News

Matta receives Springer Thesis Award in Physics

Author: Shelly Goethals

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The Ph.D. thesis of James Matta has been selected for publication as a book by the well-known science publisher Springer under the “Springer Theses” series.

Described as the “best of the best”, the series recognizes “Outstanding Ph. D. Research”. Each thesis is chosen for its scientific excellence and impact on research. For greater accessibility to non-specialists, the published versions include an extended introduction, as well as a foreword by the student’s supervisor explaining the special relevance of the work for the field.…

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Unearthing the secrets of a star

Author: Andy Fuller and William Gilroy

CASPAR lab

Copernicus. Galileo. Hubble. For ages, humans have looked up at the night sky to ponder the secrets of the universe. The flickering stars have been the stuff of fascination and research for millennia, from men and women who mostly turned their gaze ever upward to study the vastness of space. Yet today, a group of University of Notre Dame astrophysicists is going down — way down — in a new attempt to gain an understanding of the evolution of stars.

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In memoriam: Paul R. Chagnon, professor emeritus of physics at Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey

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Paul R. Chagnon, professor emeritus of physics at the University of Notre Dame, died March 22 at his home in South Bend. He was 86. Chagnon taught physics and conducted research in nuclear physics at Notre Dame for 32 years before retiring in 1995. He published numerous articles on his research, and was admired as a stalwart of Notre Dame’s physics faculty. His teaching is honored annually at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremonies by the undergraduate Paul Chagnon Service Award.

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Kolata publishes elementary cosmology textbook

Author: Shelly Goethals

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Prof. Jim Kolata has always had an appreciation for the many ways in which the subfields of physics intersect, nowhere more so than in the field of cosmology. Though an experimental nuclear physicist and a long-time leader in Notre Dame’s radioactive beam program, Kolata developed in 1989 a course in elementary cosmology aimed at curious students wanting to understand the current developments in that rapidly advancing field. That course is today a stalwart of the Notre Dame Physics Department’s curriculum, taught to nearly 200 students a year. Kolata has now brought together his notes and insights from teaching that course, combined with the latest news from the field, and published a textbook on the subject. Entitled "Elementary Cosmology: From Aristotle’s Universe to the Big Bang and Beyond” and published by the Institute of Physics, the book begins with an introduction to the concept of the scientific method. It then describes the way in which detailed observations of the Universe, first with the naked eye and later with increasingly complex modern instruments, ultimately led to the development of the “Big Bang” theory. Finally, the book traces the evolution of the Big Bang including the very recent observation that the expansion of the Universe is itself accelerating with time.…

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Author Gwyneth Cravens to lecture on nuclear energy on Oct. 6

Author: William G. Gilroy

Gwyneth Cravens

Gwyneth Cravens, an American author and journalist who is best known for her writings on nuclear power as a safe and reliable alternative energy source and as an essential preventive of global warming, will present a lecture titled “Can We Save the World with Nuclear Energy?" at 4 p.m. Tuesday (Oct 6) at Washington Hall Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

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Bardayan elected to FRIB User Organization Executive Committee

Author: Shelly Goethals

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Prof. Dan Bardayan, Department of Physics, has been elected to the User Organization Executive Committee for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University. The goals of the Users’ Organization are to work towards the realization and timely construction of FRIB, to act as an advocate for the needs of the FRIB user community, to articulate and promote the scientific case for rare-isotope science, and to advocate for rare isotope science in the USA.…

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