Physics@MIT Journal

Issue: Fall 2012

Message from the Department Head 4

New Faculty 6

Faculty & Staff Notes11

News & Events in Physics 17

In Remembrance 21

Student Honors & Awards 26

Student Profile 26

Alumni/ae Notes 60

Giving to the Department of Physics 65

Donors 69

Strange New Worlds
38 At some points in your life, you may have looked up at the stars and wondered: is there anyone out there on some distant planet, looking back at me? This universal curiosity helps to explain why the field of exoplanetary science -- the study of planets outside of the solar system -- has attracted so much attention.
BY JOSHUA WINN
 
Life in Translation
46 What makes physics physics? More precisely, which kinds of scientific questions are physical ones, and which kinds are not? Already, the reader may suspect a trick; after all, aren't physicists the ones endlessly touting their 'theories of everything' and 'universal' laws? What sort of phenomenon could possibly lie beyond the scope of everything in the universe?
BY JEREMY L. ENGLAND
 
Advancing Diversity and Excellence in Physics
54 Diversity without excellence is destitute, excellence without diversity is an orphan.
BY ED BERTSCHINGER