Monday, November 29, 2010

Steve Whisnant is the 2011 CSM Madison Scholar!

Congratulations to our own Steve Whisnant who was recently named the Madison Scholar from the College of Science and Mathematics for 2010-11. Steve joins a list of esteemed colleagues in our college who have demonstrated the highest level of scholarship throughout their careers in their research and publishing and is the first in our department since Kevin Giovanetti in 2004. Next fall, Steve will give the Madison Scholar lecture to all of the college and tell us more about his work in nuclear physics. Join us in congratulating Steve.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Quark-Gluon Plasma Created at CERN

The ATLAS collaboration is reporting evidence of the quark-gluon plasma. The results were submitted to Physical Review Letters and accepted in fewer than 24 hours. This is really (really, really, really) fast, indicating how significant this is.

Details can be found at The Canadian Broadcasting Co. and in the CERN press release.

Here's some interesting stats

So. This blog is interesting primarily if you are interested in PandA @ JMU. We do occasionally put a few things of more general interest up, but we mostly blog about our department.

Thus, this leads to my surprise to find that we are being visiting from around the world. Consider the statistics for the last week:

United States
United Kingdom

I understand that most are from the US and there are a few curious folks in the UK or Latvia, but this week, like every the entire time the blog has been up...there are consistently folks in Russia and Germany checking us out. Germany and Russia are always in the top two spots after the US.

This could be navigation accidents, but to keep this up for months sounds like real curiosity about us. Isn't that interesting?!

Welcome one and all.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Helping out at Explore More

On Sunday, November 21, the folks at the Harrisonburg Childrens Museum (now known as the Explore More museum) held an open house to show off their beautiful new space on Main Street in downtown Harrisonburg. They invited JMU Physics and Astro faculty to come help out in the science lab room. Drs. Anca and Costel Constantin entertained the kids with images of galaxies and stars and fold up paper "buckyballs". They also showed kids the power of electricity and magnetism with the museum's collection of magnet toys and Van de Graaff generator. Later, Dr. Chris Hughes joined them and showed the kids and their parents how things like spinning tops and slinkies look different at high speed. We're always glad to help out in the community and congratulate our friends at HCM on their move to a new facility.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

The students are all home by now. The faculty are scattering as well and the university is settling into an angle of repose that is only possible when it is quite and empty. Everyone is now preparing for an excessively large meal of their favorite dishes.

Have a safe and happy holiday. See everyone in a week.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Video Contest!

Here in the PandA@JMU, we are always excited by new opportunities to learn and explore new physics phenomena. We want to get you excited as well, so we announcing the First Annual Video Contest. This is where you create a video to compete for cash prizes for you and your school. Here's how it works: your team creates an original video which demonstrates and explains something related to physics. You submit it to us for judging and the top 5 teams will be invited to JMU for an awards presentation.  All finalists will receive a monetary prize.

To submit an entry in this contest, a video less than 3 minutes in length must be emailed to Scott Paulson. The deadline for submissions is 9:00 a.m. EST March 14, 2011. All standard video formats will be accepted.

For complete details, visit the video contest web page.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Meet the Scientist: Saturday Morning at JMU

In spring semester 2011, PandA in collaboration with the Office of Outreach and Engagement cordially invite high-school students and secondary-school teachers to take part in an engaging learning outreach program.

Participants will explore fascinating cutting-edge research topics in physics and astronomy in six easy-to-follow scientific lectures. Each lecture is followed by a visit to the John C. Wells Planetarium. There will be interactive quiz sessions... fast-paced competitions using electronic clickers to buzz in with a response. The students will have the chance to win prizes and review what they have learned at the end of each Saturday morning lecture.

Certificates of attendance, College credits for students and CEUs for teachers can be earned.

No pre-requisites necessary! (except for your curiosity…)

Register soon and Start your adventure! For details see our web site for details.

Keep up with the fun and excitement on our SMP facebook page as well.

To go directly to the registration page and bypass the department page, visit official registration page here.