Archives—December 2014

Ravi Pandey is a 2014 APS Fellow

Ravi Pandey
Ravi Pandey

Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics Dr. Ravi Pandey has been named a 2014 Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). The Fellowship election was announced at the November 2014 meeting of the Council of APS. Pandey was nominated by the Division of Computational Physics. The citation reads:

For creative use of advanced computational techniques from materials physics and quantum chemistry to gain insights into nanostructure behaviors, especially for his prescient recognition of the looming importance of such calculations for predicting bio-nano hybrid material properties.

Election to APS Fellowship is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the membership. Pandey’s name and citation will be published in the March 2015 issue of APS News.

Pandey thanks his teachers and acknowledges contributions from his students, postdocs and colleagues for over 25+ years.

PH 3210 Optics Lab Poster Session

Optics Poster Session 2014
Optics Poster Session 2014


The PH3210 Optics Lab would like to invite you to a poster session, which will be happening on Tuesday, December 9th from 3:00pm-4:00pm in the Fisher Atrium.

The Optics Lab students will be presenting posters detailing experiments they have performed in class or projects that they have created themselves related to the coursework. We would love for you to come and ask questions and see what the Optics Lab has been up to this year.

High Almetric Score for Time Traveler Story

Almetric Score Time Travelers
Almetric Score Time Travelers

Almetric, a website that tracks readership of scientific articles, reports that an article in arXIV—an archive of electronic science articles—about Professor Robert Nemiroff’s (Physics) search of the Internet for evidence of time travelers ranked second among the top 100 articles of 2014.

According to Almetric, this is one of the highest-ever scores in this journal, ranking second of 193,503. Almetric says this score puts the article in the top 5 percent of all articles, ranked by attention.
Almetric also reports that the story appeared in 29 news outlets, 22 blogs, 2,174 tweets, 265 Facebook posts, 52 Google+ mentions, 14 times on Reddit and one video.

MESTA to Award Salotti Earth Science Education Award

A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum
A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum

Since 1999, the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum has recognized individuals for excellence in earth science education with the Charles A. Salotti Earth Science Education Award. Now the mineral museum has a new partner in selecting the awardee: the Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association (MESTA).

“I am delighted that MESTA has agreed to partner with the museum to advance informal earth science education,” said John Jaszczak, museum adjunct curator and professor of physics, who has played a key role in the Salotti Award since its inception. “My own path to becoming a scientist started with informal mentoring in the mineral collecting hobby.”

Read more at Tech Today.

Naturally Graphite Supplies Samples for Study

Graphite on Tape
K-12 students prepare graphene using graphite and scotch tape.

Naturally GraphiteTM is a local business that started as a project of Nanotech Innovations Enterprise, a former Enterprise program at Michigan Tech operated by undergraduate students. The business, advised by Professor of Physics Dr. John Jaszczak, supplies high quality natural graphite crystals and substrates for research, industry, and education. Jaszczak also serves as adjunct curator at the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.

Naturally Graphite was recently credited with supplying graphite crystals to a research group at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec in Canada. The research, published in Physical Review Letters, involved the use of high-speed electron diffraction techniques to study electron-phonon coupling in graphite.

High quality graphite crystals from Naturally Graphite are also routinely sought by laboratories around the world for the production and study of graphene. As a single layer of carbon atoms in graphite, graphene often generates much interest in carbon-based nanotechnologies. Graphene exhibits unique and amazing mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties. It is strong, highly conductive, transparent, elastic, and impermeable.

Naturally Graphite also donated graphite crystals to K-12 for an outreach event, Family Math Night based in Rocklin, California. The event involved simple experiments with graphite, including an activity for cleaving the graphite into layers using scotch tape. This was the original experiment by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov from the University of Manchester that led to the discovery of graphene and a Nobel Prize in 2010.

Learn more about the graphene sheet lesson plan in the 22-minute video Family Math Night Collaborative Project: Graphene Sheet by Elementary Mathematics Specialist Karyn Hodgens,.  The description of the experiments begins at about 16:20.

Physics in Michigan Tech News

The Iron Stepping Stones To Better Wearable Tech Without Semiconductors
February 5, 2016
Shaking the Nanomaterials Out: New Method to Purify Water
December 11, 2015
New HOLODEC Study in Science on Using Holography to Better Understand Clouds
October 1, 2015
Michigan Tech Team Helps Clarify the Impacts of Black Carbon in Nature Communications Study
September 30, 2015
A Mousetrap Leads to $2 Million Gift to Physics Department
September 23, 2015
Better Together: Graphene-Nanotube Hybrid Switches
July 31, 2015
Science Helps Students Master Skiing
May 5, 2015
Falling Faster — Researchers Confirm Super-Terminal Raindrops
February 13, 2015
PhD Students Learn to Communicate their Research
February 12, 2015
Flashes from Faster-than-Light Spots May Help Illuminate Astronomical Secrets
January 8, 2015
Physics Chair Elected Fellow of American Physical Society
January 6, 2015
Physics Department Recognized Nationally for Percentage of Women PhDs
October 3, 2014
Michigan Tech Receives NSF Grant for Transmission Electron Microscope
August 26, 2014
A Little Light Magic
July 29, 2014
Three Generations, Seven Graduates, One Family
May 1, 2014

Mineralogical Miracles at Merelani, Tanzania

John A. Jaszczak 
Department of Physics and the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum Michigan Technological University

 December 5,  2014, 3:00pm Chemical Science Building, Room 101


The Lelatema Mountains in northern Tanzania are host to one of the world’s richest flake graphite deposits, but it is the purple-blue gem variety of zoisite called “tanzanite” that has brought renown to the region since the 1960s.

Read more at the Chemistry Newsblog.