Category Archives: History





Meet the Physics Faculty and Staff

Physics Faculty and Staff Fall 2015
Physics Faculty and Staff Fall 2015

From left to right: Andrea Lappi, John Jaszczak, Ranjit Pati, Don Beck, Bob Weidman, Wil Slough, Ramy El-Ganainy, Brian Fick, Claudio Mazzoleni, Bryan Suits, Miguel Levy, Alex Kostinski, Debbie Linn, Kimberly Oldt, Ravi Pandey, Will Cantrell, Yoke Khin Yap, Ray Shaw, Petra Huentemeyer, Bob Nemiroff, Jacek Borysow, and Max Seel.

Find all of the faculty and staff of the Department of Physics.


APOD is 20 Years Old

APOD VermeerAstronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) was launched this day in 1995. The massively followed online site is maintained by APOD co-founders Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell.

The 20th anniversary APOD image is a digital re-pixelation of a Vermeer using over 5,000 APOD images that have been featured on the site.

Nemiroff and Bonnell were interviewed by The Verge.

20 years of space photos: an oral history of Astronomy Picture of the Day

Exploring the cosmos one day at a time

APOD launched on June 16, 1995. In advance of its milestone birthday, I spoke on the phone with the two guys who have run the site by hand for two decades, a seemingly unfathomable task in the age of ephemeral content. How do they do it? A combination of Microsoft Word, a fiery passion for astrophotography, and lots and lots of emails.

So where did the idea originally come from?

Robert Nemiroff: Jerry Bonnell and I shared an office at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and we were both — we’re still — active researchers. But the web was growing up, and so we brainstormed to try to figure out how we could contribute to this web. One idea, we thought, was maybe we can make lots of money, and buy a Hawaiian island or something. But that never worked out. [Laughs.]

Read more at The Verge, by Sean O’Kane.


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.



Professor Daavettila and the Nuke Program

Don Daavettila
Don Daavettila

Physics Faculty Emeritus Don Daavettila fondly recalls the days of the nuclear engineering master’s program at Michigan Tech. And the fact that nuclear power seems to be coming back in vogue after nearly fifty years doesn’t surprise him.

“Nuclear is the way to go,” says the former chemistry and physics professor. “It’s a solid 20 percent of where we get our power today.”

Read more at TechAlum Newsletter, by Don Daavettila.

Professor Daavettila

Physics alumni Kim Bylund (Warner), Ken Kok, and Marty Vonk share experiences with Professor Daavettila in From the Email Bag.

Read more at TechAlum Newsletter.