Congratulations to 2014 Physics & Astronomy graduates!
Professor Vineyard, the Frank and Marie Louise Bailey Professor of Physics, presented an invited paper, “Characterization of Atmospheric Aerosols in the Adirondack Mountains Using PIXE, SEM/EDX, and Micro-Raman Spectroscopies,” at the 23rd Conference on Application of Accelerators in Research and Industry in San Antonio, TX, in May. Scott LaBrake, Senior Lecturer and Accelerator Manager, and five undergraduate students were co-authors on the paper.
Prof. Orzel gave two talks as part of Physics Day at Space Center Houston last week. The Space Center is the museum and education center associated with NASA’s Johnson Space Center, which has been Mission Control for human space missions since the 1960s. The presentations, to school groups from the Houston area and the museum-going public, explained the science behind and connections between space travel, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Earthbound navigation using the Global Positioning system.
Congratulations to Stephen DiIorio on a Goldwater Scholarship!
Stephen’s research in the department has included work on laser tweezers with Prof. Orzel and work on analysis of paint with Prof. Maleki. More details about Steven’s award are provided in
this Union news story.
Michael Warrener ’16 and Rebecca Koopmann ’89, professor of physics and astronomy, recently observed at the WIYN 0.9m telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Ariz. The observations of the star formation properties of nearby galaxies will clarify the role of a galaxy’s environment on its evolution.
Prof. Newman has published a book “Savoring Sicily” about studying biophysics on the Mediterranean island and spreading his love for the culture, history and sights to his Union students.
Prof. Amanuel presented three papers at the American Physical Society March 2014 meeting in Denver, Colo. “Looking for Small Changes in Heat Capacity Using Differential Scanning Calorimeter” was co-authored with physics major Will Linthicum ’14. “Phase Transition of Physically Confined 2-Decanol” was co-authored by Hillary Bauer ’12 (physics), Jargalsaikhan Dulmaa ’13 (electrical and computer engineering) Harrisonn Griffin ’16 (physics), Amer S. Khraisat ’13 (ECE) and Alexandrea Safiq ’14 (environmental studies). Amanuel and Palma Catravas, associate professor of ECE, collaborated on “IR Spectroscopy of Gasses Evolved During Roasting Coffee Beans.” This paper is co-authored by Nick Brenn ’14 (ECE), Xavier Capaldi ’16 (physics), Victoria Chee ’13 (ID biology and Asian studies/Leadership in Medicine), Alexander Clain ’15 (physics), Salman Syed ’14 (chemistry and philosophy/LIM) and Shanice Wilson ’15 (mechanical engineering).
Prof. Orzel was invited to present a talk at TED@NYC, a competition to choose speakers for the main TED conference.
Adapting a chapter from his upcoming book, Eureka: How to Think Like a Scientist, he shared five important steps in the process used by scientists like Albert Einstein, Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohr. They looked at experimental evidence and introduced new ideas that both explained the particular phenomenon they were looking at and fit together with the ideas of others to make a coherent whole. This, in turn, led to the notion of electrons behaving like waves (introduced by Louis de Broglie). See this
story for more details.
Five students from the Department of Physics and Astronomy were among 170 undergraduate students who presented posters at the 2013 Meeting of the Nuclear Physics Division of the American Physical Society (APS) in Newport News, Virginia, in October. Chris Allen ’14 presented a poster on his research in nuclear astrophysics with Professor Rebecca Surman, who also presented on “The sensitivity of r-process nucleosynthesis to beta-delayed neutron emission probabilities”. Salina Ali ’15, Alexandrea Safiq ’14, and Josh Yoskowitz ’16 reported on work they conducted with Professor Michael Vineyard on the analysis of pollutants in aerosol samples collected in the Adirondack Mountains using proton-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and Micro-Raman spectroscopy. Jeremy Smith ’14 presented a poster on work he performed with Professor Scott LaBrake on the PIXE analysis of aerosol samples collected in Schenectady. The students all won competitive awards from the Conference Experience for Undergraduates program of the APS for travel and lodging.