The STAR Experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory is one of the premier particle detectors in the world. Using this device, an international collaboration of more than 400 physicists and skilled specialists is working hard to understand the nature of the early universe and the tiniest building blocks of matter through the study of nuclear collisions at the highest energies achieved in the laboratory. Creighton students and faculty have been working at STAR since 1994.

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ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) is one of the largest experiments in the world devoted to research in the physics of matter at an infinitely small scale. Hosted at CERN, the European Laboratory for Nuclear Research, this project involves an international collaboration of more than 1500 physicists, engineers and technicians, including around 350 students, from 154 physics institutes in 37 countries across the world. Creighton students and faculty have been working at ALICE since 2002.

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Atomic Force Microscopy is a technique by which a long cantilever with an atomically sharp tip is systematically moved across the surface of a specimen. Any height changes in the tip are recorded as a function of position, resulting in a topographical reconstruction of the surface. Using a custom-made, temperature-controlled AFM for in-liquid imaging, we are able to map out a full 3-D model of gingival fibroblast cells in liquid and dry environments to observe cellular attachment.

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The use of block polymers has emerged as a powerful technique for patterning large-area nanostructure arrays in a wide range of functional materials with a huge potential for expansion. Block polymers can self-assemble into periodic nanostructures in a variety of morphologies (holes, dots, lines and rings) with controllable size and density. Through the controlled introduction of organic solvent, one can control the ordering of the phases during self-assembly. Atomic force micrographs of optimized solvent interaction reveal well-ordered, periodic structures with ~20 nm-sized features.

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This animation illustrates the effect of an optical stretcher on individual cells. Dr. Andrew Ekpenyong has recently published a paper as co-first author using this technique in a microfluidic channel to study Actin polymerization as a key novel innate immune effector mechanism to control salmonella infection. Fr. Andrew received his M.S. in physics from Creighton University and has returned as an assistant professor after receiving is doctorate from the University of Cambridge.

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Animation by Guck et al. Biophys J., 88(5): 3689–3698 (2005)

M.S. PHYSICS + TEACHING CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

  • M.S. Physics degree with Thesis or non-thesis option 
  • Teaching Certificate alone or with M.S. Education degree
  • Students accepted into the program will receive a half-tuition scholarship
  • Teaching and Research Fellowships are available

Laser cooling lab optical table. The picture shows the 767 nm custom-built passive frequency stabilized diode laser, a potassium reference cell for locking the laser, and the custom-built diffraction spectrometer and Michelson interferometer. Together these pieces of equipment are used to characterize the laser frequency and fix it to the exact absorption frequency of 41K.

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Highlights from the NuSTAR Satellite

Dr. Daniel Stern

Highlights from the NuSTAR Satellite

NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, launched in June 2012, and is the first telescope in orbit to focus high energy X-ray light.  High energy X-ray light provides a unique probe of the most energetic phenomena in the universe, from flares on the surface of the Sun, to the explosions of stars, to the extreme environments around neutron stars and black holes.  NuSTAR has discovered new classes of objects, such as neutron stars accreting at prodigious rates, and has provided uniquely robust measurements of how fast black holes are spinning.  Compared to the previous generation of non-focusing observatories working in this energy band, NuSTAR's change in technology provides 10x sharper images and 100x greater sensitivity.  This talk will present some of the highlights from the NuSTAR mission and describe how they are changing our picture of the extreme universe.

Location: 
Hixson-Lied Science Building G04
Date of Event: 
Tue, 09/08/2015 - 12:30
Contact info: 
Jack Gabel (jackgabel@creighton.edu)

Creighton University Physics

The Creighton University Department of Physics offers three major programs, two minor programs and an M.S. degree in physics.

  • B.S. PHY - major in physics : This degree program provides a strong foundation for careers in the rapidly developing high-technology industries. It is highly recommended as preparation for graduate work in physics. It also prepares students for graduate study in most engineering fields without requiring the early specialization, typical of undegraduate engineering programs, that can greatly reduce career options.
  • B.S. - major in physics : This degree program provides the necessary preparation for entry-level work as a physicist in government or industry. It also prepares students for entry-level work or graduate study in a wide variety of interdisciplinary science and engineering fields including astronomy and astrophysics, computational physics, geophysics, planetary science, electrical engineering, nuclear engineering, etc.
  • B.S. - major in applied physical analysis : The Bachelor of Science program in Applied Physical Analysis is an interdisciplinary course of study designed to prepare students for a career involving the quantitative analysis of data. The program includes programs in physics, mathematics and computer science.
  • Minor in physics
  • Minor in biological physics
  • M.S. in physics - we offer degree tracks for students wishing to learn physics in more depth than typical of an undergraduate degree. Students who graduate with our M.S. degree may go into graduate school in physics, graduate school in engineering or directly into industry.

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