It has been quite a spring semester. I’d like to thank all of our faculty and GTAs for their excellent efforts at moving our courses online! This has been a Herculean effort, and I’m sure that our students appreciate all you have done for them. In the midst of all of the bad news we hear about COVID-19 and the ongoing challenges that come with social distancing, I thought I would update you on a couple of recent items of good news.
First, join me in congratulating Roshani Silwal. After completing her post-doc at Triumf in Canada, she will be moving back closer to Clemson to start a tenure-track position at Appalachian State. She will continue to collaborate with her advisor at Clemson, Prof. Takacs, and mentor her own group of aspiring young physicists.
Speaking of Dr. Takacs’s group, they have been extremely active lately – publishing six papers in the last few months! One of these was published in Phys Rev A and recognized by Kaleidoscope. This paper characterizes the x-ray spectra of highly charged tungsten – an important tool for studying plasmas in fusion reactors.
The high energy astrophysicists at Clemson have been busy as well. A paper led by a Clemson postdoc, Dr. Paliya and including Profs. Ajello and Hartmann. In this paper, they provide the first unambiguous evidence of merging galaxies resulting in AGN accretion and the launching of a relativistic jet. This paper was featured in the AASNova and an image from this paper was chosen as the NASA picture of the week.
One of our newest postdocs, Nuria Torres-Alba, just published a fascinating News and Views article for Nature Astronomy. This article explores the effect of stars on the declaration of relativistic AGN jets.
In addition to this exciting scholarship, our students and faculty continued to be recognized for their excellent work. Dr. Sanabria was selected as a CUSHR fellow. Fanchen Meng was recognized as an Outstanding Graduate Student in Discovery. Hugh Bates was recognized as a Outstanding Graduate Student in Learning. Lea Marcotulli was recognized as an Outstanding Graduate Student in Engagement. Paul “Marston” Copeland was recognized as a Goldwater Fellow.
Finally, join me in welcoming our most recent members of the faculty. Yao Wang and Kasra Sardashti. Dr. Wang is a theorist who is primarily interested in the study of quantum many-body problems. Dr. Sardashti is an experimentalist primarily interested in hybrid superconducting-semiconducting materials as they apply to quantum computing.
These are just a few of the exciting developments that have occurred in our department since we moved all of our classes online and limited access to campus to essential operations. I hope to have much more to report about our graduates as we near the end of the semester.