Department “Quarks”

The Ups, Downs, Tops, Bottoms, Charms & Strangeness of the Department

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Wagon-Wheel Pasta Shape for Better LED

Images of molecules for light-emitting diodes on the left are compared with similar shaped pasta on the right. The upper left electron microscope image shows spaghetti-shaped organic polymers now used for organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs. The lower left image shows new molecules – created by scientists at the University of Utah and two German universities – that are shaped like wagon-wheel or rotelle pasta and emit light more efficiently than the spaghetti-shape polymers. Photo Credit: Molecule images by Stefan Jester, University of Bonn. Pasta images courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

‘Rotelle’ Molecules Depolarize Light, More Efficient than ‘Spaghetti’

Full press release here

Sept. 29, 2013 – One problem in developing more efficient organic LED light bulbs and displays for TVs and phones is that much of the light is polarized in one direction and thus trapped within the light-emitting diode, or LED. University of Utah physicists believe they have solved the problem by creating a new organic molecule that is shaped like rotelle – wagon-wheel pasta – rather than spaghetti.

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Toward a Truly White Organic LED

University of Utah physicist Z. Valy Vardeny works in a glove box where light-emitting polymers are studied under clean conditions. Vardeny and colleagues have inserted platinum atoms into an organic semiconductor, creating polymers that can be “tuned” to emit light of different colors – a step toward a new kind of organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, that can emit truly white light and be used in future light bulbs. Photo Credit: Lee J. Siegel, University of Utah

Utah Physicists Develop Polymer with Tunable Colors

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Sept. 13, 2013 – By inserting platinum atoms into an organic semiconductor, University of Utah physicists were able to “tune” the plastic-like polymer to emit light of different colors – a step toward more efficient, less expensive and truly white organic LEDs for light bulbs of the future.

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Summer REU Program

by Tino Nyawelo - Asst Professor (Lecturer)

The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program is designed to provide students with an introduction to the world of scientific research in the fields of Physics and Astronomy. We successfully recruited seven undergraduate students from around the nation to work closely with the following faculty and staff mentors of the Department of Physics & Astronomy on an individual project:

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Young Universe Expanded Slowly

University of Utah astrophysicist Kyle Dawson stands in front of the 2.5-meter Sloan Telescope at Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico. Dawson is part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey-III, a collaborative effort by some 300 scientists from about 30 research institutions worldwide. Dawson and other members of the Sloan survey are publishing a new study that made the first direct measurement of how fast the universe expanded about 11 billion years ago, or only 3 billion years after scientists say the universe formed during the Big Bang. Photo Credit: Dan Long, Apache Point Observatory

During Last 14 Billion Years, Expansion Slowed and then Sped Up

Full press release here

Nov. 12, 2012 – Like a roller coaster that crawls slowly uphill and then zooms downhill, the universe expanded at a much slower rate 11 billion years ago than it has during the past 5 billion years, says a new study co-authored by a University of Utah astrophysicist.

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