Experts in the News

To request a media interview, please reach out to School of Physics experts using our faculty directory, or contact Jess Hunt-Ralston, College of Sciences communications director. A list of faculty experts and research areas across the College of Sciences at Georgia Tech is also available to journalists upon request.

Brandon Pries is a graduate student in the School of Physics who researches computational astrophysics with Professor John Wise, using machine learning to study the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes in the early universe. Pries has also done extensive research with the NSF IceCube Collaboration. Pries recently shared a deep dive on neutrinos with astrobites, a daily literature journal (an "astro-ph reader's digest") supported by the AAS.

astrobites 2024-02-08T00:00:00-05:00

This story about three alumni from Ohio Northern University's School of Science, Technology, and Mathematics who are making a mark in the world of physics and mathematics include Matthew Golden, who is now a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Physics. Golden's research in the Extreme Astrophysics lab focuses on the interface of machine learning and physics.

Ohio Northern University 2024-01-22T00:00:00-05:00

Silicon has long reigned as the material of choice for the microchips that power everything in the digital age, from AI to military drones. Silicon chips have been bumping against the limits of miniaturization for years, dividing chip makers on whether Moore’s law, the longstanding assumption that transistors will steadily get smaller and computers more powerful, is already dead. But the global semiconductor industry is still under just as much pressure to produce ever more powerful chips, and keep up the pace of technological progress. This month, researchers at Georgia Tech, led by Walter de Heer, Regents' Professor in the School of Physics, created the world’s first functional graphene-based semiconductor, marking what de Heer dubbed a “Wright brothers moment” for the next-generation materials that could make up the electronic devices of the future.  (This research was also covered at Physics WorldTech Briefs, TechSpot, Freethink, McGill Daily, and Fudzilla.)

Politico 2024-01-16T00:00:00-05:00

In the 21st century, there is a need to develop electronic devices that are both smaller and faster, whether for applications in the medical sector or robotics. Experts have been busy working on producing advanced materials for modern electronic devices to meet this demand. A significant milestone in this endeavor has been achieved by a team of researchers at Georgia Tech, who have successfully engineered the world's first functional semiconductor using graphene. "To me, this is like a Wright brothers moment," said Walter de Heer, Regents' Professor in the School of Physics, who led this development. Silicon, commonly used in semiconductors, is nearing its limits in the face of increased demand for quicker processing and smaller electronic devices. Graphene is a two-dimensional honeycomb-like structure formed by a single layer of carbon atoms organized in a hexagonal lattice. It is well-known for having strong electrical conductivity, mechanical strength, and flexibility. "It's an extremely robust material, one that can handle very large currents and can do so without heating up and falling apart," said de Heer. (This story was also covered at Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Fox5 AtlantaLiveScienceScienceDailySemiconductor Engineering, Chemistry WorldGlobal TimesScienceX, The Print, New ScientistTechnology NetworksTom's Hardware, South China Morning Post, AZO Nano, SystemTek, Gearrice, ConnexionblogInnovation News Network, EENewsMedriva, MintLoungeEngineering and TechnologyInceptive MindBNN Breaking, Cosmos Magazine, TechXplore, JagranJosh, ABPLive, ChinaDaily, WinBuzzer, and Sportskeeda. ) 

Interesting Engineering 2024-01-12T00:00:00-05:00

In the cosmos, the rhythm of seasons is a dance choreographed by the distinct axial tilt of each planet. The study of these celestial ballets has been the focus of astrophysicist Gongjie Li, assistant professor in the School of Physics. Funded by NASA, Li’s research delves into the reasons behind seasonal patterns, centering on the effects of a planet’s axial tilt or obliquity. Earth has an axis tilted about 23 degrees from vertical, a feature that triggers the varying intensity of sunlight across different hemispheres, resulting in changing seasons. Li articulates that planets ideally aligned axially with their orbit around the sun, assuming a circular orbit, wouldn’t bear witness to seasons due to a constant influx of sunlight.

BNN Breaking 2024-01-10T00:00:00-05:00

Spring, summer, fall and winter – the seasons on Earth change every few months, around the same time every year. It’s easy to take this cycle for granted here on Earth, but not every planet has a regular change in seasons. So why does Earth have regular seasons when other planets don’t? Gongjie Li, assistant professor in the School of Physics, explains about axial tilts of planets, which have big implications for everything from seasons to glacier cycles, since that tilt can determine just how much sun a planet will get. The magnitude of that tilt can even determine whether a planet is habitable to life. (This article by Li was also reprinted in in IFL Science, Qrius, and the Longmont (Colorado) Leader.

The Conversation 2024-01-10T00:00:00-05:00

Systems consisting of spheres rolling on elastic membranes have been used to introduce a core conceptual idea of general relativity: how curvature guides the movement of matter. However, such schemes cannot accurately represent relativistic dynamics in the laboratory because of the dominance of dissipation and external gravitational fields. A new study from School of Physics researchers demonstrates that an “active” object (a wheeled robot), which moves in a straight line on level ground and can alter its speed depending on the curvature of the deformable terrain it moves on, can exactly capture dynamics in curved relativistic spacetimes. The researchers' mapping and framework facilitate creation of a robophysical analog to a general relativistic system in the laboratory at low cost that can provide insights into active matter in deformable environments and robot exploration in complex landscapes. Researchers includes Hussain Gynai and Steven Tarr, graduate students; Emily Alicea-Muñoz, academic professional; Gongjie Li, assistant professor; and Daniel Goldman, Dunn Family Professor. 

Nature Scientific Reports 2023-12-07T00:00:00-05:00

This roundup of some of the most unique excrement in the animal kingdom, showcasing the fascinating diversity of animal waste, includes a 2018 Georgia Tech study of how wombats manage to produce square-shaped feces. The study's authors include David Hu, professor in the School of Biological Sciences and the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, with an adjunct appointment in the School of Physics. As it turns out, the elastic nature of the marsupial's intestinal walls is a key factor.

Interesting Engineering 2023-12-01T00:00:00-05:00

Blimps are indeed part of this "Innovations" roundup, but it's the collaborative abilities of army ants that have led engineers from Northwestern University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology to speculate that the insects' behavioral principles and brains could one day be used to program swarms of robots. David Hu, professor in the School of Biological Sciences and the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering (with an adjunct appointment in the School of Physics), is quoted regarding his research on fire ant raft constructions during flooding, comparing the insects to neurons in one large brain.

Mastercard Newsroom 2023-11-30T00:00:00-05:00

Ever wondered why your dog’s back-and-forth shaking is so effective at getting you soaked? Or how bugs, birds, and lizards can run across water—but we can’t? Or how about why cockroaches are so darn good at navigating in the dark? Those are just a few of the day-to-day mysteries answered in the new book How to Walk on Water and Climb Up Walls: Animal Movement and the Robots of the Future, by David Hu, professor in the School of Biological Sciences and the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, with an adjunct appointment in the School of Physics. The book answers questions you probably won’t realize you even had, but they’re questions with serious answers that span the worlds of physics, fluid mechanics, and biology. Throughout the book, Hu demonstrates the extraordinary value day-to-day curiosity brings to science.

WNYC Science Friday 2023-11-27T00:00:00-05:00

Georgia Tech scientists will soon have another way to search for neutrinos, those hard-to-detect, high-energy particles speeding through the cosmos that hold clues to massive particle accelerators in the universe—if researchers can find them. "The detection of a neutrino source or even a single neutrino at the highest energies is like finding a holy grail," says Nepomuk Otte, professor in the School of Physics. Otte is the principal investigator for the Trinity Demonstrator telescope that was recently built by his group and collaborators, and was designed to detect neutrinos after they get stopped within the Earth.

Science X 2023-11-18T00:00:00-05:00

The American Physical Society (APS) recently honored five MIT community members for their contributions to physics. The recipients include MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics postdoctoral scholar Chao Li, who received his Ph.D. from the School of Physics in 2022. He was awarded the Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Beam Physics Award from the APS.

MIT News 2023-11-16T00:00:00-05:00

Events

Mar 09

The 2024 Atlanta Science Festival

Returning March 9–23, 2024, the Atlanta Science Festival is an annual public celebration of local science and technology.

Mar 09

2024 Science and Engineering Day at Georgia Tech | Atlanta Science Festival Kickoff

Campus and the Atlanta community are invited to the official kickoff event for the 2024 Atlanta Science Festival!

Mar 11

School of Physics Colloquium

School of Physics Colloquium

Mar 12

College of Sciences Student and Alumni Leadership Dinner

Join us for a memorable evening of growth and camaraderie as College of Sciences students connect with esteemed alumni.

Mar 13

School of Physics Seminar - Professor Ariel Sommer

Quantum gases of fermionic atoms provide a simple model of strongly correlated fermions, such as electrons in superconductors and neutrons in neutron stars.

Mar 13

Non-equilibrium interfaces for ultracold Fermi gases

Quantum gases of fermionic atoms provide a simple model of strongly correlated fermions, such as electrons in superconductors and neutrons in neutron stars.

Mar 14

GT Observatory Public Night: March 2024

A monthly occurrence of the GT Observatory's Public Night open to all who are interested in viewing celestial objects through our many telescopes here on campus.

Experts in the News

Brandon Pries is a graduate student in the School of Physics who researches computational astrophysics with Professor John Wise, using machine learning to study the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes in the early universe. Pries has also done extensive research with the NSF IceCube Collaboration. Pries recently shared a deep dive on neutrinos with astrobites, a daily literature journal (an "astro-ph reader's digest") supported by the AAS.

astrobites 2024-02-08T00:00:00-05:00

This story about three alumni from Ohio Northern University's School of Science, Technology, and Mathematics who are making a mark in the world of physics and mathematics include Matthew Golden, who is now a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Physics. Golden's research in the Extreme Astrophysics lab focuses on the interface of machine learning and physics.

Ohio Northern University 2024-01-22T00:00:00-05:00

Silicon has long reigned as the material of choice for the microchips that power everything in the digital age, from AI to military drones. Silicon chips have been bumping against the limits of miniaturization for years, dividing chip makers on whether Moore’s law, the longstanding assumption that transistors will steadily get smaller and computers more powerful, is already dead. But the global semiconductor industry is still under just as much pressure to produce ever more powerful chips, and keep up the pace of technological progress. This month, researchers at Georgia Tech, led by Walter de Heer, Regents' Professor in the School of Physics, created the world’s first functional graphene-based semiconductor, marking what de Heer dubbed a “Wright brothers moment” for the next-generation materials that could make up the electronic devices of the future.  (This research was also covered at Physics WorldTech Briefs, TechSpot, Freethink, McGill Daily, and Fudzilla.)

Politico 2024-01-16T00:00:00-05:00