Category Archives: Research

Pandey Group Publishes Most Excellent Recent Paper

1.4919389.figures.online.f2The following paper from Professor Ravi Pandey’s research group has been selected as one of the most excellent recent papers that report significant advances in 2D materials beyond graphene.

Effects of extrinsic point defects in phosphorene: B, C, N, O, and F adatoms
Gaoxue Wang, Ravindra Pandey, Shashi P. Karna
Appl. Phys. Lett. 106, 173104 (2015)

The papers are hand selected by Associate Editor Roger K. Lake of the University of California Riverside and reported in AIP Applied Physics Letters. The selected articles are free to read for a limited time.

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.

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

Raymond Shaw Reviews Physical Hydrodynamics

Raymond Shaw reviewed Physical Hydrodynamics by Etienne Guyon, Jean-Pierre Hulin, Luc Petit, Catalin D. Mitescu.

I wish I could take every one of my physics students for a walk through the halls and rooms at the annual meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics. Maybe the best time would be right after their first advanced course in classical mechanics. I would exclaim, “Look, you’ve only just begun, there is so much more!” The meeting is a veritable carnival of physicists…

Read more at the American Journal of Physics.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.4929153

Teresa Wilson on Fata Morgana

Teresa A. Wilson
Teresa A. Wilson

National Geographic quoted Michigan Tech graduate student Teresa Wilson (Physics) in an article about a special kind of atmospheric mirage known as a Fata Morgana.

From Tech Today.

China’s Floating City and The Science of Mirages

They’re common in polar regions, says Teresa Wilson, a graduate student in physics at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, in an email. “But [they] can happen anywhere.” People have even seen fata morgana in the Strait of Messina between Italy and Sicily.

Read more at National Geographic, by Jane J. Lee.

Michigan Tech Team Helps Clarify the Impacts of Black Carbon in Nature Communications Study

Black CarbonDust specks are touted for their insignificance. But black carbon particles have global impact. Michigan Technological University researchers collaborated with a team from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and several other universities to shed light on the complex way black carbon and solar radiation interact to increase warming in the atmosphere. The research came out this week in Nature Communications.

Michigan Tech’s team focused on the microscopy work, which is also important for other research done in the lab and in the field, from thecloud chamber on campus to atmospheric monitoring on Pico Mountain in the Azores. Understanding the impacts of atmospheric particles will help refine climate change models, weather predictions and provide better information for making policies on black carbon and other short-lived pollutants.

Black Carbon

Black carbon is basically soot. The particles—similar in size to corn starch dust—make their way into the air from cooking fires, automobiles, industrial plants, wildfires and other kinds of burning. And rarely is black carbon just black carbon; the soot is often mixed with other atmospheric particles. Claudio Mazzoleni, an associate professor of physics at Michigan Tech, and his collaborators have to separate out the black carbon from everything else by heating up the particles.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Allison Mills.

New HOLODEC Study in Science on Using Holography to Better Understand Clouds

HOLODEC StudyOctober 1, 2015—
Watching the clouds go by, swirls of white puff up and melt away. The changes mirror mixing within the clouds as drier air mingles with water-saturated air. New research led by Michigan Technological University with support from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz University, analyzes this mixing with holographic imaging and an airborne laboratory.

This new way of seeing clouds—and the unusual mixing behavior observed in them—is the focus of the team’s study, published in Science this week. Sharp boundaries form as dry air completely evaporates some water drops and leaves others unscathed. The findings will influence models that help predict weather and climate change.

Clouds
Raymond Shaw, a professor of physics at Michigan Tech, looks at the smallest part of clouds: droplets. To understand groups of droplets, Shaw and the NCAR team flew airplanes through fluffy, cottonball cumulus clouds in Wyoming and Colorado. Aboard the plane, the team took detailed 3-D images with an instrument called the Holographic Detector for Clouds (HOLODEC—yes, like Star Trek’s “holodeck”). These particular clouds were only made up of liquid water, and the size of those drops is a key part of cloud formation and mixing.

Read more and watch the video at Michigan Tech News, by Allison Mills.

What’s At The Edge Of A Cloud?

Scientists have just made a breakthrough in understanding how clouds interact with the surrounding air by studying some of the most boring clouds you can imagine in unprecedented detail.

“If you ask a child to draw a cloud they would draw a white puffy cloud floating in the air all by itself — and that’s the kind of cloud we were looking at,” says Raymond Shaw, an atmospheric scientist at Michigan Technological University.

Read more and listen to the “All Things Considered” podcast at NPR News, Minnesota Public Radio, by Nell Greenfieldboyce.