The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics”. One half to Arthur Ashkin, “for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems” and the other half jointly to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses”.
Recent Faculty Promotions
Dr. Josh Gladden was promoted to Professor and Dr. Kevin Beach received Tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor
The Department of Physics and Astronomy welcomes new faculty members Dr. Jake Bennett and Dr. Leo Stein. They will both join the department in fall 2018.
Dr. Bennett received a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Roanoke College and a Ph.D. in Physics from Indiana University. He did postdoctoral research at Carnegie Mellon University, where he worked with the BESIII and Belle II experiments. Dr. Bennett is an experimental elementary particle physicist. His research is primarily focused on hadron spectroscopy as a means of testing fundamental predictions of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of the strong nuclear force. He is currently the data production coordinator for the Belle II collaboration, which is based in Tsukuba, Japan, and boasts over 800 members from 25 countries around the world.
Dr. Leo Stein has just joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Mississippi. Before coming to Ole Miss, Leo lived in sunny Southern California, where he was a Senior Postdoctoral Researcher at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). His earlier trajectory started with a BS in Physics from Caltech (2006), followed by a PhD in Physics from MIT (2012), and he previously held a NASA Einstein Fellowship while at Cornell (2012–2015). Dr. Stein’s main research interests are in testing Einstein’s theory of gravity (general relativity) using black holes and the gravitational waves they emit when black holes smash together. Testing general relativity (GR) involves doing numerical simulations of these black hole mergers, in GR and in theories beyond GR.
Students who are interested in these new research areas in our department should contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Maryam Landi, a recent graduate of The University of Mississippi’s Master of Science physics program, was featured in the Graduate school Summer 2018 newsletter for developing a new structure that emits sound waves from miniature speakers more efficiently, especially when it comes to low frequency, or bass. A lot of speaker designs in the world yield powerful, high-quality sound but fail to deliver when the speaker is miniaturized. This is because no one has figured out the physics behind doing so — until now. The article describes her physical acoustics research with Dr Likun Zhang and others on metacavities that act as highly effective miniaturized speakers. Their work was published in Physical Review Letters (Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 114301).
Drs. Marshall and Stolzenburg Have Been Funded by the National Science Foundation to Further Lightning Research
Thomas Marshall and Maribeth Stolzenburg, a pair of University of Mississippi professors of the Physics and Astronomy depaertment, have been granted two National Science Foundation awards to study lightning initiation.