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July 7, 2011
Volume: II
Number: 26
National Society of Black Physicists    African Physical Society    South African Institute of Physics   African Astronomical Society   
US House panel votes to terminate James Webb Space Telescope    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A House appropriations subcommittee working on next year's federal spending plan has taken the ax to the James Webb Space Telescope. "The bill also terminates funding for the James Webb Space Telescope, which is billions of dollars over budget and plagued by poor management," an Appropriations Committee press release says flatly. This bombshell is not the only piece of bad news for the scientific community. The National Science Foundation is also losing funding, set to receive $907 million less than the administration requested. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is down $1 billion. The Environmental Protection Agency is down $1.5 billion, about 18 percent. Pentagon spending would grow by $17 billion in 2012, on the other hand. More

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What's so interesting about AMO physics?
Uncertain Principles    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a whirlwind overview of DAMOP, Chad Orzel discusses several "interesting" areas of atomic, molecular and optical physics including ultra-cold matter, extreme lasers, quantum phenomena, "traditional" AMO and precision measurement. Chad Orzel is an associate professor at Union College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park, under the supervision of Nobel Laureate William Phillips. He is the author of the popular science book, "How to Teach Physics to Your Dog" and the popular blog Uncertain Principles. More

Power spectrum detection and dark energy evidence by cosmic microwave background lensing
American Physical Society    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two of the most powerful methods for understanding the structure and evolution of the universe are measuring fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background and observing the gravitational lensing of light arriving from distant sources. Two papers in Physical Review Letters by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope Collaboration report results that combine both types of observations. The first paper reports on the first detection of gravitational lensing of CMB fluctuations determined entirely from microwave measurements. The second paper makes the concomitant inference that these fluctuations provide independent evidence for the presence of dark energy in the universe. More

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Fermilab's Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search confirms T2K result
Discovery News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Japanese T2K (Tokai to Kamioka) experiment recently announced the first evidence of a rare form of neutrino oscillation, whereby muon neutrinos turn into electron neutrinos as they travel from the beam source to the detectors. Now Fermilab's MINOS has reported findings consistent with the T2K results, using different methods and analysis techniques than the Japanese researchers. More

NASA mission suggests sun and planets constructed differently
NASA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers analyzing samples returned by NASA's 2004 Genesis mission have discovered that our sun and its inner planets may have formed differently than previously thought. Data revealed differences between the sun and planets in oxygen and nitrogen, which are two of the most abundant elements in our solar system. Although the difference is slight, the implications could help determine how our solar system evolved. More

Armageddon ahead — Scientists tracking a large asteroid predict Nov. 8 as doomsday
Nigerian Compass    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A space rock known as Asteroid Yu55, perhaps capable of destroying the Earth, will approach our planet Nov. 8, according to American and Russian scientists. The asteroid will be the closest ever asteroid to approach the Earth that hasn't actually hit the planet. Due to its size, and the way it will whisk by so close to the Earth, an extensive campaign of radar, visual and infrared observations are being planned. More

European physics chief speaks out    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Luisa Cifarelli — a particle physicist from the University of Bologna and the first female president of the European Physical Society discusses European collaboration, women in physics — and her plans for a "World Year of Light." More

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Are science teachers using experiments as props in lessons?
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pupils generally enjoy carrying out experiments — but do teachers overuse them when they should in fact be teaching more theory? Practical lessons are popular with both students and teachers. But their popularity with students may lie in the fact that they are less demanding than theory lessons. The same may be true for teachers — after all, it's easier to teach a child how to connect an ammeter than teach a correct understanding of electric current. More

Australian astronomers call for reliable funding
Sky West    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Being in a similar boat as their U.S., European and African colleagues, Australia's astronomers are seeking reliable, long-term funding to help keep the country at the forefront of international research. Just like the U.S., Australia faces uncertainty about the continuity of operational funding for existing facilities, as well as a lack of operational funding for some of the new facilities for which construction funding has been allocated. More
South African Institute of Physics set to meet July 12-15

The South African Institute of Physics will convene its 2011 annual meeting July 12 at Pretoria's Saint George Hotel. The scientific program includes tracks in condensed matter and materials physics; nuclear, particle and radiation physics; lasers, optics and spectroscopy; astrophysics; space science; physics education; applied and industrial physics; and theoretical and computational physics.

The program also includes a winter school in computational physics and a workshop on biophysics.

More information is available at the conference website.

Science in Africa: The view from the front line
Nature News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The forecast for science in Africa has brightened over the past decade. Africa's nations are achieving some success in building their science capacity, but the foundations remain unsteady. Money is just one of many problems. Nature reports in the following profiles of six nations that highlight some of the issues confronting the region. More

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Ghana to establish space science center    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Ghanaian government will soon establish a space science center to provide accurate information about economic impact of climate conditions. The project, which is set to be inaugurated in July, is a partnership between Ghana and South Africa. It would also seek to enhance communication, technology, astronomy and astrophysics for national development. More

Africa seeks to become astronomy hub
Southern Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With a solid proposal to host the Square Kilometer Array that is competitive both on economic and scientific measures, two proposals to host the Cherenkov Telescope Array, commitments to build the MeerKAT and the African VLBI network, construction of research telescopes in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Egypt, amongst similar plans in several other countries, existing telescopes at Sutherland, the birth of the Africa Astronomical Society, and the emergence of a new generation of Africa astronomers, Africa is well on track to become a hub for astronomy. More

Future of MeerKAT radio telescope array project assured
Creamer Media's Engineering News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
South Africa's Deputy Science and Technology Minister has assured South Africans that the country's MeerKAT radio telescope array project will go ahead whether or not this country succeeds in its bid to host the $2 billion international Square Kilometer Array telescope. A bid by eight African countries, led by South Africa and another bid by Australia/New Zealand are shortlisted to host the SKA, which will be by far the biggest radio telescope on Earth. "Whether we get it [the SKA] or not, we are proceeding with the MeerKAT," he asserted. More

Nobel laureate fuels South Africa's telescope dream
Independent Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Have courage, it's worth it. Wonderful things will happen." That was the encouragement for the International Square Kilometer Array radio telescope project from astrophysicist and Nobel Prize winner Dr. John C. Mather, speaking at the SKA2011 conference in Banff, Canada. South African Minister of Science Naledi Pandor also reiterated that her country is committed to the SKA. "We have made noteworthy progress on the precursor telescope MeerKAT. Over the past year all important milestones related to MeerKAT had been achieved, many of them ahead of schedule, and I am also pleased to confirm that the commissioning of the KAT-7 Array will be completed by the end of 2011," she said. More

National Society of Black Physicists jobs board postings
NSBP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Assistant/Associate Professor
South African Research Chairs
Project Officer: IAU Global Office of Astronomy for Development (3 Year Contract)
Faculty Position in Theoretical Solid State Physics
APS Scholarship Program for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors
National Astrophysics and Space Science Program
Visiting Professor
Postdoctoral Research Associate Positions

Latest research from the Journal of Materials Research
Journal of Materials Research    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Formation of the solidified microstructure of Mg–Al–Zn alloy under a low-voltage pulsed magnetic field

Liquid droplet dynamics and complex morphologies in vapor–liquid–solid nanowire growth

Investigation of the sintering pressure and thermal conductivity anisotropy of melt-spun spark-plasma-sintered (Bi,Sb)2Te3 thermoelectric materials

Effects of precipitated phase and order degree on bending properties of an Fe-6.5 wt%Si alloy with columnar grains

A review: Large-scale integration of single-walled carbon nanotubes and graphene into sensors and devices using dielectrophoresis

Latest research from IOP Journal
Europhysics Letters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article

Mixed flux-equipartition solutions of a diffusion model of nonlinear cascades

Are stress-free membranes really 'tensionless'?

The influence of the optical Stark effect on chiral tunneling in graphene

Plasmon polaritons in 1D Cantor-like fractal photonic superlattices containing a left-handed material

Determining the electron-phonon coupling strength from Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering at transition metal L-edges

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