Category Archives: Prof. Orzel

Profs. Amanuel and Orzel Present at March Meeting

Assistant Professor Samuel Amanuel and Associate Professor Chad Orzel traveled to the 2010 March Meeting of the American Physical Society in Portland, OR. The March Meeting is the largest physics conference in the world, with over 7,500 papers presented over the course of the week.

Prof. Amanuel presented two papers on his research on phase transitions in confined materials: a talk titled “Melting and Freezing of Decanol inside Nanoporous Silica,” and a poster titled “First Order Phase Transition of Primary and Secondary Decanol Inside Nanoporous Silica.” Both papers were on research conducted in his laboratory at Union, with first-year students Amer Khraisat and Jargalsaikhan Dulmaa.

Prof. Orzel gave an invited talk titled “Lasers in the Undergraduate Laboratory: Precision Measurement for the Masses” as part of a special session organized for LaserFest, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first working laser in 1960. (The idea of the laser had earlier been developed by several scientists, including Union Physics alumnus Gordon Gould ’41.) He discussed a number of laser experiments done in physics classes at Union, and how they illustrate techniques used in ultra-precise measurements.

Prof. Orzel Publishes “How to Teach Physics to Your Dog”

Chad Orzel, associate professor of physics has written a popular-audience book explaining quantum physics through imaginary conversations with his German Shepherd mix, Emmy. Their conversations are recorded in How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, published by Scribner on December 22, 2009. Author Cory Doctorow, in a review at Boing Boing says that it combines “a scientist’s rigor and accuracy with a natural raconteur’s storytelling skill,” and Booklist says “It’s hard to imagine a better way for the mathematically and scientifically challenged, in particular, to grasp basic quantum physics.”

More information about the book is available at the book’s web site, including reviews, a sample chapter and book-related videos, and interviews with Chad and Emmy. You can also learn more in the Union College Chronicle.

Prof. Orzel Publishes in Physics World

An article by Chad Orzel, professor of physics, is included in the December issue of “Physics World,” a popular-audience magazine. “Measuring (Almost) Zero” (free registration required) details experiments using cold molecules to search for an electric dipole moment of the electron. These experiments, going on at Yale and in the United Kingdom, could shed light on some of the deepest mysteries of particle physics without needing billion-dollar particle accelerators. “Physics World” is published by the Institutes of Physics in the UK.

Prof. Orzel Appears at Quantum to Cosmos Festival

Chad Orzel, associate professor of physics, was part of a panel on
Communicating Science in the 21st Century” as part of the Quantum to
Cosmos Festival
at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The Quantum to Cosmos Festival was a
ten-day international celebration of science, bringing together
scientists, journalists, authors, and artists to discuss current
science, its influence on modern life, and what we can expect in the
future. On the panel with Prof. Orzel were Kathryn O’Hara, the CTV
Chair in Science Broadcast Journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa
and president of the Canadian Science Writers Association; Ivan
Semeniuk, Journalist-in-Residence, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and
Astrophysics at the University of Toronto; Nadia El-Awady lecturer of
online journalism at the Al-Ahram Canadian University in Cairo and
President of the World Federation of Science Journalists; and
Véronique Morin, a freelance science journalist for television, radio
and magazines, science journalist for the science magazine program Le
Code Chastenay on the public network Tele- Quebec, and past president
of both the Canadian Science Writers’ Association and the World
Federation of Science Journalists. The panel discussed the importance
of science communication and science journalism for both science and
society at large, and the effects of new technologies on the status
and future of science communication. The panel was streamed live on
the web, and recorded for future broadcast on TV Ontario.

Prof. Orzel Speaks at Science in the 21st Century Meeting

Prof. Chad Orzel gave an invited talk at the Science in the 21st Century conference at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics on September 8th. The meeting was an international, interdisciplinary conference discussing the interaction between science and society, and the ways in which not information technologies are changing that interaction.

Prof. Orzel’s talk was titled “Talking to My Dog About Science: Weblogs and Public Outreach,” a reference to his forthcoming popular-audience book on quantum mechanics. The full presentation can be viewed on the web via the Perimeter Institute Recorded Seminar Archive collection for the conference.

Mastroianni ‘07 Presents at DAMOP

Senior Physics major Mike Mastroianni ’07 was one of five students chosen to present in the special Undergraduate Research Session at the 38th meeting of the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics of the American Physical Society. The DAMOP meeting is an international physics conference attended by nearly 1,000 physicists from around the world, and this year’s meeting was held jointly with the Division of Atomic and Molecular Physics and Photonic Interactions of the Canadian Physical Society, in Calgary, Alberta June 5-9.

Mastroianni’s presentation, “Trapping Single Krypton Atoms for Radioactive Background Measurements,” was based on his senior thesis work with Prof. Chad Orzel of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He was one of five students chosen to give twenty-minute oral presentations at the meeting, out of dozens of applicants. Mike plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Connecticut after graduation from Union.