Physics & Astronomy Department
Vanderbilt University
PMB 401807
2401 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-1807

(615) 322-2828
(615) 343-7263

Physics and Astronomy News, 2009-2010

  • Two papers about "the smallest liquid droplets" from the Relativistic Heavy Ion group were accepted in PRL and selected for highlights.
  • Freely available online teaching module for Celestial Navigation is developed by Susan Stewart, Erika Grundstrom and Dave Caudell.
  • S. Pantelides gave an invited talk "Multiphonon carrier capture and carrier scattering in semiconductors" at the Workshop "Nothing is Perfect -- the quantum mechanics of defects", Ascona, Switzerland, April 26-29, 2015. He also received additional funding from the Petroleum Institute of Abu Dhabi to explore the properties of sulfur and sulfur compounds.
  • John Gore's group: Study reveals biomarker of post-injury spinal cord function.
  • Dr. Eric Appelt, a May 2014 graduate from the Vanderbilt physics Ph.D. program, received the Young Scientist award from the Elsevier Journal of Nuclear Physics.
  • SLACK LECTURE - Freeman Dyson: Four Revolutions and More to Come
  • Latest CMS results make breaking news.
  • NASA has awarded $4.4 million to a collaboration, which includes Assoc. Prof. Steve Csorna, Professors Andreas Berlind and Thomas Weiler to build a telescope deployed on the International Space Station for the study of extreme energy cosmic rays.
  • Fall'12 Graduate School's Dissertation Enhancement Grant awarded to Fabienne Bastien, working with Prof. Stassun on Exoplanet.
  • The Vanderbilt high-energy particle and nuclear physics research profiled in the "Fermilab Today".
  • Prof. Andreas Berlind awarded NSF CAREER grant.
  • Recent Ph.D. recipient Brandon Cook awarded NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, for 3 years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • Graduate student Doug Watson awarded NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship, for 3 years at University of Chicago.
  • Prof. Hamilton named a member of Academia Europaea (The Academy of Europe).
  • Prof. Ernst awarded Nicholson Medal of the American Physical Society.
  • Prof. Ernst awarded Francis G. Slack Award from the Southeast Section of the American Physical Society (SESAPS) for Excellence in Service to Physics in the Southeast.
  • Prof. Julia Velkovska has been appointed convenor for the heavy ion physics program of the CMS experiment at European Laboratory for Nuclear Research (CERN).
  • Prof. Weintraub receives Ernest A. Jones Faculty Advisor Award from the College of Arts & Science.
  • Prof. Stassun elected as a General Councilor on the American Physical Society Council.
  • David Latimer, B.A. Physics and Mathematics Class of 1997, elected to Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2011 for his achievements as a cross-country runner.
  • Prof. Ernst receives SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science ) Distinguished Professional Mentor Award.
  • Yaqiong Xu receives NSF CAREER award.
  • Publication of textbook "Computational Nanoscience: Applications for Molecules, Clusters, and Solids" (Cambridge University Press) by Prof. Varga and Dr. Driscoll (Ph.D. 2011, VU).
  • Postdoc Chiu Man Ho awarded 5th place in the 2011 Gravity Research Foundation awards for essays on Gravitation.
  • Prof. Stassun promoted to Full Professor.
  • Prof. Dickerson promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.
  • Graduate student, Brittany Kamai, awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellow award.
  • Dr. Erin Rericha, currently at the University of Maryland, will be joining the Department of Physics and Astronomy as an Assistant Professor beginning this fall. Dr. Rericha received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas, and works in the field of experimental biological physics.
  • Astronomy magazine (March 2011) article on astronomer Edward Barnard and his connection to Vanderbilt and Tennessee.
  • Physics Today (March 2011) article on the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master's-to-PhD Bridge Program.
  • Prof. Bolotin awarded $120,000 CAREER grant by the National Science Foundation for Tailoring Properties of Graphene by Modifying its Environment.
  • Prof. Julia Velkovska has been appointed to the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC) that provides official advice to the Deparment of Energy and NSF on the national program for basic nucler science research.
  • Prof. Dickerson recipient of 2011 National Science Foundation CAREER award.
  • Chair Robert Scherrer has science fiction story published in Nature (January 2011).
  • Prof. Gore elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) of The National Academies.
  • Prof Julia Velkovska selected as a 2010 Kavli Frontiers Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Prof. Ramayya recipient of Honorary Doctor of Science from GURU GHASIDAS Central University in Bilaspur, Chatishgarh, India.
  • Prof. Dickerson recipient of 2011 National Science Foundation CAREER award.
  • How Old Is The Universe? a new book written by Prof. Weintraub is now available. Watch his talk How Old Is The Universe? given at Dyer Observatory.
  • Dean Carolyn M. Dever, College of Arts and Sciences, and Dean Kenneth F. Galloway, School of Engineering, announce the appointment of Professor Sokrates T. Pantelides as University Distinguished Professor of Physics and Engineering.
  • Graduate student Eric Appelt awarded Department of Energy Graduate Fellowship.
  • Graduate student Tim Pennycook awarded International Federation of Societies for Microscopy (IFSM) Scholarship.
  • Prof. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann and team awarded over 6 million CPU hours on NASA's Pleiades supercomputer to explore how black holes grow through cosmic time.
  • Undergraduates Alisha Kundert and Justin Menestrina awarded McMinn Honor Scholarships.
  • Vanderbilt Health Physics Program awarded $399,976 by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for support of Health Physics students over the next four years, in its Nuclear Education Program. Graduate student candidates are being actively recruited; interested parties should contact Dr. Michael Stabin.
  • The Astronomical Journal has accepted PhD graduate (May 2010) Phill Cargile's first-author paper: "Employing a New BVIc Photometric Survey of IC4665 to Investigate the Age of this Young Open Cluster".
  • The Astrophysical Journal has accepted PhD graduate (May 2010) Alicia Aarnio's first-author article: "A Search for Star-Disk Interaction Among the Strongest X-ray Flaring Stars in the Orion Nebula Cluster".
  • Vanderbilt (Prof. Berlind, Csorna, and Weiler) hosted a workshop for the U.S. team of the Extreme Universe Space Observatory (EUSO) for the purpose of viewing, from the International Space Station, the highest energy cosmic rays entering Earth's atmosphere.
  • Graduate student Eric Appelt has been awarded a fellowship by the Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Fellowship Program.
  • Prof. Hutson has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.
  • Physics students study forward pass with help from Commodore QB. myVU
  • Prof. Weiler is a coauthor of an article in the May issue of Scientific American titled "Through Neutrino Eyes".
  • 2010 Graduate Awards: Lagemann Award (academic performance in the first year) - Alex Krejci and Shengquan Tuo; Ramayya Award (outstanding teaching assistant) - Heungman Park and Joyeeta Nag
  • 2010 Undergraduate Awards: Jones Scholarship - Justin Menestrina and Tyler Whittle; Cathey Award - Katie Robbins; Underwood Award - Patrick Diggins and Ben Fenker
  • The Astronomical Journal has accepted graduate student Saurav Dhital's paper titled "Sloan Low-Mass Wide Pairs of Kinematically Equivalent Stars (SLoWPoKES): A Catalog of Very Wide, Low-Mass Pairs".
  • A team of American and Russian scientists, including Vanderbilt Professors Joseph Hamilton and A.V. Ramayya, announce discovery of element 117. New York Times, VUcast, Inside Science
  • The Research and Education Data Depot network (REDDnet) has been selected as a 2010 Internet2 IDEA award winner.
  • Undergraduate Evan MacQuarrie, a junior physics major, has been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship. His award is one of two given to Vanderbilt this year.
  • The new CMS Center connects Vanderbilt to the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which has produced its first proton collisions at 7 TeV. myVU, WPLN
  • Dept. Chairman Robert Scherrer has been awarded the Klopsteg Memorial Award by the American Association of Physics Teachers. Previous winners include Neil deGrasse Tyson, Lisa Randall, Wendy Freedman, Michael Turner, and Sidney Nagel.
  • Prof. Stassun delivered testimony to the U.S House of Representatives' Committee on Broadening Participation in Science and Technology.
  • Prof. Stassun has been appointed the chair of the MARVELS Science Team for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III.
  • Joyeeta Nag has been selected to attend the US-Egypt Advanced Studies Institute on "Nanomaterials and Nanocatalysis for Energy, Petrochemicals, and Environmental Applications".
  • The PHENIX experiment (including Vanderbilt's Relativistic Heavy Ion Group) reported the highest ever measured temperature (4 trillion degrees) at the Relativistic Heavy Ion collider.
  • Prof. Andreas Berlind has been awarded a 2010 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.
  • Jonathan Jarvis has received the 2010 Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Beam Physics Award from the Division of Physics of Beams of the APS.
  • A new undergraduate textbook, "Modern Atomic and Nuclear Physics", has been published by Prof. Hamilton and Fujia Yang.
  • The history of our department, To Quarks and Quasars: A History Of Physics And Astronomy At Vanderbilt University, has been scanned into the Vanderbilt digital repository.
  • Prof. Pantelides and Prof. Varga are co-PIs on a new grant "Investigation of Physical Mechanisms of Radiation Induced Phenomena in Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene" from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
  • Astronomy postdoc Leslie Hebb has published a paper in the Astrophysical Journal reporting the discovery of the shortest-period transiting exoplanet yet discovered.This discovery is also mentioned in Science Magazine.
  • Prof. Pantelides (lead PI) has received a grant in the amount of $1,556,399 over 4 years by the NSF GOALI Program for research in "The oxidation of silicon carbide and structure-defects mobility relations."
  • Graduate Fellowship Awards: Hui-Yiing Chang (NSF), Michael Clemens (SMART), Tommy LeBlanc (NASA).
  • Prof. David Weintraub awarded Thomas Jefferson Award for "distinguished service to Vanderbilt".
  • Prof. A.V. Ramayya has been awarded an honarary Doctor of Science degree from Eastern Kentucky University.
  • Prof. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann has received a $1.076M CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (the largest ever awarded in Astronomy).
  • Prof. Keivan Stassun has been awarded a $2.2M PAARE (Partnership for Astronomy and Astrophysics Research and Education) NSF grant.
  • Prof. Leonard Feldman awarded Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship by the University of Melbourne.
  • Oleg Ovchinnikov of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville wins 2009 Vanderbilt Prize for Undergraduate Research.
  • Hui-Yiing Chang awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.
  • Prof. Keivan Stassun to receive Fletcher Foundation fellowship for work “furthering the goals and the spirit of Brown v. Board of Education”.
  • Prof. Jay Dickerson awarded a new research grant from the Office of Naval Research.

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