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Moiré patterns facilitate discovery of novel insulating phases

Materials that have excess electrons are typically conductors. However, moiré patterns — interference patterns that typically arise when one object with a repetitive pattern is placed over another with a similar pattern — can suppress electrical conductivity, a study led by physicists at the University of California, Riverside, has found. In the lab, the researchers...

Astronomers offer possible explanation for elusive dark-matter-free galaxies

A team led by astronomers at the University of California, Riverside, has found that some dwarf galaxies may today appear to be dark-matter free even though they formed as galaxies dominated by dark matter in the past. Galaxies that appear to have little to no dark matter — nonluminous material thought to constitute 85% of...
By Iqbal Pittalwala | UCR News |

Evolving the Early Universe in 24 Hours on Frontera

The Texascale Days event in December 2020 provided an opportunity for nine research groups to use large sections of the National Science Foundation-funded Frontera supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) to solve problems that in many cases have never been attempted. Simeon Bird, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California...
By Simeon Bird |

Graduate student’s BADASS code has astronomical benefits

An astro-statistics course University of California, Riverside, graduate student Remington O. Sexton took three years ago taught him techniques that led him to develop free, open-source code benefiting astronomers everywhere. Called BADASS, which stands for Bayesian AGN Decomposition Analysis for SDSS Spectra, the code in its current form fits astronomical spectra of active galactic nuclei...
By Iqbal Pittalwala | Inside UCR |

New multicampus consortium to study assembly of coronaviruses

The University of California, Riverside, is the recipient of a 2021 UC Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives, or MRPI, award allowing the campus to put together a UC Coronavirus Assembly Research Consortium. “This consortium will aim to understand the physical principles underlying the formation of coronaviruses,” said Roya Zandi, a professor of physics and astronomy...
By Iqbal Pittalwala | Inside UCR |

New method identifies adaptive mutations in complex evolving populations

A team co-led by a scientist at the University of California, Riverside, has developed a method to study how HIV mutates to escape the immune system in multiple individuals, which could inform HIV vaccine design. HIV, which can lead to AIDS, evolves rapidly and attacks the body’s immune system. Genetic mutations in the virus can...
By Iqbal Pittalwala | Inside UCR |

Physicist joins NSF-funded team focused on accelerating quantum computing research

Peng Wei, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at UC Riverside, is a co-principal investigator and theme lead on a grant from the National Science Foundation, or NSF, supported by the NSF Convergence Accelerator — a new model of innovation for the government, industry, and academia. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Wei worked...
By Iqbal Pittalwala | Inside UCR |

Riverside Unified School District honors astronomer for his contributions to K-12 STEM education

For his numerous contributions to education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, Bahram Mobasher, a professor of physics and observational astronomy at UC Riverside, has been named a recipient of the Riverside Unified School District Board of Education Presidential Award for the year 2020. The Riverside Unified School District, or RUSD, educates nearly...
By Iqbal Pittalwala | Inside UCR |

Physics and Astronomy joins elite group promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion

The UCR Department of Physics and Astronomy has been accepted to the American Physical Society Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance, or APS-IDEA, joining a consortium of physics departments, laboratories, and research collaborations committed to improving equity, diversity, and inclusion. APS-IDEA, a network of nearly 100 institutions worldwide, addresses long-standing, systemic barriers that have led to...
By Iqbal Pittalwala | Inside UCR |

Scientists precisely measure total amount of matter in the universe

A top goal in cosmology is to precisely measure the total amount of matter in the universe, a daunting exercise for even the most mathematically proficient. A team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside, has now done just that. Reporting in the Astrophysical Journal, the team determined that matter makes up 31%...
By Iqbal Pittalwala | UCR News |

CNAS meets Living the Promise campaign goal

A gift made anonymously to the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UC Riverside has helped the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, or CNAS, in which the department is housed, meet and surpass its goal of raising $100 million toward the $300 million Living the Promise campaign, the university’s first ever comprehensive fundraising campaign...
By Iqbal Pittalwala | Inside UCR |

Physicists explain mysterious dark matter deficiency in galaxy pair

Anew theory about the nature of dark matter helps explain why a pair of galaxies about 65 million light-years from Earth contains very little of the mysterious matter, according to a study led by a physicist at the University of California, Riverside. Dark matter is nonluminous and cannot be seen directly. Thought to make up...
By Iqbal Pittalwala | UCR News |

Climate change will decimate Palm Springs, Coachella Valley tourism

A new UC Riverside study finds that climate change will have a devastating effect on the greater Palm Springs area’s dominant industry — tourism. Thousands known as “snowbirds” flock to the region annually from elsewhere in the country to escape freezing winters. However, due to climate change, the number of days above 85 degrees between...
By Jules Bernstein | UCR News |

NIH grant to physicist focuses on how pathogens evolve

For several years, physicist John Barton at the University of California, Riverside, has been working on developing models to understand and predict how pathogens, such as HIV, evolve. This research pursuit has just received support from the National Institutes of Health—the first grant from the institutes to the UC Riverside Department of Physics and Astronomy...
By Iqbal Pittalwala |

Creating through crises

As the coronavirus pandemic continues across the U.S., many are finding that discovering and engaging in creative hobbies offers a welcome outlet for stress and anxiety. But sustaining the motivation to create during times of high stress can be challenging. Members of the UCR community share the ways they have been exploring their own creativity...
By Jessica Weber | UCR News |

Eleven UC Riverside professors receive prestigious NSF CAREER Awards

Eleven UC Riverside faculty members received 2019 National Science Foundation CAREER Awards, more than in any previous year. Seven of these prestigious awards, which support early career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models and lead to the advancement of their organization’s mission, went to women — another record for UC...
By Holly Ober |

Grant awarded to physicist to explore the dark sector

The John Templeton Foundation has supported research on a diverse range of subjects including creativity, forgiveness, and free will. Dark matter — nonluminous material in space that is understood to constitute 85 percent of the matter in the universe — can now be added to the list. The foundation has awarded UC Riverside physicist Hai-Bo...
By Iqbal Pittalwala |

Why are plants green?

When sunlight shining on a leaf changes rapidly, plants must protect themselves from the ensuing sudden surges of solar energy. To cope with these changes, photosynthetic organisms — from plants to bacteria — have developed numerous tactics. Scientists have been unable, however, to identify the underlying design principle. An international team of scientists, led by...
By Iqbal Pittalwala |

Summer Physics Academy moves online due to pandemic

The popular Summer Physics Academy held each year by the UCR Department of Physics and Astronomy for high school teachers has a different format this year. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, all lectures of the 13th Summer Physics Academy are being delivered to the 25 participating high school teachers via Zoom. Hai-Bo Yu, an associate...
By Iqbal Pittalwala |
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