Alex Alemi
Cornell Physics Graduate Student
E-mail: ude.llenroc@442aaa
Office: 425A PSB



I intend to complete my PhD in Physics with a focus on theory, then work towards a professorship.


2005 - Caltech Research - Why Venus Has No Moon

From Jan 2006 - Jan 2007, I worked with Prof. David J Stevenson of Caltech to try and determine why Venus has no moon. The work led to a oral presentation at the 2006 AAS Division of Planetary Sciences conference and was picked up by news magazines. I even made it onto Wikipedia.

2007 - UF REU - Possible Evanescent Cooling Technique for Use in LIGO

The summer of my sophomore year I did the Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the University of Florida where I worked under Prof. Reitze for their LIGO group. In particular, I investigated the possible use of a near field evanescent cooling technique. This involved designing, building and carrying out an experiment where we tried to bring two 1 inch sapphire disks within 100 or so microns of each other inside a liquid helium deware and attempt to measure whether there was any noticeable near field cooling of a heated disk by its neighbor. A version of my final report can be found here.

2008 - Caltech SURF - Sychronization in NEMS Oscillators

The summer of my junior year I did a SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) at Caltech where I worked under Prof. Roukes on the issue of NEMS synchronization. More specifically, I inhereted a project where the group was attempting to build a system of two doubly clamped beams, which were to be driven magnetomotively, with the hopes that we would be able to turn them into oscillators and observe their synchronization. My final report can be found here.


National Merit Scholar - Siemens Scholar (2005-2009)

Entry to Ph 11 (2006)

Ph 11 is a Freshman Research Tutorial at Caltech. Entrance is done by competition, all freshman are invited to answer some challenge questions called hurdles. My year the two hurdles were: (1) Estimate the time it takes to drive from Blah to Blah on the New Jersey Turnpike. (2) For evenly matched players in Tennis and Golf.

I did best on the first one, if you want you could look at my report. Basically I tried to create a Cellular Automaton, which resulting in an interesting space-time diagram, where you can see one pixel for each car, and 'waves' of traffic jams.

Greens Memorial Prize (2007)

Upperclass Merit Award (2008-2009)

Stephen and Margery Russell Distinguished Teaching Award (2010)



Pursuing a PhD in Physics at Cornell University. Class of 2009.


Caltech, BSc in Physics. Graduated June 2009.

High School

Timber Creek High School, Orlando FL, 2001-2005

West Bend East High School, West Bend, WI 2000-2001