• Events

    • NanoSEC Seminar : Nonlinear Optics at Reduced Dimensions, Prof. Hayk Harutyunyan, Department of Physics, Emory University

      When: Friday, April 10, 2015 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Where: Riverbend Research South Laboratory Auditorium

      When light interacts with low-dimensional systems, new optical new interesting phenomena can arise because of the reduced dimensionality. Classic examples include quantum dots with discrete electronic energy levels or plasmon resonances of metallic nanoparticles. In addition to the dimensionality or shape, the light-matter interaction can be further tuned by using optical nonlinearities. Typically, the induced polarization currents depend linearly on the intensity of the radiation field. However, when the linear relationship breaks down new interesting phenomena arise like frequency conversion or intensity dependent refractive index. We combine this new possibility with the interesting properties of low dimensional systems and use them for applications ranging from subdiffraction resolution imaging to on-chip frequency conversion.

    • Departmental Colloquium : Violent Events in Rocky Planetary Systems, Ben Zuckerman, Research Professor and Emeritus, UCLA

      When: Thursday, March 5, 2015 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Where: Physics Auditorium (Rm. 202)

      Implications for the fate of technological civilizations, including our own

    • Special : Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence and Why It Will Fail, Ben Zuckerman, Research Professor and Emeritus, UCLA

      When: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Where: Physics Auditorium (Rm. 202)

      In recent years astronomers have discovered that essentially all stars are orbited by planets, thus raising the hopes of many persons that life and even technological life is common in our Milky Way galaxy and will soon be found.  Notwithstanding the existence of so many planets, we present reasons why technological life is a very rare phenomenon and thus will be very difficult to discover.

    • Departmental Colloquium : Computer Simulation Studies of Polymer Adsorption and Aggregation - From Flexible to Stiff, Prof. Wolfhard Janke, University of Leipzig

      When: Thursday, February 26, 2015 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm Where: Physics Auditorium (Rm. 202)

      An overview is given on recent computer simulation studies of polymer adsorption and aggregation using generic coarse-grained models. The simulations are performed with Monte Carlo methods in generalized ensembles (multicanonical and parallel tempering) and analyzed from a canonical and microcanonical view. As examples polymer chains interacting with a flat patterned surface or being confined in a spherical cage will be discussed. Of particular interest is the scaling behavior of conformational transitions in dependence of the polymer's bending stiffness. Bending stiffness also  plays a key role for semiflexible polymer aggregation. Our results show that this is the distinguishing parameter that controls whether amorphous aggregates or twisted bundle-like motifs are formed.

    • Departmental Colloquium : Research on Transfer and Implications for Learning and Problem Solving, Dr. Sanjay Rebello, Kansas State University

      When: Thursday, January 22, 2015 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Where: Physics Auditorium (Rm. 202)

      Transfer of learning is often described as the overaching goal of education.  I will provide a broad overview how the theoretical perspectives on transfer of learning have evolved over time and delve deeper one perspective of transfer that has served as an overaching framework for some of the projects in our reasearch group over the past few years.  In particular I will discuss projects that utilize this perspective to facilitate problem solving. One of these projects focuses on facilitating transfer of mathematical integration to problem solving in a calculus-based physics course for future engineers. The other focuses on the use of visual cueing to facilitate learning and problem solving. I will discuss how these interdisciplinary efforts have advanced our knowledge of how students learn and solve problems in STEM disciplines.

  • News

    • Using Nanotechnology to Improve Treatment for Stroke Victims

      UGA Researchers including Physics Professor Yiping Zhao have developed a new technique to enhance stroke treatment using magnetically controlled nanomotors to transport a clot-busting drug to blockages in blood vessles. Results of this new technique are published in the Journal ACS Nano, and is featured in UGA's Research News. The clot-busting drug, recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, or t-PA is usually delivered to blood clots intraveneously.  In the UGA Research story, Dr. Zhao explains that “Our technology uses magnetic nanorods that, when injected into the bloodstream and activated with rotating magnets, act like stirring bars to drive t-PA to the site of the clot. Our preliminary results show that the breakdown of clots can be enhanced up to twofold compared to treatment with t-PA alone.” You can read more about this potentially life-saving research in the UGA Research Blog.

    • We are Redesigning and Reorganizing this Web Site, and We Need Your Input!

      We are presently undertaking an effort to improve our departmental website, in particular, to make it more informative, accessible and attractive to potential applicants to our graduate and undergraduate programs. For that purpose, we would like to hereby solicit your input and request your participation in an online survey concerning the departmental website, it's current strengths and weaknesses and any improvements you may want to suggest. 

      To do so, please go to the survey web page:
      to answer a few questions and then hit "Submit" to record your response. It should take no more than 10-15 minutes to do this. 
      Your input would be of great help to us in upgrading the website and how we present ourselves to our applicants — and to the rest of the world. We would like to especially encourage all students, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, to participate in this survey and send us their highly valued opinions and suggestions.
      The survey responses you submit will be anonymous — unless you choose to identify yourself by name (not required!). No login or password is required to access the survey webpage.
      Please do take the time to participate. And thank you all in advance for a most helpful contribution to improving our Department!


      Click here to fill out this anonymous survey.

    • New, Innovative Physics Course Showcased in UGA Feature Article

      Our new SCALE-UP facility for teaching Physics is featured on UGA's main website. This novel course sequence for engineering students was developed by Physics Professors Craig Wiegert and Steve Lewis. Also check out the nicely produced video feature on YouTube.

    • Four CSP Members invited to give talks at the VIIth Brazilian Meeting on Simulational Physics in Joao Pessoa, Brazil

      In August research at UGA was unusually well featured at the VIIth Brazilian Meeting on Simulational Physics in Joao Pessoa, Brazil.  David P. Landau, Distinguished Research Professor and Director of the Center for Simulational Physics, presented an Invited Lecture on “A parallel Wang-Landau sampling framework for Petascale simulations”; Michael Bachmann, Associate Professor of Physics, presented an Invited talk on "Characterization of Adsorption Transitions for Finite Polymers"; and Dr. Shan-Ho Tsai, Scientific Computing Professional in the GACRC, presented an Invited talk on “Bicritical or tetracritical:  The 3D anisotropic Heisenberg Antiferromagnet”.  Dilina Perera, a UGA graduate student in physics, was the only student selected to present an Invited talk; he spoke on “Combined molecular dynamics-spin dynamics simulations of bcc iron”.

    • Professor David P. Landau named Visiting Professor at Mainz, Germany

      The "Graduiertenschule (Graduate School of Excellence) - Materials Science in Mainz" has awarded David P. Landau, Distinguished Research Professor and Director of the Center for Simulational Physics, the newly created title of Mainz Visiting Professor for 2013-2015.  This "Mainz Graduiertenschule" is a joint effort of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, the Max Planck Institut für Polymerforschung in Mainz, and the Technischen Universität Kaiserslautern and is part of the German Research Foundation (DFG) "Exzellenzinitiative".  The award is given for lifetime-achievement of the awardee.  A formal ceremony will take place later this year.

    • Professor David P. Landau presents Invited Lecture at Russian Academy of Sciences

      On August 22 David P. Landau, Distinguished Research Professor and Director of the Center for Simulational Physics, presented an Invited Lecture at the International Meeting XXV IUPAP Conference on Computational Physics CCP2013 at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia.  The title of his presentation was: A New Paradigm for Petascale Monte Carlo Simulations:  Replica Exchange Wang-Landau Sampling.

    • Physicist John Campbell to give Fire-Walking Lecture and Demonstration

      Dr. John Campbell, a retired physicist from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, will offer a fire-walking demonstration in the quad adjacent to the physics building following a lecture on the subject on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013. The lecture will be held at 7:00 pm in the Physics Auditorium (rm 202), and the demonstration will be in the physics quad immediately following the lecture. Both the lecture and demonstration are free and open to the public. 

      Campbell plans to discuss the reasons why anyone can fire walk and what the rules are, then invite those in attendance to give it try. He has visited and presented fire-walking demonstrations in Athens twice previously, most recently in 2005.

      Read more on UGA News.

    • Ying Wai Li is the recipient of two prestigious UGA Graduate Student awards in 2013

      • Graduate Student Excellence-in-Research Award, 2013
      Initiated in 1999 to recognize the quality and significance of graduate student scholarship, these awards may be given in five areas: Fine Arts, Humanities and Letters, Life Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and  Applied Studies.

      • Robert C. Anderson Memorial Award, 2013
      This award is given to recent Ph.D.s for outstanding research at the University or immediately after graduating. It is named for the late Robert C. Anderson, who served as UGA’s vice president for research and president of the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc.

      Ying Wai Li, a doctoral graduate in physics, was an outstanding graduate student researcher while at UGA, and her many accomplishments led to her current postdoctoral fellowship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. For her PhD research project, Li worked at the interface between physics, computational science and biochemistry. She carried out very detailed simulations of the hydrophobic-polar protein folding model, which examines how proteins become functional in space. Her painstaking work led to the identification of a small number of “universal classes” of protein folding behavior. Understanding the folding behavior of proteins under diverse conditions is key to interpreting their functional properties, and Li developed a number of novel approaches to speed up the simulations and to permit her to access system sizes necessary to reveal the relevant physics. Her work explores and maps new territory, and the conclusions she has drawn may lead to new design principles for proteins or peptides used in nanotechnology and a range of real-world applications.