Research reveals ‘shocking’ weakness of lab courses

ITHACA, N.Y. – With the new emphasis on hands-on, active learning throughout higher education, lab courses would seem to have an advantage – what could be more active than doing experiments? But surprising new research reveals traditional labs fall far short of their pedagogical goals. In a paper published Jan. 2 in Physics Today, “Introductory […]

Astronomer scores ‘Oscar of Science’ for mapping of early cosmos

ITHACA, N.Y. – Rachel Bean, professor of astronomy and senior associate dean of undergraduate education for the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University, is among a team of 27 scientists who won a share of the $3 million 2018 Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics this week. “The Breakthrough Prize was created to celebrate the achievements […]

Scientific database arXiv reaches billionth download milestone

ITHACA, N.Y. – The scientific pre-print database has surpassed 1 billion downloads. The online repository started 26 years ago as an electronic bulletin board on one computer, and has grown into an essential resource for physicists and mathematicians around the world. Since its founding, arXiv has sped the pace of scientific discovery, inspired similar […]

Where did those electrons go? X-ray measurements solve decades-old mystery

ITHACA, N.Y. – The concept of “valence” – the ability of a particular atom to combine with other atoms by exchanging electrons – is one of the cornerstones of modern chemistry and solid-state physics. Valence controls crucial properties of molecules and materials, including their bonding, crystal structure, and electronic and magnetic properties. Four decades ago, […]

Gravitational waves announcement ushers in new era of multi-messenger astronomy

For the first time, scientists have directly detected gravitational waves in addition to light, from the spectacular collision of two neutron stars. This marks the first time that a cosmic event has been viewed in both gravitational waves and light. Cornell University physicists and experts, who played a vital role in validating the detection of […]

Cornell physicists honored to play vital role in validating detection of gravitational waves

This morning, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 to physicists Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish, and Kip S. Thorne, for “decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.” In this video, Kip Thorne talks about the detection of gravitational waves as a guest speaker […]

Energy-efficient accelerator was 50 years in the making

ITHACA, N.Y. – With the introduction of CBETA, the Cornell-Brookhaven ERL Test Accelerator, Cornell University and Brookhaven National Laboratory scientists are following up on the concept of energy-recovering particle accelerators first introduced by physicist Maury Tigner at Cornell more than 50 years ago. CBETA tests two energy-saving technologies for accelerators: energy recovery and permanent magnets. […]

Crystallization plate provides clues on protein structure aboard historic space mission

ITHACA, N.Y. – A new crystallization plate, developed and tested at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source, or CHESS, hitched a ride to outer space and is helping a major drugmaker learn about protein structure. The In-Situ-1 crystallization plate – developed by Robert Thorne, professor of physics at Cornell University, and the company he founded, […]

Cornell astrophysicists play vital role to validate detection of gravitational waves

Cornell physics and astrophysics professor Saul Teukolsky has been using supercomputers to solve Einstein’s equations for black hole mergers for much of his career. Teukolsky and the Cornell-founded Simulation of eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) collaboration group have been calculating and completing a full catalog of theoretical solutions since 2000, when supercomputers first became capable of the […]