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From the College of Natural Sciences
Inspired by Biology, Physicists Make More Efficient Motors

Inspired by Biology, Physicists Make More Efficient Motors

Physicists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that mimicking human muscles can lead to more efficiently designed electric motors for use in robots and appliances. Their bioinspired motors use up to 22% less energy, have a greater range of motion and can lift objects higher than typical electric motors.

Department of Energy Selects Timothy Liao for Graduate Student Research Program

Department of Energy Selects Timothy Liao for Graduate Student Research Program

Timothy Liao, a physics Ph.D. student from The University of Texas at Austin, was recently selected to participate in the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program along with 43 others. Liao will conduct part of his thesis research at Ames National Laboratory where he will develop computational tools for material design and discovery.

Seven Natural Sciences Faculty Receive NSF CAREER Awards

Seven Natural Sciences Faculty Receive NSF CAREER Awards

Seven faculty in The University of Texas at Austin's College of Natural Sciences have recently received distinguished Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards from the National Science Foundation. The CAREER award recognizes junior faculty for their potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

Mini Robots Reveal Links Between Bird Flocks and General Relativity

Mini Robots Reveal Links Between Bird Flocks and General Relativity

When self-propelling objects or living things interact with each other, interesting phenomena can occur. Birds align with each other when they flock together. People at a concert spontaneously create vortices when they nudge and bump into each other. Fire ants work together to create rafts that float on the water's surface.

Two small robots move on a stretchy, trampoline-like surface.
Visualizing Science 2022: Illuminating the Intrinsic Beauty in Academic Research

Visualizing Science 2022: Illuminating the Intrinsic Beauty in Academic Research

This past spring, the College of Natural Sciences invited our University of Texas at Austin faculty, staff and students to send in the top images from their research for our Visualizing Science competition. The images they produced nourish both the mind and the soul, offering not only food for thought but a feast for the eyes as well.

Steven Weinberg’s Test of Quantum Mechanics Might Soon Be Realized

Steven Weinberg’s Test of Quantum Mechanics Might Soon Be Realized

About six years ago, Mark Raizen got a phone call from his University of Texas at Austin colleague, the Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg.

"He had a lot of questions for me about atomic clocks," Raizen said. "He had this idea for testing quantum mechanics, and he asked me if I could come up with a realistic system to do it in."

An ytterbium lattice atomic clock at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. NIST physicists combined two of these experimental clocks to make the world’s most stable single atomic clock. Credit: N. Phillips/NIST
UT Austin Leads in New Summary of Top "Degrees of the Future"

UT Austin Leads in New Summary of Top "Degrees of the Future"

A dozen offerings from The University of Texas at Austin were ranked among the nation's best "Degrees of the Future 2022" by Gizmodo. The ranking came in a new special report from the technology, science and culture publication dedicated to "honoring the universities preparing students for tomorrow."

Scientists Capture First-ever View of a Hidden Quantum Phase in a 2D Crystal

Scientists Capture First-ever View of a Hidden Quantum Phase in a 2D Crystal

This illustration represents the light-induced collapse of the nanoscale charge order in a 2D crystal of tantalum disulfide (star-shapes) and the generation of a hidden metastable metallic state (spheres). Image credit: Frank Yi Gao

The development of high-speed strobe-flash photography in the 1960s by the late MIT professor Harold "Doc" Edgerton allowed us to visualize events too fast for the eye — a bullet piercing an apple, or a droplet hitting a pool of milk.

Natural Sciences Graduates Win Mitchell Awards

Natural Sciences Graduates Win Mitchell Awards

Students and recent graduates in the College of Natural Sciences were awarded the George H. Mitchell Award for Academic Excellence this spring. These awards honor students in STEM and other categories, with generous support provided by the University Co-op. The University of Texas at Austin recognized 12 undergraduate students this year for superior scholarly and creative achievements, highlighting the unparalleled dedication and achievement the students showed in their fields of study. 

Meet the Dean's Honored Graduates of 2022

Meet the Dean's Honored Graduates of 2022

Each year, the College of Natural Sciences bestows its highest honors for graduating seniors on a select group of students during graduation week. Students across the college are singled out for College of Natural Sciences Distinctions and celebrated at a special Graduates of Distinction event. Among the distinction winners is an even smaller group of students, known as Dean's Honored Graduates.