Avery Kaplan '20October 11, 20192min
The Physics Department's Wave-Transport Lab recently received awards totaling $709,000 to support its ongoing aim to understand and manipulate the movement of waves—sound, mechanical, or electromagnetic—through natural or human-made materials. The lab received a $340,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation program titled "Engineering Dynamical Symmetries for Extreme Wave-Matter Interactions in Elastodynamics," and a $369,000 grant from the Department of Defense's Office of Naval Research (ONR) titled "Waveform Shaping Techniques for Targeted Electromagnetic Attacks." The Wave-Transport Lab was established in 2016 when Fred Ellis, chair and professor of physics, and Tsampikos Kottos, the…

Olivia DrakeAugust 14, 20191min
The Summe Program for Research in the Sciences culminated with a research poster session in the lobby of Exley Science Center, with more than 100 students participating. The program, held May 29 to July 26, was open to frosh, sophomores and juniors currently enrolled at Wesleyan. Wesleyan science faculty members served as mentors for student research in their laboratories. In addition to the closing poster session, the students participated in weekly seminars and workshops, a symposium, and various social events. After the poster session, students displayed their posters in the hallways outside the introductory biology laboratories. (more…)

Cynthia RockwellAugust 13, 20192min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Wesleyan in the News 1. Inside Higher Ed: 'Safe Enough Spaces' President Michael Roth is interviewed about defending free speech, inclusion on campus, and affirmative action, among other topics, in connection with the forthcoming publication of his new book, Safe Enough Spaces: A Pragmatist's Approach to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness on College Campuses, due out Aug. 20 from Yale University Press. 2. The New York Times: "The World's Smartest Chimp Has Died" William Griffin Professor of Philosophy Lori Gruen writes in…

Olivia DrakeAugust 13, 20193min
(Story by Kerisha Harris) For the sixth year in a row, the weeklong Wesleyan Girls in Science Summer Camp welcomed dozens of middle school-aged girls for a week of learning, exploration, and STEM-centered fun. From Aug. 5-9 inside Exley Science Center, the 32 campers in grades 4-6 spent the week learning about everything from how to extract DNA from a strawberry, to the parts of the brain, and even how to make (but don’t touch) an ice-cold comet. By Friday, the young scientists were excited to share all they had learned with their friends and families, and did so through a poster presentation and…

Olivia DrakeJuly 8, 20194min
For two weeks this summer, Donglai Yang ’21 used isotope dating of rocks, minerals, and sediments from the Weddell Sea near Antarctica to determine the age of a section of Earth's southernmost continent. Yang, an earth and environmental sciences and physics double major, was selected as one of 10 undergraduate and graduate students from around the world to participate in the National Science Foundation–sponsored Antarctichron/Chronothon 2019 workshop held June 24 to July 8 at the University of Arizona. The workshop introduced participants to geo- and thermochronology through some applications to the geology of Antarctica. Students learned to analyze and interpret their own…

Olivia DrakeJune 24, 20192min
On May 25, members of the Class of 2019 were inducted into Wesleyan’s Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Society, the oldest national scholastic honor society. The Wesleyan Gamma Chapter was organized in 1845 and is the ninth-oldest chapter in the country. To be elected, a student must first have been nominated by the department of his or her major. The student also must have demonstrated curricular breadth by having met the General Education Expectations and must have achieved a GPA of 93 and above. Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest surviving Greek letter society in America, founded in December…

Olivia DrakeJune 17, 20192min
In recognition of their career achievements, the following faculty members are being appointed to endowed professorships, effective July 1, 2019: Frederick Cohan, professor of biology, is receiving the Huffington Foundation Professorship in the College of the Environment, established in 2010. Susanne Fusso, professor of Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies, is receiving the Marcus L. Taft Professorship of Modern Languages, established in 1880. William Johnston, professor of history, is receiving a John E. Andrus Professorship of History, established in 1981. Ethan Kleinberg, professor of history and professor of letters, is receiving the Class of 1958 Distinguished Professorship, established in 2008. Tsampikos…

Olivia DrakeMay 9, 20191min
Tsampikos Kottos, professor of physics, and Yaxin Li '19 are the coauthors of an article titled "Coherent Wave Propagation in Multimode Systems with Correlated Noise" published in the April 18, 2019 issue of Physical Review Letters. In this study, the coauthors utilize a random matrix theory approach to unveil a physical mechanism that shields wave coherent effects in the presence of disorder (noise).

Christian CamerotaNovember 12, 20183min
Tsampikos Kottos, professor of physics, and Wesleyan University will lead a complex, multi-institution initiative to research and develop the next generation of national instrumentation technology thanks to a four-year, $2,794,606 grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Awarded this August, the grant is the culmination of at least eight years of photonics research by Kottos and his fellow collaborators, and will have significant implications for the future of a variety of technologies employed by the federal government and the private sector. An agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, DARPA funds research and development projects that push the…

Olivia DrakeJune 4, 20181min
Lutz Hüwel, professor of physics, is the author of the book Of Clocks and Time, published by Morgan & Claypool Publishers in April 2018. According to Hüwel, Of Clocks and Time takes readers on a five-stop journey through the physics and technology—and occasional bits of applications and history—of timekeeping. He offers conceptual vistas and qualitative images, along with equations, quantitative relations, and rigorous definitions. The book includes discussion of the rhythms produced by the motion of sun, moon, planets, and stars, a summary of historical theoretical insights that are still influential today, examination of the tools that allow us to measure time, as…

Cynthia RockwellDecember 12, 20172min
On Dec. 11, Foss Professor of Physics Tom Morgan invited his class, Introduction to Contemporary Physics, to join him in Exley Science Center for a virtual visit to the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, located in Geneva. With Senior Instructional Media Specialist Heric Flores-Rueda projecting images on a classroom screen through video conferencing, Morgan's students enjoyed a real-time view of the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) laboratory and an on-screen peek inside the collider. Physicist Steven Goldfarb—a member of the team that discovered the Higgs Boson Particle—led the tour, explaining the experiments underway, as…

Olivia DrakeOctober 16, 20172min
Francis Starr, professor of physics, was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in October. This honor is bestowed upon only 0.5 percent of physicists nation wide. The criterion for election is "exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise including outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education. Starr received the APS fellowship for his simulation studies elucidating fundamental aspects of glass formation in bulk and ultra-thin film polymer materials. At Wesleyan, the Starr group focuses on soft matter physics and biophysics. Starr and his graduate and undergraduate students combine computational and theoretical…