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Featured Research


Ron Gilliland Department Alumnus Shares Breakthrough 2015 Prize
Congratulations to Department Alum, Dr. Ron Gilliland (BA ASTR, MATH, PHSX 1974), for being one of the scientists awarded the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. This prize was awarded to two supernova teams for their discovery of Dark Energy. The Breakthrough Prize was started in 2012 by a group of tech giants that includes Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The prize awards $3 million each to researchers who have made fundamental breakthroughs in life sciences, physics and mathematics.The complete press release can be accessed at this link.

HL Tau Birth of Planets Revealed in Astonishing Detail in ALMA’s ‘Best Image Ever’
Astronomers have captured the best image ever of planet formation around an infant star as part of the testing and verification process for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array’s (ALMA) new high-resolution capabilities. This revolutionary new image reveals in astonishing detail the planet-forming disk surrounding HL Tau, a Sun-like star located approximately 450 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. "These features are almost certainly the result of young planet-like bodies that are being formed in the disk. This is surprising since HL Tau is no more than a million years old and such young stars are not expected to have large planetary bodies capable of producing the structures we see in this image," said ALMA Deputy Director Stuartt Corder (KU ASTR, PHSX BS, 2001). The complete NRAO press release can be found at this link.

Gene Feaster

First Recipients of New KU Scholarship Named
Two University of Kansas juniors have been named the first Gene R. Feaster Physics Scholars. Emily Ann Smith, majoring in physics and interdisciplinary computing, and Daniel Rhodes, majoring in physics, were awarded the scholarship for the 2014-’15 academic year. The scholarship covers tuition costs for one year for each recipient. The scholarship was established by alumnus Gene Feaster, who invented a medical device called Superflab that is used in radiology clinics across the country. The complete press release can be found at this link.



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