Department of Physics & Astronomy

News 2010

UCR Physics & Astronomy in the News

Laura Sales

Boffins baking big-data single chip architecture

'Graphene, electrons and the end of 'conventional silicon electronics' A team led by scientists from the University of California have returned to electrical engineering fundamentals with work that will produce a chip combining memory and logic. Only this will overcome what they call the "ultimate limits" of conventional silicon electronics the others are trying to circumvent. Today, you have memory in RAM and logic in the CPU connected by a bus that causes a bottleneck as instructions are relayed.

Bilayer Graphene Works as an Insulator

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A research team led by physicists at the University of California, Riverside has identified a property of "bilayer graphene" (BLG) that the researchers say is analogous to finding the Higgs boson in particle physics. Graphene, nature's thinnest elastic material, is a one-atom thick sheet of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. Because of graphene's planar and chicken wire-like structure, sheets of it lend themselves well to stacking. BLG is formed when two graphene sheets are stacked in a special manner. Like graphene, BLG has high current-carrying capacity, also known as high electron conductivity. The high current-carrying capacity results from the extremely high velocities that electrons can acquire in a graphene sheet. The physicists report online Jan. 22 in Nature Nanotechnology that in investigating BLG's properties they found that when the number of electrons on the BLG sheet is close to 0, the material becomes insulating (that is, it resists flow of electrical current) - a finding that has implications for the use of graphene as an electronic material in the semiconductor and electronics industries.

NASA Telescopes Help Find Rare Galaxy at Dawn of Time

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes have discovered that one of the most distant galaxies known is churning out stars at a shockingly high rate. The blob-shaped galaxy, called GN-108036, is the brightest galaxy found to date at such great distances.

UC Riverside Physicists Discover New Way to Produce Antimatter-containing Atom

New method allows positronium to be produced for the first time at a wide range of temperatures and in a controllable way RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Physicists at the University of California, Riverside report that they have discovered a new way to create positronium, an exotic and short-lived atom that could help answer what happened to antimatter in the universe and why nature favored matter over antimatter at the universe's creation. Positronium is made up of an electron and its antimatter twin, the positron. It has applications in developing more accurate Positron Emission Tomography or PET scans and in fundamental physics research.

Why Graphene Holds the Key to the Future

In public lecture at UC Riverside on May 19, graphene expert Jeanie Lau will discuss wonders of the new exciting material

Tevatron Experiment Could Send Particle Physicists Back to the Drawing Board

If the existence of a previously unknown particle is confirmed, it would be the first particle that does not fit into the standard model of particle physics, said UC Riverside physics and astronomy professor John Ellison. The standard model of particle physics is a theory of three of the four known fundamental interactions and the elementary particles that take part in these interactions. These particles make up all visible matter in the universe.

CNAS STEM Pathway Transfer Friday Talk

STEM Transfer Friday visit of community college students on April 1, 2011. Professor Shan-Wen Tsai and her students made a presentation to college students, toured the visiting students through their labs, and shared their research projects.

The SciCom Interview: Allen Mills

An atomic manipulator dreams of harnessing antimatter to probe the properties of materials and create powerful new gamma ray lasers Interview by Catherine Meyers Allen Mills's career trajectory took a sudden turn when, one day in graduate school at Brandeis University in the 1960s, he tightened the screws too much on one of the few lasers in existence at the time, breaking the glass. Thus compelled to switch labs, Mills joined the only other experimental physics group on campus and began studying positrons.

Could Radiation from Japan Reach The West?

The disaster at a Japan nuclear power plant has many people on the West Coast looking nervously toward the Pacific, wondering if any releases of radioactivity could come here. Ken Barish is one who says no. He's a physics professor at the University of California, Riverside. Barish says it's unlikely that the West Coast would be harmed by radioactivity drifting from Japan. He joined us by phone from his office.

Japan's radioactivity won't jump Pacific, expert says

Jetstream winds blow from Japan to North America at speeds that can approach 200 mph, but even a worst-case disaster at the stricken Japanese nuclear plant is highly unlikely to send any harmful radiation to the West Coast, a Riverside physics professor says. "I see no chance," Professor Ken Barish said Monday from UC Riverside. "Even in Chernobyl, where they had a flawed design, the radiation that was released didn't extend far outside the area."

RIVERSIDE: UCR on Top 10 research list of graphene

A recent study conducted by the researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology placed UC Riverside No. 8 among the Top 50 U.S. universities that conduct graphene-related research.

Double discovery: Astronomers observe most distant galaxy cluster... and it's at the earliest stage of development yet seen

The discovery by UCR Professor Bahram Mobasher and his team is featured in the Daily Mail article.

Astronomers Identify Most Distant Galaxy Cluster

Professor Mobasher is a member of an international team of astronomers that has uncovered a burgeoning galactic metropolis, the most distant known in the early universe.

Paper co-authored by UCR physicists is featured in Physics Viewpont

Laser spectroscopy of positronium confined to nanoscale pores is a tool to probe the size of buried cavities and a step toward the long-term goal of a positronium BEC.

Two UCR physicists have been named 2010 AAAS fellows

Two physicists are among 10 UCR Researchers Recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

UC Riverside Physicists Pave the Way for Graphene-based Spin Computer

Roland Kawakami's lab is first to achieve "tunneling spin injection" into graphene

The Irish 'research lady' who helped win the Nobel

UCR Professor Emeritus Anne Kernan is featured in the Irish Times. Prof. Kernan, a high energy experimentalist, served as President of the APS Division of particles and fields and Dean of the Office of Research. She has endowed several awards to support undergraduate and graduate research at UCR.

UC Riverside Summer Physics Academy Reaches Out to Local High School Students Through Their Teachers

Two-week workshop aims at preparing region's next generation of physicists

New Research by UC Riverside Physicists Could Help Develop Gamma Ray Lasers and Produce Fusion Power

Researchers isolate collection of "pure" or spin polarized positronium atoms for the first time

Surprising New Evidence for Asymmetry Between Matter and Antimatter

UC Riverside physicists involved in the international research; new result brings us closer to understanding the universe and its origins

San Jacinto High School physics students compete in international exercise

UCR professor leads a masterclass for San Jacinto High School physics students

Dr. Lau Goes to Washington

Graphene specialist Jeanie Lau of UC Riverside received high national honor on Jan. 13

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