Five UMD Physicists Elected APS Fellows

Michelle Girvan, Wolfgang Losert, Johnpierre PaglioneEdo Waks and Jake Taylor have been elected Fellows of the American Physical Society.

Prof. Girvan was cited for seminal contributions to the nonlinear and statistical physics of complex networks, including characterization of network structures and dynamics, and interdisciplinary applications.

She received her Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University, and joined the Department of Physics in 2007, after a postdoctoral appointment at the Santa Fe Institute. Prof. Girvan was a visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study from 2008-09, and in 2017 received the Richard A. Ferrell Distinguished Faculty Fellowship in the Department of Physics. She is a member of the Institute for Physical Science and Technology, and the Director of the COMBINE (Computation and Mathematics for Biological Networks) program.

Prof. Losert was cited for his imaginative studies of complex living systems, and for numerous contributions to understanding dynamical properties of complex systems at the convergence of physics, materials science, and biology.

Prof. Losert holds a Ph.D. in physics from the City College of the City University of New York, and joined UMD in 2000 after appointments at Haverford College. He has served as director of the UMD Biophysics graduate program and is currently the director of the UMD-NCI Partnership for Cancer Technology and the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Graduate Education and Research in the College of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. In 2006, he received the Richard A. Ferrell Distinguished Faculty Fellowship.

Prof. Paglione was cited for experimental contributions to the understanding of strongly correlated and topological electronic materials through the synthesis and investigation of heavy fermion compounds, unconventional superconductors and topological materials.

Prof. Paglione, who received his Ph.D. in experimental condensed matter physics from the University of Toronto, joined UMD in 2008. He is the recipient of a National Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada, a Materials Synthesis Investigator Award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, a DOE Early Career Award, the 2012 Richard A. Ferrell Distinguished Faculty Fellowship, and an NSF Career Award. He is currently the director of the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials and is an Associate Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) Quantum Materials program. 

Prof. Waks was cited for significantly advancing the field of quantum photonics and for developing new concepts to strongly interact solid-state quantum emitters with nanophotonic components.

He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University, and after a postdoctoral appointment there, joined the UMD Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2008. He accepted a joint appointment with the Department of Physics in 2017. Prof. Waks researches nanoscale photonic and semiconductor devices for applications in quantum computation, communication, and sensing. He is a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute and of the Optical Society of America and is the recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award and an NSF Career Award.

Dr. Taylor was cited for wide ranging contributions in using quantum properties of light and matter towards developing applications ranging from extreme sensitivity sensors and transducers to quantum information processing. 

He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and was a Pappalardo Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Joint Quantum Institute in 2009. He has received a Presidential Early Career Award, a Department of Commerce Silver Medal, a NIST Sigma Xi Young Scientist Award and a C15 Young Scientist Award from the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics. Dr. Taylor is the NIST Co-Director for the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science. 

In addition. Dr. Surjalal Sharma from the Department of Astronomy was cited for pioneering and sustained contributions to nonlinear dynamical modeling of non-equilibrium phenomena in space physics and to the development of data-enabled science and for his leadership in fostering international collaborations.

Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded to Gravitational Wave Pioneers

On October 3, 2017, the Nobel Committee for Physics announced the 2017 laureates for the 2017 Nobel Prize in physics.  Rainer Weiss (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Kip Thorne (Caltech) and Barry Barish (Caltech) have been formally recognized “for decisive contributions to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detector and the observation of gravitational waves.” Weiss will receive one half of the award; Thorne and Barish will share the other half.

Read more.

Professor Charles Misner and Gravity

Professor Emeritus Charles Misner, long an expert in the study of gravity, spent a week this summer at the University of Cambridge as an invited participant in the celebration of Stephen Hawking's 75th birthday.  Prof. Misner's daughter Benedicte, who has known Stephen and Jane Hawking since she was a school girl near their home 50 years ago, joined in the festivities.

At a conference called Gravity2017 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Prof. Misner gave two short invited talks.  One was mostly on the early history as the black hole concept was beginning to gel, and one was on the question of what the Einstein equations might believably tell us about spacetime inside black holes.

The third project was writing (with Kip Thorne) an introduction to the forthcoming republication of their 1973 textbook, Gravitation.  After a long life, unrevised but always in print, this classic work was dropped by a publisher who had acquired it after many publishing mergers and acquisitions and mistakenly only advertised it in their Chemistry catalog.  Princeton University Press then obtained rights to the book (popularly called “MTW”, after its authors Misner, Thorne and John Archibald Wheeler) and will reprint it as a $60 cloth bound volume on October 24.

Prof. Misner was also quoted in Nature on the 2017 Nobel Prize announcement.  His student Richard Isaacson (Ph.D., 1967), was noted as an "unsung hero" of LIGO, along with Joe Weber and Alessandra Buonanno, in a separate article in Nature.

In an article published on Oct. 20, 2017, The Baltimore Sun spoke with Prof. Misner about the work of Joseph Weber.

Faculty Positions in Physics and Engineering

The University of Maryland College of Mathematical and Natural Sciences is home to major research efforts in quantum science through the Joint Quantum Institute and the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science. As part of a new effort focused on quantum technology, the Department of Physics invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position in atomic, molecular and optical physics. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering seeks candidates for a similar position. 

Only applications accepted through the links below will be considered:



In addition, the Department of Physics' Experimental High Energy Physics group seeks applications for a new position in experimental particle physics:

Manucharyan Cited by DARPA

Vladimir Manucharyan has received a 2017 Young Faculty Award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Prof. Manucharyan's proposal, "Multi-terminal hybrid semiconductor/superconductor junctions", is aimed at developing devices to serve as robust building blocks of a topological quantum computer and act as test beds for topological effects predicted in exotic materials.

Dr. Manucharyan, the Alford Ward Assistant Professor of Physics, received his Ph.D. in 2010 from Yale Univerity and was a Junior Fellow at Harvard University before his 2014 arrival at UMD, where he is a Fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute and a member of the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials. In 2015, he received a Sloan Research Fellowship and NSF CAREER Award.