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.


Induced Superconductivity in the Quantum Spin Hall Edge

August 5, 2014
 General behaviour observed in the topological Josephson junction

General behaviour observed in the topological Josephson junction: a, A map of the differential resistance across the junction, measured with the top gate at VG = 1.05 V, shows the single-slit interference characteristic of a uniform supercurrent density. b, The supercurrent density, extracted for VG = 1.05 V, is consistent with trivial charge transport throughout the bulk of the junction. c, When the top-gate voltage is lowered to VG = −0.425 V, the differential resistance shows a more sinusoidal interference pattern.


Quantifying the Power of Multiple Event Interpretations

July 31, 2014

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. Previous work has employed these methods in pseudo-experimental analyses and found that, with a simplified statistical treatment, they give sizable improvements over traditional methods.


All-Optical Electrophysiology in Mammalian Neurons Using Engineered Microbial Rhodopsins

July 15, 2014

Optopatch enables high-fidelity optical stimulation and recording in cultured neurons: Parallel optical recording under increasingly strong 0.5-s optical step stimuli. Asterisk indicates a cell that showed periodic bursts of three or four APs under weak stimulation. Scale bar, 500 μm. Image is of EGFP fluorescence. [Figure reprinted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: see D.R. Hochbaum, Y. Zhao, S.L. Farhi, N. Klapoetke...


Patterns Formed by Shadows of Spheres

July 6, 2014
Patterns Formed by Shadows of Spheres

Phase diagrams obtained via black CM2 1⁄4 0 and yellow CM3 1⁄4 0 curves for shadow overlap with nearest and next-nearest neighbors. Top left panel: Close-packed square lattice phase diagram (2r=a 1⁄4 2r=b 1⁄4 1, γ 1⁄4 π=2) reflects the fourfold lattice symmetry. Bottom left panel: Dense hexagonal lattice phase diagram (2r=a 1⁄4 2r=b 1⁄4 0.95, γ 1⁄4 π=3) with sixfold symmetry. [From S.V. Kostinski, E.R. Chen, and M.P. Brenner, "Characterization of Patterns Formed by Shadows of Spheres," Phys. Rev.