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2013 Events

  • Stocker AstroScience Center Grand Opening Week

    Nov. 12, 2013, 6pm - Nov. 15, 2013, 11:30pm, Stocker AstroScience Center

    Stocker AstroScience Center Grand Opening

    Tuesday, November 12, 2013

    Grand Opening Day

    3:30 - 5 pm The History of the Universe from Beginning to End, and Observing with the James Webb Space Telescope

    Public Lecture by Nobel Laureate, John C. Mather, Ph.D., AHC-3, Room 110

    8:00 pm – 11:30 pm Star Party, Stocker AstroScience Center, Observing Pad

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    Student day at the Observatory

    11:00 am- 2:00 pm Solar Viewing with the Astronomy Club

    Stocker AstroScience Center

    11:00 am - 5:00 pm Stocker AstroScience Center Tours with the Astronomy Club and the Society of Physics Students

    Stocker AstroScience Center

    3:30 pm - 4:30 pm the Future of Life on Earth,

    Lecture by James Webb, Stocker AstroScience Center, Main Room

    8:00 pm – 11:30 pm Star Party hosted by the Society of Physics Students and the Astronomy Club

    Stocker AstroScience Center, Observing Pad

    Thursday, November 14, 2013

    Music at the Observatory

    3:00 pm – 4 pm Finger-style guitar with Dr. James Webb

    Stocker AstroScience Center, Main Room

    6:00 pm – 9:00 pm Live Music Evening

    Stocker AstroScience Center, Main Room

    Featuring: James Webb, Tom Barnello, Marivanna, Ted Miller, Grant Livingston, Jennings & Keller, and Rob McDonald

    8:00 pm – 11:30 pm – Observing with Guests

    Stocker AstroScience Center, Observing Pad

  • The History of the Universe from Beginning to End and Observing with the James Webb Space Telescope

    Nov. 12, 2013, 3:30pm-4:30pm, AHC3 110

    A special presentation by: Nobel Laureate, John C. Mather, Ph.D. Senior Astrophysicist, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD Senior Project Scientist, James Webb Space Telescope

    More information about the presentation

  • Special Seminar: Diversity Challenges Facing Physics

    Oct. 3, 2013, 3pm-4:30pm, CP 197

    Dr. Casey Miller, Associate Professor of Physics at the University of South Florida in Tampa

    Abstract

    The National Academies have suggested that increasing diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math will be critical to the future competitiveness of the US in these areas [1], and the leadership of both the National Science Foundation [2] and the American Physical Society is taking this seriously. Physics and Astronomy programs grant, on average, only one PhD every 5 and 10 years, respectively, to members of underrepresented groups [3]. We are therefore not surprisingly the least diverse of the sciences [4]. In this talk, I will discuss several opportunities that may help our community move toward meeting these goals, and, importantly, the potential benefits to programs and individual investigators willing to take on these challenges. The most universally applicable and easily implementable actions regard perturbing graduate admissions policies and practices [5], and employing key features of successful Bridge Programs into graduate programs [6].

    [1] National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, “Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America's Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads,” The National Acadamies Press (2011); http:/www.nap.eduopenbook.php?record_id=12984

    [2] Joan Ferrini-Mundy, “Driven by Diversity,” Science 340, 278 (2013).

    [3] Stassun, K.G., “Building Bridges to Diversity”, Mercury, 34, 3 (2005).

    [4] http:/www.aps.orgprograms/education/statistics/minoritydegrees.cfm

    [5] Casey W. Miller, “Admissions Criteria and Diversity in Graduate School,”APS News, The Back Page, February 2013. http:/www.aps.orgpublications/apsnews/201302/backpage.cfm

    [6] Stassun, K.G., Sturm, S., Holley-Bockelmann, K., Burger, A., Ernst, D., & Webb, D., “The Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program: Broadening Participating of Underrepresented Minorities in the Physical Sciences. Recognizing, enlisting, and cultivating ‘unrealized or unrecognized potential’ in students”, American Journal of Physics 79, 374 (2011).

    Biography

    Casey W. Miller is presently Associate Professor of Physics at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where he studies nanoscale magnetism and related devices. He is Director of the new APS-Bridge Site at USF, as well as Associate Director of Physics Graduate Studies. He graduated summa cum laude from Wittenberg University in 1999 with University and Physics Departmental Honors and, where he was also elected to ΦΒΚ. He earned his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003, notably earning the Department’s Best Dissertation Award for work combining Magnetic Resonance Imaging with Scanning Probe Microscopy. He joined USF in 2007 after completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego, where he worked on spin-dependent tunneling.

  • Doctoral Dissertation Defense - Idaykis Rodriguez

    July 9, 2013, 9:30am-12:30pm, SIPA 100

    Ethnographic Study: Becoming a Physics Expert in a Biophysics Research Group

    UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL BULLETIN ANNOUNCEMENT

    Florida International University University Graduate School

    Doctoral Dissertation Defense

    Abstract

    Ethnographic Study: Becoming a Physics Expert in a Biophysics Research Group

    by

    Idaykis Rodriguez

    Expertise in physics has been traditionally studied in cognitive science, where physics expertise is understood through the difference between novice and expert problem solving skills. The cognitive perspective of physics experts only create a partial model of physics expertise and does not take into account the development of physics experts in the natural context of research. This dissertation takes a social and cultural perspective of learning through apprenticeship to model the development of physics expertise of physics graduate students in a research group. I use a qualitative methodological approach of an ethnographic case study to observe and video record the common practices of graduate students in their biophysics weekly research group meetings. I recorded notes on observations and conduct interviews with all participants of the biophysics research group for a period of eight months. I apply the theoretical framework of Communities of Practice to distinguish the cultural norms of the group that cultivate physics expert practices. Results indicate that physics expertise is specific to a topic or subfield and it is established through effectively publishing research in the larger biophysics research community. The participant biophysics research group follows a learning trajectory for its students to contribute to research and learn to communicate their research in the larger biophysics community. In this learning trajectory students develop expert member competencies to learn to communicate their research and to learn the standards and trends of research in the larger research community. Findings from this dissertation expand the model of physics expertise beyond the cognitive realm and add the social and cultural nature of physics expertise development. This research also addresses ways to increase physics graduate student success towards their PhD. and decrease the 48% attrition rate of physics graduate students. Cultivating effective research experiences that give graduate students agency and autonomy beyond their research groups gives students the motivation to finish graduate school and establish their physics expertise.

    Date: July 9, 2013 Department: Physics Time: 9:30 a.m. Major Professor: Dr. Eric Brewe Place: Modesto Maidique Campus, SIPA 100

  • Colloquium - Dr. Weilie Zhou

    March 28, 2013, 3:30pm-4:30pm, CP 220

    Three-Dimensional (3D) Nanowire Arrays: Fabricating Solar Cells and Highly Sensitive and Selective Chemical Sensors

    Three-Dimensional (3D) Nanowire Arrays: Fabricating Solar Cells and Highly Sensitive and Selective Chemical Sensors

    Weilie Zhou Advanced Materials Research Institute, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148

    Devices built from three-dimensional (3D) nanoarchitectures offer a number of advantages over those based on thin-film technologies, such as collecting more solar energy to improve the efficiency, providing larger surface area to enhance the sensitivity of chemical sensors, etc. The talk will be focused on synthesis of II-VI semiconductive core/shell nanowire arrays with type II band gap alignment for photovoltaic application. Their structures, optical properties and transport measurements will be presented. On the other hand, 3D semiconductive metal oxide nanowire array with the giant surface area provides a perfect structure for 3D chemical sensor fabrication. By mimicking biological olfactory system, the 3D nanowire arrays demonstrate high sensitivity and selectivity for chemical sensor application. At the end, the 3D nanowire array for supercapacitors will be also discussed.

    References 1. “Synthesis and Photovoltaic Effect of Vertically Aligned ZnO/ZnS Core/shell Nanowire Arrays” K. Wang, J. J. Chen, Z. M. Zeng, J. Tarr, Weilie Zhou, Y. Zhang, Y. F. Yan, C. S. Jiang, J. Pern, and A. Mascarenhas, Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 123105 (2010). 2. “Direct Growth of ZnO/ZnSe Highly Mismatched Type II Core/Shell Nanowire Array on Transparent Conducting Oxide (TCO) Substrate for Potential Solar Cell Application” Kai Wang, Jiajun Chen, Weilie Zhou, Yong Zhang, John Pern, Yanfa Yan, Angelo Mascarenhas, Advanced Materials 20, 3248-3253 (2008). 3. “Growth of Monoclinic WO3 Nanowire Array for Highly Sensitive NO2 Detection”, Baobao Cao, Jiajun Chen, Xiaojun Tang and Weilie Zhou, J. Mater. Chem., 19, 2323–2327. (2009). 4. “Towards One Key to One Lock: Catalyst Modified Indium Oxide Nanoparticle Thin Film Sensor Array for Selective Gas Detection”, Kun Yao, Daniela Caruntu, Sarah Wozny, Rong Huang, Yumi H. Ikuhara, Baobao Cao, Charles J. O’Connor and Weilie Zhou, J. Mater. Chem., 22, 7308 (2012)

  • Colloquium - Geoff Potvin

    March 21, 2013, 3:30pm-4:30pm, GL 100B

    Disciplinary Differences in Physical Science and Engineering Students' Aspirations and Self-Perceptions Geoff Potvin Department of Engineering & Science Education Clemson University

    Disciplinary Differences in Physical Science and Engineering Students' Aspirations and Self-Perceptions

    Geoff Potvin Department of Engineering & Science Education Clemson University

    For a number of years, a problem of major concern for continued growth and development in the U.S. has been the recruitment and retention of a larger and more diverse pool of students trained in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, with particular emphasis on the physical sciences and engineering. However, the self-perceptions, aspirations, and values of students intending to major in the physical sciences and engineering have not been well studied, particularly within engineering disciplines (where students are sometimes treated as a relatively homogeneous group despite educators' knowledge of the diversity of opportunities and technical specialties across these fields), which limits our ability to successfully expand the pool of STEM recruits. Moreover, initiates just starting their post-secondary education may not perceive disciplines as experts do: they may identify and find affinity for features of an engineering or science specialty that may not be consistent with practice. In this talk, I will present an analysis that explores differences between students who have expressed intentions to major in several different engineering disciplines as well as physics and chemistry. The data is drawn from a nationally-representative survey of 6772 students enrolled at 50 colleges and universities in the U.S. and includes information on students' backgrounds, high school experiences, career goals and personal values. The findings indicate substantial differences between students intending different STEM careers in terms of their outcome expectations, self-beliefs (performance/competency, interest, and recognition in: science-general, physics, and mathematics) and two measures of agency beliefs ("personal" and "global"). These results should inform the future recruitment of physical science and engineering majors by more effectively identifying for students the relevant features of a discipline and broaden recruitment efforts by allowing for the identification of potential scientists and engineers who might have been overlooked.

    Bio:

    Geoff Potvin has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering & Science Education at Clemson University since 2008, and is the inaugural Graduate Coordinator of Clemson’s PhD in Engineering & Science Education. His current work is supported by NSF Grants # 1036617 and 1043707. He teaches courses in undergraduate mathematics and physics as well as graduate STEM education. Previously, he completed a doctorate in theoretical physics focusing on gravitational aspects of string theory at the University of Toronto and held a postdoctoral position in science education at the University of Virginia.

  • Colloquium - Dr. Zahra Hazari

    March 20, 2013, 10am-11am, ZEB 325 (Dean's Conference Room)

    Obscuring power structures in the physics classroom: Linking teacher positionality, student engagement, and physics identity development

    Obscuring power structures in the physics classroom: Linking teacher positionality, student engagement, and physics identity development

    Dr. Zahra Hazari Clemson University

    In the process of reforming physics education over the last several decades, a natural tension has developed between compelling students to leave their comfort zones and engage with the content more meaningfully on the one hand, and helping them identify with physics so they are personally motivated in their learning, on the other. Research has found that many students are disempowered in physics classes, finding them to be more difficult, unpleasant, narrow, and masculine when compared to other subjects. So the question arises: what can physics teachers do to help students engage in learning physics in more personally meaningful ways? Employing a physics identity and positionality framework, I examine how teacher positionality influences student engagement and physics identity development. I will draw on evidence from a national survey study and qualitative case studies of four high school physics teachers (NSF 0624444 and 0952460). The findings indicate that certain behavioral cues from teachers, particularly social cues, can help obscure power structures in the physics classroom and moderate students’ engagement and ultimately impact their physics identity development. Biography

    Zahra Hazari is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering & Science Education at Clemson University. Before completing a Ph.D. in science education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto, she earned a B.S. in physics and mathematics and an M.S. in physics. She was a national postdoctoral fellow of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Her work is currently supported by a National Science Foundation CAREER grant from the Discovery Research K-12 Program and an NSF Gender grant, and has been featured in Science Magazine, the American Physical Society News, and Scientific American.

  • MMC - Former NSF Deputy Division Director to give grantwriting seminar

    Feb. 7, 2013, 9:30am-11am, CP 220

    MMC Campus - This seminar with Dr. Rajinder Khosla will be an informal interactive meeting and should be particularly useful for junior faculty.

    Dr. Khosla will leave time at the end of this seminar to answer individual questions.

    Dr. Rajinder Khosla is currently visiting scholar at NCSU College of Engineering. He joined the National Science Foundation in October 1996 as a Program Director in the Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) Division in the ENG Directorate. During his tenure at the NSF, he also served as an Acting Director of the ECCS Division (January 2000-February 2002). He was Deputy Division Director in the CNS Division, responsible for overseeing the Cyber-Physical Systems Program in the CISE Directorate. On a special assignment as an Embassy Fellow (March 2002-June 2002), Dr. Khosla was sent by the NSF and the US Department of State, to study the state of Nanotechnology research in Japan.

    During his career at the NSF, he was the Program Manager for the National Nanofabrication Users Network (NNUN), Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) at Purdue University, Computer Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology (CISST) at John Hopkins University, and the NSEC, Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems (COINS) at UC Berkeley. He went on a number of site and pre-site visits for review and start-up of Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) and Industry & University Cooperative Research Centers Programs (I/UCRC).

    Dr. Khosla worked at Eastman Kodak Co. from 1966-96. He was the General Manager of the Microelectronics Technology Division at Kodak from 1985-95, and was responsible for the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of solid-state imagers based on CCD’s and support IC's for Kodak’s entry into Digital Imaging Systems.

    Dr. Khosla received his Ph.D. in Solid State Physics from Purdue University in 1966. In 1974-75, he was given an academic award by Kodak for his contributions to the development of alternative technologies for imaging. As a result of this award, he worked as a ‘Visiting Scientist’ in the Department of EE&CS at the UC, Santa Barbara, developing and designing charge coupled devices (CCDs). The following year he brought the technology to Kodak. In the fall of 1989, he attended the Harvard Business School for the ‘Advanced Management Program’. He was an Executive-on-Loan at Cornell University during 1995-96 to develop Industry/University relations. For a number of years, he has been on the Science Advisory Board of IMEC in Leuven, Belgium.

    Dr. Khosla is Fellow of the IEEE, APS, OSA, and the AAAS. He was awarded the 1990 IEEE Frederick Philips Award for - “For initiating and leading the development of a microelectronics program that led to his company’s preeminence in high-density imaging sensors.” He is the Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Science at Purdue University.

  • CEC - Former NSF Deputy Division Director to give grantwriting seminar

    Feb. 6, 2013, 9am-10:30am, EC 2300

    CEC Campus - This seminar with Dr. Rajinder Khosla will be an informal interactive meeting and should be particularly useful for junior faculty.

    Dr. Rajinder Khosla is currently visiting scholar at NCSU College of Engineering. He joined the National Science Foundation in October 1996 as a Program Director in the Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) Division in the ENG Directorate. During his tenure at the NSF, he also served as an Acting Director of the ECCS Division (January 2000-February 2002). He was Deputy Division Director in the CNS Division, responsible for overseeing the Cyber-Physical Systems Program in the CISE Directorate. On a special assignment as an Embassy Fellow (March 2002-June 2002), Dr. Khosla was sent by the NSF and the US Department of State, to study the state of Nanotechnology research in Japan.

    During his career at the NSF, he was the Program Manager for the National Nanofabrication Users Network (NNUN), Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) at Purdue University, Computer Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology (CISST) at John Hopkins University, and the NSEC, Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems (COINS) at UC Berkeley. He went on a number of site and pre-site visits for review and start-up of Engineering Research Centers (ERCs) and Industry & University Cooperative Research Centers Programs (I/UCRC).

    Dr. Khosla worked at Eastman Kodak Co. from 1966-96. He was the General Manager of the Microelectronics Technology Division at Kodak from 1985-95, and was responsible for the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of solid-state imagers based on CCD’s and support IC's for Kodak’s entry into Digital Imaging Systems.

    Dr. Khosla received his Ph.D. in Solid State Physics from Purdue University in 1966. In 1974-75, he was given an academic award by Kodak for his contributions to the development of alternative technologies for imaging. As a result of this award, he worked as a ‘Visiting Scientist’ in the Department of EE&CS at the UC, Santa Barbara, developing and designing charge coupled devices (CCDs). The following year he brought the technology to Kodak. In the fall of 1989, he attended the Harvard Business School for the ‘Advanced Management Program’. He was an Executive-on-Loan at Cornell University during 1995-96 to develop Industry/University relations. For a number of years, he has been on the Science Advisory Board of IMEC in Leuven, Belgium.

    Dr. Khosla is Fellow of the IEEE, APS, OSA, and the AAAS. He was awarded the 1990 IEEE Frederick Philips Award for - “For initiating and leading the development of a microelectronics program that led to his company’s preeminence in high-density imaging sensors.” He is the Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Science at Purdue University.

  • AMO Search Committee Meeting
    Jan. 22, 2013, 2pm-3pm, Venue TBA
  • Colloquium - Optical Multi-dimensional Fourier Transform Spectroscopy

    Jan. 17, 2013, 3:30pm-4:30pm, CP 220

    Dr. Hebin Li University of Colorado

    Dr. Hebin Li

    JILA, University of Colorado and National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO 80309-0440, USA

    The concept of multi-dimensional Fourier transform spectroscopy originated in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) where it revolutionized NMR studies of molecular structure and dynamics and led to the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1991. In the past decade, the same concept has been implemented in the optical region with femtosecond lasers. In the experiment, the nonlinear response of a sample to multiple laser pulses is measured as a function of time delays. A multi-dimensional spectrum is constructed by taking a multi-dimensional Fourier transform of the signal with respect to multiple time delays. In this presentation, I will introduce optical multi-dimensional Fourier transform spectroscopy and its applications to study dynamics in quantum systems. Both 2D and 3D spectra of a potassium (K) vapor will be presented. The K vapor provides a simple test model to validate the method, while the obtained 2D spectra reveal the surprising collective resonance due to the dipole-dipole interaction in a dilute gas. By extending the technique into a third dimension, 3D spectra can unravel different pathways in a quantum process and provide complete and unambiguous information of the third-order optical response of the sample. The quantitative insight of isolated pathways can be used to construct the full Hamiltonian of the system. Besides atomic/molecular systems, optical multi-dimensional Fourier-transform spectroscopy is also a powerful tool for studying carrier dynamics in solid-state systems such as semiconductor nanostructures.

  • Colloquium - Fast Light & the Advancement of Quantum Correlations

    Jan. 15, 2013, 3:30pm-4:50pm, CP 220

    Dr. Ryan Glasser National Institute of Standards & Technology Rockville, Maryland

    Dr. Ryan Glasser National Institute of Standards & Technology Rockville, Maryland

    Abstract: Quantum states of light have been shown to provide improvements in a variety of systems, resulting in provably secure communication, sub-shot noise interferometry, and computation schemes that scale better with resources than when using classical means. A key aspect of these entangled and squeezed states of light is that they exhibit correlations that are stronger than allowed classically. Due to the important role these quantum correlations play in the field of quantum optics, numerous investigations into their fundamental behavior have taken place. For example, how such states evolve when propagating through a slow light medium, in which the group velocity of light is less than the speed of light in vacuum, c, have been conducted in the past. We seek to investigate how quantum correlations behave when propagating through a medium exhibiting anomalous dispersion. In such a medium, optical pulses may propagate with group velocities that are larger than c, or even negative. In this talk I will show that by using a nondegenerate four-wave mixing (4WM) process in warm rubidium vapor, which may be used to generate squeezed and entangled states of light, it is possible to generate pulses with negative group velocities. I will show that the same system can support the fast light propagation of images, and with a slight modification may operate as a multi-spatial-mode phase-sensitive amplifier. Finally, I will discuss recent results characterizing the behavior of quantum correlations in the presence of a fast light medium, and conclude with a discussion of possible future research involving the 4WM system.

  • Colloquium - Simulating Magnetic Fields with Ultracold Atoms

    Jan. 9, 2013, 3:30pm-4:30pm, CP 220

    Dr. Lindsay LeBlanc National Institute of Standards & Technology University of Maryland

    Abstract: While atomic physics has traditionally been used to study the properties of individual particles, recent experimental progress has demonstrated how atomic systems can be used to explore many-body and strongly correlated physics. Neutral ultracold atoms, whose internal states, interactions, motion, and environment can be precisely engineered and whose properties can be accurately measured, are an ideal medium in which to implement quantum simulation. By placing quantum mechanical constituent particles in a well-designed environment and allowing them to evolve under the associated custom Hamiltonian, their behaviour will mimic the system of interest and provide insight into any system governed by such a Hamiltonian. Among the many recent cold atom experiments demonstrating quantum simulation, techniques that modify the spin and momentum degrees of freedom were used to subject neutral atoms to an “artificial” magnetic field and associated Lorentz force. Adding these methods to the quantum simulation toolbox opens up new possibilities for studying the behavior of many-body systems, including a recent demonstration that used the superfluid Hall effect to extract information about a Bose-Einstein condensate. Through the continued development and implementation of these quantum simulation tools, new models of quantum matter can be constructed to answer questions about the emergence and behavior of many-body systems that cannot be answered via classical computation.