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Physics And Astronomy News

Elena Pierpaoli, professor of physics and astronomy in USC Dornsife, and her team generate the most detailed map to date made of cosmic background radiation — the  oldest light in the universe. Photo by Roger Snider.

The Dawn of Time

March 25, 2013

The universe is 80 million years older and is expanding more slowly than previously believed, according to new findings that still appear to confirm the standard model of cosmology. The data was gathered by the European Space…

From left, USC data analyst Shawn Irish and USC Dornsife undergraduate researchers Matthew Orr, Eric Hotchkiss, and Travis de Ronde stand with mirrors atop the 60-foot solar tower on Mt. Wilson. Photo by Jie Gu.

Black Pearls of the Sun

June 13, 2012

Atop Mt. Wilson overlooking Pasadena, dozens of stargazers peered through telescopes at a celestial wonder. A few people donned T-shirts declaring “I Witnessed the Transit of Venus.”  To mark the event that…

The diamond in the center measures 1 mm X 1 mm. Photo courtesy of Delft University of Technolgy/UC Santa Barbara.

Quantum Computer Built Inside a Diamond

April 5, 2012

Diamonds are forever — or, at least, the effects of this diamond on quantum computing may be. A team that includes scientists from USC has built a quantum computer in a diamond, the first of its kind to include…

In USC's inaugural science-themed filmmaking competition, USC Dornsife's Kevin Le and USC School of Cinematic Arts' Edward Saavedra, sophomores, took top prize for their short movie, <em>Time</em>, which explains why times moves forward and never back. Shown here is Salvador Dali's 1931 melting clock painting, <em>The Persistence of Memory</em>. Image © 2007 Salvador Dalí, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Time Flies

February 17, 2012

To learn why time moves only forward one must first understand a fundamental law of physics: the increase of entropy. The law describes the tendency for systems to go from a state of higher organization to disorder. Consider…

Daniel Lidar, a professor of chemistry in USC Dornsife with a joint appointment in USC Viterbi, serves as the scientific and technical director of the recently founded USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center. Photo by Ziva Santop/Steve Cohn Photography.

A Quantum Leap in Computing

January 3, 2012

When American physicist Richard Feynman in 1982 proposed creating a quantum computer that could solve complex problems, the idea was merely a theory scientists believed was far off in the future. A few decades later, USC…

Skylab astronaut and USC alumnus Jerry Carr presented Simca Bouma, a USC Dornsife student majoring in mathematics and physics, with a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. The Astronaut Scholarship is the largest monetary award given in the United States to science and engineering undergraduate students based solely on merit. Photo by Jie Gu.

USC Dornsife Undergrad Named Astronaut Scholar

October 5, 2011

Skylab astronaut and USC alumnus Jerry Carr presented USC Dornsife student Simca Bouma with a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) during a public presentation and ceremony. The event was held…

In USC’s first filmmaking competition centered on the sciences, Clifford Johnson and Anna Krylov of USC Dornsife envision entries on any kind of film genre imaginable. What if Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert were scientists in the classic romantic comedy <em>It Happened One Night</em>?

It Happened One Night (in the Lab)

September 20, 2011

Envision a romantic comedy with a science-based plot. The leading roles are biologists, let’s say, working in the same lab, using Schizoaccharomyces pombe to find a cure for cancer. Love ensues, followed by some…

When Sarah Waliany of USC Dornsife discovered there was no online science magazine for undergraduates on campus, she started one herself. The lead story in <em>USCience Review</em> she is displaying discusses mercury in dental amalgam fillings. Photo by Pamela J. Johnson.

Undergrads Launch Science Blog

June 2, 2011

A group of ingenious USC undergraduates aren’t waiting for that golden opportunity to publish their science articles. They have created their own online science magazine, USCience Review, and are regularly posting…

Senior Jake Bloch created the documentary "Awe" for his religion honors thesis in USC Dorsife. The film investigates and merges scientific theories and religious pursuits. Photo courtesy of Jake Bloch.

An Awe-Inspiring Film

May 12, 2011

Senior Jake Bloch grew up seeing religion and science mixed together — right on his father’s bookshelf. Books by Alfred North Whitehead sat side by side with those by Albert Einstein, along with Houston Smith…

Stephan Haas has been a USC College faculty member since 1998. Photo credit Jie Gu.

Stephan Haas Appointed Vice Dean for Research

December 9, 2010

USC professor Stephan Haas has been named vice dean for research, effective Jan. 1, it was announced by USC College Dean Howard Gillman. In his new role, Haas will develop and lead USC College-wide research initiatives,…