• Events

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

      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.

    • Departmental Colloquium : Are the Parameters of the Standard Model fine-tuned for Carbon-based Life?, Prof. Dean Lee

      When: Thursday, December 4, 2014 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Where: Physics Auditorium (Rm. 202)

      I discuss some recent results obtained using ab initio lattice simulations of effective field theory to probe nuclear structure. I present recent lattice calculations of the Hoyle state of 12C and whether or not light quark masses must be fine-tuned for the viability of carbon-based life.

    • Departmental Colloquium : Exoplanets Exposed: The current revolution in directly imaging exoplanetary systems, Paul Kalas

      When: Thursday, November 20, 2014 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm Where: Physics Auditorium (Rm. 202)

      There are now several thousand planets known outside of our solar system, but most have been discovered by indirect means. Directly imaging exoplanets is an enormous challenge, sometimes compared to detecting a firefly next to a lighthouse. The last time a newplanet had been discovered through astronomical imaging was our own Neptune in 1846. Within the last ten years, however, advances in space and ground-based instrumentation have provided a handful of new exoplanets discovered by direct imaging. Here I will review the techniques that are used and the Hubble Space Telescope discovery of an exotic planet called Fomalhaut b. Among the directly imaged exoplanets,Fomalhaut b has unexpected characteristics, such as a relatively blue spectrum and a highly eccentric orbit, leading to hypotheses that it is a gravitationally scattered, low-mass planet hosting a giant planetary dust ring or cloud seen in reflected light. Also in 2013-2014, the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) was successfully commissioned. I will review our accomplishments with GPI so far and discuss our research plan that over the next three years will provide an atlas of 25-50 new exoplanets orbiting nearby stars.

    • Special : Bubble Driven Catalytic Micromotors, Manoj Manjare, 2014 Kirkpatrick Award Recipient

      When: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Where: Physics Auditorium (Rm 202)

      This year (2014) we celebrate a decade anniversary of catalytic micromotors, in which they have come to represent one of the important technical advances, having shown promise in many important functions in biomedical and engineering fields such as sensing, detection, drug delivery, oil spill cleanup, etc. Catalytic nano-/ micromotors are structures that convert chemical energy present in the surrounding aqueous environment into mechanical work through a catalytic reaction induced by an asymmetrically placed catalyst. In this talk, we will look into different driving mechanisms of micromotors. The focus will be on bubble propulsion and it’s fundamentals.

      The bubble propulsion mechanism is observed when the bubbles formed on the catalyst surface eject or burst. The motion of bubbles provides an opposing thrust to the motor. We have studied the motion of bubble propelled big Janus motors using a fast CCD camera. The formation of bubbles depends closely on the nucleation energy, which also is related to surface curvature. It is predicted that bubbles are easier to nucleate on a concave shaped surface than on a convex shaped surface. Thus, bubble propulsion can be easily seen in concave motors. The predictions were confirmed with nanoshell catalytic motors with catalyst coated inside the shell. Similarly, if the catalyst is coated in the inner surface of a tube, a tubular motor can be produced. We used graphene oxide nanosheets (GO) as templates and the stress effect in the multilayer of metal thin films to create microtubes.

      Finally, collective motion with micromotors has emerged as an important concept. Collevtive behavior is observed through out the nature and can be emulated in the micromotor world. Using different properties of motional behaviors of motors, motors can be designed to perform tasks collectively. This can ultimately help in increasing the efficiency of completing tasks. We observe a unique collective bubbling with 5-μm diameter Janus motors. The bubbling has always been observed with individual motors, however, for the first time we observe bubble production through a collective effort.

    • Departmental Colloquium : Conquering NMR sensitivity Limitations: DNP Enhanced studies of Cellular Metabolism, Dr. J. H. Prestegard

      When: Thursday, November 13, 2014 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm Where: Physics Auditorium (Rm. 202)

      Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) has found applications in fields running from physics, to chemistry, to structural biology and medicine. In all cases sensitivity has been a limitation, requiringmilligramquantitiesofsampleorexceedinglongsignalaveragingperiods. The latter can be particularly limiting for real-time metabolism studies where transit between substrate and product can occur on a time-scale of tens of seconds. Recently Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) has reemerged as a means of improving NMR sensitivity by many orders of magnitude. DNP enhanced in vivo monitoring of metabolism for cancer diagnosis is near the point of clinical application. Emphasis has been on the conversion one substrate (pyruvate) to a product (lactate). However, the potential for developing substrates that probe other metabolic pathways and elucidate mechanisms of participating enzymesisenormous. This presentation will cover some of the basic physics underlying DNP and illustrate applications with results from enzyme mechanism and in-cell studies on-going at UGA.

  • 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.