Dr. Gail Zasowski, assistant professor of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, has been named a 2021 Cottrell Scholar. The Cottrell Scholar program, run by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, honors early-career faculty members for the quality and innovation of not only their research programs but also their educational activities and their academic leadership.
Refugee youth are particularly vulnerable to being disenfranchised from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The National Science Foundation has awarded University of Utah and Utah State University researchers $1.1 million over three years to study how refugee teenagers construct self-identities related to STEM across settings, such as physics research and creating digital stories, across relationships, such as peer, parent, and teacher, and across the languages they speak.
Professor Carsten Rott, who will join the Department of Physics & Astronomy in early 2021, has been appointed to the Jack W. Keuffel Memorial Chair, effective January 1, 2021. Rott will hold the chair through December 2025. The Jack W. Keuffel Memorial Chair in Physics & Astronomy was established to honor and continue the work the late Jack W. Keuffel, a professor and pioneer in cosmic ray research at the U from 1960-1974.
Winter is coming in the northern hemisphere and public health officials are asking how the seasonal shift will impact the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19? A new study tested how temperatures and humidity affect the structure of individual SARS-Cov-2 virus-like particles on surfaces. They found that just moderate temperature increases broke down the virus’ structure, while humidity had very little impact. In order to remain infectious, the SARS-Cov-2 membrane needs a specific web of proteins arranged in a particular order. When that structure falls apart, it becomes less infectious. The findings suggest that as temperatures begin to drop, particles on surfaces will remain infectious longer.