Physics Dept News

Prof. Singh’s work discussed in Physics World

Professor Swati Singh recent published the design of a new, tunable, narrow-band, gravitational wave detector using the acoustic oscillations of superfluid helium.  Such a detector would complement, and has the potentially compete with, detectors such as LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory), at a fraction of the cost.  This… Continue reading »

Prof. Doret receives Cottrell Scholar Award and NSF grant (2017)

Professor Charlie Doret has been awarded two grants for his work with trapped calcium ions. The Research Corporation for Science Advancement selected Doret for a Cottrell Scholar Award.  This three-year, $100,000 award, will be used to address fundamental questions about the quantum-to-classical transition for heat transport using chains… Continue reading »

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

Fourteen physics majors and three astrophysics majors received their Williams diplomas on June 4, 2017. All of the physics departments in the United States, including those at large universities, awarded an average of 10.8 bachelor’s degrees per department in 2015,* the most recent year for which data is… Continue reading »

Prof. Tiku Majumder wins APS Prize

The American Physical Society has chosen Prof. Protik “Tiku” Majumder as the 2017 recipient of its Prize for a Faculty Member for Research in an Undergraduate Institution. The APS cited Majumder “for contributions to the precision measurement of atomic properties, and sustained, inspirational mentorship of undergraduate researchers.” In addition to… Continue reading »

Two new professors join the department

We are excited to welcome two new assistant professors to the Department of Physics. Prof. Catherine Kealhofer earned her A.B. from Princeton University and her Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University. She joins us from a postdoctoral research position at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany,… Continue reading »

Nineteen Ephs at DAMOP 2016

Last year 11 Ephs, this year 19 Ephs…! Nineteen Williams physicists attended the 2016 American Physical Society Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Meeting (DAMOP) in Providence, RI.  DAMOP is one of the largest and most important annual physics conferences. Pictured left to right:  Ariel Silbert ’16 (researcher, e4sciences), Josh… Continue reading »

Joe Iafrate ’14 wins a NDSEG Fellowship

Joe Iafrate ’14 The American Society for Engineering Education selected physics alumnus Joseph Iafrate ’14 for a 2016 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship.  This highly competitive national fellowship covers the cost of three years of graduate study.  Joe is a Ph.D. candidate in applied physics at the University… Continue reading »

Will Kirby ’17 wins Goldwater Scholarship

Will Kirby ’17 Congratulations to physics major Will Kirby ’17 who was named a 2016 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar. The U.S. Congress established this highly competitive national scholarship “to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering and to foster excellence in those fields.” It… Continue reading »

Recent grads win 2016 NSF Fellowships & Honorable Mentions

Ben Augenbraun ’15 Julia Cline ’15 Ilya Amburg ’14 Joe Iafrate ’14 Cole Meisenhelder ’15 Ashwin Narayan ’16 The National Science Foundation awarded 2016 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships to two physics alumni, Benjamin Augenbraun ’15 and Julia Cline ’15. Ben is pursuing graduate study in physics at Harvard University.  At Williams… Continue reading »

Ben Augenbraun ’15 wins Apker Award

  The American Physical Society selected Ben Augenbraun ’15 as winner of the 2015 LeRoy Apker Award. This national award is the highest honor for physics research by an undergraduate student in the United States. Only two winners are chosen each year. Ben worked with Prof. Tiku Majumder at Williams… Continue reading »

Eleven Ephs at DAMOP 2015

Eleven Williams physicists attended the 2015 American Physical Society Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Meeting (DAMOP) in Columbus, OH.  DAMOP is one of the largest and most important annual physics conferences. Pictured left to right:  Ben Augenbraun ’15 (Harvard U.), Justin Brown ’05 (Draper Lab), Paul Hess ’08 (U. Continue reading »

Four recent grads win 2015 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Alice Sady ’13 Gabe Lewis ’13 Cristina Knapp ’13 Allen Davis ’14 The National Science Foundation awarded Graduate Research Fellowships to four recent Williams College physics majors or astrophysics majors.  Allen Davis ’14 is studying astronomy at Yale University.  Cristina Knapp ’13 is studying condensed… Continue reading »

Prof. Tiku Majumder receives NSF grant (2014)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Williams College physics professor Protik Majumder a 3-year, $347,000 grant to continue his precise spectroscopic studies of atoms aimed ultimately at testing the Standard Model of particle physics. Majumder’s project, “High-Precision Atomic Structure Measurements and Tests of Fundamental Physics in Group IIIA Atoms”,… Continue reading »

Prof. Daniel Aalberts awarded NIH Grant (2014)

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Williams College physics professor Daniel Aalberts a three-year, $255,304 grant to study how to obtain sufficient yields of proteins. “Understanding the 3D structure of the protein a gene encodes can help biologists understand its function,” explains Aalberts, whose research focuses on the physics… Continue reading »

Ben Augenbraun ’15 wins Goldwater Scholarship

Congratulations to physics major Ben Augenbraun ’15 who was named a 2014 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar.  The U.S. Congress established this highly competitive national scholarship “to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering and to foster excellence in those fields.”  It is widely… Continue reading »

Nathan Schine ’13 selected as Apker Finalist

The American Physical Society selected Nathan Schine ’13 as a finalist for the 2013 LeRoy Apker Award. This national award is the highest honor for physics research by an undergraduate student in the United States. Nathan worked with Prof. Tiku Majumder and wrote a thesis titled “A Precise Measurement of the Stark… Continue reading »

Muzhou Lu ’13 honored at AAS meeting

At this year’s American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Bozeman, Montana, astrophysics major Muzhou Lu ’13 won the Solar Physics Division (SPD) poster competition for his presentation, “Observations and Modeling of Solar Coronal Structures Using High-Resolution Eclipse Images and Space-based Telescopes with Wide Field-of-View.”  Muzhou worked with Prof. Pasachoff in the Astronomy… Continue reading »

Prof. Tucker-Smith Awarded NSF Grant

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has already made enormous progress pushing forward the high energy frontier. During the coming years, the LHC will continue to probe some of the deepest mysteries in particle physics, including the origin of elementary particle masses and the nature of dark matter. In his research,… Continue reading »