Physics News

Nov. 27, 2020

CCNY team in Quantum algorithm breakthrough. 

Researchers led by City College of New York physicist Pouyan Ghaemi report the development of a quantum algorithm with the potential to study a class of many-electron quantums system using quantum computers. Their paper, entitled "Creating and Manipulating a Laughlin-Type ν=1/3 Fractional Quantum Hall State on a Quantum Computer with Linear Depth Circuits," appears in the December issue of PRX Quantum, a journal of the American Physical Society. (177 kB)


September 16, 2020

Hernan Makse was awarded a NIH-NIBIB R01 grant "Application of the principle of symmetry to eural circuitry: From building blocks to neural synchronization in the connectome", PD: Makse, co-PD: Manuel Zimmer (University of Vienna) to study the neural networks  of C. elegans with physical symmetry principles and fiber bundles, like in particle physics.  Grant Number: 1R01EB028157-01A1,  $1,064,970. And we have a trilogy  of nice papers on the matter: F. Morone, H.A. Makse. Symmetry group factorization reveals the structure-function relation in the neural connectome of Caenorhabditis elegansNat Commun 10, 4961 (2019); F. Morone, I. Leifer, H.A. Makse. Fibration symmetries uncover the building blocks of biological networks Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 117 (15) 8306-8314, April 14, 2020. SI; I. Leifer, F. Morone, S.D.S. Reis, J.S. Andrade Jr, M. Sigman, H.A. Makse. Circuits with broken fibration symmetries perform core logic computations in biological networks. PLoS Comput Biol 16(6): e1007776. (2020). SI.

Nature Communications

Symmetry group factorization reveals the structure-function relation in the neural connectome of Caenorhabditis elegans

The 302-neuron connectome of the nematode C. elegans has been completely mapped, yet the design principles that explain how the connectome structure determines its function are unknown. Here, the authors show that physical principles of symmetry and mathematical tools of symmetry groups can be used to understand C. elegans neural locomotion circuits.


Fibration symmetries uncover the building blocks of biological networks

The success of symmetries in explaining the physical world, from general relativity to the standard model of particle physics and all phases of matter, raises the question of why the same concept could not be equally applied to explain emergent properties of biological systems. In other words, we ask—if life is an emergent property of physics—why the same symmetry principles that explain physics could not explain the organizing principle of life. Here we show that a particular form of symmetry, called symmetry fibration, explains the building blocks of biological networks and other social and infrastructure networks. This result opens the way to understand how information-processing networks… 

Spring 2020 News Highlights

Mar 10, 2020

Ms. Moyosore Odunsi is among the three recipients of The Graduate Center’s Pre-dissertation Award. This annual award, for use in summer 2020, provides each recipient with a grant of $5,000 to jump start the early stage of their research.

Alumni News: Ethan Bendau, '18, BS Physics, has been awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to support his Ph.D. studies in Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University.  Mr. Bendau's undergraduate Research Honors presentation, "Early Detection of Triple Negative Breast Cancer with Multiphoton Microscopy and Resonance Raman Spectroscopy," was the culmination of his work with Distinguished Professor Robert Alfano. Congrats Ethan!

Fall 2019 News Highlights

Dec 6, 2019

Congratulations to the CCNY Physics Club, for their recent recognition as a 2019 Outstanding Chapter of the Society of Physics Students. This is the second time the chapter has been recognized for its excellence as a top-tier student-led physical sciences organization, a designation given to fewer than 15 percent of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally.

Nov 5, 2019

Two new patents have been awarded to Prof. Alfano and his team in the Institute for Ultrafast Lasers and Spectroscopy. The new 'Resonance Raman' technique will allow for rapid and more specific brain cancer diagnoses. 

Oct 31, 2019

Prof. Vinod Menon has been elected a 2020 Fellow in the Optical Society of America. Fellows are elected for "a history of achievement in optics and photonics, and a reputation for service to OSA and our field" says OSA President Ursula Gibson. Congratulations!

Aug 9, 2019

Distinguished Prof. Emerita Myriam Sarachik has been awarded the American Physical Society's highest research honor: the 2020 APS Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research. "Myriam Sarachik has been one of the world’s leading experimental condensed matter physicists for over a half-century," said APS President-Elect Philip Bucksbaum. (tell us something we don't know!)




Biden's big science challenge: increasing public trust, Scientific American, March 2021

Pairwise hydrodynamic interactions of spherical colloids at a gas-liquid interface, Journal of Fluid Dynamics, March 2021

Hamiltonian and exclusion statistics approach to discrete forward-moving paths, arXiv preprint arXiv:2103.15827, 2021, March 2021

Dimers, orientifolds and anomalies, JHEP, February 2021

Synchronized eye movements predict test scores in online video education, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, February 2021

Relativity and radiation balance for the classical hydrogen atom in classical electromagnetic zero-point radiation, European Journal of Physics, February 2021

Nuclear spin temperature reversal via continuous radio-frequency driving, Physical Review B, February 2021

Magnetic field induced delocalization in hybrid electron-nuclear spin ensembles, Physical Review B, February 2021

Shear response of granular packings compressed above jamming onset, Physical Review E, February 2021

Optical Valley Hall Effect of 2D Excitons in Hyperbolic Metamaterial, Optica January 2021​

Interactions and Mobility Edges: Observing the Generalized Aubry-André Model Physical Review Letters, January 2021

Dimers, orientifolds and stability of supersymmetry breaking vacua, Journal of High Energy Physics, January 2021

Spontaneous emission dynamics of Eu3+ ions coupled to hyperbolic metamaterials, Applied Physics Letters, January 2021

Jan. 29, 2021

Prof. Sriram Ganeshan and experimental collaborators published on quasiperiodic localization. This work experimentally realized a model of 1D localization with mobility edge.

Physical Review Letters

Interactions and Mobility Edges: Observing the Generalized Aubry-Andr\'e Model

A system that hosts an analytical mobility edge has been realized in a Bose-Einstein condensate through the use of laser-coupled momentum modes.

Dec. 18, 2020

Homogeneous Crystallization in Cyclically Sheared Frictionless GrainsWeiwei Jin, Corey S. O’Hern, Charles Radin, Mark D. Shattuck, and Harry L. Swinney
Phys. Rev. Lett. 125, 258003 – Published 18 December 2020

Physical Review Letters

Homogeneous Crystallization in Cyclically Sheared Frictionless Grains

Many experiments over the past half century have shown that, for a range of protocols, granular materials compact under pressure and repeated small disturbances. A recent experiment on cyclically sheared spherical grains showed significant compaction via homogeneous crystallization (Rietz et al., 2018). Here we present numerical simulations of frictionless, purely repulsive spheres undergoing cyclic simple shear via Newtonian dynamics with linear viscous drag at fixed vertical load. We show that for sufficiently small strain amplitudes, cyclic shear gives rise to homogeneous crystallization at a volume fraction $\ensuremath{\phi}=0.646\ifmmode\pm\else\textpm\fi{}0.001$. This result indicates… 


Nov. 2020 Algorithm breakthrough may lead to new applications for quantum computers  Results provide tools to improve quantum computing devices (63 kB)11:27!divAbstract

PJ Tuckman, K Vanderwerf, Y Yuan, SY Zhang, J Zhang, MD Shattuck, CS O'Hern, Contact Network Changes in Ordered and Disordered Disk Packings,

Soft Matter 16(41):9443(13) 2020. PMID:32940321. Citations:1.

Contact network changes in ordered and disordered disk packings

We investigate the mechanical response of packings of purely repulsive, frictionless disks to quasistatic deformations. The deformations include simple shear strain at constant packing fraction and at constant pressure, “polydispersity” strain (in which we change the particle size distribution) at constant p (21 kB)


Nov. 3, 2020

PRX Quantum

Creating and Manipulating a Laughlin-Type $\ensuremath{\nu}=1/3$ Fractional Quantum Hall State on a Quantum Computer with Linear Depth Circuits

A clever quantum algorithm is designed to enable the study of a class of strongly interacting fermionic systems on a digitized quantum computer.








High-temperature quantum anomalous Hall regime in a MnBi2Te4/Bi2Te3 superlatticeNature Physics, August 2020

The Role of Long-Lived Excitons in the Dynamics of Strongly Coupled Molecular PolaritonsACS Photonics, July 2020

Optically pumped spin polarization as a probe of many-body thermalizationScience Advances , May 2020

Apr 14th, 2020

Circuits with broken fibration symmetries perform core logic computations in biological networks

Author summary We show that the core functional logic of genetic circuits arises from a fundamental symmetry breaking of the interactions of the biological network. The idea can be put into a hierarchy of symmetric genetic circuits that reveals their logical functions. We do so through a constructive procedure that naturally reveals a series of building blocks, widely present across species. This hierarchy maps to a progression of fundamental units of electronics, starting with the transistor, progressing to ring oscillators and current-mirror circuits and then to synchronized clocks, switches and finally to memory devices such as latches and flip-flops.