Research Highlights


All-particle flux of the highest energy cosmic rays Physicist’s Research Measures Unprecedented Precision of the Highest-energy Particles in the Universe

LSU Ph.D. physics alumnus Jonathan Cripe Physicists Develop and Demonstrate a Method to Eliminate Quantum Radiation Pressure Noise in Gravitational Wave Detectors

myriad rogue planets Unveiling ‘Island Worlds’ with NASA’s Roman Space Telescope

imperfect recollisions between electron and hole wave packets in light-driven crystals Theoretical Physicists Further Our Understanding on High-Frequency Light Generation in Crystals

smart quantum technology Physicists Identify Light Sources using Artificial Intelligence

emergent approximate symmetry Researchers Progress Knowledge on Important Implications for Understanding the Physics of Nuclei

scientific journal Nature Researchers Advance Our Understanding on the Formation of the Universe

 star V Sagittae  Binary Star V Sagittae to Explode as very Bright ‘Nova’ by Century’s End

Danie Sheehy  Studying the Enigmatic Dance of Electrons in Graphene

Omar Magana Loiaza  Creating Different Kinds of Light with Manipulable Quantum Properties

joyoni dey  Health in High Resolution: Better Diagnostic Imaging Developed at LSU

Gabriela Gonzalez Gravitational Wave Guru  Looking for a Gravitational Wave Research Guru?

Direct measurement of the cosmic-ray proton spectrum with the CALET on the ISS Direct measurement of the cosmic-ray proton spectrum with the CALET on the ISS

the first broadband, off-resonance measurement of quantum radiation pressure noise in the audio band  Hello, Quantum Vacuum, Nice to See You

new theory to answer fundamental questions about black holes Physicists develop new theory to answer fundamental questions about black holes

Tool to Decode Light Particles  LSU Physicist Designs Tool to Decode Light Particles

dune Physicists & Student Researchers Provide Essential Components in Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment

nuclear physics iconEnergy Department Funds $10 Million University Nuclear Research Center

Assistant Professor Scott Marley is part of a university consortium to establish and implement the Center for Excellence in Nuclear Training and University-based Research, or CENTAUR. CENTAUR’s mission is to provide the research experience necessary to develop the next generation of leaders in stewardship science in the area of low-energy nuclear science in support of the workforce and research needs relevant to the NNSA mission. Marley’s work with CENTAUR will involve using nuclear reactions to study the structure of atomic nuclei near the limits of stability.

Professor Jonathan P. Dowling U.S. Department of Defense funds LSU physicist’s quantum sensing research

Dowling and collaborators have been awarded more than $7 million from the U.S. Army Research Office to develop quantum technologies related to sensing. Their recently received grant titled, “Quantum control based on real-time environment analysis by spectator qubits,” is funded for three years, with the possibility of a two-year extension for a total of $7.05 million.

Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices, or CAMD LSU Physicist Applies New Technology to Analyze Ancient Artifacts

LSU Professor Josef Hormes will conduct this cutting-edge research on samples of prehistoric artifacts from Poverty Point at the LSU J. Bennett Johnston, Sr., Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices, or CAMD, with support from the National Park Service.

graphic of flux New Data Debunks Alien Megastructure Theory on the ‘Most Mysterious Star in the Universe’ 

A team of more than 100 researchers, led by LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy Assistant Professor Tabetha Boyajian, is one step closer to solving the mystery behind the “most mysterious star in the universe.” KIC 8462852, or “Tabby’s Star,” nicknamed after Boyajian, is otherwise an average star. It is about 50 percent bigger and 1,000 degrees hotter than the Sun. It is more than 1,000 light years away. However, it has been inexplicably dimming and brightening sporadically like no other.

merging neutron stars LSU Research Contributes to Two Physics World 2017 Breakthroughs of the Year

Physics World has announced that the Physics World 2017 Breakthrough of the Year goes to “the international team of astronomers and astrophysicists that ushered in a new era of astronomy by making the first ever multi-messenger observation involving gravitational waves.”

CALET Measures Cosmic Ray Proton Spectrum Up To 10 TeV

CALETAnalysis and results of a direct measurement of the cosmic-ray proton spectrum with the CALET instrument onboard the International Space Station, including the detailed assessment of systematic uncertainties. The observation period used in this analysis is from October 13, 2015 to August 31, 2018.

Param Singh edited a focus issue "Applications of loop quantum gravity to cosmology" for Classical and Quantum Gravity

Qutum gravityParam Singh, edited a special issue on "Applications of loop quantum gravity to cosmology" for Classical and Quantum Gravity, the premier journal for gravitational physics community. The special issue had original research articles on resolution of gravitational singularities, observational signatures of loop quantum gravity and various aspects of quantum cosmology by many prominent researchers in the field, including Abhay Ashtekar, Eberly Chair of Physics at the Pennsylvania State University, and Ivan Agullo and Peter Diener at LSU. Param Singh was then invited to write a popular article highlighting this special issue in Classical and Quantum Gravity's website CQG+.

Neutron StarsLIGO-Virgo Scientists Detect First Gravitational Waves from Neutron Stars

Neutron starsFor the first time, scientists have directly detected gravitational waves — ripples in space and time — in addition to light from the spectacular collision of two neutron stars. This marks the first time that a cosmic event has been viewed in both gravitational waves and light. The discovery was made using the U.S.-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO; the Europe-based Virgo detector; and some 70 ground- and space-based observatories. Read More

LSU Physicist’s Research Reveals that the Most Energetic Particles in the Cosmos Originated from Outside our Galaxy

Augar dataIn a paper published in the journal Science, the Pierre Auger Collaboration reports observational evidence demonstrating that cosmic rays with energies a million times greater than that of the protons accelerated in the Large Hadron Collider come from much further away than from our galaxy.
Professor Jim Matthews, former co-spokesperson of the Auger Collaboration, works with more than 500 scientists from 17 countries on the world’s leading science project for the exploration of the highest energy cosmic rays to elucidate the origins and properties of the most energetic particles in the Universe. The collaboration is reconstructing the path of the Universe's most energetic cosmic rays, bringing new insights into the origin and nature of this intergalactic phenomenon. Read More

CALET Makes First Direct Measurements of Cosmic Ray Electrons up to 3 TeV in Space

Calet coverCALET (CALorimetric Electron Telescope), a Japan-Italy-US experiment on the International Space Station (ISS), has successfully carried out a high-precision measurement of the cosmic ray electron spectrum up to 3 tera electron volts (TeV). This experiment, based on two years of data taken on the Exposed Facility on the ISS, is the first to make direct measurements of such high energy electrons in space. The CALET team published its first results in Physical Review Letters November 1 (O. Ariadne et al., Physical Review Letters 119, 181101, 2017). The measured spectrum provides a hint of a feature in the high energy spectrum that may be due to a nearby high energy source (e.g., a pulsar) or the annihilation of dark matter particles. CALET expects to take data on the ISS for an additional 3 years, and increase its current statistics by approximately a factor of 6. Read More

Kristina Launey published a book "Emergent Phenomena in Atomic Nuclei from Large-Scale Modeling: A Symmetry-Guided Perspective"

Launey book coverThis book is a unique collection of reviews that discuss emergent phenomena in the world of protons and neutrons, and that of quarks and gluons, as viewed from first principles, microscopic considerations, and analysis of experimental data. A special theme resonates throughout the book: the important role of symmetries, exact and approximate, in exposing emergent features and guiding large-scale nuclear modeling, such as Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics, Effective Field Theory, Ab Initio Models, Quantum Monte Carlo Methods, and Density Functional Theory.

LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves for Third Time

3rd detectionThe Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, or LIGO, has made a third detection of gravitational waves, which are ripples in space and time, demonstrating that a new window in astronomy has been firmly opened. As was the case with the first two detections, the waves were generated when two black holes collided to form a larger black hole. Read More

Jorge Pullin co-edited a book "Loop quantum gravity: the first 30 years"

book coverJorge Pullin has co-edited with Abhay Ashtekar, the Eberly Chair of Physics at the Pennsylvania State University, the volume "Loop quantum gravity: the first 30 years". It includes eight chapters by young emerging leaders of the field providing a snapshot of its state of the art, including one by LSU's Ivan Agullo and Parampreet Singh. The book is part of the series that World Scientific Publishing Co. of Singapore is putting out to celebrate the 100 years of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. According to the publisher, It will include "two dozen excellent monographs written by top-notch authors from the international gravitational community".

Mark Wilde's Second Edition of his book "Quantum Information Theory" has been published.

wilde book coverDeveloping many of the major, exciting, pre- and post-millennium developments from the ground up, this book is an ideal entry point for graduate students into quantum information theory. Significant attention is given to quantum mechanics for quantum information theory, and careful studies of the important protocols of teleportation, superdense coding, and entanglement distribution are presented. In this new edition, readers can expect to find over 100 pages of new material, including detailed discussions of Bell's theorem, the CHSH game, Tsirelson's theorem, the axiomatic approach to quantum channels, the definition of the diamond norm and its interpretation, and a proof of the Choi–Kraus theorem. Discussion of the importance of the quantum dynamic capacity formula has been completely revised, and many new exercises and references have been added. This new edition will be welcomed by the upcoming generation of quantum information theorists and the already established community of classical information theorists.

super-kamiokandeLSU Physicists Collaborate on T2K CP Violation Results to Explain Workings of Universe: LSU physicists Thomas Kutter and Martin Tzanov were among the international T2K Collaboration who recently announced their findings on the symmetry between neutrino and antineutrino oscillation. With newly collected antineutrino data, T2K has performed a new analysis, fitting both neutrino and antineutrino modes simultaneously. T2K’s new data continue the trends observed in 2015, which is a preference for maximal disappearance of muon neutrinos, as well as a discrepancy between the electron neutrino and electron antineutrino appearance rates. Read more

photo: waveicon The LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo collaboration identify a second gravitational wave event in the data from Advanced LIGO detectors. On December 26, 2015 at 03:38:53 UTC, scientists observed gravitational waves-ripples in the fabric of spacetime-for the second time. The gravitational waves were detected by both of the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, USA. Read more

calet“CALET Upper Limits on X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Counterparts of GW 151226” has been published by the CALET collaboration including Nick Cannady, Mike Cherry Greg Guzik, Amir Javaid, John Wefel et al. in Astrophysical Journal Letters, 829:L20 (2016). The CALET experiment aboard the International Space Station has placed upper limits for counterpart emission in the 7-1000 keV and 1-100 GeV bands associated with the gravitational wave event GW 151226 corresponding to a luminosity of 3-4 ×1049 erg s−1, which is significantly lower than typical short gamma ray bursts. Read more

photo: researchersExtreme light from frozen argon LSU physicists Mette Gaarde, Mengxi Wu, Kenneth Schafer, and Dana Browne, in collaboration with a team of researchers at SLAC/Stanford University have directly compared the ultrafast, extreme ultraviolet radiation emitted by argon atoms when they are in their gas phase or in their weakly bound solid phase and found significant differences between them, as reported today in the journal Nature. The results yield new clues about how energetic electrons in a solid behave, and may yield new compact sources of short wavelength radiation. Read more

SU (3)"Efficacy of the SU(3) scheme for ab initio large-scale calculations beyond the lightest nuclei" has been published by Tomas Dytrych, Kristina Launey, and Jerry Draayer et. al. Comp. Phys. Commun. 207 (2016) 202; doi: 10.1016/j.cpc.2016.06.006. This paper discuss the computational characteristics of ab initio nuclear structure calculations in the symmetry-adapted no-core shell model (SA-NCSM) framework and examine the computational complexity of the current implementation of the SA-NCSM approach, dubbed LSU3shell, by analyzing ab initio results for Li-6 and C-12 in large harmonic-oscillator model spaces and symmetry-selected subspaces. We demonstrate LSU3shell's strong-scaling properties achieved with highly-parallel methods for computing the many-body matrix elements. In particular, a well-chosen symmetry-adapted basis affords memory savings in calculations of states with a fixed total angular momentum in large model spaces while exactly preserving translational invariance.

formular"Quantum self-gravitating collapsing matter in a quantum geometry". has been published by Campiglia, Gambini, Olmedo, and Pulin. Classical and Quantum Gravity, Volume 33, Number 18. The problem of how space–time responds to gravitating quantum matter in full quantum gravity has been one of the main questions that any program of quantization of gravity should address. Here we analyze this issue by considering the quantization of a collapsing null shell coupled to spherically symmetric loop quantum gravity. We show that the constraint algebra of canonical gravity is Abelian both classically and when quantized using loop quantum gravity techniques. The Hamiltonian constraint is well defined and suitable Dirac observables characterizing the problem were identified at the quantum level. We can write the metric as a parameterized Dirac observable at the quantum level and study the physics of the collapsing shell and black hole formation. We show how the singularity inside the black hole is eliminated by loop quantum gravity and how the shell can traverse it. The construction is compatible with a scenario in which the shell tunnels into a baby universe inside the black hole or one in which it could emerge through a white hole.

Adams paper"Ultrathin two-dimensional superconductivity with strong spin–orbit coupling" has been published by Nam, Kim and Adams, et. al. doi:10.1073/pnas.1611967113. September, 2016. We report on a study of epitaxially grown ultrathin Pb films that are only a few atoms thick and have parallel critical magnetic fields much higher than the expected limit set by the interaction of electron spins with a magnetic field, that is, the Clogston–Chandrasekhar limit. The epitaxial thin films are classified as dirty-limit superconductors because their mean-free paths, which are limited by surface scattering, are smaller than their superconducting coherence lengths. The uniformity of superconductivity in these thin films is established by comparing scanning tunneling spectroscopy, scanning superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometry, double-coil mutual inductance, and magneto-transport, data that provide average superfluid rigidity on length scales covering the range from microscopic to macroscopic. We argue that the survival of superconductivity at Zeeman energies much larger than the superconducting gap can be understood only as the consequence of strong spin–orbit coupling that, together with substrate-induced inversion-symmetry breaking, produces spin splitting in the normal-state energy bands that is much larger than the superconductor’s energy gap.

"Schrödinger-like quantum dynamics in loop quantized black holes" has been published by Gambini, Rodolfo, Javier Olmedo, and Jorge Pullin. • Int.J.Mod.Phys. D25 (2016) no.08, 1642006 arXiv:1605.00969. This paper show, following a previous quantization of a vacuum spherically symmetric spacetime carried out in [R. Gambini, J. Olmedo and J. Pullin, Class. Quantum Grav. 31 (2014) 095009.] that this setting admits a Schrödinger-like picture. More precisely, the technique adopted there for the definition of parametrized Dirac observables (that codify local information of the quantum theory) can be extended in order to accommodate different pictures. In this new picture, the quantum states are parametrized in terms of suitable gauge parameters and the observables constructed out of the kinematical ones on this space of parametrized states.

photo: publication Rob Hynes, Brad Schaefer, undergrad Zach Baum, Ching-Cheng Hsu, Mike Cherry et al. present a multi-wavelength study of the low-mass X-ray binary Sco X-1 in "Kepler K2 Observations of Sco X-1: Orbital Modulations and Correlations with Fermi GBM and MAXI" in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Read more

cerncourierThe research of LSU Physicist James Matthews and an international team of scientists is featured in the CERN Courier. The world's largest cosmic-ray experiment, the Pierre Auger Observatory in Mendoza Province, Argentina, is embarking on its next phase, named AugerPrime. Read more

nuclearphysicsThe paper "Angular momentumprojection for a Nilsson mean-field plus pairing model", Nucl. Phys. A 950 (2016) 1; doi:10.1016/j. nuclphysa. 2016.03.012. by Yin Wang, Feng Pan, Kristina D. Launey, Yan-An Luo, and J. P. Draayer, explores the interplay of pairing and deformation in intermediate-mass nuclei based on a new method for restoring the rotational invariance of a general nuclear pairing-plus-deformation Hamiltonian. Read more

Black holesGravitational Waves Detected 100 Years After Einstein's Prediction: For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime, called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein's 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.