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

September 30, 2014
Moore Foundation

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, after a national competition, has selected nineteen Moore Experimental Investigators in Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems, among them three Harvard Physics professors: Jenny Hoffman, Philip Kim, and Amir Yacoby.


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

September 24, 2014
Phase diagram of exciton topological phases

Phase diagram of exciton topological phases: a,b, Diagrams for the upper and lower energy exciton Hamiltonians (v = L, U), respectively. Light and dark blue regions denote topologically non-trivial phases with Chern number equal to − 1 and 1, exhibiting edge states with anticlockwise and clockwise exciton currents, respectively. Switching the direction of the magnetic field to Bz


Scaling Macroscopic Aquatic Locomotion

September 17, 2014
Aquatic swimming

Aquatic swimming: a,The organisms considered in the article span eight orders of magnitude in Reynolds number and encompass larvae (from mayfly to zebrafish), fish (from goldfish, to stingrays and sharks), amphibians (tadpoles), reptiles (alligators), marine birds (penguins) and large mammals (from manatees and dolphins to belugas and blue whales). Blue fish sketch by Margherita Gazzola. b, Swimmer of length L is propelled forward with velocity U by pushing a bolus of water14, 20, 24 through body undulations characterized by tail beat amplitude A and frequency ω.


How the Cerebral Cortex Got Its Folds

August 22, 2014
figure 3

Known empirical scaling laws for gray-matter volume and thickness are mapped on a g2 vs. R/T diagram. Corresponding simulations for spherical brain configurations, with images shown at a few points, show that the surface remains smooth for the smallest brains, but becomes increasingly folded as the brain size increases. [From T. Tallinen, J.Y. Chung, J.S. Biggins, and L. Mahadevan, "Gyrification from constrained cortical expansion," PNAS 2014 | doi:10.1073/pnas.1406015111]


Strominger Awarded 2014 Dirac Medal

August 13, 2014
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".

Prof. Strominger "has been a major figure in uncovering geometric solutions of string theory and has made important contributions to the understanding of black holes in quantum gravity".  

For more on the ICTP and the Dirac Medal, please see the Institute's website.


Introducing Open Rev!

August 11, 2014
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, and on a platform that is easily accessible and free for everyone in the world.