Department of Physics and Astronomy News

Physics Research Aims to Build Better Nanowire Networks

Nanowire networks have become very common in electronic devices. But given their scale, they can be tricky to make. Working with physics professor Hanno Weitering, graduate student Saban Hus set out to develop a new way to grow ultrathin wires in which the wires grow with equal distances between them. This can help streamline the process of making integrated circuits.

Nazarewicz Named UT-Battelle Corporate Fellow

Witold Nazarewicz, James McConnell Distinguished Professor of Physics, has been selected as a 2013 UT-Battelle Corporate Fellow. The rank of corporate fellow –among Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s highest honors—recognizes the researchers’ significant accomplishments and continuing leadership in their scientific, engineering and technological fields.

Physics Professor Reviews Iron-based Superconductors

Physics Professor Elbio Dagotto has written a review of new iron-based superconductors for the journal Reviews of Modern Physics. In his detailed colloquium citing hundreds of references, Dagotto points out how research into high-temperature superconductors has steadily advanced in a short period of time.

Professors Receive NSF’s CAREER Award

Three professors at UT have received National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards. David Jenkins, an assistant professor in chemistry; Jaan Mannik, an assistant professor in physics; and Jeff Reinbolt, an assistant professor of mechanical, aerospace, and biomedical engineering, will use the monetary awards to support their research and educational activities.

Professor in Physics Receives NSF’s CAREER Award

Jaan Mannik, assistant professor of physics, has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. The CAREER award is the NSF’s most prestigious honor for junior faculty who demonstrate outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

New Leader Named to UT-ORNL Supercomputer Center

Tony Mezzacappa

Tony Mezzacappa, a leader in the field of astrophysics and supernova science, has been named director of the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Mezzacappa is a world leader in computational astrophysics and a pioneer in the field of supernova science.

Space Institute Researchers Make Clinical Trials a Virtual Reality

Ying-Ling Chen examines data for the digital Eye Bank.

Clinical trials can be time-consuming, expensive and intrusive, but they are also necessary. Researchers at the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma have developed an invention that makes clinical trials more efficient by moving them into the virtual world.

Weitering Heads Physics, Astronomy

Hanno Weitering

Hanno Weitering is the new department head in physics and astronomy. Weitering has a joint UT/ORNL appointment as professor and is associate director of the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials. Before coming to UT Knoxville in 1993, he spent two years as a Benjamin Franklin Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, working in the research lab of E. Ward Plummer.

Space Institute Researchers Develop Laser Technology to Fight Cancer

Researchers at the Center for Laser Applications at the University of Tennessee Space Institute in Tullahoma have developed a technology that goes on a “seek and destroy” mission for cancerous tumors. They have harnessed the power of lasers to find, map, and non-invasively destruct cancerous tumors.

Three Researchers Win CAREER Awards

Kivanc Ekici

Three UT Knoxville faculty members have received substantial support from the National Science Foundation to pursue early-career research projects. Chemist Jon Philip Camden, physicist Norman Mannella, and aeronautic engineer Kivanc Ekici have received NSF CAREER awards, the foundation’s most prestigious award for junior faculty.