NBSP Industry Update
May 4, 2011

Antihydrogen trapped for 1,000 seconds
A new experiment from the ALPHA collaboration, based at CERN, has created and trapped antihydrogen atoms for 1,000 seconds, 6,000 times longer than their previous attempts, which trapped antihydrogen for 172 ms. Stable trapping of antihydrogen opens up experimental possibilities to examine some of the most fundamental questions in physics. (See, Why is Antihydrogen interesting?). This group's success in first trapping antihydrogen was cited by Physics World Magazine as the top physics breakthrough of 2010.More

'Perfect' superconducting cuprate films studied at Brookhaven
A team at Brookhaven has fabricated "perfectly" structured 2-D films of La2− xSrxCuO4 by molecular beam epitaxy. The subsequent transport studies on these films, conducted by collaborators in Switzerland, revealed that the density of mobile charge carriers is increased, their cuprate film transitions from insulating to superconducting behavior when the film sheet resistance reaches 6.45 kilo-ohm. This is exactly equal to the Planck quantum constant divided by twice the electron charge squared — h/(2e)2, and suggests a phase transition driven by quantum phase fluctuations, and Cooper pair (de)localization.More

Valley-based electronics, also known as valleytronics, is 1 step closer to reality
ScienceDaily News
The valley in valleytronics refers to energy depressions in the band structure, which describes the energies of electron waves allowed by the symmetry of the crystal. In 2007, the provocative proposal that electrons in different energy valleys can be filtered was met with the difficulty of fabricating samples where this could actually be achieved. Two researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory have shown that the valley degree of freedom in graphene can be polarized through scattering off a naturally available line defect. More

Neglected African ocean current may help keep Europe warm
BBC Science
In 2007, the Nobel Prize winning group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that the North Atlantic region would experience net cooling due to the weakening of the Gulf Stream. A group of researchers have published a new study in Nature that suggests that changes to the Agulhas Current could keep Europe warm even if the Gulf Stream switches off. The Agulhas Current flows southward down the eastern coast of Africa, and although most of the water heads east back into the Indian Ocean, some of it leaks around Africa's southern tip — Cape Agulhas — and flows into the Atlantic. More

Taking math to heart: Mathematical challenges in cardiac electrophysiology
Mathematical biophysics applied to cardiology offers has many problems that are ripe for unified attack by mathematicians, clinicians, engineers and physicists. Mathematician John Cain recently surveyed six ongoing challenge problems in mathematical cardiac electrophysiology. Hodgkin and Huxley's Nobel Prize winning work led to mathematical models of the cardiac action potential by viewing the cardiac cell membrane as an electrical circuit. The resulting system of nonlinear partial differential equations can only be solved approximately, and the physical domain (the heart) has complex geometry and anisotropic physics properties.More

Theoretical physicists offer explanation of how bacteria might generate radio waves
Stepping into, and perhaps resolving, a controversy amongst biologists, a team of physicists led by Allan Widom recently described a process whereby free electrons flow through a loop of bacterial DNA by hopping from atom to atom, and subsequently produce photons when energy levels change. Basing their findings on a model Hamiltonian on a loop with periodic boundary conditions, Widom and his team, calculated that the transition frequencies would be 0.5, 1 and 1.5 kilohertz, which corresponds to the previous finding by Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier. More

55 Cancri e is the densest solid planet ever known
University of British Columbia
An international team of astronomers recently revealed the details of a "super-exotic" exoplanet that is 60 percent larger in diameter than Earth but eight times as massive. Twice as dense as Earth — almost as dense as lead — it is the densest solid planet known. Approximately 40 light years from Earth, 55 Cancri e orbits a star — called 55 Cancri A — so closely that its year is less than 18 hours long. The temperature on the planet's surface could be as high as 2,700 degrees Celsius. The planet itself is not optically visible, but the star it orbits, 55 Cancri A, can be observed with the naked eye for the next two months on a clear dark night.More

African Astronomical Society debuts in Cape Town, South Africa
Physics World
The first astronomical society encompassing all of Africa has been formally launched at a meeting of the International Astronomical Union in Cape Town, South Africa. The African Astronomical Society debuted at the 2nd Middle East-Africa Regional IAU Meeting on April 14. Professor Pius Okeke of Nigeria was elected the first permanent president of the society. The aims of the AfAS are to organize and connect a community of astronomers, and to develop resources for astronomy and astrophysics throughout Africa.More

R&D in FY 2011 yearlong continuing resolution
The U.S. federal government's fiscal year 2011 investment in research and development is estimated at $144.4 billion, a 3.3 percent ($4.9 billion) cut from FY 2010. However, $4.7 billion of that cut comes from the Department of Defense appropriations bill that was included in the yearlong continuing resolution. Non-defense R&D received cuts of just 0.4 percent with increases at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid balancing out the largest decreases at the Department of Energy's energy programs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Homeland Security.More

FY 2012 US federal budget process picks up
American Institute of Physics
The U.S. Congress will start the initial drafting of the fiscal year 2012 appropriations bills. The House and Senate authorization and appropriations committees have held hearings to review the FY 2012 request, with other hearings to be scheduled. Though both the administration and Congress are looking for ways to cut spending, there is general bipartisan investment in science writ large. Nevertheless, a few agency accounts will undoubtedly be battle grounds where political fights will be played out, likely resulting in a situation where there is no budget approved by Oct. 1, the start of the fiscal year.More

Illuminating the situation of women in physics
American Institute of Physics
The American Institute of Physics' Rachel Ivie unveiled the first results from the Global Survey of Physicists at the The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Conference on Women in Physics. One of the survey's purposes was to document differences between the experiences of men and women in the field of physics. Amongst the findings were that female physicists report having less access to professional opportunities and resources than male physicists, and female physicists who have children report progressing much more slowly in their careers than those without children and all male physicists.More

High school physics teacher perfects the formula for inspiring students
Los Angeles Times
The son of an Iraqi theoretical physicist, and a University of California, Santa Barbara, physics Ph.D. recipient, Amir Abo-Shaeer's successful combination includes founding a growing engineering academy and inspiring motivated, robot-building students. Last year, he was awarded a MacArthur Foundation $500,000 "genius" grant. He and his students are the subjects of a recently released book, The New Cool, and a film is in the works.More

Maryland physics teacher named district teacher of the year
Allen Skinner, a physics teacher at Great Mills High School in southern Maryland, has been selected St. Mary's public schools' teacher of the year for 2011-2012. A 13-year veteran, Skinner uses hands-on learning, entry into various competitions and his own enthusiasm to motivate his students. Skinner is board certified via the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, and has spent summers at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, also in Maryland, through a program that brings in teachers for practical experience. More

Study: Access to challenging math courses varies widely
Education Week
U.S. students typically encounter an easier math curriculum than those in many other nations, a new study finds, with wide differences also seen across states and school districts. Within the United States, students from disadvantaged background all too often have less access to challenging math courses, and the effect shows up in standardized test scores. "The consequences are clear—less opportunity to learn challenging mathematics corresponds to lower achievement," the study says. This study of access to math courses dovetails on studies pointing to uneven access to physics courses, suggesting a clear public policy objective for scientific professional societies.More

National Society of Black Physicists jobs board postings
REU researcher
Chair, Department of Physics
Physics Faculty - 9 Month Appointment
APS Scholarship Program for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors
National Astrophysics and Space Science Program
Visiting Professor
Postdoctoral Research Associate Positions
Visiting Professor Positions

Latest research from Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics
Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics
Using a variance-based sensitivity analysis for analyzing the relation between measurements and unknown parameters of a physical model

Rank-Ordered Multifractal Analysis (ROMA) of probability distributions in fluid turbulence

Northern Hemisphere patterns of phase coherence between solar/geomagnetic activity and NCEP/NCAR and ERA40 near-surface air temperature in period 7–8 years oscillatory modes

On the Kalman Filter error covariance collapse into the unstable subspace

Effect of thermal pressure on upward plasma fluxes due to ponderomotive force of Alfvén wavesMore

Latest research from Environmental Research Letters
Environmental Research Letters

Detection of the timing and duration of snowmelt in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya using QuikSCAT, 2000–2008

Meta-analysis of the association between short-term exposure to ambient ozone and respiratory hospital admissions

Diagnosing the uncertainty and detectability of emission reductions for REDD + under current capabilities: an example for Panama

Air quality impacts of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in Texas: evaluating three battery charging scenarios

Dynamics of the larch taiga–permafrost coupled system in Siberia under climate changeMore