Category Archives: Research

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.

Yoke Khin Yap on the Faculty Fellow Program

Faculty Fellow Program Information Session Jan 27

The Vice President for Research Office will host an information session on the Faculty Fellow Program from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, January 27. The session will be held in room 404 of the Administration Building.

This session will be presented by the 2014 Faculty Fellow recipients: Adrienne Minerick, Yoke Khin Yap and Larry Sutter. They will provide information on the program and share their experience.

The Faculty Fellow Program expands familiarity with Sponsored Program Administration and strategic planning among the faculty, develops leadership capacity among the faculty and improves Sponsored Programs Administration and strategic planning through faculty input. To learn more about the Faculty Fellow Program, please visit the Faculty Fellow Program website.

Registration begins today and ends on January 26. To register, please visit the event’s site.

There will be desserts and beverages provided; please bring your own lunch.

For additional information please contact Cathy Codere at 7-3043 or cmbanfie@mtu.edu.

From Tech Today.

Proposals in Progress January 5, 2015

PI Will Cantrell and Co-PIs Claudio Mazzoleni and Raymond Shaw (Physics/EPSSI), “A Coupled Laboratory and Modeling Investigation of the Mechanisms of Primary Ice Production in Arctic Stratus Clouds,” US Department of Energy

PI Claudio Mazzoleni (Physics/EPSSI) and Co-PIs Lynn Mazzoleni (Chem/EPSSI), Will Cantrell (Physics/EPSSI), Judith Perlinegr (CEE/EPSSI), Sarah Green (Chem/EPSSI) and Bo Zhang (CEE/EPSSI), “Free Tropospheric and Marine Boundary Layer Aerosol Interactions in the North Atlantic,” US DOE

Read more at Tech Today.

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.

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.

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.

Proposals in Progress November 20, 2014

PI Andrew Barnard and Co-PIs Scott Miers (MEEM) and Yoke Khin Yap (Physics), “Carbon Nanotube Speaker Efficiency Improvement and Prototype Design,” US Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research

PI Will Cantrell (Physics/EPSSI), “Collaborative Research: Bottom-Up Cloud Modeling: Building Molecular Level Foundations for Heterogeneous Ice Nucleation in Clouds,” Clemson University

PI Ranjit Pati (Physics), “Collaborative Research: Parallel Fabrication of CNT-Based Spin Transistors Toward Post-CMOS Molecular Scale Spin Logic,” NSF

Read more at Tech Today.

Mazzoleni on the Future of Pico Mountain Observatory

Atlantic observatory faces rocky future
Mountaintop facility in Azores can track pollution from North America.

For the past 13 years, atmospheric scientists have been tasting the air above Pico Mountain, a dormant volcano in the Azores archipelago. From a perch at 2,225 metres, just below the mountain’s summit, the Pico observatory can dip directly into the gases and particulates that sweep across the Atlantic Ocean.

Other high-altitude stations in the oceans, such as on the Canary Islands, are closer to Africa, and their measurements can be influenced by dust and particles from biomass burning, says Claudio Mazzoleni, an atmospheric physicist at MTU. “In the case of Pico it’s north enough to get mostly air coming from North America and travelling to Europe,” he says. “There isn’t any other place that is on that path at that elevation.”

Read more at Nature, by Alexandra Witze.

Nature, one of the top science journals in the world, published a news article about the Pico Observatory atmospheric research of Associate Professor Claudio Mazzoleni (Physics) and Associate Professor Lynn Mazzoleni (Chem).

From Tech Today.