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Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University

This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.

 

Johns Hopkins University Hosts 11th Annual Physics Fair

The Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy will host its 11th annual Physics Fair from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 26 to coincide with the yearly Spring Fair celebration on Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.

Cosmic Inflation Finding First Predicted by Johns Hopkins Cosmologist

A team of observational cosmologists may have found evidence that cosmic inflation occurred a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, a point predicted 18 years ago by Johns Hopkins University cosmologist and theoretical physicist Marc Kamionkowski.

Three Johns Hopkins Researchers Selected for Sloan Research Fellowship

A theoretical physicist, a computer scientist and a solid-state chemist at the Johns Hopkins University are 2014 recipients of the Sloan Research Fellowship, given annually to young scientists showing promise in their research areas.

Johns Hopkins University Researcher Wins 2014 Pierce Prize for Astronomical Excellence

Nadia L. Zakamska of the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University has been awarded the 2014 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize for outstanding achievement in observational astronomical research.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Higgs boson news – Johns Hopkins expert available

The announcement that researchers are closer than ever to confirming the existence of the Standard Model Higgs boson particle was made possible in part by contributions from physicists at The Johns Hopkins University who are members of one of two teams conducting experiments at the Large Hadron Collider.

JHU Physicist Inaugural Winner of 2012 Prize of the Asian Union of Magnetics Societies

Chia-Ling Chien, the Jacob L. Hain Professor of Physics and the Director of the Material Research Science and Engineering Center at The Johns Hopkins University, is a winner of the first-ever Asian Union of Magnetic Societies Award, recognizing his “seminal contribution to magnetic materials, nanostructures, magnetoelectronic phenomena and devices.”

JHU’s Ménard named “Maryland’s Outstanding Young Scientist of 2012” by the Maryland Academy of Sciences

Astrophysicist Brice Ménard of the Johns Hopkins University has been selected by the Maryland Academy of Sciences as the Outstanding Young Scientist of 2012. He received the award at a ceremony to be held at the Maryland Science Center yesterday. Ménard, an assistant professor in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy, was recognized for his research in extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology.

JHU Cosmologists Receive “New Frontiers” Award for Work on “Origami Universe”

Two Johns Hopkins University research scientists who use the Japanese art of paper folding, known as origami, as a metaphor for understanding the complexity of the cosmos have been named winners of an award through the “New Frontiers in Astronomy & Cosmology International Grant and Essay Writing Competition,” funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Mark Neyrinck and Miguel Aragón-Calvo, both of the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, were chosen from an international competition led by the University of Chicago’s Donald G. York to receive a grant to explore fundamental questions in astronomy and cosmology that engage groundbreaking ideas on the nature of the universe

Johns Hopkins Astrophysicist Spies Ultra-Distant Galaxy Amidst Cosmic ‘Dark Ages’

With the combined power of NASA’s Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes as well as a cosmic magnification effect, a team of astronomers led by Wei Zheng of The Johns Hopkins University has spotted what could be the most distant galaxy ever seen. Light of the young galaxy captured by the orbiting observatories shone forth when the 13.7-billion-year-old universe was just 500 million years old. The far-off galaxy existed within an important era when the universe began to transit from the so-called “Dark Ages.” During this period, the universe went from a dark, starless expanse to a recognizable cosmos full of galaxies. The discovery of the faint, small galaxy accordingly opens up a window into the deepest, remotest epochs of cosmic history.

“This galaxy is the most distant object we have ever observed with high confidence,” said Zheng, a principal research scientist in The Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins’ Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and lead author of a new paper appearing in Nature tomorrow. “Future work involving this galaxy – as well as others like it that we hope to find – will allow us to study the universe’s earliest objects and how the Dark Ages ended.”

Team Led By JHU Astrophysicist Catches Black Hole Red-Handed in Stellar Homicide

Astronomers have gathered the most direct evidence yet of a supermassive black hole shredding a star that wandered too close. Astronomers have spotted these stellar homicides before, but this is the first time they can identify the victim. Using a slew of ground- and space-based telescopes, a team of astronomers led by Suvi Gezari of The Johns Hopkins University has identified the victim as a star rich in helium gas. The star resides in a galaxy 2.7 billion light-years away. Her team’s results will appear in the May 3 online edition of the journal Nature.

NASA Selects Johns Hopkins-Led Science Investigation Upgrade for Flying Observatory

A proposal led by a Johns Hopkins University astrophysicist has been selected by NASA as part of a science instrument upgrade to the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). The instrument, the High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera (HAWC), will provide sensitive, versatile and powerful imaging capability to the SOFIA user community. The Johns Hopkins-led investigation is one of two that will allow SOFIA, with the enhanced HAWC, to measure the structure and strength of magnetic fields in diverse objects throughout the universe, such as star-forming clouds and galaxies. This will help astronomers better understand how stars, planets and galaxies form and evolve. Johannes Staguhn of Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Astrophysical Sciences will lead the team.

Johns Hopkins Led WMAP Mission Scores World’s Most Cited Science Publications in 2011

All three of the most highly cited scientific papers in the world published in 2011 were from an astrophysics space mission project led by a Johns Hopkins University scientist, according to Thomson Reuters’ Science Watch. The papers cite results from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), a NASA spacecraft launched in 2001 that has revolutionized our knowledge of the history, composition, and geometry of the universe. The WMAP mission is led by Charles L. Bennett, Alumni Centennial Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Johns Hopkins Gilman Scholar

Johns Hopkins Physicist Honored With Simons Fellowship

A Johns Hopkins University theoretical physicist has been awarded a Simons Fellowship in Physics, which provides scholars with the opportunity to spend a year away from classroom and administrative duties in order to pursue research interests. Mark Robbins, a professor in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at The Johns Hopkins University, is among 27 theoretical physicists to receive this highly competitive, honorific fellowship.

Johns Hopkins University Offers New Minor in Space Science and Engineering

Students dreaming of careers searching for life on other planets or monitoring global climate change remotely from satellites will be interested in a new interdisciplinary minor being offered at The Johns Hopkins University. Accessed through the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering, the new space science and engineering minor is designed to prepare students to enter careers in the aerospace industry or professional laboratories, or to enter graduate programs.

Johns Hopkins Astrophysicist Wins Sloan Fellowship

Astrophysicist Brice Ménard of The Johns Hopkins has won a 2012 Sloan Research Fellowship to further support his research on extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology.

JHU Scientist Wins NSF Int’l Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the case of an image created by astrophysicist Miguel Angel Aragon of The Johns Hopkins University, the adage holds true. His vibrant computer illustration, which won the National Science Foundation’s 2011 Science and Engineering’s Visualization Challenge in the “Informational Posters and Graphics” category, brings to vivid life many dynamic aspects of the universe, spanning 240 million light years.

Search for the Higgs Boson: Johns Hopkins Expert Available

Reporters working on stories regarding tomorrow morning’s announcement out of the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva, Switzerland about progress in the search for the elusive Higgs boson should consider speaking with Johns Hopkins experimental physicist Andrei Gritsan, a member of the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment) group, one of the two competing teams of scientists working at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Johns Hopkins Institute Named as CUDA Center of Excellence by NVIDIA

NVIDIA, the California-based visual computing technology company, has named Johns Hopkins University as a CUDA Center of Excellence, honoring the university’s pioneering use of GPU computing and the CUDA programming model across research within multiple science and engineering departments. The Center of Excellence will be headquartered in Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science, bringing together the expertise of scholars from the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Whiting School of Engineering and the Sheridan Libraries to develop tools and methods capable of mining knowledge from the colossal data sets being produced today. Scientists from the Space Telescope Science Institute, located at the JHU campus are also partnering in the activities of the Center.

Johns Hopkins Astronomer Wins 2011 Balzan Prize

Johns Hopkins University astronomer Joseph Silk has been awarded the 2011 Balzan Prize, for his pioneering work on the infant universe. The $950,000 award is given annually to people or organizations that have made outstanding achievements in the fields of the natural sciences, humanities and culture, as well as for peace-promoting endeavors.

Renowned Theoretical Physicist Marc Kamionkowski Joins Johns Hopkins Faculty

Marc Kamionkowski, considered one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists for his work in large-scale structures and the early history of the universe, will join the faculty in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences on July 1. An endowed professor at California Institute of Technology, Kamionkowski has spent much of his career researching astrophysics, cosmology and elementary particle theory.

“Oddball” Star Cluster is a Hybrid, JHU Astronomer Finds

Johns Hopkins astronomer Imants Platais and a colleague conducted a census of stars in the NGC 6791 star cluster and found it is an interesting hybrid that sheds new light on scientists’ understanding of how stars form and evolve. A paper on the study appeared in the May 20 issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Physics Fair 2011: April 16

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University is hosting its 8th Annual Physics Fair from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, coinciding with the annual Spring Fair celebration on the Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. Events will take place in the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy, located on the north end of the campus near Homewood Field.

Astrophysicist Adam Riess Wins the 2011 Einstein Medal

Adam Riess, an astrophysicist at The Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute, today was awarded the Einstein Medal 2011 by the Albert Einstein Society of Bern, Switzerland. The society board of trustees recognized Riess for leadership in the High-z Supernova Search Team’s 1998 discovery that the expansion rate of the universe is accelerating, a phenomenon widely attributed to a mysterious, unexplained “dark energy” filling the universe. Riess, 41, shares this year’s prize with Saul Perlmutter, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, whose Supernova Cosmology Project team published similar results shortly after those published by Riess and High-z teammate Brian Schmidt, of the Australian National University.

Johns Hopkins Astrophysicist Wins Sloan Fellowship

Nadia L. Zakamska of the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University has received a Sloan Research Fellowship to continue her research, which uses Earth and space-based telescopes and large data sets to answer important questions about the universe and its origins. Administered by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the fellowship recognizes early-career scientists and scholars with two-year $50,000 grants aimed at helping them establish their laboratories and advance their research. Zakamska, 31, was one of 118 young scientists or economists to receive the awards this year, in recognition of their potential to contribute to academic advancement. Since the Sloan Foundation began awarding fellowships in 1955, 38 have won Nobel Prizes later in their careers.

JHU Astronomer Part of Team That Identified “Galactic Metropolis”

A team of astronomers, including one at the Johns Hopkins University, has uncovered a burgeoning galactic metropolis, the most distant known in the early universe. This ancient collection of galaxies presumably grew into a modern galaxy cluster similar to the massive ones seen today. The developing cluster, named COSMOS-AzTEC3, was discovered and characterized by multi-wavelength telescopes, including NASA’s Spitzer, Chandra and Hubble space telescopes, and the ground-based W.M. Keck Observatory and Japan’s Subaru Telescope. Johannes Staguhn, associate research scientist at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Astrophysical Sciences in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy, contributed data to uncover the nature of a main cluster member.

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