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Department News

Danilo Marchesini and Anna Sajina in front of an astronomy exhibition at the Museum of Science in Boston

Tufts Astronomy Faculty Join Prime Focus Spectrograph Project
April 2019

Associate Professors Danilo Marchesini and Anna Sajina have joined the international team responsible for building the Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS). The PFS will be annexed to the Subaru Telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii and allows simultaneous spectral observation of up to 2,400 astronomical targets using a state-of-the art fiber system, fiber positioner, four spectrographs, and a Wide Field Corrector (WFC). As part of the PFS Northeastern Participation Group (NEPG), Professors Marchesini and Sajina are guaranteed 300-350 nights of instrument access over 5-6 years with immediate access to the data generated. Access to such data will assist with future research and grant applications for Tufts faculty, post-docs, and students. Sajina and Marchesini will primarily study galaxy formation and actively accreting supermassive black holes, but the instrument also allows other groups to study different areas pertainin to dark matter, dark energy, and galaxy history. PFS testing will begin in 2020, and it is expected to go live in late 2021 or early 2022. Read the full press release.

Cover image of Polymer Physics volume 56

Prof. Peggy Cebe and Graduate Student Nelaka Govinna collaborate with CBE to develop novel filtration membrane
March 2019

Prof. Cebe and Graduate Student Nelaka Govinna, in collaboration with Prof. Ayse Asatekin and Graduate Student Ilin Sadeghi from Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE), recently concluded a research project that is featured on the Tufts Now Bulletin. The research work was focused on developing a novel filtration membrane for oil and water separation and yielded very promising results. Practical uses for the filtration membrane include low-cost, energy-efficient environmental remediation and wastewater treatment.

The project bore fruit to two research papers. Paper #1 was published in Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, and was selected to be featured on the cover of Issue #6, Volume #56. Paper #2 was published in ACS Applied Polymer Materials and was selected as the ACS Editors' Choice article for March 22nd, 2019--United Nations-designated World Water Day--recognizing the importance of the discovery. With this selection, the article is sponsored for immediate, free open access by the American Chemical Society due to its potential for broad public interest, an honor given to only one article from the entire ACS portfolio each day of the year.

Please join us in congratulating Prof. Cebe, Nelaka, and their collaborators in CBE.

American Physical Society Names Alexander Vilenkin Outstanding Referee for 2019
February 2019

Professor Alexander Vilenkin is amongst 143 Outstanding Referees selected by the American Physical Society (APS) for 2019. Instituted in 2008, the Outstanding Referee program recognizes the invaluable work of anonymous peer reviewers. Each year, a small percentage of the 71,000 active referees are selected and honored with this lifetime award. Selections are made based on the number, quality, and timeliness of referee reports as collected in a database over the last 30 years. The efforts of these individuals not only keep the standards of the journals high, but in many cases also help authors improve the quality and readability of their articles. The Outstanding Referees are to be congratulated and thanked for their outstanding service to the physics community. A complete list of Outstanding Referees and more details are available at Physical Review Journals website.

Recently tenured faculty with Tufts president Anthony Monaco

Four Physics and Astronomy Faculty Honored at Special Event
February 2018

On February 9, 2018 Tufts President Anthony Monaco (right) congratulates recently tenured physics and astronomy faculty (left to right) Hugo Beauchemin, Peter Love, Anna Sajina and Tim Atherton whose success was celebrated at a special Board of Trustees Dinner, together with faculty and senior administrators from across the university. Congratulations to our wonderful faculty members!

Tufts Physics Alumna Wins AIP Science Writing Award
December 2017

The American Institute of Physics has announced the winners of its 2017 Science Communication Awards for Books, Articles, Writing for Children, and Broadcast and New Media. The Articles prize was awarded to Natalie Wolchover for "What No New Particles Means for Physics," published in August 2016 in Quanta Magazine. Natalie studied physics as an undergraduate at Tufts and is currently a senior writer at Quanta Magazine specializing in physical sciences. The judges found Wolchover's article to be "well-crafted," in which she undertakes "a clear explanation of nuclear and high energy physics' Standard Model crisis." Her article took a creative and bold stance on scientific exploration, and "her voice is confident as she develops a solid narrative throughout her article. "[Wolchover] does a beautiful job of creating drama and intrigue from what amounts, essentially, to no new findings and bravely and simply states the crux of the crisis," the committee noted. This brewing crisis of particle physics — a lack of new particle discovery — inspired the article. Read the announcement from the AIP website and check out Natalie's alumni bio.

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