Physical Sciences

In simulation of how water freezes, artificial intelligence breaks the ice
Aug. 8, 2022
Author
Written by Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research

Combining artificial intelligence and quantum mechanics, researchers at Princeton have simulated what happens at the molecular level when water freezes. The result is the most complete yet simulation of the first steps in ice “nucleation,” a process important for climate and weather modeling.

Researchers observe 12-billion-year-old dark matter, the oldest ever detected in the universe
Aug. 1, 2022
Author
Written by Alaina O'Regan, Princeton University Matthew Coslett, Nagoya University

A new survey of the night sky has observed dark matter — the mysterious substance that makes up more than a quarter of the universe but emits no light of its own — as it existed 12 billion years ago, not long after the universe began. This oldest-ever snapshot of dark matter in the universe offers the tantalizing possibility that the…

Braverman and Lieb win mathematics prizes for cross-discipline work
July 5, 2022
Author
Written by Daniel Day, Office of Communications

Princeton professors Elliott Lieb and Mark Braverman were among those honored today for significant contributions to mathematics and affiliated fields by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) in Helsinki, Finland.

Lieb, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics, Emeritus, and Professor of…

Princeton mathematician June Huh awarded prestigious Fields Medal
July 5, 2022
Author
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

Princeton University mathematician June Huh was awarded today the 2022 Fields Medal, one of the most prestigious awards in mathematics, in recognition of his work in combinatorics. The International Mathematical Union (IMU) presents the medal every four years to researchers under the age of 40 based on…

Shark Week was every week for megalodon
June 22, 2022
Author
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

New Princeton research shows that prehistoric megatooth sharks, the biggest sharks that ever lived, were apex predators at the highest level ever measured.

Megatooth sharks get their name from their massive teeth, which can each be bigger than a human hand. The group includes Megalodon, the largest shark that ever lived, as well as…

Noga Alon wins 2022 Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences
June 15, 2022
Author
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

The 2022 Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences was awarded in equal shares to mathematicians Noga Alon of Princeton University and Ehud Hrushovski of Oxford, "for their remarkable contributions to discrete mathematics and model theory with interaction notably with…

Experiments in twisted, layered quantum materials offer new picture of how electrons behave
June 8, 2022
Author
Written by Tom Garlinghouse for the Department of Physics

A recent experiment detailed in the journal Nature is challenging our picture of how electrons behave in quantum materials. Using stacked layers of a material called tungsten ditelluride, researchers have observed electrons in two dimensions behaving as if they were in a single…

Electrons in a crystal exhibit linked and knotted quantum twists
May 20, 2022
Author
Written by Tom Garlinghouse for the Department of Physics

Physicists have discovered that electrons in a crystal form counter-intuitive quantum links that are knotted. In explaining these phenomena, researchers turned to knot theory, a branch of mathematics that studies the complex world of knots and loops. This is the first time that knot theory has been used to understand materials called topological magnets, and the application of this theory promises to expand our knowledge of the quantum mechanics of materials.

New method melds data to make a 3-D map of cells’ activities
May 16, 2022
Author
Written by By Molly Sharlach, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Just as it’s hard to understand a conversation without knowing its context, it can be difficult for biologists to grasp the significance of gene expression without knowing a cell’s environment. To solve that problem, researchers at Princeton Engineering have developed a method to elucidate a cell’s surroundings so that biologists can make more…

Princeton alumnus Dennis Sullivan wins Abel Prize for mathematics
March 28, 2022
Author
Written by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has awarded the 2022 Abel Prize to Dennis Sullivan, a 1966 Ph.D. graduate of Princeton, “for his groundbreaking contributions to topology in its broadest sense, and in particular its algebraic, geometric and dynamical…