Peter Lu

Peter James Lu (Chinese陆述义, Pinyin Lù Shuyi, born 1978 in Cleveland (Ohio ), USA ) is an American- Canadian physicist at Harvard University, a well-known Elite Language Institute in Cambridge (Massachusetts ).

Lu's biggest discovery is the detection of Penrose patterns in tile form on numerous buildings in the Islamic world. This discovery came because of their political and scientific relevance of worldwide media attention (among front pages of the New York Times and The Times). The elaborations led to the quasi- anticipation of the mathematical insights of Penrose tiling from 1974 through the girih tiles as they are attached to numerous magnificent buildings of the Islamic world for a long time, but have so far not recognized by modern research as such.

At an early age Lu has made with cross-curricular hobby projects for stir: In biodiversity, he was able to prove that there has not been adopted, prehistoric eras with a massive extinction of species so, but that the allegations rather based on an insufficient number present fossils for these epochs.

This is complemented by historical discoveries in pre-Christian times. So Lu was about proving that mankind has already 4000 years BC, far earlier than previously thought, used diamond-containing polishing agent in order ( mostly in the form of sapphire and ruby ​​) to smooth metal - oxide, ritual axes of corundum, by an average rate has been applied potential method and microscopically compared with the existing finds. The results of this collaboration with Princeton scientists Nan Yao can be found among others in the book Handbook of Microscopy for Nanotechnology and the publication " Earliest Use of Corundum and Diamond in Prehistoric China." Furthermore, he was able to prove to the use of high quality engraving machines for jewelry processing in China about 2500 years ago. For a probable design principle of such a machine a schematic model was created, which was described in the Journal Scienceund the Encyclopædia Britannica Book of the Year 2005.

Lu grew up in Philadelphia and won seven gold medals at the National Science Olympiads, including four in the category of rock, minerals and fossils. He received his Bachelor's degree summa cum laude in 2000 in physics at Princeton University. In his undergraduate work with Paul Steinhardt diffraction pattern he found in a naturally occurring quasicrystal. This work was published in Physical Review Letters.

His doctorate was awarded in 2008 Lu at Harvard with David Weitz 's supervision. In his work he examined using colloidal particles phase separation at the critical point. In order to gain insights for future method for qualitatively special material separation, he has studied evaporation processes under microgravity conditions and the patterns that occur in association with astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The work was completed by the successful reproduction of the observations by means of computer simulation. The laboratory work led to new techniques for observation and modeling colloidal behavior and the results were published in the prestigious journal Nature, among others.

Even as a graduate student Lu held 60 lectures at institutions around the world and served as the youngest board member of the National Science Olympiads Committee.

Publications (excerpt)

  • Peter J. Lu, E. Zaccarelli, F. Ciulla, A. Schofield, F. Sciortino & D. Weitz: Gelation of particles with short-range attraction. Nature 453 (2008), pp. 499-503
  • Peter J. Lu: Early Precision Compound Machine from Ancient China. Science 304 (2004), p 1638
  • Peter J. Lu, PJ Steinhardt: Decagonal and quasi -crystalline tilings in Medieval Islamic Architecture. Science 315 (2007), pp. 1106-1110
  • L. Bindi, P. Steinhardt, Peter J. Lu: Natural Quaicrystals. Science 324 (2009), pp. 1306-1309