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So far Lauren Mason has created 134 blog entries.

Congratulations to Dr. Michael Tanksalvala for being awarded an NRC postdoctoral fellowship to work with NIST Boulder Labs

The NIST NRC Postdoctoral Program supports a nationwide competitive postdoctoral program administered in cooperation with the National Academies/National Research Council (NRC). The postdoctoral program brings research scientists and engineers of unusual promise and ability to perform advanced research related to the NIST mission, introduces the latest university research results and techniques to NIST scientific programs, strengthens mutual communication with university researchers, shares NIST unique research facilities with the U.S. scientific and engineering communities, and provides a valuable mechanism for the transfer of research results from NIST to the scientific and engineering communities.

Tutorial: Introduction to Coherent Diffractive Imaging: To Ptychography and Beyond

Coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) comprises a set of imaging techniques that replace image-forming optics by any of a wide array of computer algorithms that retrieve an image from the scatter pattern generated by a coherent illumination beam. CDI is particularly attractive for imaging with short-wavelength light, since it enables diffraction-limited imaging with quantitative phase- and amplitude-contrast. This talk will begin with a brief overview of applications of coherent diffractive imaging, and will then focus on ptychography and a few extensions tailored to various cutting-edge applications. Finally, it will provide a brief introduction to practical aspects of implementing coherent diffractive imaging.

Two New Physical Sciences Associate Deans Announced

The School of Physical Sciences now has two new Associate Deans. Franklin Dollar of the UCI Department of Physics & Astronomy is the new Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and Mu-Chun Chen, also of Physics & Astronomy is the new Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Both appointees come from long histories of experience with both engaging with the graduate student community at Physical Sciences, as well as stimulating action in the DEI realm.

Very recently, Dollar was part of an effort in his department to secure funding for the mentors of a graduate student-led program called Physics & Astronomy Community Excellence (PACE), which aims to give graduate students the peer support they may need. “Our vision is to foster a student-focused, transdisciplinary graduate experience in which a diverse student body can both succeed and lead in their chosen path,” Dollar said. “We will develop new support mechanisms to promote broader collaboration across the school, while making sure that students have the support they need.”

Cool it: Nano-scale discovery could help prevent overheating in electronics

A team of physicists at CU Boulder has solved the mystery behind a perplexing phenomenon in the nano realm: why some ultra-small heat sources cool down faster if you pack them closer together. The findings, which will publish this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), could one day help the tech industry design speedier electronic devices that overheat less.

“Often heat is a challenging consideration in designing electronics. You build a device then discover that it’s heating up faster than desired,” said study co-author Joshua Knobloch, postdoctoral research associate at JILA, a joint research institute between CU Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). “Our goal is to understand the fundamental physics involved so we can engineer future devices to efficiently manage the flow of heat.”

From Plane Propellers to Helicopter Rotors

For laser science, one major goal is to achieve full control over the spatial, temporal and polarization properties of light, and to learn how to precisely manipulate these properties.  A  property of light is called the Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM), that depends on the spatial distribution of the phase (or crests) of a donut-shaped light beam. More recently, a new variant of OAM was discovered – called the spatial-temporal OAM (ST-OAM), with much more elusive properties, since the phase/crests of light evolve both temporally and spatially. In a collaboration led by senior scientist Dr. Chen-Ting Liao, working with graduate student Guan Gui and JILA Fellows Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn, the team explored how such beams change after propagating through nonlinear crystals that can change their color…

Congrats to Calina Glynn for Being Selected as a 2020-2021 Audree Fowler Fellow in Protein Science

Calina Glynn (Callie) is a fifth year Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology (BMSB) student in Professor Jose Rodriguez’s group. Prior to coming to UCLA in 2016, Callie received her B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Boston University, where she studied Fe-S cluster binding proteins with Dr. Deborah Perlstein.

Callie’s graduate work focuses on uncovering the structures of prion fibrils that bestow them with unique biophysical properties. Prion diseases arise via the self-templated misfolding of the soluble prion protein into pathogenic protease, denaturant, and heat resistant prion fibrils (PrPSc). Callie has uncovered the structure of a protease and denaturant-resistant human prion fibril that explains the unique biophysical properties characteristic of PrPSc using cryo-electron microscopy. Callie aims to uncover differences in the favored fold, stability, and seeding ability of fibrils from disease-associated variants of the human prion protein and other mammalian prion proteins whose aggregation leads to disease.

The title of Callie’s Fowler Fellow talk is “Structures at the Core of Mammalian Prions”.

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