How to search for a needle in a haystack: Spotting really tiny signals from the edge of the universe

As a chemistry graduate student I don’t normally take classes outside of the chemistry building, but this semester I happened to have an optics course in the physics department. So a few months ago when scientists at the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO for short) found gravitational waves,1 I got an inside look at just …

The Mysterious Inspiration of Future Scientists

Anyone who has watched CSI, Bones, or Breaking Bad on television has had the opportunity to see how chemistry can be important in solving (or committing) a crime. The popularity of forensics drama inspired scientists within our Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology to develop a set of outreach activities where middle school students can use chemistry …