News & Events
Nikolay Prokof'ev and Boris Svistunov have been awarded a prestigious award (1.67 M$ over 10 years) from the Simons Foundation.
The Simons Collaboration on the Many Electron Problem brings together a group of scientists focused on developing new ways to solve the quantum mechanical behavior of systems comprised of many interacting electrons, with the goal of revolutionizing our ability to calculate and understand the properties of molecules and solids important in chemistry, physics and everyday life. ...more…
The EXO-200 experiment has measured the 2-neutrino double-beta decay of Xe-136 with 3% precision. The measurement provides useful information for modeling the Xe-136 nucleus, and places Xe-136 on the front stage in the search for the lepton number-violating neutrino-less double beta decay. The EXO-200 collaboration includes professors Andrea Pocar and Krishna Kumar, postdoc Tim Daniels, and graduate student Sereres Johnston. The result is highlighted on Physical Review C. ( ...more… )
Senior Morgan Opie, a physics/math double major, was awarded one of 14 scholarship offered by the Winston Churchill Foundation for outstanding american students to pursue graduate studies at Cambridge University in the UK (...more...).
Opie was also one of four Fall '13 recipients of the UMass Rising Researcher awards (...more...), and she was runner-up for the Alice T. Schafer Prize, a national prize for excellence in mathematics by an undergraduate woman.
Well done, Morgan!
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David Kastor has been named Fellow of the American Physical Society in November 2013. This is an honor conferred on less than one half of one percent of the APS membership. Congratulations, David!
For his influential work on a broad span of topics in gravitational physics, ranging from the formal definition of conserved quantities in General Relativity through new exact black hole solutions all the way to brane architectures relevant for string theory.
With the arrival of Prof. Michael Ramsey-Musolf, UMass Amherst has established the Amherst Center for Fundamental Interactions (ACFI) in the Physics Department. The ACFI seeks to advance research in theoretical and experimental physics at the interface of the Energy, Intensity, and Cosmic frontiers. ACFI activities include international topical workshops, a visiting researcher program, and enhanced in-house research involving the theoretical and experimental high energy, nuclear, and astroparticle groups. Read more about the ACFI at http://www.physics.umass.edu/acfi/ .
Back row (L to R): Haike Guo, Henry Byrd, Zhou Xu, Zachary Meadows, Haolin Li, Buquin Wang
Front row (L to R): Shao-Yu Chen, Chien Yeah Seng, Peijan Wang, James Sainz, Margaret Lutz, Alissa Monte, Megan Talley, Wanting Wang
Not shown: Christopher Olson
George R. Richason, Jr., professor emeritus Chemistry, had a conversation with Jim Ricci about another chemistry faculty member, the late Everett Turner. By tradition, the oldest faculty recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award carries the University Mace at the annual commencement ceremonies. Until the 1970’s only two professors had carried the mace in the history of the University –our Bill Ross and George. George retired in 1976.
Brothers Robert ‘70, Richard ‘55, and William Mahoney ‘55 were all Chemistry majors from the Springfield area. The private gift from Kathleen and Robert Mahoney and Richard and Barbara Mahoney underwrote a huge portion matched by University capital funds. Since initiation of the ISB project, Past Presidents of the University, William Bulger, and John Lombardi, Robert Holub separately had praised the Mahoneys for their many ways of contribution to UMass. Robert served as a Trustee for six years and as a member of the Board of Directors of the UMass Amherst Foundation. William is the past Chair of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Advisory Council. An annual chemistry lecture is present in his name. To keep really current with contemporary students, he has taught a course, “The Business of Science, Contemporary Industrial Practices,” on the Amherst campus. The image on this page shows Margaret E McCarthy, Robert Mahoney, and Steve Goodwin.
Marshall Hall was demolished in 1996 to provide space for the ISB. Marshall Hall built in 1916 served as The Bacteriology Laboratory and was renamed in 1937 to honor former faculty member Charles E. Marshall. Dr. Marshall had served as the first head of the Department of Bacteriology, Director of the Graduate School, and Director of the Experiment Station. In 1947 the Annex was added to provide extra research space and in later years housed an art studio. Professor Marshall’s daughter, Maude Marshall, PhD, was the author’s organic chemistry instructor at Wheaton College.
Interdisciplinary teams of students and researchers in chemistry, biology, animal science, and neuroscience are housed in this $80 million, 140,000 square foot science facility. The University has embarked on a large project to work with Baystate Medical Center to develop a life science industry and a clinical component. The opening foundation dedication occurred Sept 2009. “The ISB houses all undergraduate chemistry teaching labs and upper-division labs for molecular biology, cell biology, genetics and physiology. These offer specialized microscopes and access to advanced imaging technologies, lasers and sophisticated tissue culture facilities. The building also provides individual Internet and computer connections in its 48-seat lecture hall, a student computer room, small group and seminar rooms, distance-learning capabilities, plus research and office space for Veterinary and Animal Sciences faculty.” There is a roof garden installed over the chiller plant and loading docks. All of the steel recycled from the 2006 demolition of the Marshall Annex was reused.
Rainwater in the cooling system is recycled. Labs and offices have hot water, radiant perimeter ceiling panels to provide perimeter heating to monitor minimal airflow during unoccupied times. Motion detectors turn designated lighting fixtures off when not in use. Special high use resistance flooring is made from partially recycled-content vinyl and ceramic tiles.
The ISB has of eco-friendly materials—bamboo and a high efficiency, heat exchange system for heating and ventilation. In the heating season exhaust air from the classroom wing will be used to preheat incoming cold air serving the lab areas. The exchange system recovers 50 percent more heat and moisture than a typical system used in laboratory buildings. The use of both steam and electric chillers balances steam and electric consumption in conjunction with the relatively new Central Heating Plant. The ISB is a great addition to the UMass / Amherst campus waiting for you to tour.
(Contributed by Margaret McCarthy)
Congratulations to Newly Tenured Professors of the Department of Physics: Benny Davidovich, Jennifer Ross, and Christian Santangelo. In addition to attaining tenure, they have also been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.
Bo Peng successfully defended his thesis "Theory and simulations of polyelectrolyte complexes" on August 29. His work was advised by Prof. Jon Machta.
Burcu Yucesoy successfully defended her thesis "Replica Exchange Monte Carlo Simulations of the Ising Spin Glass: Static and Dynamic Properties" on August 29. Her work was advised by Prof. Murugappan Muthukumar.
Jessica Cook successfully defended her thesis "Gravitational Wave Production through Decay of the Inflaton into Intermediary Fields during Slow Roll Inflation" on August 21. Her work was advised by Prof. Lorenzo Sorbo.
Yanbo Wang successfully defended his thesis "Computer Simulations of Polyelectrolyte Stretching and Translocation" on August 16. His work was advised by Prof. Murugappan Muthukumar.
Huajie (Annabelle) Ke successfully defended her thesis "Fabrication, Characterization and Analysis of Patterned Nano-sized Material with Large Magnetic Permeability at High Frequency" on May 31. Her work was advised by Prof. Mark Tuominen.
Departmental awards were presented to graduate and undergraduate students at a luncheon on May 2 2013 to recognize their achievements in teaching, outreach, resaerch and academics. A new addition to our slate of awards was a prize for academic excellence in a graduating senior, instituted by the class of 1976-77 in the name of retired Professor Richard Kofler. ...see list of awardees
Senior Kelly Malone is one of four 2013 "Rising Researchers", a new campus-wide program to honor students whose achievements exemplify the quality of research, scholarship, and creative activity conducted by UMass Amherst undergraduates. Kelly, a physics and astronomy major, has worked on the enriched xenon observatory (EXO) experiment with Prof. Andrea Pocar since her sophomore year. Her Capstone project focussed on programming the computer control system of a radon abatement system for the EXO-200 experiment in New Mexico. ... more