Waves & Packets
Jan. 14, 2012

World's smallest memory bit stores data using just 12 atoms
The New York Times
Researchers at IBM have stored and retrieved digital data from an array of just 12 atoms. The storage unit was made by painstakingly arranging two rows of six iron atoms on a surface of copper nitride. Such closeness is possible because the cluster of atoms is antiferromagnetic — a rare quality in which each atom in the array has an opposed magnetic orientation. The work is reported is Science.More

Binary star system found by following gamma-ray signal
Astronomers have discovered a rare binary star system by following its powerful gamma-ray signal. This method may be a new tool to identify more of these hard-to-find stellar pairs, where previous methods have relied on luck. The binary star system, 1FGL J1018.6-5856, was found by an international team or researchers using the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, and the report appears in Science. More

'Nano-ear' from optically trapped gold nanoparticle
Physics World
Physicists in Germany have developed the first "nano-ear" capable of detecting sound on microscopic length scales with an estimated sensitivity that is six orders of magnitude below the threshold of human hearing. Described in Physical Review Letters, the device is based on trapping a gold nano-particle in an optical tweezer. As sound waves displace the trapped particle from its equilibrium position, the sound frequency can be calculated from the magnitude of the displacement. The nano-ear can detect vibrations at a power level several orders of magnitude lower than the threshold of a human hearing.More

Astronomers find most distant supernova of its kind
Astronomers have found the most distant Type 1a supernova, a kind of star explosion that should help scientists better understand the ever-expanding universe and the nature of dark energy. Bursting into existence 9 billion years ago, the supernova (nicknamed SN Primo) was born from the violent death of a white dwarf. The team used the Wide Field Camera 3 instrument on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to observe the supernova in near-infrared wavelengths over eight months. More

Supernova conflagration consume 2 white dwarfs
Physics World
Two astronomers at Louisiana State University have found a Type 1a supernova that did not leave behind a surviving companion star after it exploded. Instead, they conclude that the supernova was caused by two white-dwarf stars colliding and then both stars being consumed in the conflagration. This is an important result that tests whether or not supernovae result from a white dwarf capturing mass from some companion star before reaching the Chandrasekhar limit, or from two white dwarfs colliding. The key differentiator between the two models is the presence or absence of the companion star. This new report in Nature indicates that there are no companion stars found near supernova remnant SNR 0509-67.5, thus supporting the two white-dwarf colliding model.More

ALMA Early Science result reveals starving galaxies
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Astronomers using the partially completed ALMA observatory have found compelling evidence for how star-forming galaxies evolve into "red and dead" elliptical galaxies, catching a large group of galaxies right in the middle of this change. For years, astronomers have been developing a picture of galaxy evolution in which mergers between spiral galaxies could explain why nearby large elliptical galaxies have so few young stars. The theory suggests that mass jets erupting from the supermassive black hole plows out the galaxy's potential star-forming gas, ending the starbursts. But until now, astronomers had never spotted enough mergers at this critical stage.More

Onset of electrical resistance has been seen in real time
R&D Magazine
Researchers at the Max-Born-Institute, Berlin, Germany, have observed the extremely fast onset of electrical resistance in a semiconductor by following electron motions in real time. Using extremely short bursts of terahertz light the researchers were able to generate free electrons in a crystal of gallium arsenide and then follow them on their free path before colliding with lattice atoms. The result, published in Physical Review Letters, gives a direct observation of electric friction in materials. It turns out that after their ballistic paths, the electrons mostly collide with "holes," or a missing electron in the valence band of the semiconductor, which can itself be viewed as a positively charged particle with a mass six times higher than the electron. More

The future of accelerators
SLAC News Center
Accelerator technology has made huge leaps forward, prompting important developments well beyond high energy physics in areas as diverse as energy and the environment, medicine, industry, national security and discovery science. But the capacity to translate accelerator breakthroughs into commercial applications has lagged behind. The U.S. Congress has therefore asked the Department of Energy to submit a 10-year strategic plan outlining how best to streamline the transfer of accelerator research and development work into the marketplace. The DOE Office of High Energy Physics has turned to social media — a blog — to gather input as fast and as broadly as possible from the customers of accelerator science — other government agencies, industry and scientists of myriad descriptions.More

Deadly gamma-rays from an exploding star might have caused a mass extinction
In theory, a supernova thousands of light-years away could release gamma-rays that would fry most life on Earth. But the star must be positioned exactly right for this to ever happen, and there's no way to prove it. But that may be about to change. Wilfred Domainko, a physicist at Germany's Max Plank Institute, says that, if the gamma-ray burst ever did happen, it most likely came from a globular cluster. He and his colleagues will begin to use the Gaia Star-Mapper, a European Space Agency probe due to start work in 2013, to map the positions and velocities of globular clusters. The results may reveal if any are close enough to Earth for a burst to affect us. More

A conversation with CERN's Rolf-Dieter Heuer
Rolf-Dieter Heuer, director general of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, recently spoke to Forbes in a wide-ranging interview about science, industry and politics. More

Research team predicts the next big thing in the world of particle physics: Supersymmetry
Several particle theorists are predicting the discovery of the Higgs boson will lead to supersymmetry or SUSY — an extension of the standard model of particle physics (Video: Beyond the Higgs: Supersymmetry). SUSY predicts new matter states or super partners for each matter particle already accounted for in the standard model. Howard Baer and his colleagues were the first in the world to show what SUSY matter might look like at colliding beam experiments. Baer has published books and papers on SUSY; most recently, a paper on implications of recent evidence of the Higgs boson at the CERN Large Hadron Collider for SUSY theory.More

Iconic telescope renamed to honor founder of radio astronomy
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
The world's most famous radio telescope will become the "Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array" to honor the founder of radio astronomy, the study of the Universe via radio waves naturally emitted by objects in space. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory announced the new name for the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array at the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Austin, Texas. The new name will become official at a rededication ceremony at the VLA site in New Mexico on March 31. After more than a decade of work, the VLA, originally dedicated in 1980, is nearing completion of a technological transformation that has turned it into a completely new and vastly more capable radio telescope. More

House bill raises alarm in research community; GRANT Act would require publication of all research grant proposals
American Society of Hematology
The Grant Reform and New Transparency Act (H.R. 3433) is raising alarm throughout the research community. Of greatest concern is a provision requiring publication of full research grant proposals on the Office of Management and Budget website, making an applicant's ideas and data publicly available to all. A second provision would require public disclosure of the names of all grant peer reviewers. Representatives Rush Holt, D-N.J., and David Price, D-N.C., are circulating a request to their House colleagues asking them to co-sign a letter to the House leadership urging changes in the GRANT Act before the bill is considered on the House floor. More

National Society of Black Physicists jobs board postings
Summer Researcher
Research Associate
REU in Applied Nuclear Science
Full Professor Theoretical High Energy Physics at Columbia University
Tenure-track faculty position in experimental condensed matter physics
Physics and Astronomy REU Participant
REU Participant
Postdoctoral Fellowship
Tenure-track faculty position in experimental plasma physics
Tenure Track Faculty Position in Theoretical Nuclear Physics
Real World Science & Mathematics Summer Workshop for K-12 Science Teachers
Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics
Integrated Science Faculty in the College of Science
Summer Researcher
Mentor Opportunity Medical Physics Summer Experience Program
2012 Minority Undergraduate Summer Experience Program
AIP Congressional Fellows Program
Assistant Professor, Theoretical Physics, University of Minnesota Duluth
Summer Internship
Accelerator Physics Faculty

Advice for graduate students
Inside Higher Education
Steven Stearns offers some insight and advice for graduate students. Know thyself and know thy advisor. More

More advice for graduate students
Inside Higher Education
So much comes down to good writing skills. Steven Stearns offers some tips on how to write well and write strategically. More

Overcoming the imposter syndrome
At one time or another nearly every graduate student and new faculty member wonders about his or her competence. This is a common fear often referred to as the impostor syndrome. The impostor syndrome runs rampant in academia — and women are especially prone to it. How do you get over the impostor syndrome? Easier said than done. More

Ready. Set. Go. Transitioning from college to graduate school
Compared to your undergraduate education, graduate school is faster paced. Professors expect a lot of work to be done, and there's a lot less hand-holding. MoreMore

Latest research from The Astronomical Journal
IOP Journal
The Connection Between 3.3 μm Polycylic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Emission and Active Galactic Nucleus Activity

Old Massive Globular Clusters and the Stellar Halo of the Dwarf Starbust Galaxy NGC 4449

Outside-in Shrinking of the Star-forming Disk of the Dwarf Irregular Galaxies

Mean-flux-regulated Principle Component Analysis Continuum Fitting of Sloan Digital Sky Survey Lyα Forest Spectra

A Technique for Primary Beam Calibration of Drift-scanning Wide-field Antenna ElementsMore

Latest research from Physics Letters A
Physics Letters A
Phase detection in an ultracold polarized Fermi gas via electromagnetically induced transparency

Estimation of frequency noise in semiconductor lasers due to mechanical thermal noise

Dielectric behavior and ac conductivity in Aurivillius Bi4Ti3O12 doped by antiferromagnetic BiFeO3

Can the 1-way speed of light be used for detection of violations of the relativity principle?

Manipulating potential wells in Logical Stochastic Resonance to obtain XOR logicMore