CLAS Dissertation Award Recipients

Congratulations to physics graduate students, Daniel Brooker and Dipsikha Debinath, who have been awarded the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowships for Spring 2018. Their awards were funded, respectively, by the Charles Vincent and Heidi Cole McLaughlin Endowment and the Threadgill Scholarship Program.

New publication from Professor Steve Hagen

Professor Steve Hagen recently published a book entitled, "The Physics Microbe." Physical biology is a fusion of biology and physics. This book narrows down the scope of physical biology by focusing on the microbial cell; exploring the physical phenomena of noise, feedback, and variability that arise in the cellular information-processing circuits used by bacteria. It looks at the microbe from a physics perspective, asking how the cell optimizes its function to live within the constraints of physics. It introduces a physical and information-based (as opposed to microbiological) perspective on communication and signalling between microbes.

Best Optics Talk

Congratulations to Gabriel Alberts, a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in music and physics who is working with the LIGO group, on being awarded the "Best Optics Talk" for his research presentation at the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium (GCURS) at Rice University in Houston, Texas. This year, GCURS hosted several hundred students from a variety of fields including Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, and Physics and Astronomy. The Physics and Astronomy session had 26 undergraduate speakers and covered topics like biophysics, solar astronomy, and optics.

Gabriel presented his optics work entitled, "Detecting Vacuum Birefringence: Why Two Lasers Are Better Than One." His research involves testing a new heterodyne polarimetry design for the ultimate detection of vacuum birefringence which have initial measurements that show improved sensitivity compared to previous experiments that used optical resonators in vacuum. The talks were critiqued by Rice faculty.

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