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LASSP -  Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics

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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

Brad Ramshaw recognized with National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program award

Twelve assistant professors from Cornell’s Ithaca and New York City campuses have been recognized with National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program awards, given annually to support junior faculty members’ research projects and outreach efforts.

All awards are for five years and approximately $500,000 (minimum), and all projects have an outreach component, generally involving K-12 students and people from underrepresented communities.


This year’s winners include: Steven Adie, biomedical engineering; Yoav Artzi, computer science at Cornell Tech; Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, information science; Nicola Dell, information science at Cornell Tech; Brett Fors, chemistry and chemical biology; Damian Helbling, civil and environmental engineering; Song Lin, chemistry and chemical biology; Matthew Paszek, chemical and biomolecular engineering; Jamol Pender, operations research and information engineering; Brad Ramshaw, physics; Karthik Sridharan, computer science; and Fei Wang, from the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research at Weill Cornell Medicine.

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Brad Ramshaw

Jane Wang's Insect Flight Research Highlighted by Cornell Research

The dragonflies free fall for about 100 milliseconds before they roll over and right themselves. “Once a dragonfly senses that it’s falling, it quickly goes through a set of neurocomputations to instruct its muscles,” Wang explains. “The muscles contract and modulate the wing motion. The wings interact with the air, modifying the aerodynamic forces, and the resulting torque rotates the dragonfly’s body 180 degrees.”


Dragonflies flap their wings about 40 times a second. To track the wing motion, Wang uses high-speed video cameras, filming at three different angles. She constructs computer simulations to examine the consequence of wing motions on the insect’s body movement. “3D tracking tells us about the changes in a dragonfly’s wing motion, but relating these changes to the body rotation is a complex dynamical problem,” Wang says. “We take advantage of the fact that the governing laws of flight can be described by equations, and this allows us to make specific predictions. These predictions can be tested in experiments and can be further related back to the other pieces in the puzzle involving neural responses.”

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Erich Mueller proposes a new way to produce a specific quantum state, whose excitations act as anyons

In the three-dimensional world, all fundamental particles must fall into one of two categories – those that behave like the photons that make up light, and those that behave like the electrons and protons that make up matter.

In a hypothetical two-dimensional world, however, there would be an infinite number of additional options, referred to as anyons. These theorized particles are characterized by how moving them around one another manipulates quantum information. With access to the right system of anyons, ultrafast error-free quantum computing would be possible.

Recent work by Erich Mueller, professor in the Department of Physics, and doctoral student Shovan Dutta, takes an important step toward this goal by proposing a new way to produce a specific quantum state, whose excitations act as anyons.


Their paper, “Coherent Generation of Photonic Fractional Quantum Hall States in a Cavity and the Search for Anyonic Quasiparticles,” was published March 15 in Physical Review A, a publication of the American Physical Society.

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