SMU Department of Physics

Observed by Texas telescope: Light from huge explosion 12 billion years ago reaches Earth

Gamma Ray Burst, SMUIntense light from the enormous explosion of a star more than 12 billion years ago — shortly after the Big Bang — recently reached Earth and was visible in the sky.

Known as a gamma-ray burst, light from the rare, high-energy explosion traveled for 12.1 billion years before it was detected and observed by a telescope, ROTSE-IIIb, owned by Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Continue reading

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Search for dark matter covers new ground with CDMS experiment in Minnesota

CDMS Dark matter, Jodi Cooley, SMUScientists hunting for dark matter announced Friday they’ve made significant headway in figuring out a key characteristic of the mysterious substance.

Dark matter has never been detected, but scientists believe it constitutes a large part of our universe. Key to finding dark matter is determining its mass, or the volume of matter it contains. Continue reading

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SMU Daily Campus: Navigating neutrinos — Professor studies most elusive particle in the universe

SMU neutrinos Fermilab NOvAJournalist Lauren Aguirre of the SMU Daily Campus covered the research of SMU physicist Thomas E. Coan, an associate professor in the SMU Department of Physics.

Coan works with more than 200 scientists around the world to study one of the universe’s most elusive particles — the neutrino.
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NOvA experiment glimpses neutrinos, one of nature’s most abundant, and elusive particles

NOvA, SMU, Tom Coan, neutrinos 400x300Scientists hunting one of nature’s most elusive, yet abundant, elementary particles announced today they’ve succeeded in their first efforts to glimpse neutrinos using a detector in Minnesota.

Neutrinos are generated in nature through the decay of radioactive elements and from high-energy collisions between fundamental particles, such as in the Big Bang that ignited the universe. Continue reading

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SMU physicists celebrate Nobel Prize for discovery of Higgs boson “god particle”

SMU joins nearly 2,000 physicists from U.S. institutions — including 89 U.S. universities and seven U.S. DOE labs — that participate in discovery experiments Book a live interview To book a live or taped interview with Ryszard Stroynowski in the … Continue reading

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NOvA neutrino detector in Minnesota records first 3-D particle tracks in search to understand universe

NOvA detector, Ash River, Fermilab, SMU, Thomas Coan, PhysicsWhat will soon be the most powerful neutrino detector in the United States has recorded its first three-dimensional images of particles. Scientists’ goal for the completed detector is to use it to discover properties of mysterious fundamental particles called neutrinos.

Using the first completed section of the NOvA neutrino detector under construction in Minnesota, scientists have begun collecting data from cosmic rays—particles produced by a constant rain of atomic nuclei falling on the Earth’s atmosphere from space.
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UPI: Cosmic explosions give dark energy clues

The Asian news wire service Asian News International has covered the SMU Physics Department’s recent supernovae discoveries.

The article, “Exploding stars offer clues to dark energy,” was published Feb. 28. Light from two massive stars that exploded hundreds of millions of years ago recently reached Earth, and each event was identified as a supernova by SMU graduate students in the physics department. Continue reading

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ANI News: Exploding stars offer clues to dark energy

The Asian news wire service Asian News International has covered the SMU Physics Department’s recent supernovae discoveries.

The article, “Exploding stars offer clues to dark energy,” was published Feb. 28. Light from two massive stars that exploded hundreds of millions of years ago recently reached Earth, and each event was identified as a supernova by SMU graduate students in the physics department.

Both supernovae were spotted with the Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment‘s robotic telescope ROTSE3b, at the McDonald Observatory in West Texas. Continue reading

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redOrbit: Astronomers Discover White Dwarf Supernovae

The news web site redOrbit has covered the SMU Physics Department’s recent supernovae discoveries. The article was published Feb. 27. Light from two massive stars that exploded hundreds of millions of years ago recently reached Earth, and each event was identified as a supernova. Both supernovae were spotted with the Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment‘s robotic telescope ROTSE3b, which is now operated by SMU graduate students. Continue reading

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