Michael B. Reid speaks out against sequestration — automatic cuts in research and other government spending — due to take effect March 1.

By Alicia Gregory

“From the standpoint of training the next generation of highly skilled professors, industrial scientists, people to work in government laboratories, people to advance our understanding of disease and advance the next generation of therapies, it will be profoundly devastating for this generation of students.”

That’s the message University of Kentucky physiologist Michael B. Reid conveys in a University of Kentucky video on the impact of sequestration — automatic cuts in research and other government spending — due to take effect March 1. Reid and UK colleagues Suzanne Weaver Smith in mechanical engineering and



By Sarah Geegan

The science may be new, but the program itself is in its second year, after tremendous success in 2011-2012. The College of Arts and Sciences' "What's New in Science" series, an outreach program aimed to strengthen UK's relationships with high school science programs, will once again engage teachers and youth in various scientific areas.

A succession of UK scientists will discuss emerging discoveries and exciting developments occurring now in the realm of science. Held in a casual round table format, professors from various disciplines and science teachers from Kentucky schools talk among themselves at these events, asking questions and discussing answers about new and emerging scientific knowledge.

Each session focuses on a new topic in one of the

University of Kentucky physics Professor Tim Gorringe's research collaboration finds an important experimental result involving particles called muons.

By Sarah Geegan

University of Kentucky physics Professor Tim Gorringe's research collaboration has recently gained attention for an important experimental result.

Playing a leadership role in an international collaboration of physicists, Gorringe has measured precisely how rapidly muons, which are particles that behave like electrons but are 200 times heavier, are captured on protons, yielding a neutron and a neutrino.

The experiment, which gives an unprecedented probe of the weak force at low energies, was performed at the renowned Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland.

"The result is significant in confirming our understanding of how fundamental symmetries govern the nature


by Jay Blanton

video by UK Public Relations and Marketing.

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto Thursday praised the partnership of Gov. Steve Beshear and legislative leaders who are strongly supporting UK's self-financing of a dramatic $275 million transformation of the campus.

"We are here this morning because of your leadership and your willingness to partner with us, as educational institutions, united to provide Kentucky with the best education, research and service," Capilouto said at a Frankfort news conference with the governor and legislative leaders who are supporting UK's proposal. "In offering your support for us to self-finance facilities that will help dramatically improve and transform our campuses, you are voicing your faith in Kentucky's future as well


by Sarah Geegan

Alfred Shapere, professor in the UK Department of Physics and Astronomy, was featured in "Nature," an international weekly journal of science, for his recent paper describing framework or starting point to explaining how particles cope with fluctuations in gravity.

Co-authored by Shapere, Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge and MIT graduate student Zhaoxi Xiong, the paper presents a straightforward way for quantum particles to move smoothly from one kind of ‘topological space’ to a very different one.

The collaborators suggest that their work might provide a simplified framework for understanding



by Jenny Wells and Alicia Gregory 

Through the National Institute of Environmental Health Science's Superfund Research Program (SRP), University of Kentucky students are discovering ways to improve human health and diseases caused by chemical exposures near hazardous waste sites.

Kentucky has more than 200 hazardous waste sites on the active list for control, cleanup or monitoring under the federal Superfund program. The UK SRP focuses on the health impacts of exposure to different chlorinated organic compounds, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and trichloroethylene (TCE), both of which are prevalent at Superfund sites in Kentucky and nationwide. PCBs are a class of hazardous chemicals used in coatings for electronics, sealants, adhesives, paint and flame

By Guy Spriggs

“Most of our materials appeared here for the first time. I don’t remember any time when we followed in the direction of what somebody else made first.”

With these words, physics graduate student Oleksandr Korneta perfectly captures the importance of the groundbreaking work being done at UK’s Center for Advanced Materials (CAM).

Korneta, who will defend his dissertation in the summer of 2011, has been a part of CAM since its inception, but his journey to UK’s Physics Department began more than 10 years ago in his native Ukraine.

Korneta says that his interest in science came naturally because of his home environment. “It was easy for me because both my parents have a technical education and I’ve been surrounded by all kinds of hardware my entire life,” Korneta said.

Although he started his academic

jeffrey smith

By Sarah Geegan


There's just no telling where an education from the University of Kentucky can take you.

For U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Smith, the journey that began at UK has taken him around the world and deep below the ocean's surface, as captain of the USS Kentucky, a nuclear submarine.

"Having been born in Kentucky and growing up there, I can’t imagine any pride greater than serving as commander of the ship that bears my home state's name," says Smith, whose parents and sister still live in Kentucky.

Born in Covington and raised in Independence, Smith graduated from Simon Kenton High School and attended Xavier University for a year before transferring to UK. After graduating in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in physics, Smith was commissioned in the Navy and went to officer candidate school in Pensacola, Fla., where he began nuclear



The Milky Way is a large spiral galaxy surrounded by dozens of smaller satellite galaxies. Scientists have long theorized that occasionally these satellites will pass through the disk of the Milky Way, perturbing both the satellite and the disk. A team of astronomers from the U.S. and Canada, including one professor from the University of Kentucky, have discovered what may well be the smoking gun of such an encounter, one that occurred close to our position in the galaxy and relatively recently, at least in the cosmological sense.

“We have found evidence that our Milky Way had an encounter with a small galaxy or massive dark matter structure about 100 million years ago,” said Larry Widrow, professor at Queen’s  University in Canada. “We clearly observe unexpected differences in the Milky Way’s stellar distribution above and below the Galaxy’s midplane that

chris crawford


By Sarah Geegan

Christopher Crawford, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, recently received a prestigious five-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's 2012 Early Career Research Program.

The program supports the development of individual research programs of outstanding scientists early in their careers and stimulates research careers in the disciplines supported by the DOE Office of Science. Crawford's award will allow him to study the forces that hold the atomic nucleus together and that cause nuclear decays.

"I study symmetries of these forces," Crawford said. "There are certain properties of neutron postulated, such as an



By Sarah Geegan

The University of Kentucky recently received an $880,523 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), as part of the DOE's Nuclear Energy Programs' $36.2 million initiative to enhance energy research and development projects.

This grant, titled "Elastic/Inelastic Measurement  Project," will center upon fuel cycle research and development. A consortium of three universities and a national laboratory has been formed to provide the necessary breadth for this effort, including scientists with extensive experience in neutron elastic and inelastic scattering measurements and with direct access to the facilities for completing the proposed neutron measurements, i.e., the UK Accelerator Laboratory. 

Steven W. Yates, a professor in both the 

people waiting in line


By Sarah Geegan

Approximately 350 people turned out at The Arboretum Tuesday, June 5, to witness an astronomical phenomenon, not to occur again in this lifetime.

The transit of Venus, in which Venus traveled directly between Earth and the sun, began at 6:04 p.m. and could be seen from Lexington for approximately three hours.  

The MacAdam Student Observatory and the Bluegrass Amateur Astronomy Club provided telescopes and instruction for safely observing the phenomenon, as cloud cover allowed.

Tim Knauer, director of the MacAdam Student Observatory, said that he was pleased with the turnout.

"I thought given the weather, the response was good," Knauer said. "If the weather had been better I



By Sarah Geegan

The UK and Lexington community will have a rare opportunity on Tuesday, June 5 — one that will not occur again for more than 100 years.

The Arboretum, the MacAdam Student Observatory and the Bluegrass Amateur Astronomy Club will present, "Standing in the Shadow of Venus," two events which will allow the community to both understand and observe the transit of Venus.

A solar transit involves an object in the solar system moving exactly between the sun and the observer; Venus will appear to glide slowly across the surface of the sun. Transits of Venus are especially rare, occurring at intervals of 8, 105.5, 8, 121.5, 8… years as viewed from Earth.

whats new in science logo

By Sarah Geegan

The University of Kentucky BiologyPhysics and AstronomyChemistry, and Psychology departments are reaching out to area high school science teachers and teaching them something new: what's new in science.

The What's New in Science series, an outreach program aimed to strengthen UK's relationships with high school science programs, will engage teachers and youth in various scientific areas. It will focus specifically on emerging discoveries and developments in the realm of science.

"The university already has a strong history in supporting science teachers in Kentucky Schools," said Sally


The College of Arts & Sciences is pleased to announce that the recipients of the 2012-13 A&S Outstanding Teaching Awards are Drs. Christia Brown (psychology), Brenna Byrd (MCLLC), Yanira Paz (Hispanic Studies), and Bradley Plaster (physics & astronomy).

Dr. Christia Brown has been in the psychology department since 2007 and is affiliated with the Children at Risk Research Cluster, Gender and Women’s Studies, and the UK Center for Poverty Research.  She exemplifies teaching excellence.  She creates an innovative learning environment in every classroom she enters, whether through engagement activities in her large lecture courses or debates in her smaller seminars. One of her students stated, “This is the best class and professor I have ever had at UK.”  Outside the classroom she is a

steven yates


By Torie Johnson, Kathy Johnson

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) today announced the winners of its first ever Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Awards. The awards honor professors from SEC universities with outstanding records in teaching and scholarship who serve as role models for other faculty and students. The University of Kentucky's recognized professor is Steven W. Yates, professor of chemistry, physics, and astronomy in the UK College of Arts and Sciences.

In presenting the awards, the SEC becomes the only Division I conference within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) currently recognizing university faculty for their achievements, unrelated to athletics or student-athletes.

quasicrystals banner



By Sarah Geegan

Paul Steinhardt, professor of physics and astrophysical sciences at Princeton University, will deliver the Van Winter Memorial Lecture at the University of Kentucky from 3:15-4:15 p.m. Friday, March 23, in Room 139 of the Chemistry-Physics Building.

The Van Winter Memorial Lecture honors Clasine Van Winter, a professor in the UK departments of Mathematics and Physics and Astronomy from 1968-1999. Van Winter is best known for Weinberg-Van Winter equations for multi-particle quantum

A&S logo


By Kathy Johnson

University of Kentucky educators and others will be honored with teaching and public service awards today in UK's second annual Founders Day Award Ceremony at 4 p.m. in Worsham Theater in the UK Student Center.  Members of the campus and local communities are invited.  A reception will follow in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural Center.

The university was created by legislative act on Feb. 22, 1865. While Founders Day has been celebrated in various ways over those years, the Founders Day Award Ceremony was established last year to recognize outstanding teaching, research and public service among faculty.

The Provost's Awards for teaching and service, the Sullivan Medallions for community service, the Sturgill Award for contributions to graduate education, and the Kirwan Prize for outstanding research will be presented in today's



By Jenny Wells

The University of Kentucky Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence has named three new Chellgren Endowed Professors.
The professors are:

Janet Eldred, an English professor in the UK College of Arts and Sciences currently working on a special assignment to advance writing in the College of Engineering. Michael Kovash, a professor of physics and astronomy in the UK College of Arts and Sciences. Carl Lee, a professor of mathematics in the UK College of Arts and Sciences.

Chellgren Endowed Professors maintain an active research program in their discipline; teach courses in one of the

students and cavegnero

By Erin Holaday Ziegler

University of Kentucky freshmen pull out their iPads, gather in small groups around 21st century tables and begin to discuss physics problems in a way that's as far from conventional as the touch screens they are intently gazing upon.

This is just a typical afternoon for physics and astronomy Professor and Chair Mike Cavagnero's experimental A&S Wired research course: the Science of Measurement.

"Measurement and observation are the foundations of science," Cavagnero said. "Measurement is the first step in all of science, actually, and it's a step that's often left out of K-12 science education."

The 26 A&S Wired students who registered for the eight-week class have carried out customary physics coursework, but have also been asked to come up


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