NBSP Industry Update
May 11, 2011

Making carbon in stars
American Physical Society
Carbon forms at the interior of burning stars in what is called the triple-alpha process. Two alpha particles (helium nuclei) react to form beryllium-8, which in turn reacts with a third alpha particle to form an excited state of carbon-12 called the Hoyle state. Using the lattice Monte Carlo method, Evgeny Epelbaum and colleagues have taken a significant step toward understanding this nucleosynthesis and how different components of the nuclear forces evolve and determine the ground and exited states of helium-4, beryllium-8 and carbon-12. More

A one-way acoustical mirror?
Discovery News via msnbc.com
Imagine a room where a band is playing. Neighbors can't hear the music, but if someone outside the room is talking, the musicians can hear it. The concept — a kind of one-way mirror for sound — has been mathematically proposed by Stefano Lepri and Giulio Casati in Physical Review Letters. To affect the one-way transmission of sound the researchers propose alternating layers of linear and strongly nonlinear materials asymmetrically. With the right formation, when a sound wave enters from one side, it will essentially get caught in the material and then be redirected.More

How much rain can a cloud hold?
OurAmazingPlanet via msnbc.com
Why do some clouds produce lots of rain, while others do not? By flying an aircraft into rain clouds, NASA scientists are on a mission to find out. The mission, called Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment, began April 22 and runs to June 6. Based in central Oklahoma, and part of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility, the mission will use multiple monitoring modalities to study the convective and condensation processes in cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds.More

FY-12 DOE budget saves DUSEL from NSF funding cut
The Republic
In late 2010 the National Science Board, which oversees that National Science Foundation decided to eliminate its funding of the Deep Underground Science Laboratory. The decision exposed differences at NSF regarding how its program-based mission to advance science should apply to the construction of major science infrastructure — a task more often associated with other funding agencies such as the U.S. Department of Energy. DUSEL seemed to be doomed by NSF's decision, skyrocketing costs, the belt-tightening at the federal level and the fact that DOE had not previously programmed its budget to take over the responsibility of funding DUSEL. NSF subsequently has awarded $4 million to keep DUSEL running through 2011, and the Obama administration's fiscal year-2012 budget has funds in DOE accounts to keep the lab running through 2012. The challenge will be to get the budget approved and appropriations made before Oct. 1.More

How will we know when the Higgs particle has been detected?
The Guardian
Ian Sample explores how and why rumors that the so-called "God particle" have captured so much of the public's attention, and how physicists are actually much more careful than the viral media. He also points to the history of the Higgs boson and how it acquired the name "God particle," which itself was a surrender to media and marketing.More

Could the Higgs boson be a bound state of even more fundamental particles?
Texas Advanced Computing Center
The Higgs boson is a central component of the Standard Model. But, what if the Higgs boson is not a fundamental particle, but rather a bound state of new particles that have not yet been seen? Theoreticians have been exploring so-called technicolor theories where systems of particles of different "colors" are simulated to see if the resulting structure and dynamics comply with known experimental constraints.More

Particle physicist develops cancer imaging technique based on Cerenkov radiation
Discovery News
At the American Physical Society conference in Anaheim, Calif., Nicole Ackerman of Stanford University explained how she is collaborating with colleagues in Stanford's Small Imaging Core Facility to develop a new imaging technology using Cerenkov radiation — the faint blue glow commonly emitted from radioactive materials when they're immersed in water. The technique depends metabolic targeting of cancerous cells with Actinum 225-tagged glucose and monitoring the emitted radiation with a charge-coupled devices.More

DOE seeks advice on environmental improvements to fracking
Physics Today
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu has appointed a committee to recommend environmental and safety improvements to hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," the controversial oil recovery method that involves pumping water and other compounds into the ground at high pressure to "squeeze" the oil and gas out of the shale. Large quantities of natural gas and oil in shale deposits have in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast and in the Karoo region of South Africa, which is also important for astronomy research. The seven-member panel consists of environmental, industry and state regulatory experts and is chaired by MIT chemist and former CIA director John Deutch.More

New theory aims to explain superconductivity in iron pnictides
Superconductivity in iron pnictides was first observed in 2008, and they were hailed as the new cuprates. Some iron pnictides are metals, while others are insulators. But though dissimilar in that way, both can become superconductive at roughly the same temperature. A complete theoretical understanding of superconductivity pnictides has remained elusive, but a team from Rice University and Los Alamos National Lab have suggested in a paper in Physics Review Letters that ordered vacancies enhance the tendency of the electrons to lock themselves some distance away from their neighbors in a pattern called Mott localization, which gives rise to an insulating state.More

Gravity Probe B comes to an end after confirming 2 Einstein theories
Stanford University
After 52 years of conceiving, testing and waiting, the Gravity Probe B project has come to close after confirming two predictions of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity. The first prediction is the geodetic effect, or the warping of space and time around a gravitational body. The second is frame-dragging, which is the amount a spinning object pulls space and time with it as it rotates. In addition to these profound results, the project led to several spin-off technologies, and provided employment and training for well over 500 students, teachers and professional scientists and engineers.More

Lesson for summer interns: How to keep a research notebook
Keeping a research notebook serves multiple purposes. It helps organize, track and perhaps most important, enriches, one's day-to-day problem solving and thought.It can be used to validate your results in any number of contexts. An even more common instance is that your notebook provides information to a person who is interested in continuing your research project.More

Africa-EU astronomy partnerships
South African Ministry of Science and Technology
On May 31, the South African Ministry for Science and Technology is organizing a high level conference in Brussels to promote science and technology partnerships between Europe and Africa and provide a forum for discussion. More

Pan-African parliamentary science forum launched
The African Inter-Parliamentary Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation was recently launched by government leaders across the continent to give science, technology and innovation a more central role in the policy-making process. All national African parliaments, the Pan-African Parliament and all regional parliamentary assemblies will be members. Observer's status may be granted to the Network of African Science Academies, the media, representatives of science councils or universities and regional and international organizations. The goal for the forum is to get to improved structures for research and development. More

National Society of Black Physicists jobs board postings
REU researcher
Chair, Department of Physics
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 Review of Scientific Instruments
Review of Scientific Instruments
A piezo-thermal probe for thermomechanical analysis

High speed heterodyne infrared thermography applied to thermal diffusivity identification

Measurement of the refractive index dispersion of As2Se3 bulk glass and thin films prior to and after laser irradiation and annealing using prism coupling in the near- and mid-infrared spectral range

Characteristics of an actuator-driven pulsed water jet generator to dissecting soft tissue

Compact fiber-coupled terahertz spectroscopy system pumped at 800 nm wavelengthMore

Latest research from Journal of Instrumentation
IOP Journal

Current feedback operational amplifiers as fast charge sensitive preamplifiers for photomultiplier read out

Precision scans of the Pixel cell response of double sided 3-D Pixel detectors to pion and X-ray beams

Sensorless synchronization method for thin-film direct optical broadband monitoring system

A combined approach to the simulation of ionizing radiation effects in silicon devices

A new concept to search for lepton-flavour-violating tau-decays in a beam-dump experimentMore