News

4/26/2017

By Whitney Hale

The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that senior Benjamin Riley, of Louisville, Kentucky, has been awarded the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Riley is among 240 students nationwide awarded the Goldwater Scholarship this year. This year's Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,286 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of 470 colleges and universities nationwide.

Additionally, two other UK students, Aaron Mueller, of Louisville, and Connor VanMeter, of Lexington, were among 307 students to receive honorable mention recognition from the esteemed scholarship program.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and

4/17/2017

By Gail Hairston

The last event of the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences’ Civil Life Panel Series’ spring season is slated noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, with two follow-up panel discussions later the same day. The topic is “Science Speaks.”

Allan Butterfield, Alumni Association Endowed Professor of Biological Chemistry; Andrea Erhardt, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences; Bruce Webb, professor of entomology; and David Weisrock, associate professor of biology, will gather for a lively discussion at noon in the UK Athletics Auditorium of the William T. Young Library.

They will discuss what it means

4/14/2017

By Jenny Wells

 

Lithospheric magnetic field. Video courtesy of European Space Agency (ESA)

A University of Kentucky geophysicist is helping an international team of scientists reveal dramatic new information about the Earth’s magnetic field.

Two years ago, Dhananjay Ravat, who is a professor in the UK Departments of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Physics and Astronomy, was asked by the leader of the Swarm Satellite Constellation Application and Research Facility of the European Space Agency (ESA) to collaborate with their team to create a map of the magnetic features of the Earth’s lithosphere. Ravat, who has worked on geophysical data from several space missions around the Earth, Mars and the moon, was intrigued by the Swarm project, and his involvement

3/31/2017

By Gail Hairston

The University of Kentucky will send 59 undergraduate student-researchers to the 31st annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Memphis April 6-8.

The UK group joins young researchers from around the world to showcase their research findings through poster and oral presentations. Each student will be given the opportunity to discuss their display and share their research results, illuminating how their work will have an impact on future research development. UK has been an active NCUR participant since the mid ’90s.

One of the first things these young researchers learn is that most research is not conducted in the traditional laboratory with bubbling beakers and flaming Bunsen burners. But modern research spans all disciplines and majors, and includes a wide variety of activities.

3/2/2017

By Kathryn Macon

The University of Kentucky Department of Physics and Astronomy will host a public lecture on cosmology next week for a general audience. Presented by UK Physics Professor Ganpathy Murthy, "History of the Universe from the Big Bang to Now" will begin 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, in the William T. Young Library.

The lecture is designed to be accessible to everyone without sacrificing scientific accuracy. This event is free and open to the public and a question and answer period will follow the presentation.  

Murthy received his doctoral degree from Yale University and his research is in condensed matter theory. In recent years, he has been focused on "strongly correlated electron systems," in which the interactions between electrons play a dominant

2/23/2017

By Lisa Lockman and Kristie Law

The UK Women's Forum, formally established during the 1991-1992 academic year,  is currently celebrating over 25 years of open discussion, creativity, and leadership development for all women employed at the University of Kentucky.  Women's Forum is also celebrating the 17 women who have been nominated for the 2017 Sarah Bennett Holmes Award — an award created by UK Women's Forum.

Established in 1994, the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award honors a distinguished former dean of women at the University of Kentucky. Sarah Bennett Holmes, who was widowed at a young age, raised four children while completing her own education. She went on to have a successful career at UK where she inspired young women to persevere in the face of

2/14/2017

By Lori Minter

A record number of students made the University of Kentucky Dean's List for the fall 2016 semester. The 7,408 students were recognized for their outstanding academic performance.  That's an increase of more than 200 over the previous record reached in fall 2015 when the number of students on the UK Dean's List surpassed 7,000 for the first time.  Last semester's Dean's List includes over 700 more students than the spring 2016 semester's list.

To make a Dean’s List in one of the UK colleges, a student must earn a grade point average of 3.6 or higher and must have earned 12 credits or more in that semester, excluding credits earned in pass-fail classes.  Some UK colleges require a 3.5 GPA to make the Dean’s List.

The full Dean's List can be accessed by visiting www.uky.edu/PR/News/

1/24/2017

Prof. Gary Ferland has been awarded the 2016 Albert D. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial Prize, the University’s highest honor for research. This award is given annually to one UK faculty member in recognition of outstanding contributions to original research or scholarship.

Ferland’s research focuses on astrophysical applications of atomic and molecular physics; specifically, how matter in space produces the light we see. “We take the light that we can receive here on Earth and figure out what’s happening out there,” Ferland said. “Our computers here on the Earth allow us to run simulations to see how matter in space emits light, and what that light tells us about the galaxy.”

Ferland developed a computer platform, Cloudy, to

1/20/2017

Mukut Kalita,  Ph.D. ’15 Advisor: Korsch Field: Nuclear Experiment Thesis Title: Search for a Permanent Electric Dipole Moment of 225Ra Current employment: Post-doc, TRIUMF, precision atomic/nuclear physics

Mukut Kalita, working under Prof. Wolfgang Korsch’s supervision at Argonne National Lab, extracted, for the first time ever, an upper limit on the electric dipole moment (EDM) of radium-225. The basic concept of the experiment is shown in the figure below. Atoms of radium-225 are laser-cooled to a temperature of about 45 μK and captured in an optical trap. They precess in a magnetic field while a strong electric field is applied. Any change in polarization which is correlated with the E-field direction would indicate the existence of a non-zero EDM; however, no such correlation was found, and Dr. Kalita was able to extract a first upper limit on the EDM of 5.0 x 10-22 e

1/20/2017

In recent years, a new approach to teaching introductory physics has been making news, showing promising results and earning rave reviews from students. For some time we have wanted to try out this new approach, known as Technology Enabled Active Learning, or TEAL. Last year, we got our chance, following the construction of a special-purpose classroom. This is our biggest new initiative in undergraduate education in many years, and the results so far have been spectacular.

TEAL is an approach to teaching based on the principle that students learn best from each other. TEAL employs a technologically enhanced classroom environment to facilitate interactions among students and between students and faculty. In a TEAL classroom, the instructor gives a short lecture to introduce concepts, which students immediately demonstrate and absorb through hands-on, interactive exercises and

12/16/2016

By Jenny Wells

Michael Kovash, a professor of physics and astronomy in the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences, has received a $341,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Physics to study internal structures of high energy gamma rays and protons and neutrons. 

Both protons and neutrons possess internal structures which determine the form and strength of their interactions with each other, and with external probes such as the electromagnetic field. By measuring the characteristics of the interaction between high energy gamma rays and protons and neutrons, scientists can infer detailed information about these internal structures. Kovash and his team will use the energetic gamma ray beams at the High Intensity Gamma-Ray Source at Duke University to study both proton and neutron

10/26/2016

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Prof. Yates elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. The criterion for election is exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise; e.g., outstanding physics research, important applications of physics, leadership in or service to physics, or significant contributions to physics education. Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one's professional peers.  Prof. Yates was nominated by the Division of Nuclear Physics for his important advances in the study of collective nuclear excitations, and for the development of nuclear spectroscopic methods of use with fast neutron scattering reactions. 

6/14/2016
By Whitney Harder   University of Kentucky Professor Madhu Menon, of the Center for Computational Sciences and Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been awarded a $50,000 Short Term Innovative Research (STIR) grant from the U.S. Army Research Office.   The grant will fund Menon's work to synthesize the new 2D material he predicted using theoretical simulations. In February, he predicted that a new one atom-thick flat material — made up of silicon, boron and nitrogen — could upstage the wonder material graphene and advance digital technology.   Menon will collaborate with an experimental group at the University of Louisville, led by Professor Mahendra Sunkara.   The
5/31/2016
By Whitney Harder   An international team of scientists, including the University of Kentucky's Renbin Yan, has uncovered a new class of galaxies, called "red geysers," with supermassive black hole winds so hot and energetic that stars can't form.      Over the last few billion years, a mysterious kind of “galactic warming" has caused many galaxies to change from a lively place where new stars formed every now and then to a quiet place devoid of fresh young stars. But the mechanism that produces this dramatic transformation and keeps galaxies quiet has been one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in galaxy evolution.   "These galaxies have the necessary ingredients for forming new stars but they are not doing it — why?" said Yan, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at UK.   Researchers compare it to having deserts in densely clouded regions; rain and
5/11/2016

The Society of Postdoctoral Scholars at the University of Kentucky is hosting a symposium to feature the work of postdoctoral scholars in Kentucky and surrounding areas. The event will feature a keynote presentation by UK's Dr. Hollie Swanson, a professor in the College of Medicine's Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, oral presentations by Kentucky postdocs, a poster session and a panel discussion on interviewing techniques. 

The symposium will allow for the exchange of ideas across a broad range of fields and abstract submissions are welcome from any discipline. Postdocs from Kentucky and Ohio are especially encouraged to submit abstracts and graduate students are also welcome to participate. The objective of the symposium is to share research across many different fields and talks should be general and accessible to an audience outside of the speaker's area

4/27/2016

Steve Yates, a professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Physics & Astronomy and Director of the University of Kentucky Accelerator Laboratory (UKAL), recently received two grants.  One of these awards [1] is a renewal of funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), which extends continuous NSF funding of work at UKAL to greater than fifty years.  This research is focused on advancing our fundamental understanding of the atomic nucleus.  The nucleus, composed of protons and neutrons, is billions of times smaller than is visible with the human eye. Some nuclei are spherical in shape, while others are deformed in oblate (like a Frisbee) or prolate (like a football) shapes; the shape of the nucleus is unique for each isotope of each element.  Because we cannot take an ordinary photograph of the nucleus to investigate its

4/27/2016

By Blair Hoover

(April 27, 2016) — Provost Tim Tracy honored five faculty members and four teaching assistants with Provost's Outstanding Teaching Awards at the 2016 UK Faculty Awards Ceremony. The William B. Sturgill Award and the Albert D. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial Prize were also awarded at the ceremony. The ceremony took place Thursday, April 21, in the Lexmark Public Room in the Main Building.

The William B. Sturgill Award was awarded to Carl Mattacola, a professor in the rehabilitation sciences program in the College of Health Sciences.

The Albert D. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial Prize was awarded to Gary J. Ferland, a physics and astronomy professor in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Annual outstanding teaching

4/26/2016

By Terrence Wade

(April 26, 2016) — The University of Kentucky Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Engineering are proud to have Nobel Prize Winner Frank Wilczek on campus this week as he delivers his lecture “Some Intersections of Art and Science.” The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at Memorial Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture will cover topics of profound reasons rooted in the nature of human cognition and perception and why art and science have a lot to offer one another. Wilczek will display some important historical examples of their synergy and point out some emerging opportunities. Several striking images will be an integral part of the presentation.

Wilczek is one of the world's

4/22/2016

By Gail Hairston

(April 22, 2016) — Two University of Kentucky faculty members were honored yesterday at the 2016 Provost Outstanding Teaching Awards ceremony with awards recognizing their outstanding contributions to teaching and scholarship at UK.

Gary J. Ferland, professor of physics and astronomy in the UK College of Arts and Science, was awarded the 2016 Albert D. and Elizabeth H. Kirwan Memorial Prize, given each year to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding contributions to original research or scholarship.

Carl G. Mattacola, professor of rehabilitation sciences and division director of the graduate athletic training program in the UK College of Health Sciences

4/21/2016

By Whitney Hale

(April 21, 2016) – The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that 12 of the university's students and alumni have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowships award more than $100,000 to use toward research-based master's or doctoral degrees. In addition, four other UK students and alumni received honorable mention recognition from the NSF.

This year's selection of a dozen UK students and alumni for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships is believed to be the largest in the school's history and is four times the number of selections for 2015. To put more of emphasis on the fellowship, 

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