Rochelle-Tarin-Olivas has joined the Department of Physics & Astronomy as executive secretary. She will be the primary contact for all department travel and will oversee the colloquium and seminars (HEAP, CM, and UGS), and textbooks. Her office is located in JFB 201-C. Find out more about Rochelle and join us in welcoming her!
Recently, Jared Coles and Tamara Young, two individuals within the University of Utah’s chapter for the Society of Physics Students (SPS), were elected to positions within the society. The SPS is the student organization within the American Institute of Physics. Young and Coles will represent the U at a physics convention in November and at national meetings.
We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Peter Godbe Gibbs, former professor and chair of the U’s Physics Department, on July 13, 2019. He was an active member of the department from 1956 until his retirement in 1992.
Physicists have theorized that a new type of material, called a three dimensional (3-D) topological insulator (TI), could be a good candidate from which to create qubits that will be resilient from errors and protected from losing their quantum information. This material has both an insulating interior and metallic top and bottom surfaces that conduct electricity. Few studies exist that have experimentally tested how TIs behave in real life. A new study from the University of Utah has found that when the insulating layers are as thin as 16 quintuple atomic layers across, the top and bottom metallic surfaces begin to influence each other and destroy their metallic properties.
Professor Christoph Boehme has been appointed interim chair of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, effective July 1, 2019. He replaces Peter Trapa who served as chair of the department until he was selected to become the new dean of the College of Science.