Monday, December 28, 2015

New paper .......

On November 27, 2015 the World Journal of Condensed Matter Physics published a new article: "A.L. Gordon, Y. Schwab, B.N. Lang, G.P. Gearhart, T.R. Jobin, J.M. Kaczmar, Z.J. Marinelli, H.S. Mann, B.C. Utter, and G. Scarel, Decoupling the electrical and entropic contributions to energy transfer from infrared radiation to a power generator”.  World J. Cond. Matter Phys. vol. 5, 301-318 (2015)".  Aidan Gordon, Tara. Jobin, Justin Kaczmar, and Zach Marinelli currently are undergraduate students at JMU.  Yosyp Schwab, Brian Lang, Graham Gearhart, and Harkirat Mann graduated in May 2015.  Aidan and Yosyp contributed to modeling.  Brian, Graham, Tara, Justin and Zach performed countless data analysis.  Harkirat, Brian and Zach played a key role in setting up the experiments ......   The figure below shows one of the most significant finding: when infrared radiation hits a thermoelectric device coverd with colored tape the open voltage produced by the device is twice that generated without tape!  Such effect is absent when the thermoelectric device is activated with energy transferred from a resistor through Joule heating.  This finding supports the claim in the title!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 Photo Gallery Review

Let us look back on 2015 by marking just a few of the moments that stood out to us.

JMU students at the 10th annual Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics at Duke U.

As well as the APS conference in San Antonio, TX.

Planetarium Director Shanil Virani and a few of our students teaching Staunton kids rocket science!

The lounge gets a much needed and appreciated makeover.

JMU students at CAA at Drexel in sunny Philadelphia.

A proper "send-off" for our former lab manager Art Fovargue.

Congratulations to the Class of 2015!  You all made it!

The Niculescu team lighting things up at JLab.

Our faculty going into the new academic year.
We also welcome Jacob Brown and Dr. Melnikov to the team!

Our PR is simply electrifying!

The esteemed Dr. Mather comes by for a visit!

Thanks to the help of many, a new map is hung depicting where our students have been!

And finally, the 2015 Holiday Video!

Thanks to everyone for a great year and here's to an even better one in 2016!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

'Tis the Season: Faculty Awards

We are celebrating the end of the semester with two new acknowledgements of our faculty's hard work, vision, and talent: 

Image result for chris hughes jmu
 Prof. Chris Hughes has been selected to receive The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) Outstanding Faculty Award (OFA), which is the Commonwealth's highest honor for faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities. This is a terrific recognition of his work and a testimony to the excellent work in physics and the encouragement and support of his colleagues. 

JMU's College of Science and Math Distinguished Teacher Award, which was established in 1981 to honor one faculty member annually for exemplary teaching, goes this year to Prof. Scott Paulson.  Scott is also the Cluster 3 (The Natural World) Coordinator for the General Education program at JMU.

 Two much deserved recognitions.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Showing Off Our Students

As a Department, we often talk about all of the places that we've sent our students to.  Whether its recruiting new students, applying for research grants, or just letting the current student body know about the opportunities and connections available to them, there always a need to convey this information.

However, instead of telling people where JMU Physics & Astronomy has been, why don't we show it?

Well now you can!  Hanging in the middle hallway of the Physics floor is a map depicting where our students have gone for Graduate School, participated in REU's & internships, and presented their research at conferences.

This piece allows people to know about the geographic and scholastic opportunities of our department without even talking to a professor, as well as inform students on otherwise unknown REU opportunities, such as MAX IV Lab or Embry-Riddle.

If you know a student (past or present) whose grad school, research experience, or conference is not listed on here, please let the current Student Physics Blogger know so they can add them!  We want this project to be one that not only grows with the department, but also catalogs the achievements of past students.

Many thanks to everyone who helped make this project possible, including Codie Lewis, Adam Miner, Josiah Lapolla, Premal Patel, Natali Bushamani, Evan Meekins, and Dr. Adriana Banu.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Applications now open for CERN openlab Summer Student Programme 2016

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Check out the link below!
CERN is the birthplace of the World Wide Web and where the Higgs particle was discovered by two of the major LHC experiments, the ATLAS and CMS collaborations. The laboratory hosts ground-breaking experiments and is at the heart of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG). This is a place like no other where dizzying IT challenges abound!

Located just outside Geneva, straddling the border between Switzerland and France, CERN explores what matter is made of and what holds it together by accelerating particles to a fraction under the speed of light and then smashing them together. CERN is home to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 27 km circumference accelerator buried 50-175 m below ground. After two years of intense maintenance and consolidation, the LHC was restarted in April 2015, and has since reached higher energy levels than ever before. The CERN Data Centre stores more than 30 petabytes of data per year from the LHC experiments, the equivalent of about 1.2 million Blu-ray discs (i.e. 250 years of HD video). Today, over 120 petabytes of data are permanently archived on tape.

CERN openlab is a unique public-private partnership, first established in 2001, that accelerates the development of cutting-edge solutions for the worldwide LHC community and wider scientific research. Through CERN openlab, CERN collaborates with leading ICT companies and research institutes.

In 2015, a new three-year CERN openlab phase was launched. This tackles ambitious challenges covering the most critical needs of IT infrastructures in domains such as:
• Data Acquisition
• Computing Platforms
• Data Storage Architectures
• Compute Provisioning and Management
• Networks and Communication
• Data Analytics

By joining the CERN openlab Summer Student Programme, you will work with some of the latest hardware and software technologies and see how advanced IT solutions are used in high energy physics. You will have the opportunity to attend a series of lectures developed for the CERN openlab Summer Students, given by IT experts on advanced CERN-related topics. Included in the programme are also visits at the CERN facilities and experiments as well as other research laboratories and companies.

The CERN openlab Summer Student Programme is much more than just a summer at CERN. It can lead to follow-on projects in your home institute. It may even inspire you to become an entrepreneur in cutting-edge computing technologies!

Who should apply?
Bachelor or master students having completed (by the summer of attending) at least three years of full-time studies at university level in Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics or Physics, interested in working on advanced IT projects for two full months (nine weeks) during the period June-September 2016 are welcome to apply.

How to apply?
The application must be submitted to (link is external) by 28 February 2016 with the following documents attached to it: the applicant’s CV, recommendation letter(s) by university supervisor(s), a motivation letter with an indication of the preferred area of work, and the university declaration for the current year. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Replies to applicants will be sent out by the end of April 2016.

A stipend of 90 CHF per day during contractual dates (generally 61 days) is sponsored by CERN and the CERN openlab industrial members and should cover accommodation and living costs during the nine-week stay. Students are covered by the CERN health and accident insurance scheme, and are offered a travel allowance on a lump sum basis.

Students' projects
Several projects and groups at CERN will host CERN openlab Summer Students. Examples of projects that students undertook in the past years include:
• Porting a Java-based Brain Simulation Software to C++
• Performance study of detector alignment software
• Evaluating the performance of Seagate Kinetic technology and its integration with EOS
• Upgrading the Huawei Cloud Storage Benchmark to make it compatible with ROOT6
• Archiving OpenStack cloud volumes
• Processing of the WLCG job monitoring data using ElasticSearch

A report on the work carried out is to be handed in at the end of the stay. The CERN openlab Summer Students are also given the opportunity to present their work at dedicated lightning talks’ events.