Manuel Huerta won the 2010 Faculty Senate Outstanding Teaching Award. This is the highest award given by the University for teaching, and reflects his long record of outstanding teaching in our department. (4/19/2010)

A paper by Dr. Neil Johnson made the cover of Nature in the December issue (Juan Camilo Bohorquez, Sean Gourley, Alex Dixon, Mike Spagat and Neil Johnson, "Common ecology quantifies human insurgency", Nature, December 17 (2009)).

Zhenyuan Zhao was recently lead author on a Physical Review Letter publication looking at the duration of conflicts between asymmetric populations (Phys. Rev. Lett. Vol. 103, p. 148701 (2009)). The work is in the area of biological physics, and has potential application in a variety of domains: from animal systems, to medical problems involving immune system-virus interactions and cancer therapy. This paper was subsequently selected for the APS virtual journal of biological physics research.(10/15/09)

Work by graduate student Zhenyuan Zhao and co-authors on comparisons between group dynamics in online guilds and gangs, made the headlines recently in Europe and U.S. See for example:
The work was published in Physical Review E (Vol. 79, p. 066117, 2009) and was featured on the American Physical Society website 'spotlighting exceptional research': It was a collaboration with sociologist George Tita at University of California, as well as researchers at PARC and Stanford University, California.(9/10/09)

Dr. Thomas Curtright was named a Cooper Fellow in the College of Arts and Science. This 3 year fellowship recognizes his continuing high level of scholarship. (5/1/09)

Dr. Joshua Gundersen has just had a paper published in the Journal Nature. This paper, "Over half of the far-infrared background light comes from galaxies at z ≥ 1.2 ", Nature, April 9, 2009, estimates that half of all the starlight emitted throughout cosmic history (including light reprocessed into longer wavelengths by absorption and re-emission by dust) exists as the far-infrared background from those early starbirth galaxies. The group used observations at much shorter infrared wavelengths from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to confirm that ULIRGs and the source of the far-infrared background are one and the same. This is part of Dr. Gundersens ongoing collaboration in the BLAST program ( (4/24/09)

Andrey Beylin, Krishna Neupane, Krishna Prasai, and Serhan Serkan received the AAPT 2009 Oustanding Teaching Assistant of the Year awards. (4/16/09)

Zhenyuan Zhao, a graduate student in the department just won the American Physical Society Fellowship for Physics and Society for 2009. He is working with Dr. Neil Johnson, and his topic is "Complex systems approach to controlling Carbon Emissions". (4/14/09)

Dr. Joshua Cohn was selected by the journal editors of Physical Review and Physical Review Letters as an Outstanding Referee for 2009. Selections are made based on the number, quality, and timeliness of referee reports over the last 20 years. This year 360 referees were recognized with this honor (out of 42,000). (4/3/09)

Dr. Stewart Barnes has just had a paper published in the Journal Nature. When an electron passes through a circuit, a force will act on the charge to increase the electron's energy. This is the electromotive force (e.m.f.), and according to Faraday's law of induction, an e.m.f. cannot be induced by a static magnetic field. But there are other forces present that will act on an electron's spin, giving rise to the possibility of generating an e.m.f. of purely spin origin, even in a static magnetic field. This has now been found using magnetic tunnel junctions containing nanoscale magnetic particles. The resulting conversion of magnetic to electrical energy in these structures gives rise to a usefully large magnetoresistive response (as high as 100,000%), and might also form the basis of a 'spin battery'.
"Electromotive force and huge magnetoresistance in magnetic tunnel junctions", Pham Nam Hai, Shinobu Ohya, Masaaki Tanaka, Stewart E. Barnes & Sadamichi Maekawa, doi:10.1038/nature07879. (3/26/2009)

Neil Johnson and Prof. Joseph Rosenblatt are co-recipients of a new interdisciplinary award to research the dynamical properties of cancer evolution, exploiting the Johnson group's physics research on complex dynamic networks. Professor Rosenblatt is William J. Harrington Chair in Hematology, and Chief of Hematology/Oncology Division at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. (3/26/2009)

Dr. Thomas Curtright won the Provost Faculty Scholar Award for 2008. This was presented at an award ceremony on October 20, 2008. (10/20/2008)

Dr. Neil Johnson and coauthors won the Journal of Peace Research paper of the year award for their article: "Bias in Epidemiological Studies of Conflict Mortality", Journal of Peace Research 45(5): 653–663 (2008).


Recent Ph.D. Graduates




Daniela F. Bogorin, "Superconducting iridium thin films as transition edge sensors", Advisor: Dr. Massimiliano Galeazzi. Current position: Post Doctoral Associate, Univ. of Pittsburgh (Prof. Jeremy Levy).


Anjali Gupta


Krishna Neupane






Corneliu D. Chiorescu,"Transport Studies of Lightly Electron-Doped Manganese Oxides", Advisor: Dr. Joshua Cohn.


Rajan Murgan, "Bethe ansatz and open spin-1/2 XXZ quantum spin chain", Advisor: Dr. Rafael Nepomechie. Current position: Instructor, Gustavus Adolphus College.


Blazej Ruszcycki, "Target Space Duality with Tachyon and Dilaton Fields", Advisor: Dr. Orlando Alvarez. Current position: Post Doctoral Associate, University of Miami (Prof. Neil Johnson).


Hengsong Zhang, "Excess noise in the superconducting transition of tin films", Advisor: Dr. Fulin Zuo. Current position: Post Doctroal Associate, SUNY, Buffalo, New York.


Job Searches

The Department has temporarily suspended the search for two tenure track faculty positions in Biological Physics. We are hoping to start up these again searches in the near future.