grad student Harry Levine, of Mikhail Lukin group...

Magic Angle Hierarchy in Twisted Graphene Multilayers

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 - 11:07
The recent discovery of correlated insulating states and superconductivity in twisted bilayer graphene has opened the door to a new approach to designing correlated materials by controlling the twist angles. In a new study published in Physical Revew B, researchers in Prof. Vishwanath group...

Prof. Cora Dvorkin Received DOE Early Career Award

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - 10:16
portrait of Prof. Cora Dvorkin Associate Professor of Physics Cora Dvorkin has been selected to receive funding for research projects through the Department of Energy Early Career Research Program.

DNA "Propellers" to Study How DNA and Proteins Interact

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 - 10:09
drawing of DNA "propeller" For decades, researchers have chased ways to study how biological machines power living things. Every mechanical movement — from contracting a muscle to replicating DNA — relies on energy-fueled molecular motors that take tiny, near-undetectable steps. Trying to see these movements is like trying to watch a soccer game on the moon from Earth.

Looking for Patterns in an Optical Lattice

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 12:06
One of the simplest models of interacting fermions on a two-dimensional (2D) lattice—the Hubbard model—becomes too tricky to simulate on classical computers as the density of empty lattice sites (holes) increases. Harvard scientists, in partnership with Munich Center for Quantum Science and Technology, Munich, Germany, used a quantum microscope to take snapshots of...

Researchers Combine Quantum Expertise to Advance Research in Ultracold Molecules

Monday, July 15, 2019 - 15:42
Leaders in the field of ultracold molecule research from Columbia and Harvard universities are teaming up to propel understanding of the quantum mechanics of chemical reactions. The partnership will result in the development of new, more precise techniques that will expand the field of ultracold chemistry...

Coming Soon: Cold Atoms Impersonate Superconductors

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 10:39
Since their 1986 discovery, cuprate superconductors have puzzled physicists. These copper-containing materials can conduct electricity with zero resistance at temperatures of up to 135 K, well above the maximum temperature of 30 to 40 K predicted by theory. For the last 33 years, researchers have sought to explain this enigmatic behavior but still lack a complete description...

Confirmation of Old Theory Leads to New Breakthrough in Superconductor Science

Sunday, June 30, 2019 - 16:12
Phase transitions occur when a substance changes from a solid, liquid or gaseous state to a different state—like ice melting or vapor condensing. During these phase transitions, there is a point at which the system can display properties of both states of matter simultaneously. A similar effect occurs when normal metals transition into superconductors...

Matthew Reece Promoted to Professor of Physics with Tenure

Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 13:13
Photo of Prof. Matthew Reece Congratulations to Matthew Reece for his promotion to Professor of Physics with tenure! Reece received his PhD from Cornell in 2008, where his advisor was Csaba Csaki. He has been a professor at the Harvard Department of Physics since 2012...

Cora Dvorkin Promoted to Associate Professor

Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 13:03
Congratulations to Cora Dvorkin for her promotion to Associate Professor of Physics!

Microbial Range Expansions on Liquid Substrates

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 11:13
Fluid flows induced by nutrient gradients in the vicinity of microbial colonies help direct the expansion of those microbes into new territory.

Harvard Science Book Talk: Graham Farmelo

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 13:45
Photo of Dr. Graham Farmelo Wednesday, June 5 @6:00PM, Science Center Hall D

In this talk, Dr. Farmelo, the award-winning author of The Strangest Man, will discuss his new book, The Universe Speaks in Numbers: How Modern Math Reveals Nature's Deepest Secrets, which takes his readers on a journey from the Scientific Revolution to string theory, highlighting the role of mathematics...

Congratulations to the 2018-19 Physics Graduates!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 13:37
group picture of graduates

November, 2018, PhDs: Jae Hyeon Lee, Alexander Lukin, Oleksandr Shtyk, and Alexandra Thomson.

March, 2019, PhDs: Andrei Levin, Xiaomeng Liu, and Cristian Panda.

Harvard to Steer Collaboration to Pursue Research on Quantum Phenomena at Macroscopic Scale

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 13:36
Harvard University is part of a team of theoretical physicists from the United States and Austria investigating fundamentally new quantum mechanical behavior arising in systems of large numbers of electrons or atoms. This collaboration, entitled "Ultra-Quantum Matter"...

ICTP Interview with Prof. Sachdev

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 13:36
Interview with Subir Sachdev Watch the March 28, 2019, interview with Prof. Subir Sachdev, co-recipient of the 2018 International Center for Theoretical Physics Dirac Medal for cross-disciplinary approaches to many-body systems: https://www.youtube.com/embed/9EODiPsh0uU.

Congratulations to the Harvard College Physics & Chem/Phys Class of 2019!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - 13:36
Physics and Chem/Phys concentrators - Class of 2019

Physics Concentrators: Elba Alonso Monsalve, Jeffery Andrade, Peter Bermant, Madeline Bernstein, Will Bryk, Peter Chang, Michael Cheng, Jack Conlin, Rodrigo Cordova, Liam Corrigan, Thomas Culp, Carson Denison, Brennan Dizdar, Kevin Fei, Soley Hyman, Jed Johnson, Alex Kelser, Cameron Krulewski, Anisa Kureishi, Brian Lai, Davis Lazowski, Eunice Lee, Aditya Mahadevan, Brian Marinelli, Niamh Mulholland, Anthony Munson, Alli Navarrete-Welton, Tamjid Rahman, Jasmine Schlichting, Spencer Scott, Jasmine Sinanan-Singh, Michele Tienni, Vinh Tran, Jackson Wagner, Naomi Wharton,

Retreat for Women in Physics and Astronomy at Harvard

Sunday, May 12, 2019 - 17:09
photo of the retreat participants Thirty graduate students and postdocs from astronomy, physics, and applied physics spent three days together in Cape Cod, learning skills for daily writing, negotiation, and communication...

Computing Faster with Quasi-Particles

Friday, May 10, 2019 - 14:52
Majorana particles are very peculiar members of the family of elementary particles. First predicted in 1937 by the Italian physicist Ettore Majorana, these particles belong to the group of so-called fermions, a group that also includes electrons, neutrons and protons. Majorana fermions are electrically neutral and also their own anti-particles...

Congratulations to Dr. David Morin!

Friday, May 10, 2019 - 14:06
Dr. David Morin FAS Dean Claudine Gay has approved the promotion of David Morin to Senior Lecturer in Physics...

Unsupervised Learning of Topological Order through Diffusion on Data Sets

Sunday, May 5, 2019 - 11:49
Motivated by the success in many different fields of science and engineering, such as image recognition and analysis of big data in biology, machine learning has recently come to prominence in condensed matter physics – in particular, for the purpose of classification and detection of phase transitions...

Density Wave Probes Cuprate Quantum Phase Transition

Friday, May 3, 2019 - 11:00
Scanning tunneling microscopy of cuprate crystals reveals a change between two distinct types of modulations in the electron density that could shed light on what controls exotic electronic behavior in these high-temperature superconductors...

Physics Concentrators Inducted to Phi Beta Kappa, Win Goldwater Scholarships

Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 13:02
Congratulations to physics concentrators Anna Biggs, Abijith Krishnan, Maya Miklos, Kai Trepka, and Dan Eniceicu...

Science Research Public Lecture: Curtis McMullen

Friday, April 26, 2019 - 18:02
A Skeptical History of Numbers
Wednesday,May 1, 2019 @6:00PM
Science Center Hall D
One Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

Probing Entanglement in a Many-Body–Localized System

Friday, April 26, 2019 - 16:57
artist's representation of a many-body-localized system Imagine two people on opposite sides of a long line of people who want to pass a note to each other. In our classical world, the note has to be handed over from one person to the next until, eventually, it reaches the other end. However, in the quantum world, any object can be at multiple locations at the same time...

Artificial Intelligence Accelerates Efforts to Develop Clean, Virtually Limitless Fusion Energy

Sunday, April 21, 2019 - 11:12
Artificial intelligence, a branch of computer science that is transforming scientific inquiry and industry, could now speed the development of safe, clean and virtually limitless fusion energy for generating electricity. A major step in this direction is under way at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Princeton University, where a team of scientists working with a Harvard graduate student...

2019 Merit and Goldhaber Award Winners

Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 16:38
Winners of the 2019 Maurice and Gertrude Goldhaber and Merit Prizes are Trond Andersen, Hofie Hannesdottir, Stephen Carr, Harry Levine, Georges Obied, and Ann Wang.

Alex Atanasov wins Hertz, NSF, NDSEG Fellowships

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 18:40
Portrait of Alex Atanasov

Congratulations to Alex Atanasov, winner of Hertz, NSF GRFP, and NDSEG fellowships!

Identifying Exotic Properties of Materials

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 13:22
Prof. Ashvin Vishwanath and colleagyes develop way to discover and predict topological materials...

Sachdev Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 11:09
Prof. Subir Sachdev Congratulations to Professor Subir Sachdev on his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Class I, Mathematical and Physical Sciences!

Chalupnik, Vilas win NDSEG Fellowships

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 10:24
Congratulations to Michelle Chalupnik and Nathaniel Vilas on receiving 2019 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships. The NDSEG Fellowships are awarded to individuals who have demonstrated the ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering...

Science Research Public Lecture: Michael D. Johnson

Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 17:10
Photo of Dr. Johnson, images of telescopes Photographing A Supermassive Black Hole With The Event Horizon Telescope
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 @6:00PM
Science Center Hall C
One Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA

Harvard Science Book Talk: Venki Ramakrishnan (May 8 @6:00PM)

Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 12:32
Dr. Ramakrishnan's photo In this talk, Dr. Ramakrishnan, co-recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for uncovering the structure of the ribosome, will discuss his new book, Gene Machine.

Lee Historical Lecture: Anton Zeilinger

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 12:52
Photo of Anton Zeilinger Lee Lecture by Anton Zeilinger (Vienna), "Quantum Information and Quantum Communication, Foundations and Prospects." April 24, 2019 @8:00PM...

Grace Pan and Grace Zhang Named 2019 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows

Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 12:23
The 2019 Class of Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows is made up of 30 outstanding immigrants and children of immigrants from all over the country and world who are pursuing graduate school here in the United States...

Students Win NSF GRFP Awards

Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 12:23
Congratulations to 2019 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Winners: Bernstein, Cesarotti, Contreras, Krulewski, Lee, Putnam, and Wang!

Comprehensive Search for Topological Materials using Symmetry Indicators

Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 12:22
An algorithm based on symmetry indicators is used to search a crystallographic database and finds thousands of candidate topological materials, which could be exploited in next-generation electronic devices...

Engineering & Physical Biology Symposium 2019

Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 12:22
Engineering & Physical Biology Symposium 2019 The PhD Track in Engineering and Physical Biology (EPB) invites you to attend their annual Symposium, being held on Saturday April 6th from 9:30am to 1:00pm in the Northwest Building, 52 Oxford St, Room B101. The event is free and open to the public.

Researchers Solve Magic Angle Mystery

Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 12:22
Exactly a year ago, researchers at MIT reported on observing superconductivity in twisted bilayer graphene – a new experimental platform engineered on two misaligned graphene layers – at “magic angles” near 1.1°

Quantum Machine Appears to Defy Universe’s Push for Disorder

Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 10:47
One of the first quantum simulators has produced a puzzling phenomenon: a row of atoms that repeatedly pops back into place. Physicists have been racing to explain what might be going on...

Diagnosing Phases of Magnetic Insulators via Noise Magnetometry with Spin Qubits

Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 10:46
Two-dimensional magnetic insulators exhibit a plethora of competing ground states, such as ordered (anti)ferromagnets, exotic quantum spin liquid states, and random singlet phases. Spin liquids, in particular, are collective phases of matter which have eluded discovery for several decades...

Harvard Science Book Talk: Felice Frankel (Mar 27 @6:00PM)

Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 11:24
Portrait of Felice Frankel In this talk about her book, Picturing Science and Engineering, Felice Frankel will show her own approaches to creating depictions of research and science phenomena—the successes and the failures.

Xiaowei Zhuang to receive the 2019 NAS Award for Scientific Discovery

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 18:38
photo of Prof. Xiaowei Zhuang Congratulations to Prof. Xiaowei Zhuang, the recipient of 2019 Award for Scientific Discovery of the National Academy of Sciences "for her pioneering contributions to super-resolution imaging and genomic-scale imaging methods!"

How the Universe Remembers Information

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 - 17:53
"memory matrix" artwork It was one of the great missed connections of physics. In 1965 a particle theorist derived a formula for the collision of elementary particles. Twenty years later two gravitation theorists, using completely different techniques, derived a formula for the collision...

Gauge Theory for the Cuprates Near Optimal Doping

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 16:15
Recent experiments have revealed remarkable new features of the optimal doping state of cuprate superconductors, namely, a peak in the specific heat for the hole-doped case and a state with Fermi pockets but only fluctuating antiferromagnetic order for the electron-doped case...

Efficient Topological Materials Discovery using Symmetry Indicators

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 11:41
pie chart of topological materials statistics Researchers have now shown that the computation of symmetry indicators for any crystalline symmetry setting can readily be integrated into standard first-principle calculations...

Loeb Lecture in Physics: Donna Strickland

Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 16:28
Photo of Donna Strickland Three lectures by Donna Strickland (March 4-6, 2019): "From Nonlinear Optics to High-Intensity Laser Physics, " "Investigation of Multi-frequency Raman Generated Spectra, " and "Two-Color CPA Laser Development for Nonlinear Optics."

How Termite Mounds Get Their Shape

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 16:04
Sketch of the model New research is shedding light on the principles of termite mound size and shape with a model coupling insect behavior and environmental remodeling...

Harvard Science Book Talk: David Reich (Feb 27 @6:00PM)

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - 16:01
Photo of Prof. David Reich and cover of the book "Who We Are and How We Got Here" In this lecture, Prof. Reich will discuss his new book, Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past.

How Bees Stay Cool on Hot Summer Days

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - 12:57
To determine how bees organize to cool their nests, researchers measured temperature, air flow into and out of the nest, and the position and density of bees fanning at the nest entrance...

NMR Relaxation in Ising Spin Chains

Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 09:05
The quantum Ising chain in a transverse magnetic field is the paradigm of a quantum phase transition, displaying universal quantum criticality at low temperatures. Insights from this model have informed studies of quantum criticality in numerous modern correlated-electron materials...

Harvard Science Book Talk: Richard Wrangham (Jan 30 @6:00PM)

Monday, January 14, 2019 - 14:09
Photo of Prof. Richard Wrangham and cover of the book "The Goodness Paradox" In this talk, Prof. Richard Wrangham will discuss his new book, The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution

Congratulations to David Morin and Jacob Barandes!

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 14:28
David Morin and Jacob Barandes named Co-Directors of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, respectively...

Congratulations to the Harvard Chapter of the SPS!

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 14:28
group photo of  Vaibhav, Nisarga, Davis, Abijith, and Elba The Harvard University chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has won an Outstanding Chapter Award from the SPS National Office for the academic year 2017-2018. This is the highest level of distinction given to fewer than 10 percent...

Liujun Zou Wins Inaugural Physics World Science-Communication Award

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 14:26
photo of Liujun Zou Physics World is pleased to announce that Liujun Zou from Harvard University in the US has won the magazine’s inaugural science-communication award, which was set up "to celebrate the huge advances that China is making in science, engineering and medicine"...

Nobel Physics Laureate Roy Glauber Dies at 93

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 14:25
Prof. Roy Glauber Roy J. Glauber ’46, the pioneering theoretical physicist who received the Nobel Prize in 2005 and was one of the last living scientists to have been present for the dawn of the atomic age, died on Dec. 26, 2018. He was 93...

Shining a Light on Quantum Bits

Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 09:05
In the world of quantum computing, interaction is everything. For computers to work at all, bits — the ones and zeros that make up digital information — must be able to interact and hand off data for processing. The same goes for the quantum bits, or qubits...

Christopher Stubbs Named Dean of Science

Friday, December 7, 2018 - 11:29
photo of Prof. Christopher Stubbs Physicist shares vision for connecting with faculty, students...

Universal Quantum Phenomenon Found in Strange Metals

Friday, December 7, 2018 - 11:19
Experiments suggest that exotic superconducting materials share a “strange metal” state characterized by a quantum speed limit that somehow acts as a fundamental organizing principle...

Jene Golovchenko, 1946-2018

Friday, November 30, 2018 - 13:53
Portrait of Prof. Jene Golovchenko It is with great sadness that we announce that Jene Golovchenko passed away on November 13, 2018.

Probing One-Dimensional Systems via Noise Magnetometry with Single Spin Qubits

Monday, November 26, 2018 - 22:38
The study of exotic one-dimensional states, particularly those at the edges of topological materials, demand new experimental probes that can access the interplay between charge and spin degrees of freedom. One potential approach is to use a single spin probe...

A Quantum Science Initiative at Harvard

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 10:56
Quantum science—the physics and engineering of the world at sub-microscopic scales—got a boost today as Harvard formally announced an initiative that will combine basic and applied research into the realm of the very small, as well as foster collaborations...

Sending Spin Waves into an Insulating 2D Magnet

Friday, November 9, 2018 - 11:13
Quantum Hall ferromagnets are among the purest magnets in the world — and one of the most difficult to study. These 2D magnets can only be made in temperatures less than a degree above absolute zero...

ACME Collaboration Makes Most Precise Measure Ever of Electron Charge

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 11:18
artist's representation of an electron Working in a basement lab at Harvard, a group of researchers led by John Doyle, the Henry B. Silsbee Professor of Physics, has been part of a team to make the most precise measurement ever of the shape of the field around an electron, and the results suggest that some theories for what lies beyond the standard model of physics need to return to the drawing board...

Harvard Science Book Talk: Adam Becker (Nov. 15 @6:00PM)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 18:48
Portrait of Dr. Adam Becker and book cover In this talk, based on his book What is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics, Dr. Becker will explain the puzzles at the heart of quantum physics, why they matter, and what really went down between Einstein and Bohr 90 years ago...

Mundy, Ni, Randall Receive 2019 APS Prizes

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 11:19
Congratulations to Prof. Julia Mundy for receiving the 2019 George E. Valley, Jr. Prize, Prof. Kang-Kuen Ni for the 2019 I.I. Rabi Prize in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, and Lisa Randall for the 2019 J. J. Sakurai Prize for Theoretical Particle Physics!

The Morris Loeb Lecture in Physics: Jun Ye

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 22:53
Three lectures by Jun Ye: "Quantum matter and atomic clocks (Oct. 22) "; "Frequency Comb Spectroscopy – from mid-IR to XUV" (Oct. 23); "Cold molecules – a new playground for quantum and chemical physics" (Oct. 24).

Zhuang, Jafferis Win 2019 Breakthrough and New Horizons prizes

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 22:14
Congratulations to Xiaowei Zhuang for winning a 2019 Breakthrough Prize In Life Sciences and Daniel Jafferis for a 2019 New Horizons In Physics Prize!

Improved Limit on the Electric Dipole Moment of the Electron

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 22:13
In a new study, researchers at Northwestern, Harvard and Yale universities examined the shape of an electron's charge with unprecedented precision to confirm that it is perfectly spherical. A slightly squashed charge could have indicated unknown, hard-to-detect heavy particles in the electron's presence...

New tool aids in sensing magnetic fields

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 - 22:13
New tool developed in the Walsworth Lab uses NV centers to detect magnetic fields in various directions...

Harvard Science Book Talk: Marcia Bartusiak (Oct. 17 @6:00pm)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 14:55
Book cover and portrait of Marcia Bartusiak Multiple award‑winning science writer Marcia Bartusiak will talk about her new books, "Dispatches from Planet 3: Thirty-Two (Brief) Tales on the Solar System, the Milky Way, and Beyond"...

New Book by David Morin

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 13:05
book cover This book is a collection of 57 very challenging math problems with detailed solutions. It is written for anyone who enjoys pondering difficult problems for great lengths of time. The problems are mostly classics...

Origin of Mott Insulating Behavior and Superconductivity in Twisted Bilayer Graphene

Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 12:57
A new theory describes how both insulating and superconducting behavior arises from sheets of graphene stacked and twisted at a particular "magic" angle.

Physical Interpretation of the Partition Function for Colloidal Clusters

Monday, October 1, 2018 - 17:54
Colloidal clusters consist of small numbers of colloidal particles bound by weak short-range attractions. The equilibrium probability of observing a cluster in a particular geometry is well described by a statistical mechanical model originally developed for molecules...

A Faster Diamond Magnetometer

Monday, October 1, 2018 - 14:22
Diamond-defect magnetometers can now simultaneously determine all spatial components of a magnetic field, leading to a factor of 4 decrease in measurement times.

Collective mechanical adaptation of honeybee swarms

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 22:06
Shaking the swarm: Researchers explore how bees collaborate to stabilize swarm clusters...

Photon-Mediated Interactions Between Quantum Emitters in a Diamond Nanocavity

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 17:08
Photon-mediated interactions between quantum systems are essential for realizing quantum networks and scalable quantum information processing. Prof. Mikhail Lukin and colleagues report on such interactions between pairs of silicon-vacancy (SiV) color centers...

Fragile Topology and Wannier Obstructions

Friday, September 21, 2018 - 13:38
Distinguishing between fragile and stable scenarios is central to a proper diagnosis of topological band insulators...

Fish-Eye Lens May Entangle Pairs of Atoms

Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 12:38
An optical design called Maxwell’s fish eye lens could produce quantum entanglement between atoms separated by an arbitrary distance, new calculations show.

Thousands of Exotic ‘Topological’ Materials Discovered through Sweeping Search

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 09:56
The already buzzing field of topological physics could be about to explode. For the first time, researchers have systematically scoured through entire databases of materials in search of ones that harbour topological states...

Kim Wins Tomassoni-Chisesi Prize

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - 13:49
Photo of Prof. Philip Kim Congratulations to Prof. Philip Kim for winning the 2018 Caterina Tomassoni and Felice Pietro Chisesi Prize...

Structure and Topology of Band Structures in the 1651 Magnetic Space Groups

Monday, August 27, 2018 - 15:35
Breaking down band structures — system could help researchers design new materials with specific properties...

Striking Isotope Effect on the Metallization Phase Lines of Liquid Hydrogen and Deuterium

Friday, August 24, 2018 - 15:08
Metallizaton of hydrogen and its isotopes has been one of the great challenging problems in condensed matter physics. There are two pathways to metallic hydrogen: very high pressure and low temperatures to make solid metallic hydrogen, or intermediate pressures...

Cosmological Implications of the String Swampland

Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 15:04
artist's rendition of a swampland  The problem with string theory, according to some physicists, is that it makes too many universes. It predicts not one but some 10500 versions of spacetime, each with their own laws of physics. But with so many universes on the table, how can the theory explain why ours has the features it does?..

Sachdev Awarded 2018 Dirac Medal

Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 10:48
photos of three winners Subir Sachdev is a co-recepient of the 2018 Dirac Medal by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics for "contributions toward understanding novel phases in strongly interacting many-body systems, introducing original cross-disciplinary techniques."

Halperin Awarded 2019 APS Medal

Friday, August 3, 2018 - 10:34
Portrait of Prof. Halperin Prof. Bertrand Halperin has been awarded the 2019 Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research by the American Physical Society...

Reprogrammable Braille

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 11:36
When Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was translated into Braille, it spanned 1,000 pages over 14 volumes of thick Braille paper...

Magnetostatic Twists in Room-Temperature Skyrmions

Monday, July 23, 2018 - 15:28
Magnetic skyrmions are two-dimensional non-collinear spin textures characterized by an integer topological number. Room-temperature skyrmions...

Heat Transport Studies Provide Evidence for a New Phase of Matter

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 13:20
Around 40 years ago, physicists stumbled on an elegant recipe for creating exotic phases of matter: Pour electrons into a clean two-dimensional environment, add a magnetic field, and allow to cool...

Saklayen Named one of "35 Innovators Under 35" by MIT Technology Review

Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 14:00
Photo of Nabiha Saklayen Sabiha Saklayen, Harvard Physics PhD 2017, was named one of "35 Innovators Under 35" by MIT Technology Review for developing a way to edit genes with cheap lasers...

Stubbs Appointed Interim Dean of Science in FAS

Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 13:48
Photograph of Prof. Christopher Stubbs Stubbs will be the second ever administrator in the role. His predecessor, Geophysics professor Jeremy Bloxham, became the inaugural holder of the position in 2007.

Laser Cooling of Optically Trapped Molecules

Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 11:21
Ultracold molecules are ideal platforms for many important applications, ranging from quantum simulation and quantum information processing to precision tests of fundamental physics. Producing trapped, dense samples of ultracold molecules is a challenging task...

The Physics of Better Batteries

Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 10:50
image of lithium batteries Harvard University researchers are using physics to solve one of the biggest challenges in designing light-weight, long-lasting batteries: how to squeeze more energy into less space...

Friction Has Memory, Say Physicists

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 10:36
Experiments show that the friction between two surfaces depends on their history of contact and that this "memory" is reminiscent of the behavior of glasses...

Squeezing Light at the Nanoscale

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 13:52
Scientists have developed a new technique to squeeze infrared light into ultra-confined spaces, generating an intense, nanoscale antenna...

Dark Matter May Have an Electric Charge

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 13:44
Physicists from Harvard University explore the possibility that dark matter, or a small amount of it, may have an electric charge...

Congratulations to the 2017-18 Physics Graduates!

Monday, May 21, 2018 - 16:40
group photo of graduating PhDs

PhDs: Anders Andreassen, Erik Bauch, David Bracher, Stephen Kam Wah Chan, Shubhayu Chatterjee, Soonwon Choi...

Professor Richard Wilson (1926 – 2018)

Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 20:50
Prof. Richard Wilson's photo

With deep sadness we announce the passing of Richard Wilson, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, Emeritus.

Cora Dvorkin Elected as Radcliffe Fellow

Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 20:49
Prof. Cora Dvorkin photo Cora Dvorkin, Shutzer Assistant Professor of Physics, has been elected as 2018-2019 Fellow at the Radcliffe Institue of Advanced Study...

Lukin Inducted into the NAS

Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 18:07
Prof. Mikhail Lukin photo Prof. Mikhail Lukin has been inducted into the National Academy of Sciences "in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Graduate Students Win Harvard, National Fellowships

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 15:50
Congratulations to Jennifer Roloff, Sean Burchesky, Will Conway, and Nicholas Deporzio!

Developing Micron-Sized Magnetic Resonance

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 15:14
It’s not often that you see 50-year-old equipment in a modern physics laboratory, let alone find it at the center...

Biology Without Borders

Friday, April 20, 2018 - 13:56
photos of Profs. Sharad Ramanathan and Vinothan Manoharan For centuries, people have looked at living things and wondered how they work, why they look the way they do, and how they adapt to changing environments. Yet despite the enormous strides made in understanding such developments with the advent of such aids as single-cell sequencing...

2018 Merit and Goldhaber Award Winners

Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 19:58
Winners of the 2018 Maurice and Gertrude Goldhaber and Merit Prizes are Ana-Maria Raclariu, Victor Buza, Alexandra Thomson, and Alexander Keesling...

Iris Cong Wins Soros and Hertz Fellowships

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 15:20
image of Iris Cong Congratulations to G1 Iris Cong for winning two major fellowships: The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation's Graduate Fellowship Award and The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans!

Building One Molecule from a Reservoir of Two Atoms

Friday, April 13, 2018 - 12:47
Graduate student Lee Liu and members of Prof. Kang-Kuen Ni's group have combined two atoms for the first time into what researchers call a dipolar molecule...

Lee Historical Lecture: Rainer Weiss

Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 13:47
Prof. Weiss portrait On Monday, April 23, @8:00pm, Prof. Rainer Weiss will give a talk on the history of LIGO and the man who organized and guided the process to make LIGO a reality...

Topological Order in the Pseudogap Metal

Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 15:25
The copper oxide-based high-temperature superconductors display a mysterious "pseudogap" metal phase at temperatures just above...

The Morris Loeb Lecture in Physics: Margaret Murnane

Monday, April 2, 2018 - 15:39
Prof. Murnane photo Three lectures by Margaret Murnane (JILA ): April 10, 11, and 12, 2018. (Note unusual start day and time.)

Unconventional Superconductivity in Graphene Bilayers

Monday, March 26, 2018 - 13:09
 image of one layer and a two-layer stack of graphene Physicists have shown that when two sheets of graphene are misaligned at a so-called magic angle of approximately 1.1°, the two-layer stack becomes a...

The Complete Lifetime of the Standard Model

Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 13:24
In a classically scale-invariant quantum field theory, tunneling rates are infrared divergent due to the existence of instantons of any size. While one expects...

Two New Books by Harvard Physics Faculty

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 12:57
covers of the two books Holographic Quantum Matter by Sean A. Hartnoll, Andrew Lucas and Subir Sachdev (MIT, 2018), and Lectures on the Infrared Structure of Gravity and Gauge Theory by Andrew Strominger (Princeton, 2018)

Memories of a Truth-Seeker: Stephen Hawking 1942-2018

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 14:24
I had the good fortune to meet Stephen Hawking in 1982. This was to be the beginning of a long and vibrant scientific interaction and friendship. I was fresh out of graduate school and Stephen could still speak in a growly voice. It took me a few days to understand what he was saying but I managed to do it. And there was a lot to say!...

Science Research Public Lecture: Stephanie E. Mohr (Apr. 18 @5:30PM)

Sunday, March 11, 2018 - 15:48
lecture poster The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been used in biological research studies for more than 100 years. We have a deep understanding of how fruit fly genes function to control growth, behavior, and many other processes...

Prof. Dvorkin Named Scientist of the Year 2018 by the Harvard Foundation

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 14:26
Prof. Cora Dvorkin The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations has named Prof. Cora Dvorkin the 2018 Harvard Scientist of the Year. The students of the Harvard Foundation nominate a scientist to recognize that individual’s outstanding work in science, engineering, and mathematics yearly...

The Morris Loeb Lecture in Physics: Michael Berry

Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 16:39
Lecture poster Michael Berry, Melville Wills Professor of Physics (Emeritus) at the University of Bristol, UK, will talk about the Aharonov-Bohm effect which concerns the role in quantum physics of the vector potential of an impenetrable line of magnetic flux...

Creation of Rydberg Polarons in a Bose Gas

Monday, February 26, 2018 - 13:40
What is inside an atom between the nucleus and the electron? Usually there is nothing, but why could there not be other particles too? If the electron orbits the nucleus at a great distance, there is plenty of space in between for other atoms. A "giant atom" could be created, filled with ordinary atoms...

Physicists Create New Form of Light

Friday, February 16, 2018 - 11:40
Try a quick experiment: Take two flashlights into a dark room and shine them so that their light beams cross. Notice anything peculiar? The rather anticlimactic answer is, probably not. That's because the individual photons that make up light do not interact...

Coherent Bichromatic Force Deflection of Molecules

Monday, February 12, 2018 - 18:51
Figure one from the article Optical pulses from bichromatic lasers are used to control the temperature and motion of strontium monohydroxide molecules, a step towards trapping molecules...

Science Research Public Lecture: Marcus du Sautoy

Saturday, February 3, 2018 - 11:31
lecture poster Ever since the dawn of civilization we have been driven by a desire to know - to understand the physical world and probe the laws of nature. But are there limits to human knowledge? Are some things beyond the predictive powers of science...

Fermionic Spinon Theory of Square Lattice Spin Liquids near the Néel State

Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 14:31
Figure 2 from the article

A new unified theory of spin liquids offers insight into the relationship between magnetism and high-temperature superconductivity in cuprates...

Picture-Perfect Approach to Science

Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 18:50
Zhengwei Liu and Prof. Arthur Jaffe are leading a new project to expand quon, their pictorial math language developed to help understand quantum information theory, into new fields from algebra to M-theory.

Electrical Control of Charged Carriers and Excitons in Atomically Thin Materials

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 14:42
Electrical confinement and manipulation of charge carriers in semiconducting nanostructures are essential for realizing functional quantum electronic devices. The unique band structure of atomically thin transition metal...

Step Aside CERN: There’s a Cheaper Way to Break Open Physics

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 13:55
Prof. Gerald Gabrielse It’s possible that no one knows the electron as well as physicist Gerald Gabrielse. He once held one in a trap for ten months to measure the size of its internal magnet. When it disappeared, he searched for two days before accepting that it was gone. “You get kind of fond of your particles after a while,” he says...

Innovative Microscope Poised to Propel Optogenetics Studies

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 11:49
A newly developed microscope is providing scientists with a greatly enhanced tool to study how neurological disorders such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease affect neuron communication...

51-Qubit Quantum Simulator

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 10:34
Programming a computer is generally a fairly arduous process, involving hours of coding, not to mention the laborious work of debugging, testing, and documenting to make sure it works properly...

Galison wins Abraham Pais Prize

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 19:05
Photo of Prof. Peter Galison Prof. Peter Galison wins Abraham Pais Prize for History of Physics (APS) for his "outstanding contributions to the history of physics, especially for elucidating the complicated roles of experiment, instrumentation, and theory in the production of scientific knowledge, and for sharing his insights via award-winning scholarship, generous mentoring, and innovative filmmaking."

Thermal Diffusivity and Chaos in Metals Without Quasiparticles

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 12:52
In the latest issue of Physical Review D, Mike Blake from MIT, Harvard physics postdoc Richard Davison, and Prof. Subir Sachdev describe their study of the thermal diffusivity DT in models of metals without quasiparticle excitations...

A New Kind of Quantum Computer

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 14:25
Quantum mechanics incorporates some very non-intuitive properties of matter. Quantum superposition, for example, allows an atom to be simultaneously in two different states with its spin axis pointed both up and down, or combinations in between...

Sachdev Receives 2018 Lars Onsager Prize

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 12:43
Photo of Prof. Subir Sachdev Prof. Subir Sachdev is a recipient of the 2018 Lars Onsager Prize "for his seminal contributions to the theory of quantum phase transitions, quantum magnetism, and fractionalized spin liquids, and for his leadership in the physics community."

Newfound Wormhole Allows Information to Escape Black Holes

Friday, October 27, 2017 - 12:38
artist's rendition of a wormhole Physicists theorize that a new “traversable” kind of wormhole could resolve a baffling paradox and rescue information that falls into black holes...

Creating Electron Lattices with Sound Waves

Friday, October 27, 2017 - 12:37
Electrons and quasiparticles in solids could be trapped and moved using surface acoustic waves: see Katherine Wright, "Creating Electron Lattices with Sound Waves," Physics Oct 24, 2017.

Pictorial Languages of Mathematics

Friday, October 20, 2017 - 11:30
example of Quon language An article in the Nov-Dec 2017 issue of American Scientist on pictorial mathematical languages features the Quon Language created by Harvard mathematicians Zhengwei Liu, Alex Wozniakowski, and Arthur Jaffe: Read D. Silver, "The New Language of Mathematics".

Growth Patterns for Shape-Shifting Elastic Bilayers

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 16:03
Nature has a way of making complex shapes from a set of simple growth rules. The curve of a petal, the swoop of a branch, even the contours of our face are shaped by these processes. What if we could unlock those rules...

Greiner, Yelin are 2017 APS Fellows

Friday, October 13, 2017 - 13:01
photos of Prof. Markus Greiner and Dr. Susanne Yelin Congratulations to Prof. Markus Greiner and Dr. Susanne Yelin for becoming 2017 Fellows of the American Physical Society!

Science Research Public Lecture: Jelani Nelson

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 18:54
Sketching Big Data
Wed, Oct 25 2017 @7:00pm
Science Center Hall C
One Oxford St., Cambridge, MA

A Zero-Index Waveguide

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 10:57
When a wavelength of light moves through a material, its crests and troughs get condensed or stretched, depending on the properties of the material. How much the crests of a light wave are condensed is expressed as a ratio called the refractive index...

Amount of Water in Stem Cells Can Determine Its Fate as Fat or Bone

Friday, September 29, 2017 - 11:27
Research found that altering the volume of a cell changed its internal dynamics, including the rigidness of the matrix lining the outer surface. In stem cells, removing water condenses the cell, influencing the stem cells to become stiff pre-bone cells...

How to Grow a Spine

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 13:43
Like a string of pearls, the spine is made of a series of similar vertebrae. A so-called segmentation clock creates this repetitive arrangement in developing embryos: Each time the clock ticks, a vertebra starts to form...

Quantum Spin Lenses in Atomic Arrays

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 11:17
A future quantum computer might use photonic qubits to move information around, but the qubits need to be transferred to a stationary medium such as atoms to perform computations. Given the weakness of the light-matter interaction, the transfer often requires a large ensemble of atoms, which can collectively take on a single photonic qubit...

Toward Living Matter with Colloidal Particles

Friday, September 22, 2017 - 12:42
Understanding the differences between inanimate matter and living matter is one of the fundamental unsolved problems of science. Although this question might be framed as philosophical...

Torrisi Awarded Department of Energy Fellowship

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 13:41
Portrait of Steven Torrisi Steven Torrisi, a doctoral candidate in Kaxiras group, has been awarded a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship to support his Materials Physics research. DOE CSGF was established in 1991 to train...

Radio Frequency Magneto-Optical Trapping of CaF with High Density

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 14:55
Significant improvements in molecular trapping techniques increase the trappable molecular density by an order of magnitude, furthering the quest for directly loading optical tweezers and lattices...

Graphene Helps Catch Light Quanta

Monday, September 11, 2017 - 10:52
Considerable interest in new single-photon detector technologies has been scaling in this past decade. Nowadays, quantum optics and quantum information applications are, among others, one of the main precursors for the accelerated...

R.I.P. Professor Nicolaas Bloembergen

Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 10:54
Nicolaas (Nico) Bloembergen, Gerhard Gade University Professor, Emeritus, and 1981 Nobel Laureate, passed away at his home in Tucson, Arizona, on September 5, 2017.

Mimicking Birdsongs

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 12:42
image of a bird singing Mahadevan Lab has developed a simple device to recreate complex birdsongs with the help of soft materials and mathematical modeling. The study finds that the inherent complexity in birdsongs might actually be the result of a simple controllable instability in the structure of the specialized organ used to create song, known as a syrinx...

Fall 2017 Digital Fabrication Course

Monday, August 28, 2017 - 21:19
The physics department is hosting a section of the MIT course, "How to Make (Almost) Anything," for the 4th time! This course covers a wide range of fabrication techniques, including laser cutting, 3D printing, PCB fabrication and design, embedded processing, molding and casting, and composites...

Mach-Zehnder Interferometry Using Spin- and Valley-Polarized Quantum Hall Edge States in Graphene

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 15:50
Confined to a two-dimensional plane, electrons in a strong magnetic field travel along the edge in one-dimensional quantum Hall channels that are protected against backscattering. These channels can be used as solid-state analogs of monochromatic beams of light...

Particle-Hole Symmetry in Descriptions of a Half-Filled Landau Level

Monday, August 21, 2017 - 13:24
Multiple descriptions of the half-filled Landau level, an exotic phase of matter seen in two-dimensional electron gases, have led to incompatible pictures that are widely believed to represent two distinct phases of matter. A new analysis suggests...

Harvard Researchers Develop Tough, Self-Healing Rubber

Monday, August 14, 2017 - 10:19
Self-healing materials aren’t new — researchers at SEAS have developed self-healing hydrogels, which rely on water to incorporate reversible bonds that can promote healing. However, engineering self-healing properties in dry materials — such as rubber — has proven more challenging...

Spin-Charge Separation in Atomic Chains

Friday, August 11, 2017 - 12:02
Strongly interacting electrons lined up along a string can experience the so-called spin-charge separation, where the electrons "split" into effective carriers of spin and charge, which then move independently. This phenomenon has been observed, somewhat indirectly, in solids...

Safely Releasing Genetically Modified Genes into the Wild

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 12:40
So, you’ve genetically engineered a malaria-resistant mosquito, now what? How many mosquitos would you need to replace the disease-carrying wild type? How many mosquitos would you need to replace the disease-carrying wild type? What is the most effective distribution pattern?...

5th Annual Harvard Physics Postdoc / Research Scholar Retreat

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 11:52
Photos of Nantasket Beach Resort and of speakers Wednesday,
September 13, 2017
Nantasket Beach Resort, Hull, MA
(Transportation provided)

Spectrum of the Wilson-Fisher Conformal Field Theory on the Torus

Monday, July 31, 2017 - 14:15
Harvard Physics grad student Seth Whitsitt, Prof. Subir Sachdev, and colleagues from Universität Innsbruck, recently published their study of the finite-size energy spectrum of the O(N) symmetric Wilson-Fisher conformal field theory (CFT) on the spatial torus...

Topological Quantum Optics in Two-Dimensional Atomic Arrays

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 13:24
In a new paper in Physical Review Letters, physicists in Prof. Mikhail Lukin's group, together with colleagues from Spain and Austria, propose a platform for studying topological effects in quantum optical systems which involves 2D atomic emitter arrays in optical lattices...

Control and Measure of Electron Spin Voltage

Sunday, July 16, 2017 - 12:46
Information technologies of the future will likely use electron spin — rather than electron charge — to carry information. But first, scientists need to better understand how to control spin and learn to build the spin equivalent of electronic components, from spin transistors, to spin gates and circuits...

Jafferis Promoted to Associate Professor

Monday, July 10, 2017 - 13:44
Photo of Prof. Jafferis Congratulations to Prof. Daniel Jafferis for his promotion to Associate Professor of Physics!

How Eggs Got Their Shapes

Friday, June 23, 2017 - 13:44
bird eggs of various shapes The evolution of the amniotic egg — complete with membrane and shell — was key to vertebrates leaving the oceans and colonizing the land and air...

Quantum Physics: Interactions Propel a Magnetic Dance

Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 15:16
Particle interactions have a defining role in many properties of materials, but are often difficult to incorporate into a theoretical framework. Although theories that omit these interactions can describe...

Bloch Oscillations in the Absence of a Lattice

Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 12:07
In the quantum world our intuition for the motion of objects is strongly challenged and may sometimes even completely fail...

Toward Mass-Producible Quantum Computers

Friday, May 26, 2017 - 14:16
artist's representation of a diamond-based quantum computer Quantum computers are experimental devices that offer large speedups on some computational problems. One promising approach to building them involves...

Harvard Team Creates a Cold-Atom Fermi–Hubbard Antiferromagnet

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 12:39
Although high-temperature superconductivity seems like a complicated phenomenon, its basic features are captured by the very simple...

Congratulations to the 2016-17 Physics Graduates!

Monday, May 22, 2017 - 14:31
group photo of graduating physics PhD students This year's graduating seniors and PhDs are...

Vafa Receives 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Monday, May 15, 2017 - 13:06
Photo of Prof. Vafa The Ellis Island Medals of Honor embody the spirit of America in their celebration of patriotism, tolerance, brotherhood and diversity...

"I Am A Scientist" Campaign

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 13:17
portraits of diverse scientists Nabiha Saklayen, who is a 2017 graduating PhD in Physics, is a Program Director for the new campaign "I Am A Scientist." The campaign is a collaboration between artists, educators, and researchers in the Boston area...

Parametric Instability Rates in Periodically Driven Band Systems

Monday, May 8, 2017 - 12:51
Driving a quantum liquid - by subjecting it to some external force - can generate exotic phases of matter, but such phases are unstable. A suite of mathematical methods reveals the origins of these instabilities and identifies physical manifestations that can be observed in current experiments.

Sisyphus Laser Cooling of a Polyatomic Molecule

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 13:03
Image of Sisyphus Physicists considering a foray into the study of molecules are often warned that "a diatomic molecule is one atom too many!". Now John Doyle and colleagues at Harvard University have thrown this caution to the wind and tackled laser cooling of a triatomic molecule with success

Congratulations to Our 2017 Goldhaber Prize Winners!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 17:45
Graduate students Shannon Harvey and Shiang Fang won the 2017 Maurice and Gertrude Goldhaber Prize (for experimental and theoretical physics, respectively)...

Physicists Create Time Crystals

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 16:37
Traditionally speaking, crystals - like salt, sugar or even diamonds - are simply periodic arrangements of atoms in a three-dimensional lattice. Time crystals, on the other hand, take that notion of periodically-arranged atoms and add a fourth dimension...

David M. Lee Historical Lecture in Physics

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 12:13
Ken Wilson’s invention of the Renormalization Group for systems exhibiting criticality – especially as it led to the quantitatively effective "epsilon expansion" – will be explored...

Inducing Superconducting Correlation in Quantum Hall Edge States

Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 12:42
The quantum Hall effect supports a set of chiral edge states at the boundary of a two-dimensional system. A superconductor contacting these states can provide correlations of the quasiparticles in the dissipationless edge states...

Controlled Growth and Form of Precipitating Microsculptures

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 10:26
Manufacturing complex bio-inspired shapes in the lab is often time consuming and costly. developed a new geometrical framework to explain how previous precipitation patterns grew and even predicted new structures...

Fall 2016 Derek Bok Center Teaching Awards

Monday, April 3, 2017 - 12:36
Bok Center awards Fall 2016 Congratulations to all physics teaching fellows, teaching assistants, course assistants, lecturers, and preceptors who won the Derek Bok Center Certificates of Excellence and Distinction in Teaching!

Randall Receives Two Awards

Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 11:41
image of Prof. Lisa Randall Two awards celebrate Professor Lisa Randall as a humanist and distinguished scicentist: the Harvard Humanist Award and Simons Fellowship in Theoretical Physics...

Mathematical Framework Explains Diverse Plant Stem Forms

Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 13:36
image of stems and shoots It is well known that as plants grow, their stems and shoots respond to outside signals like light and gravity. But if plants all have similar stimuli, why are there so many different stem shapes? Why does a weeping willow grow downwards while nearby poison ivy shoots upwards?...

New Book by David Morin!

Monday, March 13, 2017 - 13:05
Book cover image Dr. David Morin's new book, Special Relativity: For the Enthusiastic Beginner, is written for high school and college students learning about special relativity for the first time. It will appeal to the reader who has a healthy level of enthusiasm for understanding how and why the various results of special relativity come about...

The Quest to Crystallize Time

Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 13:57
Time crystals are hypothetical structures that pulse without requiring any energy — like a ticking clock that never needs winding. The pattern repeats in time in much the same way that the atoms of a crystal repeat in space...

Push Button, Cure Cancer

Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 13:53
Two Harvard graduate students want to make curing blood cancer or HIV as easy as pressing a button. Ph.D. candidates Nabiha Saklayen and Marinna Madrid have launched a startup to develop a simple, push-button device...

Science Research Public Lecture: Naomi Oreskes

Friday, March 3, 2017 - 13:46
Photo of Naomi Oreskes The Scientist as Sentinel
Wed, March 29, 2017 @7:00pm
Science Center Hall B
One Oxford St., Cambridge, MA

Quon 3D Language for Quantum Information

Friday, March 3, 2017 - 12:48
Galileo called mathematics the “language with which God wrote the universe.” He described a picture-language, and now that language has a new dimension. Prof. Arthur Jaffe, postdoc Zhengwei Liu, and researcher Alex Wozniakowski have developed...

The Tragic Tale of the Mathematician Ramanujan

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 10:29
Harvard Physics Monday Colloquium
February 27, 2017 @ 4:15PM
Lecture by Ramamurti Shankar,
John Randolph Huffman Professor of Physics, Yale University

CMOS Nanoelectrode Array for All-Electrical Intracellular Electrophysiological Imaging

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 - 12:31
In a new Nature Nanotechnology article, Hongkun Park and Donhee Ham (SEAS) groups describe a new tool they developed which is capable of high-precision electrophysiological recording of a large network of electrogenic cells...

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of an Atomically Thin Material Using a Single-Spin Qubit

Monday, February 13, 2017 - 17:22
Two-dimensional materials offer a promising platform for exploring condensed matter phenomena and developing technological applications. However, the reduction of material dimensions to the atomic scale poses a challenge...

Bert Haperin's 75th Birthday Celebration!

Monday, February 6, 2017 - 12:15
Prof. Bertrand Halperin

On January 31, 2017, Harvard Physics celebrated Prof. Bertrand Halperin's 75th birthday. Watch the talks by Jim Eisenstein, Nigel Cooper, Catherine Kallin, Chandra Varma, Yuval Oreg, Pierre Hohenberg, and Partha Mitra

Silvera, Dias Announce Creation of Metallic Hydrogen

Friday, January 27, 2017 - 12:19
Nearly a century after it was theorized, Harvard scientists report they have succeeded in creating the rarest material on the planet, which could eventually develop into one of its most valuable...

High-Fidelity Entangling Gate for Double-Quantum-Dot Spin Qubits

Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 13:39
Electron spins in semiconductors are promising qubits because their long coherence times enable nearly 109 coherent quantum gate operations. However, developing a scalable high-fidelity two-qubit gate remains challenging...

John Kovac Receives Presidential Early Career Award

Monday, January 23, 2017 - 11:09
Prof. John Kovac Prof. John Kovac has been named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). He was recognized for his work in advancing the most sensitive measurements of polarization of the cosmic microwave background...

Holography of the Dirac Fluid in Graphene with Two Currents

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 13:48
Recent experiments have uncovered evidence of the strongly coupled nature of graphene: the Wiedemann- Franz law is violated by up to a factor of 20 near the charge neutral point...

How to Create a Time Crystal

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 12:44
The story of time crystals - whose lowest-energy configurations are periodic in time rather than space - epitomizes the creative ideas, controversy, and vigorous discussion that lie at the core of the scientific process. Originally theorized by Frank Wilczek in 2012, time crystals were met with widespread attention...

Chiral Floquet Phases of Many-Body Localized Bosons

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 10:53
Quantum information can be pumped around the edges of a two-dimensional system of bosons, pointing to a possible way to distribute entanglement in quantum communication...

Quasi-Many-Body Localization in Translation-Invariant Systems

Monday, December 12, 2016 - 14:00
In spin ladder systems, a single characteristic length scale controls the behavior of the spin polarization. In in a recent article in Physical Review Letters, Harvard Physics graduate and currently an Associate in Lukin's group, Norman Yao...

Using Quantum Defects in Diamond to Sense the Magnetic Fields of Firing Neurons

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 16:58
Magnetic fields from neuronal action potentials (APs) pass largely unperturbed through biological tissue, allowing magnetic measurements of AP dynamics to be performed extracellularly or even outside intact organisms. To date, however, magnetic techniques...

The Future of Primordial Features with Large-Scale Structure Surveys

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 17:31
Primordial features are one of the most important extensions of the Standard Model of cosmology, providing a wealth of information on the primordial Universe, ranging from discrimination between inflation and alternative scenarios...

Establishing the Limits of Efficiency of Perovskite Solar Cells

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 16:30
Fig. 1(a): Composition of perovskites under consideration The recent surge in research on metal-halide-perovskite solar cells has led to a seven-fold increase of efficiency, from ~3% in early devices to over 22% in research prototypes. Oft-cited reasons for this increase are...

Atom-by-Atom Assembly of Defect-Free One-Dimensional Cold Atom Arrays

Monday, November 7, 2016 - 12:38
Atoms, photons, and other quantum particles are often capricious and finicky by nature; very rarely at a standstill, they often collide with others of their kind. But if such particles can be individually corralled and controlled in large numbers, they may be harnessed as quantum bits, or qubits...

Hot on the Heels of Quasiparticles

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - 16:04
Electrons in a solid can team up to form so-called quasiparticles, which lead to new phenomena. Physicists have now studied previously unidentified quasiparticles in a new class of atomically thin semiconductors...

Making Every Cell Matter

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 14:42
Scientists propose a new method for encapsulating single cells within tunable microgels which could boost efficacy of cell-based therapies and tissue engineering...

HandKAchip - Hands-Free Killing Assay on a Chip

Friday, October 28, 2016 - 13:04
Small animals such as the roundworm C. elegans are excellent models for studying bacterial infection and host response, as well as for genetic and chemical screens. A key methodology is...

An Integrated Diamond Nanophotonics Platform for Quantum Optical Networks

Monday, October 17, 2016 - 16:17
Researchers at Harvard University have succeeded in precisely controlling the interactions between photons and silicon-vacancy colour centres in a nanophotonic device for the first time....

A New Spin on Superconductivity

Friday, October 14, 2016 - 16:16
By using superconducting materials through which electrons can move without any loss of energy, physicists hope to build quantum devices that would require significantly less power. But there's a problem...

Harvard Students Join Faculty at CERN to Tackle Physics’ Mysteries

Friday, October 14, 2016 - 16:15
Read about Harvard physicists at CERN: Alvin Powell, "They Ponder the Universe" Harvard Gazette, October 12, 2016:

Ali Yazdani Loeb Lectures: Spotting the Elusive Majorana under the Microscope

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 15:55
Morris Loeb Lectures in Physics by Ali Yazdani (Princeton), presented Oct 31 - Nov 3, 2016, are now available online!

Observing the Birth of Quasiparticles in Real Time

Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 14:54
The nonequilibrium dynamics of many-body quantum systems are tricky to study experimentally or theoretically. As an experimental setting, dilute atomic gases offer an advantage over electrons in metals. In this environment, the heavier atoms...

2017 APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics

Monday, September 26, 2016 - 14:08
CUWIP 2017 will be held at Harvard. Applications are now open and will be due on October 14, 2016!

Physics Newsletter Fall 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016 - 13:51
Third Issue of the Harvard Physics Newsletter is out!

Site-Resolved Measurement of the Spin-Correlation Function in the Fermi-Hubbard Model

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 14:02
Exotic phases of matter can emerge from strong correlations in quantum many-body systems. Quantum gas microscopy affords the opportunity to study these correlations with unprecedented detail...

Hoffman Wins in USA Track & Field National Championship 24 Hour Run!

Monday, September 19, 2016 - 19:19
Congratulations to Prof. Jenny Hoffman who, for a third time in a row, won the national title in "North Coast 24," the USA Track & Field National Championship 24 Hour Run, held annually in Cleveland, Ohio!

Why Does Deep and Cheap Learning Work So Well?

Monday, September 12, 2016 - 13:40
In the last couple of years, deep learning techniques have transformed the world of artificial intelligence. One by one, the abilities and techniques that humans once imagined were uniquely our own have begun to fall to the onslaught...

Roxanne Guenette

Friday, August 19, 2016 - 18:54
Dr. Roxanne Guenette The Physics Department is pleased to announce that Dr. Roxanne Guenette, currently the Ernest Rutherford Fellow in the Physics Department at the University of Oxford, will be joining the faculty as Assistant Professor on July 1, 2017.

Method to Entangle Thousands of Atoms Could Lead to Record Clock Stability

Friday, August 19, 2016 - 18:31
Physicists have proposed a method for entangling hundreds of atoms, and then entangling a dozen or so groups of these hundreds of atoms, resulting in a quantum network of thousands of entangled atoms...

How to Make (Almost) Anything - Open House!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - 10:16
How to Make Anything Poster January 31, 2017
4:30pm – 7:00pm
Science Center Room 102

Holographic Maps of Quasiparticle Interference

Monday, August 8, 2016 - 19:25
The analysis of Fourier-transformed scanning tunnelling microscopy images with subatomic resolution is a common tool for studying the properties of quasiparticle excitations in strongly correlated materials...

Interferometric Measurements of Many-Body Topological Invariants Using Mobile Impurities

Monday, August 8, 2016 - 19:06
Topological quantum phases cannot be characterized by Ginzburg–Landau type order parameters, and are instead described by non-local topological invariants. Experimental platforms capable of realizing such exotic states now include...

NSTC Report on Quantum Information Science

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 - 15:41
The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) has issued a new Report, Advancing Quantum Information Science: National Challenges and Opportunities, which prominently features results from several Harvard Physics research groups.

Pikovski Receives Branco Weiss Fellowship

Friday, July 22, 2016 - 12:50
Dr. Igor Pikovski Postdoc Igor Pikovski has been awarded the Branco Weiss Fellowship by the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). The Fellowship, which is given to outstanding postdoctoral researchers selected from a pool of international applicants...

Superconductivity from a Confinement Transition out of a Fractionalized Fermi Liquid with Z2 Topological and Ising-Nematic Orders

Friday, July 8, 2016 - 13:41
A ℤ2 fractionalized Fermi liquid (FL*) is a novel state of strongly correlated quantum matter. Although it is metallic, it violates Luttinger’s theorem on the volume enclosed by the Fermi surface obeyed by conventional metals; this is possible due to the presence of emergent gauge excitations. In a new Physical Review B editors' suggested article describes a study of the superconducting states...

Randall Receives 2015 Julius Wess Award

Thursday, July 7, 2016 - 12:44
The Center for Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics KCETA of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, has awarded Prof. Lisa Randall the 2015 Julius Wess Award for her research on unifying the fundamental forces of physics.

Study Proposes Explanation for How Cephalopods See Color

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - 13:55
A new study, co-authored by the father-and-son team of Prof. Christopher Stubbs and Alexander Stubbs

Biological Cells Form Electric Circuits

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 - 13:07
Cells that are electrically active and that also produce light for easy voltage monitoring could lead to new studies of heart arrhythmias and possibly bio-computing.

Harvard Researchers Are Front and Center in Unveiling Jupiter’s Mysteries

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 - 10:44
We may have glimpsed liquid hydrogen abruptly changing into metallic hydrogen, which is the same stuff in the core of Jupiter. But how and when does this transition from gas to liquid metal occur? How does it behave?... Continue reading the article by Leah Burrows: Unveiling Jupiter’s Mysteries.

The Fall and Rise of String Theory

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 - 10:39
While the novel theory may never live up to the early hype, its innovative tools have helped scientists for decades, and the best may be yet to come. (Read the overview of the history of string theory by Steve Nadis: Discover Magazine, June 14, 2016.)

R.I.P. Professor Paul Martin

Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 12:07
Prof. Paul Martin Paul C. Martin, the John Hasbrouck Van Vleck Professor of Pure and Applied Physics, Emeritus, and former dean of the Harvard Division of Applied Sciences, passed away on June 19.

Vishwanath Awarded the 2016 EPS CMD Europhysics Prize

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 10:54
Prof. Ashvin Vishwanath Prof. Ashvin Vishwanath, together with four colleagues, has been awarded the 2016 European Physical Society Condensed Matter Division Europhysics Prize "for the theoretical prediction, the experimental discovery and the theoretical analysis of a magnetic skyrmion phase in MnSi, a new state of matter"...

Gravitational Wave Detection with Optical Lattice Atomic Clocks

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 17:29
Harvard Physics and JILA cientists propose a space-based gravitational wave detector consisting of two spatially separated, drag-free satellites sharing ultra-stable optical laser light over a single baseline. Each satellite contains an optical lattice atomic clock, which serves as a sensitive, narrowband detector of the local frequency of the shared laser light...

Sidney Coleman’s Harvard

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 16:48
Sidney Coleman's photo Prof. Howard Georgi reminisces about Sidney Colman's Harvard years...

Black Holes Have Soft Quantum Hair

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 12:46
Hawking, Perry, and Strominger suggest that black holes might have "soft hair," low-energy quantum excitations that release information when the black hole evaporates.

Oxygen-activated Growth and Bandgap Tunability of Large Single-Crystal Bilayer Graphene

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - 12:40
Large, bilayer graphene single crystals can be grown by oxygen-activated chemical vapour deposition...

A Structural Approach to Relaxation in Glassy Liquids

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 - 12:00
The relation between structure and dynamics in glasses is not fully understood. A new approach based on machine learning now reveals a correlation between softness - a structural property - and glassy dynamics...

Bloch State Tomography Using Wilson Lines

Friday, May 27, 2016 - 14:24
Topology and geometry are essential to our understanding of modern physics, underlying many foundational concepts from high-energy theories, quantum information, and condensed-matter physics. In condensed-matter systems...

This Harvard Professor Finds the Easy Way Out

Friday, May 20, 2016 - 11:47
Prof. John Huth talks to Boston Globe's Vijee Venkatraman about the 'low-tech' instruments he prefers to use for navigation on land and sea...

Congratulations to the 2015-16 Physics Graduates!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 12:35
Physics PhD Graduates This year's graduating seniors and PhD are...

Improved Electron Electric-Dipole-Moment Measurement

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 17:07
Experimental searches for the electron electric-dipole moment (EDM) probe new physics beyond the standard model. The current best EDM limit was set by the ACME Collaboration, constraining time-reversal symmetry (T) violating physics at the TeV energy scale...

Self-Sustained Lift and Low Friction via Soft Lubrication

Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 17:30
Contacting solids that move relative to each other in a fluid environment abound in many settings such as soft contact lenses in eyes, animal joints, and bearings in rotating machinery. Motion is inevitably accompanied by flow and deformation...

Harvard Physics Grads Awarded Frederick Sheldon Travel and GSAS Merit Fellowships

Monday, May 9, 2016 - 10:57
Siyuan Sun has been awarded the Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, and Monica Pate and Shubhayu Chatterjee have been awarded a GSAS Merit Fellowship.

Scientists Extend Laser 'Combing' Method to Identify Large, Complex Molecules

Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 11:19
JILA physicists have extended the capability of their powerful laser "combing" technique to identify the structures of large, complex molecules of the sort found in explosives, pharmaceuticals, fuels and the gases around stars...

L. Mahadevan Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London

Sunday, May 1, 2016 - 13:06
Prof. L. Mahadevan

Prof. L. Mahadevan has been named a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. For more information, please read the SEAS announcement.

Visual Research: Galison Brings Together Art and Science in Scholarship

Sunday, May 1, 2016 - 12:58
Photo of Prof. Peter Galison Read Prof. Peter Galison's profile by Elizabeth C. Keto in Harvard Crimson.

Non-Hermitian Localization in Biological Networks

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 12:56
David Nelson, together with Ariel Amir (SEAS; formerly Harvard Physics Junior Fellow) and Naomichi Hatano (UTokyo) analyzed the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of certain asymmetric tridiagonal matrices in a recent Phys. Rev. E article. The authors found...

Ion Selectivity of Graphene Nanopores

Friday, April 22, 2016 - 17:23
As population growth continues to outpace development of water infrastructure in many countries, desalination (the removal of salts from seawater) at high energy efficiency will likely become a vital source of fresh water...

2016 Goldhaber Prize Winners

Friday, April 22, 2016 - 16:59
Graduate students Michael Coughlin and Christopher Frye won the 2016 Maurice and Gertrude Goldhaber Prize (for experimental and theoretical physics, respectively).

Metallic Hydrogen Produced in the Laboratory at Static Megabar Pressures

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 10:25
Metallic hydrogen has been produced in the laboratory in a diamond anvil cell at pressures in the 1.2 to 1.7 megabar regime and at high temperatures...

NDSEG Fellowship Winners!

Friday, April 15, 2016 - 16:22
Graduate students David Levonian and Harry McNamara have won National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships. NDSEG is awarded to U.S. citizens and nationals who intend to pursue a doctoral degree...

F-Theory and the Classification of Little Strings

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 15:32
Little string theories are UV complete nonlocal six-dimensional theories decoupled from gravity in which there is an intrinsic string scale. In this paper, we present a systematic approach to the construction of supersymmetric LSTs...

Stephen W. Hawking, "Quantum Black Holes"

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 10:09
Monday, 4/18/16 @4:00pm
Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy St.
Admission by ticket only
Simulcast locations available...

First Measurement of Electron Neutrino Appearance in NOvA

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 14:12
The first results from the NOvA experiment, which set new constraints on charge-parity violation in neutrinos and on the ordering of neutrino masses, have been reported in the latest issue of Physical Review Letters. Those results are from the first search...

Hydrogen Deuteride: New Phases and Unexpected Behavior

Monday, April 11, 2016 - 10:41
hydrogen deuteride (HD Hydrogen and its isotopes, deuterium and hydrogen deuteride (HD), are the simplest and most abundant elements in the universe. At a sufficient pressure the solids are predicted to dissociate into atoms and become metallic with possible...

New Book by David Morin

Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 11:26
image of book cover The new book by David Morin, Probability: For the Enthusiastic Beginner, is written for high school and college students learning about probability for the first time. It will appeal to the reader who has a healthy level of enthusiasm...

Barandes Appointed Director of Graduate Studies for FAS Science

Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 11:24
Dr. Jacob Barandes Congratulations, Jacob!

The Art of Wayfinding

Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 10:47

Can science explain the ancient Marshallese methods of open-water navigation by wave piloting? Prof. John Huth and colleagues hope to find out...

Students Win NSF Fellowships!

Friday, April 1, 2016 - 10:17
Benjamin Augenbraun, Rebecca Engelke, and Geoffrey Ji Graduate students Benjamin Augenbraun, Rebecca Engelke, and Geoffrey Ji have been awarded 2016 Graduate Research Fellowships by National Science Foundation. The Fellowship Program "recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students...

Enhanced Thermoelectric Power in Graphene: Violation of the Mott Relation by Inelastic Scattering

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 11:03
A new Physical Review Letter by Prof. Philip Kim and colleagues from Columbia University, Rice University, and National Institute for Material Science, Tsukuba, Japan, reports the enhancement of the thermoelectric power (TEP) in graphene...

Strominger Awarded Simons Fellowship

Monday, March 28, 2016 - 17:32
Prof. Andrew Strominger Congratulations to Prof. Andrew Strominger on being awarded a Simons Fellowship in Theoretical Physics by the Simons Foundation!

Howard Georgi is the recipient of the DPF 2016 Mentoring Award

Monday, March 28, 2016 - 17:24
photo of Prof. Howard Georgi Congratulations to Prof. Howard Georgi for receiving the 2016 Mentoring Award of the Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society. The Award recognizes Prof. Georgi's "unique dedication to mentoring...

Lee Historical Lecture: Richard A. Muller

Friday, March 18, 2016 - 18:05
One Catastrophe After Another: The Big Bang, Death of the Dinosaurs, Ice Ages, Global Warming, and Beyond One Catastrophe After Another: The Big Bang, Death of the Dinosaurs, Ice Ages, Global Warming, and Beyond
Wednesday, April 13, 2016 @ 8:00pm
Geological Lecture Hall 100, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge MA

Mohammad Hamidian Wins the 2016 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize

Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 14:13
The objective of the Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize is to promote and recognize the novel work of young scientists working in the fields of low temperatures, high magnetic fields or surface science in North and South America.

Watching Fermions Transition on Site

Friday, March 4, 2016 - 10:11
Optical lattices are a promising platform for simulating the many-body physics that occurs in solids. In lattices filled with cold bosonic atoms, “quantum microscopy” makes it possible to watch quantum phase transitions as they unravel...

The Air-Water Interface, when Linked to Capillarity, Influences Water Retention or Evaporation

Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 11:30
The drying or water-retention process cannot typically be observed directly in porous materials due to their opacity. In a new study, Prof. David Weitz and colleagues from SEAS and Laboratoire Navier, Université Paris-Est, relied on a simple glass channel...

Krzysztof Gajos, Design and Discrimination

Friday, February 26, 2016 - 11:20
The currently prevalent one-size-fits-all approach to designing digital products inadvertently - but inevitably - leads to discrimination by making some people systematically a little more likely to succeed than others...

The Morris Loeb Lectures in Physics: Juan Maldacena

Friday, February 19, 2016 - 12:50
Poster for Juan Maldacena, "Black holes, gravity, and quantum systems" Explore black holes, gravity, and quantum systems in a series of Morris Loeb Lectures in Physics presented by Juan Maldacena, Carl Feinberg Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, whose work focuses on quantum gravity...

Transport in Inhomogeneous Quantum Critical Fluids and in the Dirac Fluid in Graphene

Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 12:33
In a recent paper in Physical Review B, graduate students Andrew Lucas and Jesse Crossno, Kin Chung Fong from Raytheon BBN Technologies, and professors Philip Kim and Subir Sachdev describe developing a general hydrodynamic framework...

Watching Sensory Information Translate into Behavior

Friday, February 12, 2016 - 14:09
Postdoc Vivek Venkatachalam, with the help of colleagues in Prof. Aravinthan Samuel's Lab, UMass Worcester, and University of Toronto, built a microscope capable of uncovering representations of sensory input and motor output of individual neurons...

Observation of the Dirac Fluid and the Breakdown of the Wiedemann-Franz Law in Graphene

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 14:54
Interactions between particles in quantum many-body systems can lead to collective behavior described by hydrodynamics. One such system is the electron-hole plasma in graphene near the charge neutrality point, which can form...

David Weitz Elected to the National Academy of Engineering

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 12:47
Prof. Weitz


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Detection and Spectroscopy of Single Proteins Using Quantum Logic

Monday, February 8, 2016 - 13:46
Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is a powerful tool for the structural analysis of organic compounds and biomolecules, which, unril now, typically required macroscopic sample quantities...

3-D Printing Confirms Physical Model of Brain Folds

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 10:42
Prof. L. Mahadevan and colleagues from SEAS, Finland and France have provided the first experimental evidence of the theory of differential growth and demonstrated that physical forces — not just biochemical processes alone — play a critical role...

Designing a Pop-Up Future

Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 10:41
Origami describes rules for creating folded structures from patterns on a flat sheet, but does not prescribe how patterns can be designed to fit target shapes. In an article in Nature Materials, Prof. L. Mahadevan and colleagues describe...

How to Make (Almost) Anything, Harvard Edition!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - 17:12
In the fall of 2015, twenty-one students representing a diverse cross-section of Harvard community participated in the Harvard Section of the "How to Make (Almost) Anything" class. This course was taught by MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld and integrates a wide range of fabrication modalities. The Harvard section was led by Rob Hart and members of the Instructional Physics Labs...

Biomimetic 4D Printing

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - 12:59
Professors L. Mahadevan and Jennifer Lewis, and a team of scientists at the Wyss Institute, SEAS, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have evolved their microscale 3D printing technology to the fourth dimension, time...

What The Physics?!

Friday, January 22, 2016 - 12:12
Harvard Physics grad Greg Kestin (PhD 2014) has published the first video in a new "What The Physics?!" series. Each episode will explore something surprising or really interesting related to physics...

Monday Colloquia Commence on January 25!

Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 10:33
Bonnie Fleming, Nu Measurements, New Physics:  Short and Long Baseline Electron Neutrino Appearance The past few years have brought foundational results in particle physics with both the Higgs discovery and the measurement of "theta 13" the last of the unknown mixi2ng angles. With a large value of theta 13, the neutrino community is poised...

Programmable Kinetic Sculpture Class with Kim Bernard and Physics Labs Staff

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 14:27
Bardo State, Kim Bernard's kinetic sculpture Do you want to make moving art? Are you curious about making things move with simple computer programs? Come to the Physics teaching labs, and create interactive kinetic sculpture programmed with Arduino microcontroller boards...

Soft Hair on Black Holes

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 14:22
Artist's rendering of a black hole In the mid 1970s, Stephen Hawking made a string of unnerving discoveries about black holes—that they could evaporate, even explode, and destroy all information about what had fallen in...

"Containment," a Film by Peter Galison and Robb Moss

Monday, January 4, 2016 - 12:00
The new film, which explores deep complexity of nuclear waste disposal, focuses on two nuclear containment facilities in Florida and New Mexico.

The Department Welcomes a New Faculty Member: Ashvin Vishwanath

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - 10:36
Prof. Ashvin Vishwanath Prof. Vishwanath will be joining the Harvard Department of Physics in July, 2016.

New Method for Observing Viruses May Shed light on How to Stop Them

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - 11:05
Viruses such as influenza spread so effectively, and as a result can be so deadly to their hosts, because of their ability to spontaneously self-assemble in large numbers. If researchers can understand how viruses assemble, they may be able to design drugs...

Measuring Entanglement Entropy in a Quantum Many-Body System

Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 12:39
Fig. 1 Entanglement is one of the most intriguing features of quantum mechanics. It describes non-local correlations between quantum objects, and is at the heart of quantum information sciences...

The Flagellar Motor of Caulobacter Crescentus Generates More Torque When a Cell Swims Backwards

Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 13:01
Certain bacteria swim by rotating a single helical filament, moving forwards and backwards with similar speeds. The discovery that the torque is not equal in both directions links them to multifilament species with opposite filament handedness.

Bekenstein-Hawking Entropy and Strange Metals

Monday, November 16, 2015 - 11:18
Black hole horizons have been shown to have characteristic entropies and temperatures. A new investigation shows similarities between the entropy of a black hole and a metallic state of high-temperature superconductors.

Spatially Resolved Edge Currents and Guided-Wave Electronic States in Graphene

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 12:39
Exploiting the light-like properties of carriers in graphene could allow extreme non-classical forms of electronic transport to be realized. In this vein, finding ways to confine and direct electronic wavesthrough nanoscale...

Ab initio tight-binding Hamiltonian for transition metal dichalcogenides

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 13:50
The modeling of the electronic structure is the key to understanding layered transition-metal dichalcogenides heterostructures. In a new, editors-recommended paper in Physical Review B, Prof. Efthimios Kaxiras and...

Physics Newsletter Fall 2015

Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 09:39
Second Issue on Harvard Physics Newsletter is out!

Energy for 1 x 6 Billion

Monday, November 2, 2015 - 12:21
Lecture poster The capture and storage of solar energy at the individual level drives inextricably towards the heart of this energy challenge by addressing the triumvirate of secure, carbon neutral and plentiful energy...

Unraveling the Complex, Intertwined Electron Phases in a Superconductor

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 11:31
In a Letter in Nature Physics, an international team of reserchers from Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cornell University, Harvard, and other institutions, have characterized a key arrangement of electrons in a high-temperature superconductor...

Sachdev awarded the Dirac Medal by UNSW

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 10:18
Prof. Subir Sachdev Prof. Subir Sachdev was awarded the Dirac Medal for the Advancement of Theoretical Physics by University of New South Wales and the Australian Institute of Physics...

New Book by Lisa Randall

Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 16:17
Book Cover Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin?...

Lukin Awarded the 2015 Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 11:25
Prof. Mikhail Lukin This year’s Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics will be awarded to Prof. Mikhail Lukin "for his inspiring contributions at the scientific interface of quantum optics and nanophotonics...

Golovchenko Wins Fannie Cox Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 17:53
Prof. Jene Golovchenko Prof. Jene Golovchenko is a co-recipient of the Fannie Cox Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching. The prize is awarded annually in recognition of exceptional teaching in introductory science classes...

First On-Chip Metamaterial with Refractive Index of Zero

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 13:30
Metamaterials with a refractive index of zero exhibit physical properties such as infinite phase velocity and wavelength. However, there is no way to implement these materials on a photonic chip, restricting the investigation and application of zero-index phenomena to simple shapes and small scales...

Augenbraun Receives LeRoy Apker Award

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 10:35
Benjamin Augenbraun Benjamin Augenbraun, Harvard Physics graduate student in Prof. Doyle's group, received the 2015 LeRoy Apker Award "for high-precision measurement of the DC Stark shift..."

Far-from-Equilibrium Field Theory of Many-Body Quantum Spin Systems: Prethermalization and Relaxation of Spin Spiral States in Three Dimensions

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 10:45
What happens when an isolated quantum system is set in motion from an initial nonequilibrium state that possesses certain orders? In classical thermodynamics, this problem is exemplified by the irreversible expansion of a gas in an isolated chamber after suddenly doubling the chamber size...

Third Annual Research Scholar Retreat

Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 18:26
60 of the Physics Department’s postdoctoral and research scholars enjoyed the Third Annual Retreat at MIT Endicott House in Dedham, MA. The day included talks by Dennis Overbye, Deputy Science Editor, New York Times...

Strominger, Vafa Win Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics

Monday, October 5, 2015 - 19:34
Professors Vafa (left) and Strominger Congratulations to Professors Andrew Strominger and Cumrun Vafa for winning the 2016 Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics!

Dynamics of Evaporative Colloidal Patterning

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 11:07
Drying suspensions often leave behind complex patterns of particulates, as might be seen in the coffee stains on a table. But how does the transition between different types of patterning occur?...

Center for Nanoscale Systems receives $5M NSF grant

Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 14:05

Harvard’s Center for Nanoscale Systems (CNS) has been awarded a $5 million nanotechnology research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF)...

Happy 90th Birthday, Professor Glauber!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 14:23
On Friday, September 18, Harvard Physics faculty and their families gathered in the Loeb House to celebrate the 90th birthday of Roy J.Glauber, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, Emeritus...

Mara Prentiss: Energy Revolution

Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 13:29
We can launch an energy revolution that drastically decreases CO2 emission and other deleterious consequences associated with fossil fuel burning. Energy extraction can be cut by more than 50% by converting fossil fuel burning engines...

Coulomb Bound States of Strongly Interacting Photons

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 18:16
Physicists have taken another step toward building objects out of photons. In the latest issue of Physical Review Letters...

Science Opera in the SciBox!

Monday, September 14, 2015 - 10:09
SciBox, the experimental learning space in the Science Center, serves as the rehearsal venue for the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony's mini-opera...

Universal Quantum Transducers Based on Surface Acoustic Waves

Friday, September 11, 2015 - 10:46
Surface acoustic waves may work as a “quantum bus” that carries information to different parts of a quantum computer...

How Termites Ventilate

Friday, September 11, 2015 - 10:26
As builders go, termites don’t have many tools at their disposal — just their bodies, soil, and saliva. For guidance they have nothing to go on save variations in wind speed and direction and fluctuations in temperature as the sun rises and sets...

Prof. Xi Yin

Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 18:16
Prof. Xi Yin

Congratulations to Xi Yin for his promotion to the rank of Full Professor!

Prof. Cora Dvorkin

Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 18:08
Prof. Cora Dvorkin

Harvard Physics Department welcomes a new faculty member: Cora Dvorkin.

A New Technique to Make Drugs More Soluble

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 - 16:03
Amorphous nanoparticles often dissolve more rapidly than their crystalline counterparts, which can be useful in applications such as drug delivery. Professors Michael Brenner and David Weitz, together with colleagues from SEAS...

Eliminating Entanglements: A New Strategy Towards Ultra-Soft Yet Dry Rubber

Monday, August 10, 2015 - 11:09
Medical implants mimic the softness of human tissue by mixing liquids such oil with long silicone polymers to create a squishy, wet gel. While implants have improved dramatically over the years, there is still a chance of the liquid leaking...

Nature Methods Profiles Ronald Walsworth

Tuesday, August 4, 2015 - 16:59
Prof. Ronald Walsworth Quantum diamond microscopes are one of Ron Walsworth's passions. He is a physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CFA) and in Harvard's physics department...

Black Holes, Holography and Strings: A Celebration of the Science of Andrew Strominger

Tuesday, August 4, 2015 - 16:24
Prof. Andrew Strominger This conference brought together a diverse group of physicists and educators whose career paths have intersected with Andy's and who share his passion for Physics. Get more information and see the slideshow of the event.

Nanometre-Scale Probing of Spin Waves Using Single-Electron Spins

Friday, July 24, 2015 - 09:42
Pushing the frontiers of condensed-matter magnetism requires the development of tools that provide real-space, few-nanometre-scale probing of correlated-electron magnetic excitations under ambient conditions...

Quenching of Dynamic Nuclear Polarization by Spin–Orbit Coupling in GaAs Quantum Dots

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 14:42
Figure 3: Correlations and power spectrum of PLZ(t) The central-spin problem is a widely studied model of quantum decoherence. Dynamic nuclear polarization occurs in central-spin systems when electronic angular momentum is transferred to nuclear spins and is exploited in quantum information processing for coherent spin manipulation...

3D Structure of Individual Nanocrystals in Solution by Electron Microscopy

Friday, July 17, 2015 - 16:15
Electron microscopy is a powerful technique for taking snapshots of particles or images at near-atomic resolution. An international group of scientists studied free-floating platinum nanoparticles using electron microscopy and liquid cells...

A Three-Dimensional Map of Milky Way Dust

Thursday, July 9, 2015 - 14:47
Astronomy grad student Gregory Green, Ph.D. '12 Edward Schlafly, Prof. Douglas Finkbeiner, and colleagues from Max-Planck-Institut (Heidelberg), Université de Strasbourg, GMTO Corporation, U. Durham, U. Hawaii at Manoa, and Princeton, published a 3D map of interstellar dust reddening...

New High Energy Physics Podcast

Monday, July 6, 2015 - 17:20
In Particular, a new ATLAS podcast by Harvard Physics alumnae Tova Holmes '11 and Laura Jeanty Ph.D. '13, is about physics and the process of discovering physics at the high energy frontier.

Norman Yao Awarded 2015 DAMOP Thesis Prize

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 19:03
Norman Yao Norman Yao (PhD 2014) has been awarded the 2015 Prize for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Atomic, Molecular or Optical Physics (the DAMOP Thesis Prize) for his PhD thesis...

R.I.P. Andreas (Andy) Koehler

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 18:49
Andy Koehler

Andreas (Andy) Koehler, who was a Director of the Harvard Cyclotron Laboratory, passed away on May 16, 2015, at the age of 85...

Congratulations to the 2014-15 Physics Graduates!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 16:22
Watch the slideshow

Gravity Alters the Quantum Nature of Particles

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 11:49
Illustration of a molecule in the presence of gravitational time dilation Harvard Physics postdoc and ITAMP fellow Igor Pikovski is the lead author of a Nature Physics article describing a surprising link between gravity and quantum mechanics...

Focus on the Rashba Effect

Monday, June 15, 2015 - 12:58
Figure 1.8: Properties of the Rashba energy spectrum The Rashba effect, discovered in 1959 by a Soviet-American theoretical physicist Emmanuel Rashba, now a Harvard Physics Research Scholar, continues to supply fertile ground for fundamental research and applications...

Square-Wheeled Boat for the People’s Sculpture Race!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 13:37
When I first caught wind that there was going a People's Sculpture Race in Cambridge, writes Kim Bernard, the 2015 Harvard Physics Artist-in-Residence, I proposed the idea, to the Wednesday physics lunch gang, that we put our heads together...

Wess-Zumino-Witten Terms in Graphene Landau Levels

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 16:56
Fig. 1 In a recent editor-suggested article in Physical Review Letters, grad student Junhyun Lee and Prof. Subir Sachdev consider the interplay between the antiferromagnetic and Kekulé valence bond solid orderings in the zero energy Landau levels...

Quantum Microscope Images Fermionic Atoms

Monday, June 1, 2015 - 22:16
Fig. 1 Prof. Markus Greiner and members of his lab test a new technique for imaging of individual fermionic lithium atoms in a single layer of a 3D optical lattice. To preserve the density distribution during fluorescence imaging...

Matthew Schwartz Promoted to Professor of Physics with Tenure

Friday, May 15, 2015 - 13:15

The Physics Department is delighted to announce the promotion of Matthew Schwartz to Professor of Physics with tenure. Matt received his B.A. in Mathematics and Biophysics and M.A. in Mathematics from University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and Ph.D. from Princeton in 2003. After doing postdoctoral work at Berkeley and at Johns Hopkins, he joined Harvard as an Assistant Professor in 2008.

Measurement of a Single Nuclear Spin in Biological Samples

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 11:28
Fig. 1: The experimental setup Magnetic resonance techniques not only provide powerful imaging tools that have revolutionized medicine, but they have a wide spectrum of applications in other fields of science such as biology, chemistry...

‘A completely new life was beckoning’

Friday, May 8, 2015 - 13:52
Prof. Gerald Holton A conversation with Prof. Holton in the Harvard Gazette

Altering Course: Why the United States may be on the cusp of an energy revolution

Friday, May 8, 2015 - 12:55
water pumping windmill in Iowa Read the article about Prof. Mara Prentiss in the latest Harvard Magazine

Anatomy of the Photochemical Reaction: Excited-State Dynamics Reveals the C–H Acidity Mechanism of Methoxy Photo-oxidation on Titania

Monday, April 27, 2015 - 14:24
Fig. 1 Light-driven chemical reactions on semiconductor surfaces have potential for addressing energy and pollution needs through efficient chemical synthesis; however, little is known about the time evolution of excited states...

Harvard Physics Grads Win NDSEG and Merit Awards

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 11:25
Tomo Lazovich, Ruffin Evans, and Aaron Kabcenell Physics graduate students Aaron Kabcenell, Tomo Lazovich, and Ruffin Evans win this year's NDSEG asnd Merit scholarships...

The Morris Loeb Lecture in Physics: Brian P. Schmidt

Friday, April 17, 2015 - 13:10
Lecture I: "Surveying the Southern Skies with the SkyMapper Telescope"
Colloquium: "Type 1A Supernovae, the Accelerating Cosmos, and Dark Energy"
Lecture II: "After the Dark Ages: The First Stars"

New Method Allows Precise Measurement of Transcriptome in Single Cells

Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 12:20
Fig. 1 Prof. Xiaowei Zhuang and members of her group have devised a method of visualizing RNA molecules inside cells so that the identity, location, and abundance of more than 1,000 different RNA species can be determined at the same time...

Quantum Gas Microscopy with Spin, Atom-Number, and Multilayer Readout

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 12:41
Fig. 1 Atom- and site-resolved experiments with ultracold atoms in optical lattices provide a powerful platform for the simulation of strongly correlated materials. In Rapid Communication in Physical review A*...

State-Selective Intersystem Crossing in Nitrogen-Vacancy Centers

Friday, April 10, 2015 - 16:46
Fig. 2 The intersystem crossing (ISC) is an important process in many solid-state atomlike impurities. For example, it allows the electronic spin state of the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond to be initialized and read out using optical fields at ambient temperatures...

Inorganic Nanowire Follows the Crystal Structure of Its Graphene Template

Friday, April 10, 2015 - 11:20
Fig. 4 Assembling inorganic nanomaterials on graphene is of interest in the development of nanodevices and nanocomposite materials, and the ability to align such inorganic nanomaterials on the graphene surface is expected to lead to improved functionalities...

Revised and Updated 3rd Edition is out!

Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 10:19
At long last, here is the thoroughly revised and updated third edition of the hugely successful Art of Electronics. It is widely accepted as the best single authoritative book on electronic circuit design...

Harvard Physics Graduate Students Win National Awards

Monday, April 6, 2015 - 16:56
Physics graduate students Aaron Kabcenell, Ellen Klein, Sabrina Pasterski, Emma Rosenfeld, Julia Steinberg, Alexandra Thomson, and Elana Urbach receive this year's NSF, Hertz Foundation, NDSEG, and NSERC Fellowships!

Come Back to College: From Life Sciences 1a

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 15:26
This seminar is a lecture from Life Sciences 1a, a course taken by approximately 500 freshmen each year as an introduction to chemistry and biology. The course covers the fundamentals of chemistry and their application to biology...

Efficient Readout of a Single Spin State in Diamond via Spin-to-Charge Conversion

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 13:53
Fig. 1 Efficient readout of individual electronic spins associated with atomlike impurities in the solid state is essential for applications in quantum information processing and quantum metrology...

A Rotary Motor for Bacterial Gliding

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 10:25
Fig. 1 While probing the mystery of how some bacteria move across surfaces, Prof. Howard Berg and researchers in his group, Abhishek Shrivastava and Pushkar Lele, have discovered a kind of rotary motor...

Congratulations to Jenny Hoffman for her promotion to the rank of Full Professor!

Monday, March 30, 2015 - 11:18
Prof. Jenny Hoffman

Prof. Hoffman will move to the University of British Columbia, Canada, in July 2015.

Operation of a Broadband Visible-Wavelength Astro-Comb with a High- Resolution Astrophysical Spectrograph

Friday, March 20, 2015 - 15:58
Figure 3 Searches for Earth-like exoplanets using the periodic Doppler shift of stellar absorption lines require 10 cm/s precision in the measurement of stellar radial velocity (RV) over timescales of years...

Adam Cohen Receives 2015 ACS Award in Pure Chemistry

Friday, March 20, 2015 - 15:09
Prof. Adam Cohen For more information, please see the ACS website

Oscillation of the Velvet Worm Slime Jet by Passive Hydrodynamic Instability

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 12:00
Figure 2 The rapid squirt of a proteinaceous slime jet endows velvet worms (Onychophora) with a unique mechanism for defence from predators and for capturing prey by entangling them in a disordered web that immobilizes their target...

An Artist Walks into the Harvard Physics Department

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 10:22
Kim Bernard's kinetic sculpture New articles about Kim Bernard in Boston Globe!

Strongly Correlated Quantum Walks in Optical Lattices

Friday, March 13, 2015 - 10:16
Figure 3 Full control over the dynamics of interacting, indistinguishable quantum particles is an important prerequisite for the experimental study of strongly correlated quantum matter and the implementation of high-fidelity quantum information processing...

Joint Analysis of BICEP2/Keck Array and Planck Data

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 19:46
Figure 1 The results of the joint analysis of BICEP2/Keck Array and Planck Collaborations have been published in the latest issue of Physical Review Letter. BICEP2 and Keck Array have observed the same approximately 400 deg2...

Search for Higgs Boson Pair Production of a Pair of Higgs Bosons

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 19:26
A search for new physics in production of a pair of Higgs bosons finds a modest excess of events, 2.4 standard deviations above the background-only hypothesis...

Cooper Pairing in Non-Fermi Liquids

Friday, March 6, 2015 - 10:25
Figure 1 Whether the non-Fermi-liquid behavior of fermionic systems, developing in the proximity of a quantum critical point, is stable or not toward the formation of Cooper pairs is a challenging open question in the physics of strongly correlated systems...

Solid Friction between Soft Filaments

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - 13:34
Figure 2 In a Letter in Nature Materials, Prof. L. Mahadevan and colleagues from Brandeis University, Florida Atlantic University, and Universiteit Leiden, describe directly measuring the sliding forces between two bundled F-actin filaments...

Ni Named 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics

Monday, March 2, 2015 - 14:34
Prof. K. K. Ni Professor Kang-Kuen Ni has been named one of the 2015 Sloan Research Fellows by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise.

3D Printing: Making the Future

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 12:43
Lewis lecture announcement 3D printing enables one to rapidly design and fabricate materials in arbitrary shapes on demand. Prof. Lewis will introduce the fundamental principles that underpin 3D printing techniques...

6d Conformal Matter

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 12:54
Figure 1 A single M5-brane probing G, an ADE-type singularity, leads to a system which has G × G global symmetry and can be viewed as "bifundamental" (G, G) matter. For the A N series, this leads to the usual notion of bifundamental matter. For the other cases it corresponds to a strongly interacting (1, 0) superconformal system in six dimensions...

Trends in Condensed Matter Physics

Friday, February 20, 2015 - 15:51
Figure 3 Grad student Michael Shulman and postdoc Marc Warner survey the state of condensed matter physics for the past nine years in a recent arXiv article...

Undesired Usage and the Robust Self-Assembly of Heterogeneous Structures

Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 15:37
Figure 8 Prof. Michael Brenner and colleagues from SEAS and Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology have published an article in the latest issue of Nature Communication which describes their study of the spontaneous assembly...

Demler Named 'Distinguished Scholar' at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 12:36
Prof. Eugene Demler has been honoured as a 'Distinguished Scholar' by the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics. This program has been launched by MPQ two years ago "in order to offer outstanding scientists from other research institutes worldwide...

New Book by Mara Prentiss

Friday, February 13, 2015 - 14:08
Book cover Energy can be neither created nor destroyed—but it can be wasted. The United States wastes two-thirds of its energy, including 80 percent of the energy used in transportation...

Zhuang Receives 2015 NAS Award in Molecular Biology

Friday, February 13, 2015 - 13:44
Prof. Xiaowei Zhuang Prof. Xiaowei Zhuang has received the 2015 National Academy of Science Award in Molecular Biology...

All-Optical Control of a Single Electron Spin in Diamond

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 14:39
Figure 1 Precise coherent control of the individual electronic spins associated with atomlike impurities in the solid state is essential for applications in quantum information processing and quantum metrology...

"Collision: Where Art & Science Meet" - Artist Talk by Kim Bernard

Monday, February 9, 2015 - 21:55
Kim Bernard Kim Bernard, visiting Artist-in-Residence in the Physics Department, has set up a studio in SciBox 302 for the spring semester. Bernard will be sitting in on physics labs and lectures, using the departments equipment to create new work and is looking forward to collaborating with students, faculty and staff...

Programming Colloidal Phase Transitions with DNA Strand Displacement

Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 19:18
Figure 2 (B) Colloidal particles have been used as atom mimics and are often connected together using complementary DNA strands. Postdoc W. Benjamin Rogers and Prof. Vinothan Manoharan controlled the strength of the colloidal "bond" by using a set of competing...

Harvard Makes (Almost) Anything

Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 19:11
A showcase of projects from the Harvard section of the Fall '14 MIT course "How to Make (Almost) Anything" (February 3, 2015). Watch the slideshow.

Probing Johnson Noise and Ballistic Transport in Normal Metals with a Single-Spin Qubit

Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 19:10
Figure 1 Thermally induced electrical currents, known as Johnson noise, cause fluctuating electric and magnetic fields in proximity to a conductor. These fluctuations are intrinsically related to the conductivity of the metal...

Demler Wins Carl Friedrich Siemens Research Award

Friday, January 30, 2015 - 10:13
Prof. Eugene Demler Prof. Eugene Demler has been elected the recipient of a Carl Friedrich Siemens Research Award. This award is conferred in recognition of lifetime achievements in a science field, without any restrictions being placed on the choice of science discipline...

Dark Energy and Cosmic Sound

Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 16:58
Eisenstein lecture announcement The Sound waves propagating through the plasma of the Universe only 400,000 years after the Big Bang now offer some of our most precise measures of the composition and history of the Universe...

Decoherence Imaging of Spin Ensembles Using a Scanning Single-Electron Spin in Diamond

Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 11:55
Fig. 1 The nitrogen-vacancy (NV) defect center in diamond has demonstrated great capability for nanoscale magnetic sensing and imaging for both static and periodically modulated target fields. However, it remains a challenge...

Harvard Physics Research Poster Session

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - 12:43

The physics Graduate Student Council (GSC) organized the Harvard Physics Research Poster Session with the intent of increasing inner-departmental communication between graduate students...

The Everest Simulation: Harvard Business School Comes to the Physics Department

Friday, January 23, 2015 - 13:21
Mount Everest

On January 21, 2015, Willy Shih, Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Management and Practice at the Harvard Business School, gave a leadership workshop to 30 of our Research Scholars. In teams of five, with each person assigned a specific role...

Circuit‐Making in 2,3, and 4 Dimensions

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 22:08
class projects In this Wintersession class, students learned to make small soldered electronic circuits from copper-covered boards or copper film, either for their research or just for fun, using the Modela mill and the vinyl cutter...

Stabilizing the False Vacuum: Mott Skyrmions

Friday, January 16, 2015 - 17:48
Figure 2: Inner structure of the skyrmion in the (x, z) plane Topological excitations keep fascinating physicists since many decades. While individual vortices and solitons emerge and have been observed in many areas of physics, their most intriguing higher dimensional topological relatives, skyrmions...

Atomic-Scale Nuclear Spin Imaging Using Quantum-Assisted Sensors in Diamond

Friday, January 16, 2015 - 15:09
Figure 3: Protocol for quantum-enhanced nuclear spin imaging Nuclear spin imaging at the atomic level is essential for the understanding of fundamental biological phenomena and for applications such as drug discovery. The advent of novel nanoscale sensors promises to achieve the long-standing goal of single-protein...

Modeling Thermal Dust Emission with Two Components: Application to the Planck High Frequency Instrument Maps

Friday, January 16, 2015 - 13:49
Figure 8 Graduate student Aaron Meisner and Prof. Douglas Finkbeiner apply the Finkbeiner et al. two-component thermal dust emission model to the Planck High Frequency Instrument maps...

Kim Bernard, Visiting Artist-in-Residence

Friday, January 16, 2015 - 11:43
Kim Bernard with 'Bardo State' Kim Bernard, visiting Artist-in-Residence in the Physics Department, has set up a studio in SciBox 302 for the spring semester. She will be working with students in the Physics 15a lab to integrate kinetic art making into existing and new lab projects as natural extensions of the projects themselves.

Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski, Tony Pan, and Henry Lin

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - 12:25
Henry is a sophomore Physics concentrator; Sabrina is a graduate student in the Harvard Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature; Tony graduated from our department with a PhD in astrophysics in 2013...

Nanoscale NMR Spectroscopy and Imaging of Multiple Nuclear Species

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 15:27
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provide non-invasive information about multiple nuclear species in bulk matter, with wide-ranging applications...

All-Optical Initialization, Readout, and Coherent Preparation of Single Silicon-Vacancy Spins in Diamond

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 11:05
The silicon-vacancy (SiV‾) color center in diamond has attracted attention because of its unique optical properties. It exhibits spectral stability and indistinguishability that facilitate efficient generation of photons...

High Quality-Factor Optical Nanocavities in Bulk Single-Crystal Diamond

Monday, December 22, 2014 - 15:06

Single-crystal diamond, with its unique optical, mechanical and thermal properties, has emerged as a promising material with applications in classical and quantum optics. However, the lack of heteroepitaxial growth...

Dissipative Dark Matter and the Andromeda Plane of Satellites

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 15:31
Andromeda galaxy Prof. Lisa Randall and postdoc Jakub Scholtz investigate a possible explanation for the planar distribution of satellite dwarf galaxies with high dark matter content...

First Issue of Harvard Physics Newsletter Published!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 17:32
Newsletter 2014 cover The new publication, which is a collaboration between Harvard Physics faculty, students, and staff, will be issued annually.

Connecting High-Field Quantum Oscillations to Zero-Field Electron Spectral Functions in the Underdoped Cuprates

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 14:30
Fig. 1 The nature of the pseudogap regime of cuprate superconductors at low hole density remains unresolved. It has a number of seemingly distinct experimental signatures: a suppression of the paramagnetic spin susceptibility at high temperatures, low-energy electronic excitations that extend over arcs in the Brillouin zone...

Bloch Oscillations of Bosonic Lattice Polarons

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - 15:00
Figure 1 A recent 'Editor's Suggested' article in Physical Review A is by members of Demler's research group Fabian Grusdt, Aditya Shashi, and Dmitry Abanin. Together with Prof. Demler, they consider a single-impurity atom confined to an optical lattice and immersed in a homogeneous Bose-Einstein condensate...

Higgs Criticality in a Two-Dimensional Metal

Monday, December 8, 2014 - 19:40
Grad student Debanjan Chowdhury and Prof. Subir Sachdev analyze a candidate theory for the strange metal near optimal hole-doping in the cuprate superconductors...

Principles of Scientific Inquiry: Wave Phenomena 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014 - 11:38
PSI Presentations How do you build a short pulse laser only from materials available 100 years ago? How do you make color holograms, explore how a violin works, measure the "Ether wind"? How can you trap particles with light or build a flute?...

Absence of red structural color in photonic glasses, bird feathers, and certain beetles

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - 13:24
Colloidal glasses, bird feathers, and beetle scales can all show structural colors arising from short-ranged spatial correlations between scattering centers. Unlike the structural colors arising from Bragg diffraction in ordered materials like opals...

Climate Control in Termite Mounds

Saturday, November 29, 2014 - 11:12
termite mound Many species of fungus-harvesting termites build largely empty, massive mound structures which protrude from the ground above their subterranean nests. It has been long proposed that the function of these mounds is to facilitate exchange of heat, humidity, and respiratory gases...

2015 Goldhaber Prize Winners

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 13:52
Graduate students Dennis Huang, Siyuan Sun, Bo Liu, and Shu-Heng Shao are the winners of the 2015 Maurice and Gertrude Goldhaber Prize. The prize is awarded annually by the department to its most outstanding current PhD students...

Observation of an Excited Bc+/- Meson State with the ATLAS Detector

Monday, November 24, 2014 - 16:27
The ATLAS Collaboration has observed a new excited state of the Bc± meson at 6842 MeV by reconstructing its decay. The mass and decay are consistent with QCD predictions for this excited state.

November PhD Graduates

Friday, November 21, 2014 - 19:08
Jefferson Lab in Autumn Congratulations to our November PhD graduates David Benjamin, Willy Chang, Max Lavrentovich, James McIver, Julia Piskorski, Aqil Sajjad, William Spearman, Jeffrey Thompson, and Chin Lin Wong!

Lost and Found: A Science Symposium about Navigation

Friday, November 21, 2014 - 14:25
On November 14, 2014, experts from fields as far-ranging as human cognitive neuroscience and neural computation, animal life science, anthropology and culture, space science, current and future technology, and emergency management converged on Radcliffe’s annual Science Symposium...

Lee Historical Lecture: Steven Weinberg

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 16:44
If physicists want to find their long-sought "theory of everything," they have to get small. And Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg (U Texas, Austin) thinks he knows roughly how small...

Solar Nebula Magnetic Fields Recorded in the Semarkona Meteorite

Monday, November 17, 2014 - 19:05
Semarkona meteorite

Magnetic fields are proposed to have played a critical role in some of the most enigmatic processes of planetary formation by mediating the rapid accretion of disk material...

The Future of Astrophysical Neutrino Measurements

Monday, November 17, 2014 - 12:05
A microfabricated array of TES bolometers A new paper published in Astroparticle Physics by an international group of physicists and astronomers, including Harvard's Prof. John Kovac...

La2−xSrxCuO4 Superconductor Nanowire Devices

Friday, November 14, 2014 - 15:58
La2−xSrxCuO4 nanowire devices have been fabricated and characterized using electrical transport measurements. Nanowires with widths down to 80 nm are patterned...

Strominger Awarded 2014 Oskar Klein Medal!

Friday, November 14, 2014 - 12:58
Prof. Andrew Strominger

The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmoparticle Physics has awarded Prof. Andrew Strominger the 2014 Oskar Klein Medal for his "key contributions to string theory and quantum gravity..."

Jenny Hoffman Wins 24-Hour Run

Monday, November 10, 2014 - 16:16
For plenty of runners, finishing a marathon is the ultimate achievement, something they do once in a lifetime, if at all. For Prof. Jenny Hoffman, covering the 26.2 miles of a marathon was just a good place to start…

High-Z Supernova Search Team Shares the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Monday, November 10, 2014 - 15:53
High-Z Supernova Search Team Professor Christopher Stubbs is a member of the High-Z Supernova Search Team which, together with the the Supernova Cosmology Project, have been awarded the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics "for the most unexpected discovery ..."

New Nanoscale Tools for Interrogating Living Cells and Cell Networks

Saturday, November 8, 2014 - 15:40
Nano-Bio Interfaces Electrodes and electrode arrays capable of recording electrical signals from neurons come in an increasing number of shapes and sizes, and researchers are continuously adding capabilities...

Mazur to Serve as Optical Society President in 2017

Saturday, November 8, 2014 - 13:11
Prof. Eric Mazur

Members of the Optical Society, a leading professional organization for those who study the science of light, have elected Prof. Eric Mazur to serve as OSA vice president in 2015...

Relativity, Quantum Physics, and Graphene

Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 11:38
Prof. Kim's lecture announcement 11/20/14 @6:00PM

The two most important achievements in physics in the 20th century were the discoveries of the theory of relativity and quantum physics...

Queer Groups Formed for Graduate Students and Staff

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 12:46

Harvard graduate students and staff have started two new queer groups this fall to better serve and unite the non-undergraduate BGLTQ community...

NMR Sees the Spin of a Single Proton

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 12:19
Coherent control of reporter spins An NMR scheme based on nitrogen vacancies in diamond images the spins of individual protons...

Vincent Coljee Headed for Mars Desert Research Station

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 16:21
FMARS station Harvard Physics Research Scientist Vincent Coljee is one of finalists in the international group of 21 volunteers selected for possible participation in Mars Arctic 365 mission by the Mars Society, dedicated to furthering the exploration and settlement...

Berg Awarded Sackler Prize in Biophysics

Sunday, October 26, 2014 - 21:02
Prof. Howard Berg was awarded the 2014 Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics "for pioneering contributions to understanding the physical mechanisms…"

CERN Thursday: Melissa Franklin Talks Higgs

Friday, October 24, 2014 - 16:44
In this talk Professor Franklin will explain how physicists search for new particles, such as the Higgs boson, at the Large Hadron Collider, and specifically what they found...

2014 Highly-Cited Researchers: Demler, Kim, Lukin, Sachdev, and Yacoby

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 20:25
Thomson-Reuters Highly Cited Researchers represents some of world’s leading scientific minds. Over 3000 researchers (144 of them in physics) earned the distinction by writing the greatest numbers of reports...

Suppressing Qubit Dephasing Using Real-Time Hamiltonian Estimation

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 20:02
ΔBz oscillations Unwanted interaction between a quantum system and its fluctuating environment leads to decoherence and is the primary obstacle to establishing a scalable quantum information processing architecture. Strategies such as environmental and materials engineering, quantum error correction...

How to Make (Almost) Anything

Sunday, October 19, 2014 - 15:01

The Harvard Physics Teaching Lab is hosting a section of a course taught by Neil Gershenfeld (MIT) and offered jointly at MIT and Harvard, "How to Make (Almost) Anything." The students work together in the Science Center teaching labs to complete each week's assignment in fabrication...

Atom-Like Crystal Defects: from Quantum Computers to Biological Sensors

Friday, October 17, 2014 - 14:36
Impurities in a crystal lattice are the key ingredient in recent efforts to control and apply the coherence and entanglement of spins in condensed-matter systems. The idea that quantum mechanical machines can perform certain information-processing tasks much faster...

Cherry Murray to Receive National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Sunday, October 12, 2014 - 11:08
Cherry Murray Cherry Murray, Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Professor of Physics, and Dean of School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is to receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

Hoffman, Kim, Yacoby receive 2014 Moore Foundation Experimental Investigator Award in Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 18:35
Moore Foundation The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, after a national competition, has selected nineteen Moore Experimental Investigators in Quantum Materials, among them three Harvard Physics professors: Jenny Hoffman, Philip Kim, and Amir Yacoby.

Symposium on the Future of Research

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 16:48
How will we do research in the upcoming decades? Postdocs from eight institutions in the Boston area organized a symposium to discuss the future of research...

60 Years of CERN @ Harvard

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 16:35

A monthlong celebration of 60 years of science at CERN, by the Harvard Physics Department and swissnex Boston...

A New Way to Improve Efficiency of Solar Cells by Overcoming Exciton 'Traps'

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 11:12
Phase diagram of exciton topological phases A major limitation in the performance of solar cells happens within the photovoltaic material itself: When photons strike the molecules of a solar cell, they transfer their energy, producing quasi-particles called excitons...

Spring 2014 Derek Bok Center Awards

Friday, September 19, 2014 - 10:10

Congratulations to physics teaching fellows, teaching assistants, course assistants, and preceptors who won the Derek Bok Center teaching awards!

Scaling Macroscopic Aquatic Locomotion

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 15:00
Aquatic swimming Inertial aquatic swimmers that use undulatory gaits range in length L from a few millimetres to 30 metres, across a wide array of biological taxa. Prof. L. Mahadevan, working with a postdoctoral fellow Mattia Gazzola and a colleague Mederic Argentina from the University of Nice...

New Search Methods for Primitive and Intelligent Life Far from Earth

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 14:48
Avi Loeb lecture annoucement "Are we alone or is the universe teeming with life?" is one of the most fundamental questions in science. The answer could have a dramatic impact on society and culture...

New Book by David Morin

Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 11:58
book cover Problems and Solutions in Introductory Mechanics, CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2014

Adam Cohen Receives 2014 Blavatnik National Award

Monday, July 28, 2014 - 16:30
Prof. Adam Cohen The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists supports and honors outstanding scientists and engineers by encouraging and accelerating innovation through unrestricted funding and by recognizing their extraordinary achievements as vital contributions to science and society.

Graduate Student Orientation: Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 15:48

Schedule of Events:

9:00 – 10:00 am Breakfast in the G1 area, Jefferson 260
10:00 – 11:00 am Academic Presentation, Jefferson 250...

Happy Birthday, Leo Beranek!

Monday, August 25, 2014 - 11:05
Leo Beranek

Dr. Beranek, an American acoustics expert, former MIT professor, a founder and former president of Bolt, Beranek and Newman, and Harvard Physics alumnus, has celebrated his 100th birthday!

How the Cerebral Cortex Got Its Folds

Friday, August 22, 2014 - 15:58
figure 3 The convolutions of the human brain are a symbol of its functional complexity and correlated with its information processing capacity. Conversely, loss of folds is correlated with loss of function. But how did the outer surface of the brain, the layered cortex of neuronal gray matter, get its folds?

Barandes Teaches High School Students

Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 10:49
Dr. Barandes

Jacob Barandes tought Introduction to Theoretical Physics this summer to a class of 25, mostly high-school students...

HOLLIS+: New library research tool for everyone!

Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 10:14
HOLLIS+ screen

The Harvard Library launched a new search tool called HOLLIS+. This tool enables discovery of the bulk of the Harvard Library resources in a single unified search, includes finding books and articles together...

Strominger Awarded 2014 Dirac Medal

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 17:56
Prof. Andrew Strominger

Professor Andrew Strominger is one of three scholars awarded the 2014 Dirac Medal by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics for their "crucial contributions to the origin, development and further understanding of string theory"...

Introducing Open Rev!

Monday, August 11, 2014 - 12:56
Erik Bauch and Georg Kucsko

Physics graduate students Erik Bauch and Georg Kucsko have developed an online tool for collaborative annotation of scientific publications, Open Rev., which enables scientists discuss science openly, independently of publishers and impact factors...

Induced Superconductivity in the Quantum Spin Hall Edge

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 - 11:48
 General behaviour observed in the topological Josephson junction

Topological insulators are a newly discovered phase of matter characterized by gapped bulk states surrounded by conducting boundary states. Since their theoretical discovery, these materials have encouraged intense efforts to study their properties and capabilities...

Quantifying the Power of Multiple Event Interpretations

Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 11:20
A number of methods have been proposed recently which exploit multiple highly-correlated interpretations of events, or of jets within an event. For example, Qjets reclusters a jet multiple times and telescoping jets uses multiple cone sizes...

Harvard Physics Research Scholar Retreat 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 13:43
Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center

WHEN: Thursday, September 18, 2014
8:00AM - 8:00PM
WHERE: Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center, North Andover, MA

All-Optical Electrophysiology in Mammalian Neurons Using Engineered Microbial Rhodopsins

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 12:31
All-optical electrophysiology—spatially resolved simultaneous optical perturbation and measurement of membrane voltage—would open new vistas in neuroscience research. Professor Adam Cohen and colleagues from Harvard, MIT, University of Alberta, Canada, and Beijing Genomics Institute–Shenzhen, China...

Patterns Formed by Shadows of Spheres

Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 13:03
Patterns Formed by Shadows of Spheres

Motivated by colloidal lithography, Harvard Physics Grad Student Sarah Kostinski, SEAS Postdoc Elizabeth Chen, and Professor Michael Brenner studied the problem of characterizing periodic planar patterns formed by shadows of spheres. The set of patterns accessible to shadow lithography spanned by lattice types...

Jerison, Chowdhury, Saklayen Win Fellowships

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 15:42
fellowships winners

Congratulations to Harvard Physics graduate students Elizabeth Jerison and Debanjan Chowdhury who won the Harvard Merit Scholarship and Nabiha Saklayen who was awarded an International Student Research Fellowship by the Howard Hughes...

New Department Chair: Professor Masahiro Morii

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 15:12
Prof. M. Morii

The Department of Physics would like to congratulate Professor Masahiro Morii on his appointment as Department Chair.

A Quantum Network of Clocks

Monday, June 16, 2014 - 13:12
World-wide quantum clock network A quantum network of atomic clocks could create even more accurate and stable time-keeping devices than present atomic clocks, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Physics. Such a network could have technological applications as well as provide a resource for Earth science studies and fundamental tests...

"Physics Was Paradise"

Monday, June 16, 2014 - 13:05
Prof. M. Franklin

Melissa Franklin, an experimental particle physicist, has had a career of firsts, some scientific, some social. Read an Interview with Prof. Melissa Franklin in the Harvard Gazette.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 15:12
Among physics students there exists a wide variety of misconceptions, generally thought to be robust and resistant to change. In their Commentary in Nature Physics, Professor Eric Mazur and colleagues from SEAS and John Abbott College, Montreal...

The Dynamics of Quantum Criticality Revealed by Quantum Monte Carlo and Holography

Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 15:03
Figure 4: Holographic continuation Understanding the dynamics of quantum systems without long-lived excitations (quasiparticles) constitutes an important yet challenging problem. Although numerical techniques can yield results for the dynamics in imaginary time, their reliable continuation to real time has proved difficult...

Congratulations to the 2013-2014 Physics Graduates!

Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 11:39
Commencement 2014

Mehrtash Babadi, Yang Ting Chien, Sujit Datta, Joshua Dorr, Ben Feldman, Jerome Fung, Michael Gullans, Angela Kou, Andrew McCormick, Matthew Barr, Jennifer Hou, Yat Shan Au, Chi-Ming Chang, Yiwen Chu, Michael Grinolds, Rodrigo Guerra...

Electron-Hole Asymmetric Integer and Fractional Quantum Hall Effect in Bilayer Graphene

Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 11:05
Fractional quantum Hall states in bilayer graphene The nature of fractional quantum Hall (FQH) states is determined by the interplay between the Coulomb interaction and the symmetries of the system. The unique combination of spin, valley, and orbital degeneracies in bilayer graphene is predicted to produce an unusual and tunable sequence of FQH states...

Congratulations to Ariel Amir!

Friday, May 30, 2014 - 11:15
Ariel Amir Harvard Physics Junior Fellow Ariel Amir is moving to SEAS to become an Assistant Professor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics.  His research interests encompass several fields, amongs them theory of glasses, biophysics, and structural coloration...

ProtonMail: an 'NSA-Proof' Encrypted Email

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 - 14:54

Graduate student Andy Yen is one of the founders of ProtonMail: the first end-to-end encrypted email service which is web based and easy to use. PhotonMail is said to be so secure that its data is inaccessible even to ProtonMail's own servers and and thus cannot be cracked...

Professor Mazur Wins Minerva Prize

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 10:30
Prof. Eric Mazur

Prof. Eric Mazur is the first winner of the Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education. In recognizing Dr. Mazur for his significant contributions to improving higher education, the Minerva Academy specifically noted his development of Peer Instruction...

Fermi Surface and Pseudogap Evolution in a Cuprate Superconductor

Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 10:52
Schematic of the high-DOS regions which contribute to QPI Superconductivity arises from pairing of electrons on the Fermi surface. Professors Jenny Hoffman and Subir Sachdev, with colleagues from Harvard, MIT, Nagoya University, and Northeastern University report in Science...

Decoding the Secrets of Superconductivity

Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 10:50
D-wave bond order

Professors Hoffman, Sachdev are at the forefront of cutting-edge research on high-energy superconductors.  Read: N. Wolchover, "Decoding the Secrets of Superconductivity," Quanta Magazine (20 April 2014).

Emanuele Dalla Torre Awarded the Alon Fellowship

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 11:36
Dr. Dalla Torre Dr. Dalla Torre was awarded the Alon Fellowship for young faculty members by the Israeli Council for Higher Education. He is currently a post-doctorate fellow at the Department of Physics, in the group of Prof. Eugene Demler, and an ITAMP fellow. Next year Dr. Dalla Torre is...

Evening with Francois Englert

Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 13:50

On April 15, students in Andy Strominger’s Spring Freshman Seminar, Black Holes, String Theory and the Fundamental Laws of Nature, met with recent David M. Lee Historical speaker and Nobel laureate Francois Englert and his wife, pictured here with the students after a relaxed evening of questions and answers.  Munching on ribs and cornbread, Dr.

Prof. Sachdev Inducted into the NAS

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 11:15
Prof. Sachdev

Congratulations to Professor Subir Sachdev for being elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences!

Professor Eric Mazur

Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 14:20
Book Cover Professor Eric Mazur has published a groundbreaking, modern introductory physics textbook that builds up physics from conservation principles: Principles & Practice of Physics (Pearson, 2014)...

Nanophotonic Quantum Phase Switch with a Single Atom

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 14:48
Quantum optical switches are important elements of quantum circuits and quantum networks, analogous to transistors in classical electronic circuits. Operated at the fundamental limit where a single quantum of light or matter controls another field or material system...

Subnanometre Resolution in Three-Dimensional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Individual Dark Spins

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 10:53
New MRI technique provides subnanometre spatial resolution in three dimensions, with single electron-spin sensitivity...

The Morris Loeb Lecture in Physics: Marc Mézard

Friday, April 18, 2014 - 15:54
Colloquium (Apr 28): "The spin glass cornucopia"
Lecture I (Apr 29): "Phase transitions in hard computer science problems"
Lecture II (Apr 30): "Occam’s razor in massive data acquisition: a statistical physics approach"

EPB Annual Symposium

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 15:27
On Saturday, April 26, the annual Engineering and Physical Biology (EPB) Symposium brought together scholars from constituent fields - Physics, Engineering, Chemistry and Molecular Biology - who presented significant recent findings ranging from the physics of protein conformation to DNA knotting.

Gamma-Ray Emissions from Dark Matter?

Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 12:48

Past studies have identifed a spatially extended excess of 1-3 GeV gamma rays from the region surrounding the Galactic Center, consistent with the emission expected from annihilating dark matter. Harvard Physics grad student Tansu Daylan, Prof. Douglas Finkbeiner, and...

Atomic Legos: Building and Investigating Quantum Materials One Atom at a Time

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 15:09

Ultracold atoms offer a fascinating view of the quantum world. With the quantum gas microscope, invented here at Harvard, we take pictures of individual atoms dancing to the rules of quantum mechanics...

Reunion and Symposium for Graduate Alumni

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 15:07


David M. Lee Historical Lecture in Physics

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 17:05
Prof. Englert

François Englert, "The Brout-Englert-Higgs Mechanism And Its Scalar Bosons"

Topological Excitations and the Dynamic Structure Factor of Spin Liquids on the Kagome Lattice

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 11:39
Recent neutron scattering experiments on the spin-1/2 kagome lattice antiferromagnet ZnCu3(OH)6Cl2 (Herbertsmithite) provide the first evidence of fractionalized excitations in a quantum spin liquid state in two spatial dimensions. In contrast to existing theoretical models of both gapped and gapless spin liquids, which give rise...

Angular Fluctuations of a Multi-Component Order Describe the Pseudogap Regime of the Cuprate Superconductors

Friday, March 21, 2014 - 12:10
The hole-doped cuprate high-temperature superconductors enter the pseudogap regime as their superconducting critical temperature, Tc, falls with decreasing hole density. Recent x-ray scattering experiments in YBa2Cu3O6+x observe incommensurate charge-density wave fluctuations whose strength rises gradually over a wide...

Fall 2013 Certificate of Distinction in Teaching Awards

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 10:25
Graduate students Prahar Mitra, Elliot Schneider, Elizabeth Petrik, Nicholas Schade, Alexandru Lupsasca, Chi-Ming Chang, and Timothy Koby have been awarded the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching for the Fall 2013 term by the Derek Bok Center.

First Direct Evidence of Cosmic Inflation

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 10:05

The BICEP2 Collaboration, led by Professor John Kovac, has announced the discovery of first direct evidence of cosmic inflation, the expansion of space first proposed in 1981 by Alan Guth of MIT. Watch the VIDEO.

EPiQS Funding to Boost Quantum Materials Theory Research

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 10:58

Harvard has been chosen one of the six recipients of Gordon and Betty Mooore Foundation's Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems (EPiQS) grants...

Dark Matter as a Trigger for Periodic Comet Impacts

Monday, March 10, 2014 - 10:31

Professors Lisa Randall and Matthew Reece suggest that a smooth disc of dark matter passing through the Galaxy approximately every 35 million years might be the underlying cause of the cycles of increased meteorite activity on Earth, such as the one that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs...

Prof. Mazur Inducted into the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities

Friday, March 7, 2014 - 15:00
The Society... was established in 1752 by seven distinguished burghers of the city of Haarlem, in the then Republic of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, in order "to promote science" (in the broadest sense, including the "arts")

Charge Order Driven by Fermi-Arc Instability in Bi2201

Friday, March 7, 2014 - 14:19

The understanding of the origin of superconductivity in cuprates has been hindered by the apparent diversity of intertwining electronic orders in these materials...

Evolutionary Forces in Humans and Pathogens

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - 15:55

The genome revolution has created unprecedented opportunities to study human biology, evolution, and disease, and is making it possible to carry out unprecedented studies in the microbial pathogens that affect humans....

Elastic Instability of a Crystal Growing on a Curved Surface

Monday, March 3, 2014 - 14:03
Although the effects of kinetics on crystal growth are well understood, the role of substrate curvature is not yet established...

Stan Cotreau and the Instructional Instrument Lab

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 12:10
Stan Cotreau

If you’re going to teach people engineering, - says Stan Cotreau, the Director of the Physics / SEAS Instiructional Instrument Lab (or the Machine Shop, as it's commonly called) - if you’re going to teach them experimental physics, you’ve got to teach them how to work with their hands.

Bringing Bioelectricity to Light

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 16:22

Electrical signaling plays a fundamental role in biology: our neurons communicate with little electrical blips, our heart is paced by an electrical wave, and every cell in our body powers part of its metabolism from electrical energy in mitochondria...

2014 Salam Distinguished Lecture

Monday, February 10, 2014 - 13:46
Prof. Subir Sachdev delivered the 2014 Salam Distinguished Lecture titled "Theory of Quantum Matter: from Quantum Fields to Strings" at the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics.

2014 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize

Friday, February 7, 2014 - 12:32
This year's Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize has been awarded to Prof. Philip Kim "for his discoveries of unconventional electronic properties of graphene".

Osmotic-pressure-controlled concentration of colloidal particles in thin-shelled capsules

Friday, January 31, 2014 - 15:27
Colloidal crystals are promising structures for photonic applications requiring dynamic control over optical properties...

2013: Year in Pictures

Friday, January 31, 2014 - 15:24


Watch the 2013 slideshow

Prof. Matthew Schwartz published a new book

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 14:25

From the Publisher's Summary: "Providing a comprehensive introduction to quantum field theory, this textbook covers the development of particle physics from its foundations to the discovery of the Higgs boson..."

The Violent Origin of the Earth and Moon

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 16:30

The physical properties of our planet are intricately tied to the sequence of giant impact events that led to the formation of the Moon. The canonical giant impact model for lunar origin has been called into question by recent geochemical measurements of lunar rocks...

Measuring Electron's Electric Dipole Moment

Friday, January 10, 2014 - 14:04

The Standard Model (SM) of particle physics fails to explain dark matter and why matter survived annihilation with antimatter following the Big Bang. Extensions to the SM, such as weak-scale Supersymmetry, may explain one or both of these phenomena by positing the existence of new particles and interactions that are asymmetric under time-reversal (T)...

Max Planck’s Cosmic Harmonium

Thursday, November 14, 2013 - 16:01

In 1893, Max Planck, newly appointed professor of physics in Berlin, was seconded to study the department’s Eitz harmonium, capable of dividing an octave into 104 steps. An accomplished musician, Planck learned to play this new instrument and used it to devise experiments in musical temperament...

Direct Measurement of the Zak Phase in Topological Bloch Bands

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 14:05

Geometric phases that characterize the topological properties of Bloch bands play a fundamental role in the band theory of solids...

Origins of Slowly Fading Super-Luminous Supernovae

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 17:36

Super-luminous supernovae that radiate more than 1044 ergs per second at their peak luminosity have recently been discovered in faint galaxies at redshifts of 0.1–4. Some evolve slowly, resembling models of 'pair-instability' supernovae...

Two Professors Win the Physics Frontiers Prize

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 12:10

Professors Andrew Strominger and Cumrun Vafa have been awarded the Physics Frontiers Prize by the Fundamental Physics Prize Committee.

On the Nature of Evidence

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 15:29

What counts as evidence?
Is there a gold standard?
What makes some evidence better than other kinds?
Do different scientific disciplines answer these questions differently?

Unconventional Sequence of Fractional Quantum Hall States in Suspended Graphene

Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 20:50

Graphene provides a rich platform to study many-body effects, owing to its massless chiral charge carriers and the fourfold degeneracy arising from their spin and valley degrees of freedom. Graduate student Ben Feldman, Prof. Amir Yacoby, and colleagues from Max-Planck-Institut...

New Center for Integrated Quantum Materials

Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 15:16
CIQM logo

The National Science Foundation has awarded a major grant to researchers from Harvard University, Howard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Boston Museum of Science to create a Science and Technology Center on Integrated Quantum Materials...

Cambridge-Connecticut AMO Open House

Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 15:58
8:00am - 9:00am: Poster set up (Physics Research Library)
9:00am - 11:00am: Talks (Jefferson 250)
11:00am - 2:30pm: Poster Session (Physics Research Library)

How Should We Think About How Our Students Think About Physics?

Monday, October 7, 2013 - 10:54

On September 30, 2013, University of Maryland Professor of Physics Edward "Joe" Redish was the guest speaker at the Harvard Monday Physics Colloquium dedicated to the science of teaching and learning physics...

Attractive Photons in a Quantum Nonlinear Medium

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 10:46

The fundamental properties of light derive from its constituent particles - massless quanta (photons) that do not interact with one another. However, it has long been known that the realization of coherent interactions between individual photons...

Harvard Physics Department Post-Doc Retreat

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 18:24

WHEN: Friday, October 18, 2013, 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Mass. General Hospital Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND) (Building114), 114 16th St., Charlestown Naval Shipyard...

Save the Date!

Friday, September 20, 2013 - 13:16

Please watch this space for more information.



Hot on the Trail of Warm Planets Around Cool Stars

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 15:55

Just three years ago the prospect of finding temperate, rocky worlds around other stars was still the subject of science fiction: none had been found and reasonable estimates put us years or decades away from such a momentous discovery...

R.I.P. George Brandenburg

Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 11:48
George Brandenburg With great sadness that we announce that Doctor George Brandenburg, ex-director of the LPPC, passed away on Saturday.

How the Gut Gets Its Villi

Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 15:47

An international group of researchers, including Professor L. Mahadevan, has developed a quantitative computational model for the development of villi in the gut of humans and other species.

ATLAS Standard Model Workshop

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 22:35

The ATLAS Standard Model group workshop will be held in Harvard, 19-21 September, 2013. The first day of the workshop is an open session with invited theory talks. The second and the third days are for ATLAS internal discussions.

Quantum Dynamics of Low-Dimensional Systems Workshop

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 11:42

This workshop is dedicated to the memory Adilet Imambekov (1981-2012).
Participants include Lev Ioffe (Rutgers), Jun Kono (Rice), Matteo Rizzi (Mainz), Alexei Tsvelik (Brookhaven), Vladimir Gritsev (Fribourg)...

Graduate Student Orientation: Thursday, August 29, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013 - 14:36
Schedule of Events:

9:00 – 10:00 am Breakfast in the G1 area (and G1 desk assignments)
10:00 – 11:30 am Orientation in Jefferson 356...

Nanothermometer for the Living Cell

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 10:05
Nanothermometer for the Living Cell

Researchers from Harvard, MIT, and the City University of Hong Kong, led by Professors Mikhail Lukin and Hongkun Park, developed a new approach for nanoscale temperature control inside a living cell...

Researchers Build an All-Optical Transistor

Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 12:50
A team of MIT, Harvard, and the Vienna University of Technology scientists built an all-optical transistor. Using ultracold atoms researchers were able to demonstrate that a single gate photon can control the transmission of hundreds of signal photons...

Physics Students Build a Boat

Sunday, June 16, 2013 - 15:01

Prof. Melissa Franklin lead a group of physics students in building a small boat, from raw materials to its successful launch on Charles River...

2013 Engineering and Biological Physics Symposium

Friday, May 31, 2013 - 15:24

Monday, June 10 • ​Northwest Building, B101, 52 Oxford Street
9:00   Jeremy England, Asst. Professor of Physics, MIT, "A game of musical chairs: the simple physics of protein conformational change"

Congratulations to the 2012-13 Physics Graduates!

Friday, May 17, 2013 - 10:51
Commencement 2013 procession

November PhDs: Colin Connolly, Garry Goldstein, Douglas Mason, Adam Pivonka, Yihua Wang, Pavel Petrov, Zachary Wissner-Gross
March PhDs: Antonio Copete, Jieping Fang, Yiqiao Tang
May PhDs: Tarek Anous, Luke Bruneaux, Hwan Sung Choe...

Lee Historical Lecture by Prof. Glauber

Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 15:56
Photo: Harvard Gazette, Rose Lincoln, Harvard Staff Photographer

"After the U.S. entered World War II, things changed on Harvard’s campus. All but two of the Houses filled with military personnel, and faculty members left to take up posts supporting the war effort..."

Dr. Barandes Won the Excellence in Teaching Award

Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 15:57
Dr. Barandes

Each year, the undergraduate members of Alpha Iota, the Harvard College chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Soclety, award Excellence in Teaching Prize to three members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences...

"Science of Music and Sound" Sound Fair!

Friday, May 17, 2013 - 12:25

60 students who participated in Prof. Eric Heller's "Why You Hear What You Hear: The Science of Music and Sound" class (SPU13) presented their demos of original sound/music-related projects.

The Lost Art of Finding Our Way

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 15:12

Long before GPS, Google Earth, and global transit, humans traveled vast distances using only environmental clues and simple instruments. John Huth asks what is lost when modern technology substitutes...