Thursday, November 21, 2013
We received notice yesterday that Physics and Astronomy at JMU has been selected to receive the Improving Undergraduate Physics Education Award from the American Physical Society's Committee on Education.
The award will be announced at the APS April Meeting in Savannah, GA. Along with the honor and a plaque, we will have recognition on the APS website, the AAPT eNNOUNCER and the APS Forum on Education Newsletter.
We are all very excited by this recognition. Previous recipients of this award are Colorado School of Mines, Kettering University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse, the Compass Project at UC Berkeley, Mount Holyoke College, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Utah State University. This puts us in good company and we are proud to be among their number.
If you were looking for just one more reason to consider JMU as the place to come study physics, isn't this it?
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Thermoelectric power generators can help harvesting infrared radiation from the sun and transform it into electricity. These devices can produce a voltage difference linearly proportional to the temperature difference between the two junctions. This phenomenon is known as the Seebeck effect. JMU researchers lead by Dr. Scarel have found that, when infrared radiation activates a thermoelectric power generators, the Seebeck effect is violated. The first results will soon be published in a paper accepted by Complexity: Y. Schwab, H. S. Mann, B. N. Lang, J. L. Lancaster, R. J. Parise, A. J. Vincent-Johnson, and G. Scarel, “Infrared power generation in an insulated compartment”. Complexity, in press (2013). Undergraduate students played a key role in the research: Yosyp Schwab set up the data acquisition system and performed the data analysis, Harkirat Mann compared the data with those produced by the Seebeck effect, and finally Brian Lang explored diligently the literature to find similar and related experiments. More is to come!
Sunday, November 10, 2013
|Bryan Isherwood (left) and Daniel Votaw (right) at the CEU13 poster presentation session|
Every year in conjunction with the Fall meeting of the Division of Nuclear Physics of the American Physical Society takes place also the Conference Experience for Undergraduates (CEU). The goal of this event is to provide a "capstone" conference experience for undergraduates students who have conducted research in nuclear physics, by providing them the opportunity to present their research to the larger professional community and to one another. Additionally, it enables the students to converse with faculty and senior scientists from graduate institutions about graduate school opportunity.
This year the meeting took place 23-26 October 2013 in Newport News, VA, and JMU was represented by two of our physic majors, Bryan Isherwood (senior) and Daniel Votaw (junior), who do research in nuclear astrophysics under Dr. Adriana Banu's supervision. Moreover, both Bryan and Daniel have been awarded funding by the CEU13 review committee to attend the meeting for their high quality research accomplishments, which is remarkable taking into account the high number of applications (over 170) and a finite budget.
Sunday, November 03, 2013
In this video, there is an electric motor running at 200 rpm. It is connected to a series of gears each of which reduces the rotation rate by a factor of 50. After 12 such reductions, the last gear is turning at a rate of 1 rev/2.3 trillion years. Just for emphasis, this last gear is set in a block of concrete.
So as an interesting exercise, at what rate is this machine doing work?
Friday, November 01, 2013
The recent article in the Breeze give more details.
It isn't often that a freshman write a book that is published. It is even less often that this freshman is a physics major. Evan Meekins fits into this narrowly defined category. He has written a young-adult fantasy novel called The Black Banner that will hit the stores nationwide next month. You can find more details on the Breeze.
More proof that physicists can do anything!