Fostering Collaborative Research in Physics & Engineering

HEPL, founded in 1947 as Stanford's first Independent Laboratory, provides facilities and administrative structure enabling faculty to do research that spans across the boundaries of a single department or school—for example: physics & engineering or physics & biology/medicine. The Independent Laboratory concept, in many ways unique to Stanford, facilitates world-class research and teaching.
For more information about HEPL research, see the Research page.

News in Brief

Professor Daniel Palanker

William and Jane Fairbank, 1974

May 5, 2017

Nominations now being accepted for the William M. and Jane D. Fairbank Postdoctoral Fellowship in Experimental Physics of Fundamental Interactions

The Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory (HEPL) and the Physics Department at Stanford invite nominations for the William M. and Jane D. Fairbank Postdoctoral fellowship in experimental physics of Fundamental Interactions.

While the Standard Model has been tremendously successful in describing the fundamental constituents of matter and their interactions, a number of puzzles, some the result of observations and others deriving from theoretical analysis, provide tantalizing hints of what may lay behind. Today, the experimental study of these topics can make use of many tools from nuclear and particle physics, condensed matter, interferometry with photons and atoms, low temperature physics, and AMO.

The Fairbank fellowship is intended to expose an exceptional young scientist to the very exciting environment in this area of research, while at the same time, fostering the exchange of ideas among existing groups. The successful candidate will be selected from the pool of nominees by a committee of Stanford faculty and, while associated with a specific mentor, will be encouraged to interact with other groups –experimental as well as theoretical- in the area of the physics of Fundamental Interactions.

The appointment will be for two years, renewable for a third. The Fairbank fellow will receive a competitive salary, postdoctoral benefits, along with $8,000 per year in discretionary research funds.Nominees will be required to have obtained in PhD in physics (or equivalent) by December 1, 2017 and need to be nominated by a senior colleague by October 1, 2017.

View the 2017 Fairbank Fellowship NominationsAnnouncement web page for details and instructions.


Professor Daniel Palanker

Artist's depiction of gamma rays from a
solar flare on the far side of the sun
moving along magnetic field lines to the
front side of the sun where they are
detected by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space
Telescope. Image by NASA GSFC

January 30, 2017

NASA's Fermi Gamma Ray Telescope has detected gamma rays eminating from flares on the back side of our sun

Reprint of story by Francis Reddy
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

An international science team says NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has observed high-energy light from solar eruptions located on the far side of the sun, which should block direct light from these events. This apparent paradox is providing solar scientists with a unique tool for exploring how charged particles are accelerated to nearly the speed of light and move across the sun during solar flares.

"Fermi is seeing gamma rays from the side of the sun we're facing, but the emission is produced by streams of particles blasted out of solar flares on the far side of the sun," said Nicola Omodei, a member of the Fermi research team at Stanford University's Hansen Experimental Physics Lab in California. "These particles must travel some 300,000 miles within about five minutes of the eruption to produce this light."

Omodei presented the findings on January. 30, 2017 at the American Physical Society meeting in Washington, and a paper entitled Fermi-LAT Observations of High-energy Behind-thd-limb Solar Flares, describing the results were published online in The Astrophysical Journal on Jan. 31.

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