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Home   About   Membership   Conference   Public Policy   Job Board    Nov. 24, 2010
  National Society of Black Physicists    African Physical Society   South African Institute of Physics    
NSBP supported NASSP student wins research award
Southern Africa Astronomical Observatory    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NSBP member Thuso Simon, a Ph.D. student at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, recently won best poster honors for his work on X-ray transients. Working with the large dataset available from the X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission - Newton, Simon is using several statistical methods to find X-ray emission transients that are on the order of 10 seconds. Such "blinking" transients could be caused by supernovae, gamma-ray burst, X-ray bursts and changes in accretion rate. Click here for more.

Simon is completing his Ph.D. in astrophysics through the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP). He is supported by a fellowship awarded by NSBP made possible by the WK Kellogg Foundation. Click here for more.

NSBP president visits US Navy labs at China Lake, Calif.
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NSBP President, Dr. Peter Delfyett, was the distinguished colloquium speaker at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake, Calif., where he explained recent advancements in optical signal processing. Delfyett and his research team at the University of Central Florida have been developing a compact, efficient optical source that can produce many optical frequencies and wavelength channels from a single device.

According to Delfyett, the advantages of using semiconductor lasers instead of solid-state lasers are numerous. "A conventional, solid-state laser is large and electrically inefficient," he explained. "It operates at a relatively low speed of 100 megahertz (MHz). A semiconductor provides the right wavelength for the Department of Defense (DoD), [from] 300 nanometers (nm) to greater than 10 microns (µm), via bandgap engineering. [A semiconductor laser] can be powered by watch batteries and is small (hundreds of microns) and lightweight." Semiconductor lasers are also electrically efficient. Click here for more.

NSBP member, Phillip Land is an employee at China Lake and arranged the visit. NSBP and the U.S. Navy have a working partnership to increase diversity in the Navy's scientific work force. At the 2005 NSBP conference, Land became aware of the opportunities with the Navy. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree at Maryland and Master of Science at Alabama A&M. He hopes to complete his Ph.D. degree through his employment with the Navy.

Former NSBP board member, Dr. Wendell Hill, also recently was a colloquium speaker at China Lake where he talked about the 50-year history of the laser.

Antimatter atoms produced and trapped at CERN
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The ALPHA experiment at CERN has successfully trapped anti-hydrogen atoms for a long enough period (1-2 tenths of a second) to study the anti-matter spectroscopic ally. This is an important step to understand any differences between matter and antimatter. The Standard Model of particle physics, specifically the conjugation/parity/time reversal (CPT) theorem, predicts that hydrogen and antihydrogen atoms should be identical. The 1s-to-2s transition of hydrogen is known to very high precision, so subjecting antihydrogen to rigorous spectroscopic examination would constitute a compelling, model-independent test of CPT. And the gravitational properties of antimatter may reveal the secrets of dark energy. More

American Institute of Physics is conducting a global physics survey: Last chance to have your voice heard
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The American Institute of Physics is collecting responses to the global survey of physicists. The survey has been open for some time, but if you have not already participated, please do so at Make sure your response is included in this unprecedented effort to collect data from physicists across the globe. The survey will be until Nov. 30.

Astronomers witness the apparent birth of a black hole
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
For the first time, scientists believe they have witnessed the birth of a black hole. The evidence began arriving 30 years ago from a star 50 million light-years away that had imploded, setting into motion events that created a region where gravity is so great that nothing can escape, even light. The initial 1979 observation of the exploding star was made by an amateur astronomer from Western Maryland, but the profession's top scientists have studied it intently with increasingly sophisticated orbiting X-ray telescopes. More

Physics and Thanksgiving
About Physics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving Nov. 25. The holiday gives several opportunities to educate friends and family about physics. Blogger Andrew Zimmerman Jones offers a simple physics-based analysis that will result in the perfect roasted turkey. Measuring the shear modulus of jello by timing its harmonic motion is always a fun Thanksgiving physics experiment. The plethora of cakes and breads are ripe for percolation analyses. Maxwell's equations and Lambert's law can easily be tested in a variety of oil-water emulsions, a microwave oven, and a probe thermometer. (In memoriam of Professor H. Ted Davis)

During the Thanksgiving holiday, many physicists will undoubtedly be asked about the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) body scanners. Working on the principle of Compton scattering, airport scanners create a 2-D image based on the reflections of X-rays from various materials near the surface of the body. Health physicists have estimated that a person undergoing a backscatter scan receives 0.05-0.09 micro Sieverts of radiation. But during a normal six hour flight a person would receive 20 micro-Sieverts from cosmic background radiation. Click here for more.

The risk of harmful radiation exposure from backscatter scans is very small, according to David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University and a professor of radiation biophysics. But John Sedat and three of his colleagues recently wrote to the White House that the government's method of risk assessment is flawed because the radiation exposure is only to the skin and not to the entire body. Thus the risk of skin cancer is actually much higher than the overall cancer risk. Michael Love of Johns Hopkins University asserts that "statistically someone is going to get skin cancer from these X-rays."

Terahertz wave technology might be a viable alternative to X-ray based scanners because it is non-ionizing. Moreover, some materials often have a specific terahertz fingerprint, perhaps giving unmistakable identification of illicit substances. In either case the privacy issues can easily be solved by image processing algorithms, according Lawrence Livermore physicist Bill Wattenburg. Click here for more.

Finally, for your Thanksgiving physics conversations with friends and family, despite the recent trapping of antimatter at CERN, the plot of the movie Angels and Demons is still very far-fetched.

Astronomers discover first planet from outside Earth's galaxy
Deutsche Welle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Slightly larger than the size of Jupiter, the largest in our solar system, the newly discovered exoplanet is orbiting a star 2,000 light years from Earth that has found its way into the Milky Way. The pair of bodies is believed to be part of the Helmi stream, a group of stars that remains after its mini-galaxy was devoured by the Milky Way some six to nine billion years ago, said the study, recently published in the journal Science Express. More

National Society of Black Physicists Jobs Board Postings
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Faculty Position in Gravitational Physics/Cosmology
The CERN Summer Student Program
Assistant/Associate/Professor of Biological Sciences and of Physics
Assistant/Associate/Professor of Biological Sciences and of Physics
CERN Technical Student Programme
Physics Consultant Opportunities with McGraw-Hill
Assistant Professor - Dept. of Physics
Summer Research Intern
Research Experience for Undergraduates
Assistant Professor of Physics
Assistant Professor
Faculty Position in "Experimental X-ray Condensed Matter"
REU Scholar
Faculty Position in Cosmology/Astroparticle Physics/Gravitational Waves
Faculty Position in Particle Theory
NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Program
Faculty Position in Applied Physics
Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program
AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships

Latest research from APL: Organic Electronics and Photonics
APL: Organic Electronics and Photonics    Share    Share on
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Color-tunable multilayer organic light emitting diode composed of DNA complex and tris(8-hydroxyquinolinato)aluminum

A route to strong p-doping of epitaxial graphene on SiC

Current-voltage characteristics of organic photovoltaic cells following deposition of cathode electrode

Increased open-circuit voltage in bulk-heterojunction solar cells using a C60 derivative

Enhanced power conversion efficiency of p-i-n type organic solar cells by employing a p-layer of palladium phthalocyanine

Anode modification of inverted polymer solar cells using graphene oxide


Latest research from the New Journal of Physics
New Journal of Physics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article

Rare earth monopnictides and monochalcogenides from first principles: Towards an electronic phase diagram of strongly correlated materials

Partial control of chaotic transients using escape times

Rydberg-atom trajectories in a ponderomotive optical lattice

Secondary bifurcation of mixed-cross-spirals connecting travelling wave solutions

Markovian master equations: A critical study

Intrinsic high-frequency characteristics of graphene layers

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