WUSTL No. 8 in ‘Green Metric’ world university sustainability ranking

Washington University in St. Louis has been ranked No. 8 in a recent “Green Metric” ranking of world universities by the University of Indonesia. The ranking measures university participants’ commitment to developing an environmentally friendly infrastructure. Results are based on information provided by universities on their energy efficiency, water usage, waste management, transportation and more.

WUSTL earns silver rating in AASHE STARS sustainability measurement

Washington University in St. Louis has earned a silver rating in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) inaugural Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) program. STARS is one of the first tools to attempt to holistically measure sustainability efforts on college campuses.

Finding STARS

Steven Mumm, PhD (left), research associate professor of medicine, works in his lab at the School of Medicine with Adela Cajic, a rising senior at Affton High School and a participant in the Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (STARS) program. STARS pairs academically talented high school juniors and seniors in the St. Louis area with scientists at five research institutions for a six-week apprenticeship in laboratories, including those on the Danforth and Medical campuses.

Circumstellar space: Where chemistry happens for the very first time

NASA/JPL-Caltech/E.Churchwell (U. of WisconsinThe nebula RCW49 is a nursery for newborn stars and exists in circumstellar space, where chemistry is done for the very first time.Picture a cool place, teeming with a multitude of hot bodies twirling about in rapidly changing formations of singles and couples, partners and groups, constantly dissolving and reforming. If you were thinking of the dance floor in a modern nightclub, think again. It’s a description of the shells around dying stars, the place where newly formed elements make compounds and life takes off, said Katharina Lodders, Ph.D., research associate professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Physicist to be recognized for helping ‘revolutionize astronomy’

Studying stars has never been so easy, thanks to Ernst K. Zinner, Ph.D., research professor of physics and of earth and planetary sciences, both in Arts & Sciences, at Washington University. For the past 30-plus years, Zinner has helped develop and fine-tune increasingly sophisticated instruments that allow researchers to get detailed information about circumstellar and interstellar dust — actual stardust — right in their own labs. These precision instruments use a measurement technique called secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). To recognize Zinner’s important contributions to the development of SIMS and its many applications in the earth and space sciences, a scientific symposium will be held Feb. 3-4 in Crow Hall, Room 201.

Physicist: Stars can be strange

Photo courtesy NASAStrange Brew: Astronomers are debating whether the matter in these stars is composed of free quarks or crystals of sub-nuclear particles, rather than neutrons.According to the “Strange Matter Hypothesis”, which gained popularity in the paranormal 1980’s, nuclear matter, too, can be strange. The hypothesis suggests that small conglomerations of quarks, the infinitesimally tiny particles that attract by a strong nuclear force to form neutrons and protons in atoms, are the true ground state of matter. The theory has captivated particle physicists worldwide, including one of Washington University’s own. Mark Alford, Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis assistant professor of physics in Arts & Sciences, and collaborators from MIT and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory, have used mathematical modeling to discover some properties of theoretical “strange stars,” composed entirely of quark matter. More…