Archives—December 2015

In Memoriam: David Lucas

David Lucas
David Lucas


David James Lucas, loving husband, father, brother, and friend passed away Wednesday, December 16, 2015.

Dave was born August 23, 1953 in Ironwood, Michigan to the late John and Alice (Cirolini) Lucas. He married Marsha (Erickson) Lucas on June 2, 1979 in Ironwood, Michigan. Dave graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in 1971. After obtaining his Associates degree from Gogebic Community College in 1973 he completed his Bachelors degree from Michigan State University in 1975.

He earned his Master’s degree at Michigan Technological University in 1977. Dave began his professional career at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York before returning to MTU where in 1986, he was the very first person to earn a PhD in Physics.

He took a position in the Physics Department at Northern Michigan University, becoming tenured and promoted to associate professor in 1991. During sabbatical at Argon National Laboratories, in 1992-1993, Dave was able to research and co-author a paper with a Nobel Prize winning physicist. After returning to NMU, he became full-professor in 1997, Pre-Medical/Pre-Health Professional Advisor in 1998 and head of the Physics Department in 2001 where he touched the lives of countless students while guiding their career paths. He was named a Northern Michigan University Distinguished faculty member in 2006 and an “Outstanding Alumni” from Gogebic Community College in 2013.

Read more by the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home.

New X Prize Announced

At a keynote address Tuesday during the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of XPRIZE, announced the launch of the $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, a three-year global competition challenging teams to advance ocean technologies for rapid and unmanned ocean exploration.

As part of the total $7M prize, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is offering a million dollar bonus prize to teams that demonstrate their technology can “sniff out” a specified object in the ocean through biological and chemical signals. David Schewitz, Shell vice president of geophysics for the Americas, and Richard Spinrad, chief scientist at NOAA, joined Diamandis on stage to launch the new competition.

David Ciochetto, research engineer in Michigan Tech’s Physics Department feels the competition could be of special interest to the Great Lakes Research Center community and to those in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering working on underwater robotics.

From Tech Today, by David Ciochetto.

PH 4999 Quantum Optics for Huskies Spring 2016

Quantum Optics
Quantum Optics for Huskies

This course is a very elementary introduction to the concept of the photon and how it evolved since it was first introduced to solve the black body mystery. We will glance over Einstein’s contribution to developing the notion of the photon and and its statistical nature. Interestingly, Einstein later become a strong opponent to the very concept that he created. That will take us to his famous EPR (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen) paper that declared quantum mechanics is incomplete. Moving ahead, we will study the ingenious work by John Bell who showed for the first time that the questions raised by Einstein can be tested experimentally. We will learn about some of these experiments and how the concept of photon entanglement was born. We will also discuss some interesting developments in the field, such as
and quantum communications.

Instructor: Ramy El-Ganainy
Course title: Quantum Optics for Huskies
Course credit: 1.0
Class time: Wednesdays 4:00 – 5:00 (subject to change later)
Course number: PH4999
Course description: An introduction to the concept of light quanta and its evolution over the past century; from black body radiation to photon entanglement and quantum communication.

NDSEG Fellowship for Recent Graduate Michael Adler

Michael Adler
Michael Adler

Physics alumnus Michael Adler (’14) is a recipient of the 2015 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. The fellowship is sponsored and funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) in order to increase the number of U.S. citizens and nationals trained in science and engineering disciplines of military importance.

Now in the PhD program in aerospace engineering at the Ohio State University, Adler received the 2014 Ian W. Shepherd Award from the Department of Physics while at Michigan Tech.

Atmospheric Sciences Ranks in Top 50 for Research Spending

National Science FoundationThe National Science Foundation (NSF) has released its annual research spending report, and Michigan Tech has moved up in its rankings.

Of 634 institutions that received research funding in 2014, Tech received $68.5 million, ranking 163rd overall nationwide. The University ranked 117th among public institutions.

Atmospheric science — a new interdisciplinary category — received $3.1 million and ranked 34th.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Jennifer Donovan.

Research in the atmospheric sciences at Michigan Tech is highly interdisciplinary and involves scientists from across campus, including the Departments of Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, and Physics, and the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. Research has been supported by DOD, DOE, EPA, NASA, NOAA, NSF, and the private sector.

Chad Brisbois Places Second at Fermi Symposium Poster Session

Fermi SymposiumPhysics graduate student Chad Brisbois presented a poster at the Sixth International Fermi Symposium, which took place in Arlington, VA, on November 9-13, 2015. The poster won second place in the student poster contest sponsored by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA).

NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope observes light in the photon energy range of 8,000 electronvolts (8 keV) to greater than 300 billion electronvolts (300 GeV). It was launched in 2008.

The symposium showcases how the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope continues to revolutionize our understanding of the high-energy Universe. It highlights results from a variety of multi-wavelength and multi-messenger studies.

USRA is an independent, nonprofit research corporation whose mission is to advance the space- and aeronautics-related sciences exploration through innovative research, technology, and education programs; promote space and aeronautics policy; and develop and operate premier facilities and programs by involving universities, governments, and the private sector for the benefit of humanity.

Brisbois’ advisor is Robert Nemiroff.

Just shake it! in Nanowerk

NanoparticleRecent research conducted by postdoctoral researchers and students in Yoke Khin Yap’s (Physics) laboratory has received unsolicited news coverage in Nano Werk. The article is titled “Just shake it! A simple way to remove nanomaterial pollutants from water.”

The team demonstrated that water contaminated with nanomaterials can be cleaned up by a ‘hand shaking’ approach that can be performed even in a kitchen.

From Tech Today.

Just shake it! A simple way to remove nanomaterial pollutants from water

“In our new work, we have demonstrated that water contaminated with nanomaterials can be cleaned up by a ‘hand shaking’ approach that can be performed even in a kitchen.” Dr. Yoke Khin Yap, a professor in the Department of Physics at Michigan Technological University, tells Nanowerk. “Our approach is simple and universal, and can be used for many one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials including nanotubes, nanowires, graphene, and nanosheets. Therefore, our approach would support continue development of nanotechnology by reducing the risk of water contamination.”

Read more at Nanowerk, by Michael Berger.

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b07542