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Dec. 17, 2011
Volume: II
Number: 49
National Society of Black Physicists    African Physical Society    South African Institute of Physics   African Astronomical Society   
2012 will be a decisive year for particle physics
Quantum Diaries    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBriefShortly after the Higgs Seminar, Seth Zenz and Aidan Randle-Conde had a short, impromptu discussion about the results and what they mean for physics in the near future. Having already combined all data for 2010 and 2011 from more channels, CMS showed they now exclude all possible Higgs masses from 127 to 600 GeV with a 95% confidence level, leaving only a narrow window open between 114-127 GeV. ATLAS excludes masses above 131 GeV up to 453 GeV with the same confidence level, but also between 114-115.5 GeV. Therefore the focus is on mass ranges between 115.5 and 127 GeV. More

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Evolution or revolution? The search for the Higgs boson puts particle physics on the threshold of a new era
Quantum Diaries    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Discovering the Higgs particle at the LHC would be a triumph, but showing that it doesn’t exist could be at least as exciting, perhaps heralding a revolution in our understanding of nature at a fundamental level. The Higgs mechanism forms part of the Standard Model of particle physics. But the simplest form of the Higgs mechanism is not the only possible explanation. And though it works extremely well, the Standard Model cannot be a complete theory. There are many other possible theories such as supersymmetry, which could account for the mysterious dark matter of the Universe, or theories predicting extra dimensions of space, which, if verified, would truly revolutionize our understanding of the Universe in which we live. More

Disaster looms for gas cloud falling into Milky Way's central black hole
UC Berkeley    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A cloud of hydrogen and helium gas – a cloud about three times the mass of Earth - is hurtling towards its demise at the hands of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. This is providing astronomers with a unique opportunity to observe physics near black holes. As reported in Nature the cloud has begun to disrupt, probably mainly through tidal shearing arising from the black hole’s gravitational force. By 2013, astronomers should see outbursts of X-rays and radio waves as the cloud gets hotter and is torn asunder. The Chandra X-ray satellite has already scheduled its largest single chunk of observation time in 2012 near the Milky Way’s central black hole. More

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Scientists report first solar cell producing more electrons in photocurrent than solar photons entering cell    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have reported in Science the first solar cell that produces a photocurrent that has an external quantum efficiency greater than 100 percent when photoexcited with photons from the high energy region of the solar spectrum. The mechanism for producing a quantum efficiency above 100 percent with solar photons is based on a process called Multiple Exciton Generation, or Carrier Multiplication, whereby a single absorbed photon of appropriately high energy can produce more than one electron-hole pair per absorbed photon. More

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High-energy physicists set record for network data transfer
California Institute of Technology    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A team of high-energy physicists, computer scientists, and network engineers have set a new world record for data transfer, helping to usher in the next generation of high-speed network technology. The achievement will help establish new ways to transport the increasingly large quantities of data that traverse continents and oceans via global networks of optical fibers. The fast transfer rate is crucial for dealing with the tremendous amounts of data coming from the LHC and astronomy observatories, including what is projected to come from the Square Kilometer Array. More

Hunting for meteorites and their clues to Earth's origins
CBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Meteorites are clues that contain information about the universe and how our own planet and solar system were formed. Most meteorites that fall to Earth come from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, which is a veritable "junk pile" of rocks, dust and other space debris that lack the mass and gravitational pull to come together to form a planet. Some meteorites are chunks of Mars or the moon that have broken off when they were struck hard enough by a piece of space debris. More

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Let there be a year of light
Physics World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With a whole host of anniversaries set for 2015 in optics and electromagnetism, Luisa Cifarelli, president of the European Physical Society, calls for the year to be designated the International Year of Light. More

Granular flow of a melting avalanche
American Physical Society    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a paper in Physical Review Letters, Barbara Turnbull at the University of Nottingham, tells us how she measured the significant effect of melting on the behavior of ice flows, which therefore differ from dry granular shear flows. The observations appear to confirm that lubrication and capillary action resulting from melting and wetting provide a positive feedback to granular ice flow, like avalanches. Interfacial melting increases flow velocity, which in turn speeds up the melting. Avalanches are significant tragedies that have claimed numerous human lives. Turbill’s experiments offer a well-controlled methodology to study the physics of these events. More

Researchers explain granular material properties
Brandeis University    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a study reported in Nature, physicists at Brandeis in collaboration with Duke University explain how granular materials are transformed from a loose state to a solid state, a process called 'jamming,' when a shear force is applied at a particular angle. Jamming is the extension of the concept of freezing to the transition from a fluid state to a jammed state. A jamming of grains in silos can cause catastrophic failures. Avalanches are examples of unjamming, which need to be understood in order to prevent and control. More

Masters of the Universe:
National Society of Black Physicists

Kicking cancer with carbon ions
Symmetry Breaking    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Shooting intense beams of protons into tumors to destroy them while leaving nearby tissues largely unharmed has been in vogue since the 1960s. Globally, however, many centers offering such beam-based cancer treatment, known as hadron therapy, are looking to more massive carbon ions for their unique therapeutic promise. While protons may only damage one strand of DNA in a tumor cell, eventually causing its death, carbon ions cripple both strands in the double helix. Thus the heavier carbon ions make a more potent beam and have a better chance to kill cells traditional methods haven’t been able to. More

Plasma Medicine
Plasma Medicine publishes reports of medical applications of plasma science and technology. Over the most recent decade plasmas have widely used in surgeries and endoscopic procedures, to promote wound healing, and to treat cancer. Plasmas have been shown to control properties of cellular and tissue matrices, including biocompatibility of various substrates. Nonthermal plasmas have been demonstrated to deactivate dangerous pathogens and to stop bleeding without damaging healthy tissue.

Chair of US House Science Committee: Climate scientists are driven by financial motives
Science Insider    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The chair of the House of Representatives science committee said in a recent interview that he doesn't think much of the investigations exonerating the scientists involved in the 2009 Climategate email scandal. Hall told the National Journal that he's "pretty close" to the views of his fellow Texan, Governor Rick Perry, in feeling that climate science may be an idea hatched by scientists to garner federal funding for their research. When the interviewer pointed to an article saying that nearly all climate researchers think human activity has led to global warming by increasing greenhouse gas emissions, Hall replied, "And they each get $5000 for every report like that they give out." More

New climate study reveals 'true global warming signal'; warming continues unabated
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Charts of global average temperature trends during the past several decades show a lot of short-term ups and downs, with an overall trend towards warmer than average conditions. Those zigs and zags from one year to the next are largely due to natural phenomena such as El Nino and La Nina. One of the major challenges facing climate researchers has been figuring out a way to tease out the signal of manmade climate change from the background "noise" of natural climate variability. A new study published in Environmental Research Letters is aimed at accomplishing this goal, and dispelling one of the key arguments made by skeptics of manmade climate change. More

Nominations wanted: Top physics and astronomy stories of 2011
NSBP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Reader poll: As this calendar year approaches its end, the editors of Waves and Packets are compiling a list of top breakthroughs in physics and astronomy for 2011. What breakthroughs in physics or astronomy get your vote as the most important of the year?

National Society of Black Physicists jobs board postings
NSBP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
AIP Congressional Fellows Program
Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Accelerator Physics Faculty
Baccalaureate Fellows Program
South African Research Chairs
APS Scholarship Program for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors
National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme
Visting Professor - NASSP South Africa
Postdoctoral Research Associate Positions
Mentor Opportunity Medical Physics Summer Experience Program (MUSE)
2012 Minority Undergraduate Summer Experience Program (MUSE)
Summer Internship
Jr. Faculty Search – Elementary Particle Theory
Undergraduate Researcher
REU Participant
Summer REU Intern
Assistant Professor
University of Cincinnati Experimental High Energy Physics Tenure Track Assistant Professor Position
Faculty Position in Observational or Theoretical Astrophysics
Univeristy of Cincinnati Experimental High Energy Physics Tenure Track Assistant Professor Position
Bucknell University - Assistant/Associate/Full Professor of Physics & Astronomy
NanoJapan: International Research Experience for Undergraduates
Lehigh University REU Program in Physics
Renewable Energy REU at the Colorado School of Mines
Faculty Position
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
Research Scientist in Computational Physics
Research Experiences in Astronomy for Undergraduate Students
HBCU STEM Fellowship Program

Advice for graduate students
Inside Higher Education
Steven Stearns offers some insight and advice for graduate students. Know thyself and know thy advisor. More

More advice for graduate students
Inside Higher Education
So much comes down to good writing skills. Steven Stearns offers some tips on how to write well and write strategically. More

Overcoming the imposter syndrome
At one time or another nearly every graduate student and new faculty member wonders about his or her competence. This is a common fear often referred to as the impostor syndrome. The impostor syndrome runs rampant in academia — and women are especially prone to it. How do you get over the impostor syndrome? Easier said than done. More

Ready. Set. Go. Transitioning from college to graduate school
Compared to your undergraduate education, graduate school is faster paced. Professors expect a lot of work to be done, and there's a lot less hand-holding. More

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
Designed as a unique and much-needed resource for educators, managers and policymakers, the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering publishes original, peer-reviewed papers that report innovative ideas and programs for classroom teachers, scientific studies and formulation of concepts related to the education, recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in science and engineering.

Latest research from Astrophysical Journal
IOPJournal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The pair fraction of massive galaxies at 0 ≤ z ≤ 3

Age spread in W3 main: Large binocular telescope/LUCI near-infrared spectroscopy of the massive stellar content

Millimeter multiplicity in DR21(OH): Outflows, molecular cores, and envelopes

Tracing the star-formation-density relation to z ~ 2

On the evolution of the cores of radio sources and their extended radio emission

Latest research from SPIE Reviews
SPIE Reviews    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tissue polarimetry: concepts, challenges, applications, and outlook

Technology review and assessment of nanoimprint lithography for semiconductor and patterned media manufacturing

Optical properties of nanostructured materials: a review

Laser-induced regeneration of cartilage

Microfluidic sensing: State of the art fabrication and detection techniques


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