Physics

Exploring what it means to be curious

In a new book “Curious Minds: The Power of Connection,” Penn’s Dani S. Bassett and twin sibling Perry Zurn weave together history, linguistics, network science, neuroscience, and philosophy to unpack the concept of curiosity.

Katherine Unger Baillie

Music-making and the flow of aerosols

If simply breathing can spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus to others nearby, what about blowing into a tuba? Researchers from the School of Engineering the School of Arts & Sciences used fluid mechanics to study the movement of aerosols generated by musicians.

Katherine Unger Baillie



In the News


The Guardian

UK joins international effort to uncover first moments of the universe

In a statement for the Simons Observatory, Mark Devlin of the School of Arts & Sciences says that new telescopes and researchers from the UK will make a significant addition to their efforts to examine the origins of the universe.

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Physics World

Liquid crystals bring robotics to the microscale

In collaboration with the University of Ljubljana, Kathleen Stebe of the School of Engineering and Applied Science has built a swimming microrobot that paddles by rotating liquid crystal molecules.

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Quanta Magazine

The new math of wrinkling

Eleni Katifori of the School of Arts & Sciences is credited for her work simulating wrinkle patterns, which were crucial to an overall theory of geometric wrinkle prediction.

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New Scientist

Researchers have worked out the rules for how some things wrinkle

Eleni Katifori of the School of Arts & Sciences and colleagues used simulations of curving plastic pieces to predict the formation of wrinkling patterns.

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Scientific American

Why some fluids flow slower when pushed harder

Paulo Arratia of the School of Engineering and Applied Science commented on a study that explored how fluids flow under different pressures. “Visualizing flow inside a 3-D porous media literally gives a window into something that was impossible to see,” he said. “If you could actually see the molecules stretching and recoiling, that would be wonderful [to] connect the molecular point of view to the microscopic.”

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Science

From rocks to icebergs, the natural world tends to break into cubes

Douglas Jerolmack of the School of Arts & Sciences commented on his research, which finds that when natural structures break apart, they tend to fragment into cube-like shapes. He said the findings could help geologists calculate the size of rocks breaking off cliff faces, among other applications.

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