Waves & Packets
Nov. 19, 2011

New tests confirm the results of OPERA on the neutrino velocity
New tests conducted at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory of INFN by the OPERA Collaboration, with a specially set up neutrino beam from CERN, confirm so far the previous results on the measurement of the neutrino velocity. The new tests seem to exclude part of potential systematic effects that could have affected the original measurement. On Nov. 17 the OPERA Collaboration submitted the paper on the neutrino velocity measurement to the Journal of High Energy Physics, and in parallel to ArXiv.More

LHb result hints at matter-antimatter bias
Science Now
Researchers on the LHCb experiment are reporting that the relative decay rates between D0 particles and antiparticles differ by 0.8 percent. If confirmed, this level of charge-parity violation would at least eight times as high as the Standard Model allows, and could help explain why there is still "stuff" in the universe. More

NSF FY12 budget signed into law
American Institute of Physics
President Barack Obama has signed into law the FY12 budget for the National Science Foundation that provides for a 2.5 percent increase over the previous year's budget. The agency's overall budget will be slightly over $7 billion USD, with $5.7 billion for research and related activities, and $167 million for major research equipment and facilities construction. These are 2.8 and 42.7 percent increases over last year's budgets, respectively. The agency's Education and Human Resources Directorate is slated for a 3.7 percent decrease.More

Nominations wanted: Top physics and astronomy stories of 2011
Waves and Packets
Reader Poll: As this calendar year approaches its end, the editors of Waves and Packets are compiling a list of top breakthroughs in physics and astronomy for 2011. What breakthroughs in physics or astronomy get your vote as the most important of the year?More

Understanding thermal effects in spintronics
American Physical Society
The 2008 discovery of the spin-Seebeck effect has pushed the discipline of "spin caloritronics" into the spotlight, and has opened up a new route of exploiting the spin dimension in electronic transport. As the effect has been observed in a variety of materials, interesting complications have emerged in samples of 2-D films on substrates. Writing in Physical Review Letters, a team of physicists have reported observation of the spin-Seebeck effect in Permalloy films with and without a substrate. Apparently the substrate can introduce its own thermodynamics that can overpower that of the film to produce a composite effect.More

One cool demo: Magnetic field flips miniature origami
American Physical Society
VideoBriefIn 2007 a French team produced structures interesting in physics and in art by placing droplets of water on top of thin rubbery membranes, and then allowing the water to evaporate. As the liquid evaporated, its surface tension tugged the membrane closer around the water's decreasing volume, until the remaining liquid was completely encapsulated inside a sphere, tetrahedron or some other shape. Now they have replaced the water with a ferrofluid, and in a magnetic field they can produce some interesting structures and kinematics.More

Proof found for unifying quantum principle
Twenty-five years ago John Cardy proposed a conjecture, called the a-theorem, that says that the number of ways in which quantum fields can be energetically excited "a" is always greater at high energies than at low energies. Put another way by Matt Strassler, a quantum field theory has a calculable quantity, called "a" for historical reasons, that helps characterize it. The conjecture is that if you take any quantum field theory, and study the phenomena that it exhibits at longer and longer distance you will find that "a" always decreases. A proof the theorem was recently proposed by Zohar Komargodski and Adam Schwimmer of the Weizmann Institute of Science that is gradually gaining acceptance.More

Making light out of virtual photons
Physics World
An international team of physicists have used the dynamical Casimir effect to force a mirror to make its own light rather than simply reflecting the light around it. The experimental result reported in Nature uses quantum fluctuations in which virtual subatomic elementary particle pairs continuously pop in and out of existence in a vacuum. These quantum fluctuations were harnessed using a SQUID device to create the electrical equivalent of an ultrafast mirror to convert virtual photons into real electromagnetic radiation via the dynamical Casimir effect.More

NASA probe data show evidence of liquid water on icy Europa
Data from a NASA planetary mission have provided scientists evidence of what appears to be a body of liquid water, equal in volume to the North American Great Lakes, beneath the icy surface of Jupiter's moon, Europa. The data suggest there is significant exchange between Europa's icy shell and the ocean beneath. This information could bolster arguments that Europa's global subsurface ocean represents a potential habitat for life elsewhere in our solar system. The findings are published in Nature. More

President Obama honors physicist Solomon Bililign with Presidential Award for science mentoring
Solomon Bililign, a professor at North Carolina A&T Statue University, and director of the NOAA-ISET Center there, has been selected to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. These awards are bestowed by the White House to individuals and organizations to recognize the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering — particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in these fields. Professor Bililign is co-chair of the NSBP section on Earth and Planetary Systems Sciences.More

Peter Delfyett elected Fellow of APS
American Physical Society
Dr. Peter Delfyett, the current president of the National Society of Black Physicists, has been elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, "For pioneering contributions to the understanding of the physics and implementation of ultrafast diode lasers."

Delfyett is the Trustee Chair and professor in the College of Optics and Photonics/CREOL at the University of Central Florida. He also holds appointments in the electrical engineering and physics departments there. His research group is primarily working on high-powered, ultra-short pulsed, multiwavelength mode-locked semiconductor lasers. Earlier this year his group demonstrated line-by-line pulse shaping of optical comb lines with updates to the pulse shape on the time scale of the pulse period.More

Fun Physics Simulations
Physics Central
University of Colorado at Boulder Physics Department has provided a slew of interactive simulations that can help make some of the most difficult concepts a little more understandable. Originally known as the Physics Education Technology project, the project now encompasses areas as diverse as chemistry, math and biology. The physics collection covers a number of phenomena including quantum tunneling, orbits, the photoelectric effect and quantum wave interference. The site has over 100 simulations to choose from with difficulty ranging from elementary school up to undergraduate level.More

Make it a physics-filled Thanksgiving
About Physics
Thanksgiving provides a great opportunity for every physicist to shine. Andrew Zimmerman-Jones presents a scientifically proven method for cooking the perfect turkey. And a fun, potentially refreshing Jello experiment is presented on the NSBP blog, Vector. More

National Society of Black Physicists jobs board postings
Bucknell University - Assistant/Associate/Full Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Tenure-Track Assistant or Associate Professor at Stockton College
Baccalaureate Fellows Program, 2-year fellowship
Tenure-Track Professor and Research Director, Physics Department
Lehigh University REU Program in Physics
Assistant Professor Experimental Astroparticle Physics
Renewable Energy REU at the Colorado School of Mines
Faculty Position in Particle Theory
Faculty Position in Experimental Fundamental Physics
Open (or Multi) Rank Neutrino Physics Faculty Position
Faculty Position
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Assistant Professor of Physics
Dean, Division of Science
Tenure Track Faculty position - Experimental high energy Density Laser-Plasma Physics
Assistant Professor of Physics
Assistant Professor, Physics Teacher Education
Open Rank Faculty Position in Quantum Information Theory
Asstistant, Associate, or Full Professor Position in Condensed-Matter Experiment
Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor Position in Particle, Nuclear, or Gravitational Theory
Research Scientist in Computational Physics
Tenure-Track Assistant Professor

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 European Journal of Physics
IOP Journal
Dynamical symmetries in classical mechanics

Determination of rest mass energy of the electron by a Compton scattering experiment

Two-laser interference visible to the naked eye

Transfer function of multi-stage active filters: A solution based on Pascal's triangle and a general expression

Touching ghosts: Observing free fall from an infalling frame of reference into a Schwarzschild black hole

Tree hydraulics: How sap rises


Latest research from New Astronomy Reviews: An International Review Journal
New Astronomy Reviews
Shadows as a tool to evaluate black hole parameters and a dimension of spacetime

A new astronomy with radioactivity: Radiogenic carbon chemistry

Estimating black hole masses in quasars using broad optical and UV emission lines

Ultraluminous X-ray sources in theChandraandXMM-NewtonEraMore