Category Archives: Outreach and Alumni

The Physics of Skiing

 

Mont Ripley
Mont Ripley

Mont Ripley partnered with the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College PEAR Center, to provide 13 Middle and high school age kids with 10 ski or snowboard lessons, paid for with a grant from the Department of Education. To fulfill the grant, the students had to participate in a science-related activity. The science activity was provided by Michigan Tech physicists Dustin Winslow, and Chiumun Michelle Hui, who presented “The Physics of Skiing.”

From Tech Today.

Physics Faculty, Graduate Students, Alumni at 2015 March APS Meeting

MM15logo-web-grayMembers of the Department of Physics and alumni attended the 2015 Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) on March 4-9 in San Antonio, Texas.

Attendees affiliated with Michigan Tech were alumni Saikat Mukhopadhyay (’12, now at Oak Ridge National Lab), Partha Pal (’11, now at Northwestern University), Subhasish Mandal (’12, now at Yale University), Pradeep Kumar (’13, now at University of Wisconsin–Madison), Xiaoliang Zhong (’13, now at Argonne National Lab), physics graduate students Gaoxue Wang and Kamal Dhungana, Prof. Ranjit Pati, and Chair of Physics Prof. Ravi Pandey.

The APS March Meeting 2015 had over 10,000 in attendance.

VIEW THE PHOTO ALBUM

Communicating Nanoscience and Engineering

PhD Students Learn to Communicate their Research

Alex Mayer, the Charles and Patricia Nelson Presidential Professor at Michigan Tech, runs a fellowship program that teaches PhD students in a variety of fields to explain their research in K-12 classrooms and to write news releases to communicate with the public through the media.

Here are this year’s student releases.

Communicating Nanoscience and Engineering – Possibilities and Pitfalls

Nanoscale science and engineering is a flourishing field that holds great potential for solving current and future problems.

But what is the best way to communicate with an audience unfamiliar with the nanoscience and engineering community? Yoke Khin Yap, professor of physics and adjunct professor of materials science and engineering, says, “In order to communicate really effectively, you need to speak in their language.”

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Jennifer Donovan, Anika Kuczynski and others.

Raymond Shaw Speaks on Lake Effect Snow in the Keweenaw

klein_rf05_2011-11-07-21-51-15-644_125.9mm_000Lake Superior in my driveway: lake effect snow in the Keweenaw
Raymond Shaw

Carnegie Museum Seminar
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
6:30 pm Refreshments and introductions
7-8 pm Seminar and discussion
Carnegie Museum Community Room, Downtown Houghton

Carnegie Community Natural History Discussion Jan. 13

Professor Raymond Shaw (Physics) will lead a discussion on lake effect snow titled “Lake Superior in My Driveway: Lake Effect Snow in the Keweenaw?” on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at the Carnegie Museum in Houghton.

This discussion is part of a monthly series on the geoheritage and natural history of the Keweenaw. The discussions are aimed at the general public, but discuss current research and science.

The museum will open at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments, with the lecture and discussion beginning at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. For questions, contact the Carnegie Museum at 482-7140.

From Tech Today.

Lecture: Lake Superior in my driveway: lake effect snow in the Keweenaw?

Professor Shaw explains his discussion: “Whether you enjoy skiing, snow shoeing, or sledding, and in fact even if you simply endure the snow shoveling, lake effect snow is part of daily life in the Keweenaw for almost half of the year. Our peninsular home is surrounded by Lake Superior, which when conditions are right, becomes a giant snow-making machine.”

Read more at the College of Engineering Blog.

PH 3210 Optics Lab Poster Session

Optics Poster Session 2014
Optics Poster Session 2014

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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.

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

Abstract:

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.

50 Years of Fisher Hall

Fisher Hall
Fisher Hall

Fisher Hall has reached a milestone this fall: the big 5-0.

Anyone attending Tech within the last fifty years knows this campus landmark, which has been many things for many people—home for mathematics and physics majors, headquarters for gen ed courses, terror for first-years in chemistry, budget entertainment, and even a venue for true love (more on that later). Fisher has a character all its own—an identity that is as much tied to the Huskies who walked its halls as it is seated in the building’s physical attributes.

Fisher Hall is dedicated on October 7, 1964, replacing Hubbell Hall as the new home for the mathematics and physics department and engineering graphics. Much fanfare follows.

Read more at Michigan Tech Magazine Fall 2014, by Karina Jousma.