physics resources

physics resourcesnewsletter

Physics Department Undergraduate Newsletter


posted January 12, 2017 (last updated on June 8, 2017)

(items added since the original posting date are marked in red)

(Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, G. Chottiner at , for more information about any of these postings or to submit additional items.)


Department News Jobs - General Information Alumni News
Course & Program Announcements Jobs -  academic year Standing News
Meetings, Conferences, Professional Societies, etc. Jobs - on campus, summer Old News
Awards, Prizes, Scholarships, etc. for CWRU students Jobs - off campus, summer LINKS
Fellowships & Scholarships for life after CWRU Jobs - permanent  HUMOR
Graduate School Information Jobs - co-op  



(posted June 8, 2017)

There's a new Facebook page for department postings, see .  This Facebook posting will not replace our Undergraduate Newsletter, the Facebook page is meant for significant publications, awards, grants, public lectures, mentions in the media, student achievements (PhD defenses, awards), and department social events, rather than postings designed specifically for our undergraduate majors.  Still, our majors are welcome to 'like' the Facebook site.


(posted April 24, 2017)

The department offers its congratulations to Engineering Physics major Sam Merriman. From track coach Kathleen Lanese:

Highlighted by one of the best individual seasons in the program's history by junior Sam Merriman, the Case Western Reserve University men's cross country team once again ranked among the top teams in the region in 2016. Merriman capped off his stellar 2016 campaign with a 21st-place finish out of 278 runners at the 2016 NCAA Division III Championships in Louisville, Kentucky to earn the first All-America honor of his career.  He recorded a career-best time of 24:43.5 in the 8K race, while climbing 146 spots from his finish at the meet last year.  Merriman became the eighth runner in the history of the CWRU men's cross country team to earn an All-America honor, and the first since Aaron Johnston-Peck in 2004.  In addition, he became the second Spartan ever and the first men's cross country runner in University Athletic Association history to win the Elite 90 Award, for having the highest grade point average among competitors at the NCAA Championships.

Merriman earned qualification for the NCAA Championships after finishing seventh individually to earn All-Region honors at the NCAA DIII Great Lakes Championships in Holland, Michigan, helping lead the team to a sixth-place finish out of 36 competing squads.  At the 2016 University Athletic Association Championships in Whitesburg, Georgia, Merriman earned a spot on the all-conference first team after finishing third overall.  He became the first Spartan to claim All-UAA honors since 2012, and the 13th CWRU runner overall and the first since Dominic Smith in 2008 to receive All-UAA First Team honors.  Merriman also won the Division III Championship at the All-Ohio Championships (become the first Spartan to do so since Smith in 2008) and finished 12th overall out of 287 competitors in the race, as the Spartans finished fourth out of 16 teams in the standings.   Sam also won the 5000 meter run at the UAA championships  in Chicago.

(posted April 20, 2017) From today's The Daily

Physics department to host 2017 International Workshop on Baryon and Lepton Number Violation

The physics department is hosting the 2017 International Workshop on Baryon and Lepton Number Violation: From the Cosmos to the Large Hadron Collider, which will take place in May 15-18. Many world experts will meet to discuss the most exciting results in this field of research, we will have experts working on cosmology and particle physics. This scientific community is quite diverse with scientist working on questions such as the origin of the matter-antimatter asymmetry in the Universe, the nature of dark matter and other working on the new physics which could be discovered at the Large Hadron Collider. For more information see:


(posted April 10, 2017)

The department offers its congratulations to the following physics majors, who recently earned prestigious national awards. You can read more at and
Benjamin Kuznets-Spect has been named a 2017 Goldwater Scholar.
Nathaniel Starkman has earned a Honorable Mention for the Goldwater Scholarship
David Hathcock has won an NSF graduate fellowship.
(posted March 24, 2017) From today's The Daily

Cosmological ruler could help us get the measure of dark energy

New Scientist: Glenn Starkman, Distinguished University Professor of theoretical physics, discusses galaxy location and distance perception in space ... (Click on the link above to see the article.)


(posted March 23, 2017) From today's The Daily

Three Case Western Reserve University faculty awarded NSF CAREER grants

Michael Hinczewski

Healthy cells have their own version of Chinese finger traps, called catch-bonding. These bonds are formed by protein molecules at the cell surface, and the greater the force pulling them apart, the longer the bond between them lasts. Assistant Physics Professor Mike Hinczewski, who received a $656,866 award, will develop theories help uncover the structural details of catch-bonding from experimental data. 'The heart of this project is to figure out how catch-bonding occurs in a variety of protein systems in very different biological contexts,' he said. 'Can all these systems be described by similar mechanisms?' Catch bonds have been found in proteins that recruit white blood cells from a rushing blood stream, as well as at the junctions between neighboring cells in tissues, Hinczewski explained. The mechanical forces which naturally occur in these cases, due to the fluid flow or the tension in the tissue, change the protein shape, increasing the bond lifetime. 'Researchers are just beginning to explore in depth how force regulates adhesion between cells and its potential implications for the human immune system and diseases like cancer,' he said.  Hinczewski's lab will use feedback between theory and data to develop mathematical and structural models, elucidating these counter-intuitive protein finger traps.

Photo of Mike Hinczewski


(posted February 6, 2017) From today's The Daily What was out universe like before the big bang?

Gizmodo: Kurt Hinterbichler, assistant professor of physics, explained why a low-entropy beginning to the universe isn't an issue for some theoretical physicists.


(posted January 4, 2017)

Comings & Goings

Benjamin Monreal is joining the department this spring and will be co-teaching PHYS 302/318.  He is an experimental physicist working in particle/astrophysics and was formerly at the University of California, Santa Barbara. You can learn more about Prof. Monreal at

Emanuela Dimastrogiovanni is joining the department this spring as a Visiting Assistant Professor, teaching PHYS 310. Prof. Dimastrogiovanni is a theoretician working in particle astrophysics.

(posted January 12, 2017) From today's The Daily, related to Prof. Xuan Gao's research
CWRU Researchers Directly Measure how Perovskite Solar Films Efficiently Convert Light to Power
Solar cells made with films mimicking the structure of the mineral perovskite are the focus of worldwide research. But only now have researchers at Case Western Reserve University directly shown the films bear a key property allowing them to efficiently convert sunlight into electricity. Identifying that attribute could lead to more efficient solar panels. Electrons generated when light strikes the film are unrestricted by grain boundaries - the edges of crystalline subunits within the film - and travel long distances without deteriorating, the researchers showed. That means electric charge carriers that become trapped and decay in other materials are instead available to be drawn off as current.


(posted December 8, 2016)

The spring/summer edition of the College of Arts & Science newsletter had a feature article, A Life in Physics, about Prof. Robert Brown. You can find it at .