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Byline: David Nutt

Klarman Hall exterior


Mellon grant boosts collaborative projects for equity, social justice

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has approved a grant of $1.2 million to extend the Mellon Collaborative Studies in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities (AUH) interdisciplinary seminar series at Cornell for three years with a focus on social justice.
Large lab dominated by a blue ring device
Provided The muon g-2 ring sits in its detector hall amidst electronics racks, the muon beamline and other equipment at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. This experiment studies the precession (or wobble) of muons as they travel through the magnetic field.


Elusive particle may point to undiscovered physics

Initial results of an international collaboration that involved key contributions by a Cornell team led by Lawrence Gibbons, professor of physics indicate that the muon, a tiny particle, has the giant potential to upend our understanding of the subatomic world and reveal an undiscovered type of fundamental physics.
Neil Ashcroft


Neil Ashcroft, world-renowned theoretical physicist, dies at 82

Neil W. Ashcroft, the Horace White Professor of Physics Emeritus in the College of Arts and Sciences and a leading theorist in condensed matter physics, died March 15 in Ithaca. In the late 1960s and first half of the 1970s, he collaborated with David Mermin, professor emeritus of physics, to write “Solid State Physics,” which became the gold standard of textbooks for their discipline.
Orange and yellow origami bird


Self-folding nanotech creates world’s smallest origami bird

The researchers have generated a throng of nanoscale machines and components, each seemingly faster, smarter and more elegant than the last.
 person throwing a disc


Professor chases plastic all the way to Ultimate Hall of Fame

“There’s a state of awe, an expansiveness. Because in that moment, you expanded your conception of yourself.”
 Three people in academic robes


Celebrating December grads after ‘a semester like no other’

On Dec. 19, nearly 1,500 Cornell students celebrated their winter graduation in a virtual recognition ceremony viewed around the world – the first such event at Cornell, and a fitting end to what President Martha E. Pollack called “a semester like no other at Cornell.”

 model of a molecule: colored balls joined by grey lines


‘Roaming’ molecular fragments captured in real time

Sometimes atoms, like pets and adventuresome hikers, slip loose and wander off into the wild. Their final destination isn’t known, and their trajectory can be all over the map. It’s not so easy to track their path.

 Graphic showing gold balls and blue waves


Researchers trap electrons to create elusive crystal

Even though a crystal of electrons was first predicted in 1934, a method for achieving it had remained elusive.
 Cells dyed with purple


Researchers disrupt signaling pathway to treat colitis

The white blood cell TH17 helps the immune system fight infection by promoting inflammation. But it can be too much of a good thing: Excessive inflammation from TH17 overload has been tied to autoimmune disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and arthritis.

 candle and flame


Nobel-winning physicist Arthur Ashkin, Ph.D. ’52, dies at 98

Arthur Ashkin, Ph.D. ’52, who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2018 for pioneering “optical tweezers” that use laser light to capture and manipulate microscopic particles, died Sept. 21 at his home in Rumson, N.J. He was 98.

 Colored balls representing atoms in a lattice


Researchers identify new type of superconductor

“This experiment really shows the possibility of this new type of superconductor that we had never thought about before.”
 A rectangle with a channel carved in the middle


Superfluid shows more surprising phenomena

The superfluid helium-3 has many notable qualities. With its low mass and small atomic size, it remains in a liquid state – and when it transforms to the superfluid state, flowing without resistance – down to absolute zero, or minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a pure system, without any disorder. And it is full of surprises.

 Computer showing five people in screen shots


Alumni-fueled startups pitch clean-energy solutions

New York’s Southern Tier is getting a jolt of clean-energy innovation, fueled by  Cornell alumni.

 Black and white square with apendages


Laser jolts microscopic electronic robots into motion

These walking robots, roughly the size of a paramecium, can be mass produced, and may someday travel through human tissue and blood.
 Abstract shape pattern in blue, green, and yellow


Graphene sensors find subtleties in magnetic fields

As with actors and opera singers, when measuring magnetic fields it helps to have range.

Cornell researchers used an ultrathin graphene “sandwich” to create a tiny magnetic field sensor that can operate over a greater temperature range than previous sensors, while also detecting miniscule changes in magnetic fields that might otherwise get lost within a larger magnetic background.

 Lights connecting places on a dark planet


McMahon, Ramshaw named CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars

Peter McMahon, assistant professor of applied and engineering physics in the College of Engineering, and Brad Ramshaw, the Dick & Dale Reis Johnson Assistant Professor of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, have been named CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars.

 Black and white image of person leaning on desk, arms crossed


Harold Scheraga, protein chemistry pioneer, dies at 98

Harold A. Scheraga, the George W. and Grace L. Todd Professor Emeritus of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, who had a profound impact shaping the understanding of protein structure, died Aug. 1 in Ithaca. He was 98.

 tightly wound metal coil pattern


Electrons obey social distancing in ‘strange’ metals

The chaotic behavior of Planckian, or “strange,” metals has long intrigued physicists.
 Person in lab coat operating machinery


From fashion to fertility: CCMR pairs NY startups with faculty

Unlike many stories about technological revolutions and industry disrupters, this one begins in a mall.

Originally from Guyana, South America, Andrea Madho had a successful career as a stockbroker on Wall Street before transitioning to tech-sector public relations and business development.

On this particular shopping trip in 2015, she just wanted to buy clothing that fit.

 Beaker of green liquid attached to a small generator


Electrochemical reaction powers new drug discoveries

The reaction that this work resulted in has eluded organic chemists for decades.