News & Events

Colloquium: Elias Puchner

Exploring nanoscopic mechanisms of intra-cellular processes with quantitative single-molecule imaging techniques


Cellular processes are regulated by complex interactions of biomolecules. The spatio-temporal organization of these biomolecules such as their localization to intracellular organelles is critical for their function. With the breakthrough of optical single-molecule and super-resolution microscopy techniques it became possible to study the spatio-temporal organization of biomolecules on a nanoscopic length scale far below the optical diffraction limit of conventional microscopes. However, challenges remained for quantifying the abundance of biomolecules and for investigating living cells. Here, I will present our novel developments of quantitative live-cell super-resolution microscopy techniques as well as improved fluorescent probes that overcome these limitations. I will exemplify the power of such precision measurements by presenting our new insights in the protein complex initiating autophagosome formation, which degrades and recycles cellular components. Furthermore, we gained a deeper understanding of lipid droplet regulation by following fatty acid incorporation and changes in enzyme densities based on metabolic needs of cells. In my outlook I will summarize how ongoing and future applications of these techniques enable us to study phase transitions of regulatory proteins and to establish collaborative projects of biomedical relevance.

Colloquium: Lindsay Glesener

Lindsay Glesener, University of Minnesota

Colloquium: Rafael Fernandes

A hallmark of the phase diagrams of quantum materials is the existence of multiple electronic ordered states. In many cases, they cannot be simply described as independent competing phases, but instead display a complex intertwinement. In this talk, I will present a framework to describe intertwined phases in terms of a primary and a vestigial phase. While the former is characterized by a multi-component order parameter, the fluctuation-driven vestigial state is characterized by a composite order parameter formed by higher-order, symmetry-breaking combinations of the primary order parameter. Exotic electronic states with scalar and vector chiral order, spin-nematic order, Potts-nematic order, time-reversal symmetry-breaking order, and charge 4e superconductivity emerge from this simple underlying principle. I will present a rich variety of possible phase diagrams involving the primary and vestigial orders, and discuss possible realizations of these exotic composite orders in different quantum materials.

Colloquium: Claudia Scarlata

Claudia Scarlata, University of Minnesota will deliver the first colloquium on the topic of "Learning about the early Universe from Nearby galaxies."

School of Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

Speaker:  Rudolf M. Tromp, IBM T.J. Watson 
Subject: Low Energy Electron Microscopy

In Low Energy Electron Microscopy (LEEM) and Photo Electron Emission Microscopy (PEEM) the sample forms the cathode in a strongly decelerating/accelerating immersion objective lens. This enables low energy electrons at the sample (0-100 eV) to be used for high resolution (2 nm) image formation, diffraction, and spectroscopy. This form of microscopy came to fruition in the early 1990’s, much later than other forms of electron microscopy, and has undergone a rapid development since.

In this talk I will discuss some of the principles and unique capabilities of cathode lens microscopy (as it is generally known), and illustrate its wide range of applications with recent examples from our research program, including growth and properties of 2D materials, occupied and unoccupied momentum-resolved electronic structure, reflection/transmission experiments to study electron mean free path, and the effects of low energy electron irradiation on thin resist films. A unique feature of many of these experiments is that the lab is inside the electron microscope, rather than the other way around.I

School News

Above is an illustration of an intermediate polar system, a type of two-star system that the research team thinks V1674 Hercules belongs to. A flow of gas from the large companion star impacts an accretion disk before flowing along magnetic field lines onto the white dwarf

Woodward research takes a look at the fastest nova on record

A research report, co-authored by Professor Charles Woodward of the School of Physics and Astronomy describes the unusual quirks of V1674 Hercules, the fastest nova ever on record.
Rajdeep Chatterjee

Chatterjee receives Young Researcher Prize

Rajdeep Mohan Chatterjee received the 2022 Young Researcher Prize from the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland.
Ramanakumar Sankar

School leads citizen science effort to study Jupiter's atmosphere

Ramanakumar Sankar, a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Physics and Astronomy is leading the latest Zooniverse project, Jovian Vortex Hunter.
group of theoretical physicists standing together in front of the mississippi river on a sunny day

New grant will expand FTPI programs

The William I Fine Theoretical Physics Institute (FTPI) has received a Simons Grant of over half a million dollars to help bolster the Institute's mission of being one of the regional centers
Jenna Freedburg

Freedberg Receives Student Leadership Award

Jenna Freedberg, graduate student in the School of Physics and Astronomy, received a 2022 President's Student Leadership and Service Award.
Scholarship and Awards

2022 Undergraduate Scholarship Recipients

There are 31 undergraduate recipients for 14 separate scholarships.
fellowships and awards

2022 Graduate Awards and Fellowships

There are 11 graduate award and fellowship recipients in the School for 2021.
Man sitting at a table outside with his hands folded in front of him

Hanany Receives Collegiate Service Award

Professor Shaul Hanany of the School of Physics and Astronomy has received the 2022 College of Science and Engineering George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished Service.
Smiling woman with dark hair and glasses

Hameed receives NSSA Prize

Sajna Hameed (PhD 2021), now a postdoc at the MPI, Stuttgart, Germany, was recently selected as a recipient of the biennial Neutron Scattering Society of America (NSSA) Prize for Outstanding Student
Claudia Scarlata

Scarlata named Distinguished McKnight Professor

Claudia Scarlata was named as a 2022 Distinguished McKnight Professor. She was recognized for her significant contributions to the study of the sources responsible for the last major transformation

School of Physics and Astronomy Seminar Calendar