Physics undergraduate student Luquant Singh has been named a Goldwater Scholar, one of three at UW this year. He is a junior from Verona, Wisconsin, studying applied math, engineering and physics. Singh began research at UW–Madison the summer after graduating from high school. He currently conducts computational plasma physics research on the Helically Symmetric eXperiment (HSX), a fusion energy device, with Professor David T. Anderson. Singh has earned authorship on national conference presentations and an in-preparation paper. He also serves on the design team for a new plasma physics device to be built at UW–Madison. He attends the university on a full-tuition music scholarship for clarinet performance. This summer, Singh will conduct computational plasma physics research at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory under the direction of Stuart Hudson. After graduation, Singh plans to pursue a Ph.D. in plasma physics.
Kimberly Palladino was one of sixteen professors across UW to receive this year’s Vilas Faculty Early Career Investigator Award, recognizing research and teaching excellence in faculty who are relatively early in their careers.
Palladino works in the field of direct dark matter searches with the two-phase liquid xenon TPCs LUX and LZ. Her group focuses on detector performance including high voltage and xenon handling. These detectors are generally looking for WIMP (weakly interacting massive particles) dark matter candidates via nuclear recoils. Neutron induced nuclear recoils are studied for backgrounds and calibration. Palladino is also involved in detector R&D for nuclear recoil detection.
The UW has awarded Professor Pupa Gilbert a Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorship, an award recognizing distinguished scholarship as well as standout efforts in teaching and service.
The university’s large introductory physics classes can be daunting to students, especially those who had limited exposure to the discipline in high school. In collaboration with others, Susan Nossal founded the Physics Learning Center 14 years ago to create a welcoming space for these students. The concept began as the Physics Peer Mentor Tutor Program, now the center’s core. Each semester, carefully trained undergraduates and staff members assist more than 150 students, many experiencing challenging circumstances inside and outside the classroom. The students develop confidence not only in physics, but in university life in general. Some go on to become tutors in the program themselves. Nossal sets a warm tone. Her caring demeanor and devotion to social justice foster powerful connections with students who may feel isolated or frustrated. Tenacious and resourceful, she’s grown the center into a forceful vehicle for student success.
Photo: Susan Nossal works on optical calculations with undergraduate students Matthew McAllister and Hanna Khan in a classroom at Chamberlin Hall.
Photo Credit: Jeff Miller
Professor Thad Walker has been elected to be vice-chair of the APS Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP). He will serve as the chair starting in 2021.
The corrugated areas in this stainless steel wall will keep welds from breaking as the vessel is cooled to minus 265 degrees Fahrenheit and filled with 135,000 gallons of liquid argon. The container is a prototype for a neutrino detector that would hold more than 3 million gallons of argon in which neutrino collisions with argon atoms could be carefully studied for clues suggesting why our universe is made of matter.
The photo was captured by Professor Brian Rebel while on a trip to CERN.
Former UW-Madison Physics department administrator (1970-1990) passed away on April 11th. A celebration of Jack’s life will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2019, in Bloomington, Minn.
Graduate students Megan Tabbutt and Aedan Gardill are 2019 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Award winners. Both work with Assistant Prof. Shimon Kolkowitz.
Congratulations to Megan and Aedan!
Zweibel’s research has advanced our understanding of cosmic magnetic fields and the formation of stars and interstellar clouds. Her work on the solar cycle and solar flares has helped scientists understand the influence these events have on Earth’s weather, technology and spaceflight programs.