A dam surrounded by rocky terrain

Yida Zhang’s award targets role of tiny grains in dam failures

Sept. 21, 2023

With the construction of increasingly taller dams, Assistant Professor Yida Zhang is concerned about the potential effects of soil grain breakage caused by pressure. He recently received a prestigious CAREER award to fund his research on the evolution of grain sizes in dams.

The One Ring lying on a map of Mordor, part of J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional Middle Earth

An English author’s Nordic sources

Sept. 21, 2023

As a philologist, J.R.R. Tolkien—author of “The Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy—drew extensively from Nordic language and mythology when creating the world of Middle Earth, notes CU expert Avedan Raggio, who teaches a popular course on the topic.

Earth glows during an Aurora, with a part of the International Space Station in the foreground

New center will lay groundwork for better space weather forecasts

Sept. 20, 2023

As its name suggests, the newly launched Space Weather Operational Readiness Development (SWORD) center at CU Boulder seeks to offer a little protection for the planet, spurring research into the tumultuous environment several hundred miles above the surface of Earth.

Alexis Templeton kneels on a rock in the middle of a spring

Can rocks produce abundant clean energy? New project to explore

Sept. 18, 2023

Geologists at CU Boulder will experiment with injecting water deep below Earth's surface in an effort to stimulate the production of hydrogen gas—a clean-burning fuel that could provide energy for the globe.

ring of dust around a star with small planet in the foreground

An infrared telescope that spans the globe? New grant may make it possible

Sept. 14, 2023

Physicists and engineers at CU Boulder envision infrared astronomy telescopes that may one day span the entire globe—syncing up observations from instruments spread across the continents, or even orbiting Earth, and giving scientists an unprecedented look at phenomena like the birth of new planets.

Football players kneeling on the sidelines

The NFL’s ‘take a knee’ movement and its impact on workplace protest

Sept. 14, 2023

CU Boulder research shows that kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice negatively affected the careers of the first 50 players to do so. And the study’s implications reach beyond football.

Illustration showing a sun with radiation impacting three planets surrounded by magnetic fields

New project to probe how planets lose their atmospheres

Sept. 13, 2023

Scientists will develop “worlds in a box” to investigate the phenomenon of atmospheric escape—how some planets, like Earth, hold onto their atmospheres while others, like Mars, don’t.

A Colorado forest

What does carbon offset actually mean for US forests?

Sept. 13, 2023

A CU Boulder study shows that 96% of all carbon offset credits from U.S. forestry projects were issued for improved forest management practices, not tree planting or forest protection.

People walk in front of a building on the CU Boulder campus

Pioneering physics center gets $25M

Sept. 12, 2023

For nearly two decades, physicists at JILA have pioneered record-fast lasers that can fit on a table and have chilled clouds of atoms to just a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. With a new award, their work is just getting started.

A police officer gives a volunteer a roadside sobriety test

A reliable cannabis breathalyzer? Possible, but not easy

Sept. 11, 2023

CU Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology are teaming up to help adapt a 90-year-old system for detecting alcohol for a new age of cannabis legalization. A new study suggests it won’t be easy.