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LASSP -  Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics

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Paul McEuen Plays Cornell Alma Mater on Nano-Sized Guitar

“We were the first to make a vibrating one-atom-thick graphene sheet that was, in essence, a drum,” McEuen says. “We also made the world’s first nanotube guitar. We used a nanotube as a guitar string and plucked it to make it vibrate.” Since the nanotube guitar string vibrates at megahertz frequencies—much higher than the human ear can hear—the researchers had to figure out how to measure it. They reported their results in a paper forthcoming in the journal Nature. “We not only heard it,” McEuen says with satisfaction, “but we played the Cornell alma mater on it.”

For McEuen, playing a tune on a guitar string the width of a strand of DNA is par for the course. He made his reputation manipulating graphene sheets, carbon nanotubes, and other materials, creating some of the smallest electronic or mechanical systems ever invented.

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Eun-Ah Kim's Machine Learning and Understanding Quantum Emergence in Nature

Eun-Ah Kim's research using machine learning to find meaningful patterns in quantumn matter experimental data was recognized in Nature's News.


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Tomas Arias and Itai Cohen Predict Behavior of Crowds

Tomas Arias, professor of physics, is corresponding author of “Density-Functional Fluctuation Theory of Crowds,” which published Aug. 30 in Nature Communications. Co-authors include Itai Cohen, professor of physics; lead authors Yunus A. Kinkhabwala, a doctoral student in the field of engineering, and J. Felipe Méndez-Valderrama, a doctoral student in the field of physics; and Jeffrey Silver, senior analyst at Metron Inc.


Interactions among individuals in a crowd can be complex and difficult to quantify mathematically; the large number of actors in a crowd results in a complex mathematical problem. The researchers sought to predict the behavior of crowds by using simple measurements of density to infer underlying interactions and to use those interactions to predict new behaviors.

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Veit Elser, Sol Gruner, and David Muller Claim Guinness World Record

Sol Gruner, former director of the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source, said he’d always dreamed of making the Guinness grade, but didn’t figure microscopy would be his ticket to fame.

“I always thought that I’d need to eat 40 hamburgers in five minutes or stand on one foot for days to get into the Guinness book,” he said. “Who would have thought that seeing a few atoms would do the trick?”

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Position-averaged diffraction pattern of the 4D dataset from monolayer MoS2

Eun-Ah Kim's Group High Precision Work Fetaured in physicsworld

Physicsworld recently published a research update which featured the work done by Eun-Ah Kim's group on understanding the many body localization phases that can arise in quantum systems.

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Jie Shan and Kin Fai Mak Share Their History about Sharing Their Lab

Jie Shan, professor of applied and engineering physics in the College of Engineering, and Kin Fai Mak, assistant professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, are experts on atomically thin materials, particularly their optical and electronic properties. They also are married and were recruited to Cornell in late 2017 from Penn State through the provost’s Nanoscale Science and Molecular Engineering (NEXT Nano) initiative. They moved their shared lab and joint research group to Ithaca and have been up and running in the Physical Sciences Building since January.


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Shan Mak Group