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Jonathan Garamella

Understanding Cell Membranes

Biological physicists at the University of Minnesota are breaking apart the components of a cell, taking out the molecular machinery responsible for protein synthesis from DNA to reconstruct specific cellular functions such as cytoskeleton-based cell division. The goal of this research is ultimately to create a synthetic cell in a test tube that can divide and evolve on its own. More »


Coarse-grain modeling of polymers

Physicists at the School of Physics and Astronomy are using modeling techniques to make things easier for chemists working with polymers. Taher Ghasimakbari is a graduate student working in theoretical condensed matter physics on diblock copolymers, a family of materials with wide range of applications from drug delivery to strengthening plastics. Spandex and polyurethane are examples of block copolymers in the same family of materials as diblock copolymers ever since. This class of polymers were invented in the 1950s and have been studied extensively. More »

James Kakalios

The Best of Both Worlds

Professor James Kakalios is a condensed matter experimental physicist whose research involves the growth and study of materials that combine amorphous and nanocrystalline semiconductors. Kakalios and his colleague and collaborator, Prof. Uwe Kortshagen in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota are hoping to get the best of both worlds out of these entirely new, hybrid materials. The composites combine the ease of deposition over large areas at low cost provided by amorphous silicon with the superior electronic properties of crystalline silicon. More »

Aleksey Cherman

Resurgence Theory

Aleksey Cherman is a post doc in elementary particle theory. His work focuses on mathematical tools that have applications throughout physics. Across all of theoretical physics, there are equations used to solve various problems in nature, but they are much too complicated to be directly solved. More »

Satish Desai

Why Neutrinos Matter?

Satish Desai is a research associate working on the NOvA experiment, which is searching for the rate of neutrino oscillations. Desai’s role on the experiment is to oversee the reconstruction of simulated data. After managing quality assurance for the NOvA Module factory, which was staffed by several hundred University of Minnesota Students, Desai has moved on to measuring neutrino cross-sections. Desai uses data from NOvA’s near detector which is located near the neutrino beam at Fermilab, outside Batavia, IL, and compares it to data at the far-detector located in Ash River, Minnesota. More »

Kelly Stifter at the Large Hadron Collider in CERN Switzerland

Undergraduate research at the Large Hadron Collider

Kelly Stifter is an undergraduate physics and math major who is currently working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland. The Large Hadron Collider was shut down for upgrades from February 2013 until March 2015. During this time, hundreds of physicists worked to improve the performance of the machine. The collider will begin working up to 13TeV, the highest energy yet created in a particle accelerator. This new energy means that the monitoring and safety systems needed to be improved as well. More »

Martin Greven

Link between charge order and quantum oscillations found in high temperature superconductors

Professor Martin Greven of the School of Physics and Astronomy has led a research effort that found a link between quantum oscillations and charge order in high temperature superconductors. Superconductivity is a quantum mechanical phenomenon of exactly zero electrical resistance and expulsion of magnetic fields that occurs in certain materials when cooled below a characteristic critical temperature. More »

Karl Young

EBEX and the search for B-Modes

Karl Young is a graduate student in Shaul Hanany’s observational cosmology group, working on EBEX. EBEX is a planned balloon-borne telescope designed to observe polarization patterns in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). The CMB is a remnant from the Big Bang. Physicists are searching the CMB for evidence of “B Modes”, a theorized polarization pattern imprinted in the CMB by the gravitational waves produced by the expansion of the universe during the Big Bang. Gravitational waves were theorized by Einstein and are a wave caused by the movement of a very large body in space. More »

Semere Tadesse

The interaction between light and sound

Semere Tadesse is a physics graduate student working on optics with Electrical Engineering and Physics graduate faculty member Professor Mo Li. His research integrates optical and surface acoustic wave devices on piezoelectric aluminum nitride film, which enables interaction of light and sound on the same chip. More »


Society of Physics Students

The Society of Physics Students at the University of Minnesota has one of the most active and effective clubs for undergraduate physics majors in the country. The Minnesota chapter won a national award in 2013 for Outstanding Chapter. More »

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