NBSP Industry Update
July 27, 2011

Physicists at Fermilab discover new subatomic particle
Symmetry Magazine
Scientists of the CDF collaboration at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory announced the observation of a new particle, the neutral Xi-sub-b. This particle contains three quarks: a strange quark, an up quark and a bottom quark (s-u-b). While its existence was predicted by the Standard Model, the observation of the neutral Xi-sub-b is significant because it strengthens our understanding of how quarks form matter.More

Tevatron experiments close in on favored Higgs mass range
Fermilab
The search for the Higgs boson is entering its most exciting, final stage as physicists at Fermilab are close to reaching the critical sensitivity necessary to look for the existence of a light Higgs particle. If the Higgs particle does exist, then the Tevatron experiments may soon begin to find an excess of Higgs-like decay events. If the Higgs particle does not exist, Fermilab's Tevatron experiments are on track to rule out the predicted Higgs mass range in 2012.More

New theory of cuprate superconductivity described
Brookhaven National Lab
In work published in Science, physicists have described the interplay between microstates in nematicity and topological defects in cuprate superconductors. Cuprate superconductors have lots of states that can compete with superconductivity. Building on experimental observations, theorists constructed aGinzburg-Landau functional describing the coupling between the competing states and that correctly predicts their interplay at the atomic scale.More

Research outlines math framework that could help convert 'junk' energy into useful power
Physorg.com
In a paper in Physical Review E, theoretical physicist SurajitSen and colleagues describe how altering the shape of grain-to-grain contact areas between the particles dramatically changes how energy propagates through a granular system. Crafting such designer particles would enable scientists and engineers to control how energy travels through the system. The researchers assert that their framework could one day form the basis of technologies that turn road vibrations, airport runway noise and other "junk" energy into useful power.More

Astronomers find largest, oldest mass of water in universe
Space.com
Astronomers have discovered the largest and oldest mass of water ever detected in the universe — a gigantic, 12-billion-year-old cloud harboring 140 trillion times more water than all of Earth's oceans combined. The cloud of water vapor surrounds a supermassive black hole called a quasar located 12 billion light-years from Earth. More

Astronomers have discovered a fourth moon orbiting Pluto
Discover
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope discovered a fourth moon orbiting the icy dwarf planet Pluto. The tiny, new satellite, temporarily designated P4, was uncovered in a Hubble survey searching for rings around the dwarf planet. The new moon is the smallest discovered around Pluto. More

Scale and astronomy
Academic Minute
Ed Stander of SUNY Cobleskill explains why astronomers must consider scale when applying the laws of physics to any object beyond Earth. More

HartRAO celebrates its 50th anniversary in July
Tech Central
First built by NASA as one of three tracking stations for its space program, the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory turns 50 this year. Today, HartRAO has active programs in geodesy and is a member of European VLBI Network. The facility is an important center for work towards the South African SKA pathfinder, MeerKAT. HartRAO is also leading an effort to convert communications dishes across Africa into an African VLBI Network. More

Quantum decoherence overcome
Vancouver Sun
In a paper published in Nature, researchers at the University of British Columbia and the University of California Santa Barbara announced they have found a way to deal with decoherence — the tendency of atomic-scale particles to get quickly tangled up with the larger physical world we live in. Their work opens up a whole new area for researchers who are investigating the potential for development of quantum computers. More

The unplanned impact of mathematics
Plus Magazine
British mathematician Peter Rowlett introduces via an article in Nature, seven little-known tales illustrating that theoretical work may lead to practical applications. Rowlett argues that practical impacts can't be forced and it can take centuries to manifest. His discussion seems to be primarily motivated by the recent emphasis on the "impact" of research, both in Britain and in the U.S.More

Budget cuts bite for UK physical sciences
Nature News
The U.K.'s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has begun to reveal the research fields for which it will cut funding as a result of budget restrictions — and why. EPSRC says that it will ramp up support for research on quantum information, and maintain current levels of funding for graphene and carbon nanotechnology. The U.K. has already announced deep cuts in astronomy and particle physics research. More

Ethiopia to host 4th African Institute of Mathematical Sciences
SciDev.Net
Ethiopia hopes to become the next African center of excellence in mathematical sciences, after Ghana, Senegal and South Africa, with the opening of the fourth African Institute of Mathematical Sciences planned for next year. More

National Society of Black Physicists jobs board postings
NSBP
Professor and Head of Department of Physics, University of Pretoria
Senior Lecturer in the School of Physics — The University of KwaZulu-Natal
Senior Lecturer in the School of Physics — UKZN Westville Campus
KICP Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Academic Director at Stanford University
MIT Pappalardo Fellowships in Physics
Sr. Research Associate (RF Group Head)
Faculty position in Experimental Nuclear and Elementary Particle Physics
South African Research Chairs
Faculty Position in Theoretical Solid State Physics
APS Scholarship Program for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors
National Astrophysics and Space Science Program
Visiting Professor
Postdoctoral Research Associate Positions

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
About.com
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
GradSchools.com
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 European Journal of Physics
IOP Journal

On the stability of a bicycle on rollers

Control and stabilization: Making Millikan's oil drop experiment work

A laboratory experiment on coupled nonidentical pendulums

The effect of a soap film on a catenary: Measurement of surface tension from the triangular configuration

A 21st century perspective as a primer to introductory physicsMore

Latest research from Astronomy & Geophysics
Astronomy & Geophysics
Universe or multiverse?

Pliers, pulsars and extreme physics

Astronomical imaging aids fight against melanomas

VLT moves a step closer to optical interferometry

When asteroids collideMore