Waves & Packets
Dec. 24, 2011

Fermilab breaks ground on new accelerator center
Fermilab Office of Communication
Located on the Fermilab campus, the Illinois Accelerator Research Center will be a 42,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility to study cutting-edge accelerator technologies. The IARC is a partnership between the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of High Energy Physics. It is due to open in 2013.More

Particle physics is at a turning point — String theory may be connected to the real world
Two quite different detectors at the LHC see a signal of some significance at about the same mass. And they both see the expected signals in two or more channels. This could represent a profound turning point in the quest for a fundamental unified theory of the physical world. But a major and unexpected clue to the future offered by the CERN discovery is that the reported Higgs boson signal seems to behave as if it were a "standard-model Higgs boson." Under the Standard Model, this should not be possible. However, when the standard model is extended to a supersymmetric theory, the resulting theory is realistic. Actually the same string theory (more exactly, M-theory) that predicts the Higgs mass correctly also predicts that a spectrum of particle superpartners, and some of their associated signals should be discovered at the LHC.More

CERN Council to plan new future strategy for particle physics
The CERN Council recently announced that it will hold an open symposium in Krakow, Poland, Sept. 10-13 to strategize and update the European strategy for particle physics. The council will seek input from both European and non-European physicists, and plans to solicit written statements from individual physicists as well as larger collaborations, along with funding agencies and science ministries, about physics topics and projects that deserve priority.More

DOE's Intensity Frontier Workshop packed with ideas and people
Symmetry Breaking Magazine
The Fundamental Physics at the Intensity Frontier Workshop was set up to survey existing research and future scientific possibilities in this area, and to gauge the level of interest from the physics community. Physicists spent three days in six working groups listening to more than 100 presentations identifying promising research areas that use neutrinos, nucleons, nuclei, heavy quarks, charged leptons and exotic particles such as axions. The consensus was that a host of experiments have the potential to answer the biggest questions: How did the universe begin? What is it made of? How does it work? How did we come to exist? Answers from this research could aid studies in cosmology, nuclear physics and other areas of particle physics. More

365 Days of Astronomy podcast to continue in 2012
Space Ref
The award-winning 365 Days of Astronomy podcast is proud to announce that the project will continue for yet another year — its fourth consecutive year — and is now accepting sign-ups for participants for more podcasts in 2012. 365 Days of Astronomy (which will last 366 days in 2012, a leap year) is a legacy project of the International Year of Astronomy and in 2009 was a major project of the IYA. The podcast episodes are written, recorded and produced by people all around the world.More

STEM literacy beyond STEM occupations
Diverse Issues in Higher Education
The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce recently released a new publication simply titled STEM. Beyond just another depiction of why we need more STEM graduates to strengthen our workforce (although the authors do a stellar job at breaking down this argument), the authors do something more. The report gets into the tricky territory of defining just why STEM literacy is important both inside and outside STEM fields and sheds light on how those who seek to enter STEM fields — as well as those who are successful in doing so — eventually divert from the STEM pathway. More

Becoming crystal clear about snowflakes
The Wall Street Journal
Kenneth Libbrecht, California Institute of Technology professor of physics and snowflake guru, thinks he is on the way to explaining unanswered questions about the shapes of snowflakes. Using laboratory-grown snowflakes to glean new insights into the molecular dynamics of crystal growth, Libbrecht has noticed a "sharpening effect" in the crystal structure that impacts the kinetics and dynamics of the growth. More

Gypsum deposit on Mars provides definitive evidence of water
Ars Technica
The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity is on its way to the red planet, scheduled for a landing in August. In the meantime, the Opportunity rover, which has been operating for nearly eight years, is still sending back scientific results. Its latest, announced at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, provides a clear indication that water once flowed through underground fissures, giving us a better picture of Mars' geological history.More

Scaling down frequency
Nature Photonics
Although directly sampling an electric field at optical frequencies is impossible owing to the frequency limitation of electronic sampling devices, indirect sampling can be achieved through heterodyne processes that generate beat notes in the radiofrequency domain. The Delfyett group at the University of Central Florida has reported in the Journal of Lightwave Technology the use of frequency combs as local oscillators to downconvert and compress optical signals through multiheterodyne detection, a process by which two combs that share an optical reference are mixed to deduce the effect of a medium on the signal comb. Delfyett, et al.'s design achieved spectral compressions of three and four orders of magnitude, respectively, for phase-modulated light and mode-locked pulses. The resulting RF interference patterns can also be used for high-resolution white-light spectral interferometry. More

The exotic physics of frustrated magnets
Engineering on the Edge
Frustrated magnetic materials contain a wealth of interesting magnetic properties. Unlocking the mysteries of these frustrated magnets will not only deepen our understanding of the fundamental physics of these materials, but may also provide clues for potential technological applications in the near future. Therefore, these systems are presently under intense investigation by the physics community. More

11 best astronomy stories of 2011
Space.com and the Mother Nature Network
From the discoveries of potentially habitable alien planets to the detection of a tiny new moon around Pluto and jaw-dropping lunar and solar eclipses, astronomical research in 2011 has not only made extraordinary strides but also raised new and tantalizing questions for the future. Ralph McNutt, a planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, tells Space.com 11 top stories in astronomy for 2011.More

Star explosion leaves behind a rose
Space Ref
Astronomers using the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer have revealed an IR image of the remnants of a supernova explosion that occurred about 3,700 years ago. The remnants, called Puppis A and pronounced PUP-pis, were formed when a massive star ended its life in an extremely bright and powerful explosion. Puppis A includes glowing dust and gas clouds, and an inexplicably fast spinning neutron star that has been detected in the X-ray and IR but not in the radio region.More

Caltech chemists propose explanation for superconductivity at high temperatures
California Institute of Technology
Over the last four years, William Goddard and Jamil Tahir-Kheli have been building a hypothesis that explains what makes cuprates superconduct. They have been working with a cuprate in which strontium atoms are the "dopant atoms," replacing lanthanum atoms.

Based on modern quantum-mechanical calculations, Goddard and Tahir-Kheli found that each dopant atom creates a four-center hole on the copper atoms surrounding the strontium, a unit they refer to as a "plaquette." Electrons within the plaquettes form tiny pieces of metal, while those outside the plaquettes are insulating and behave like magnets. Their hypothesis is that when enough dopant atoms are added, the plaquettes are able to create a percolating pathway that allows electrons to flow all the way through the material. The magnetic electrons outside the plaquettes can interact with the electrons traveling through the plaquette pathway, and it is this interaction that leads to the electron pairing — the slight attraction between electrons — that in turn results in superconductivity.

Earlier this year, in paper published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Goddard and Tahir-Kheli took their hypothesis a step further by accounting for the so-called pseudogap phase seen in cuprate superconductors. More

Metal undergoes novel transition under extreme pressure
Carnegie Institution for Science
Under extreme pressures and temperatures similar to those at the depth where the Earth's innermost two layers meet, iron oxide, one of the main materials of the Earth's interior, exhibits a never-before-seen transition in its electrical conductivity. But researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science report in a forthcoming paper in Physical Review Letters that the conductivity transition is not accompanied by a structural transition. The finding could have implications for our as-yet incomplete understanding of how the Earth's interior gives rise to the planet's magnetic field. More

Unlocking the details to how volcanoes work
Live Science
In volcanoes is the magma conduit, also known as a magma channel, a "soda straw" that taps a deep magma reservoir? Or is it a pathway made up of interconnected cracks? And how much force is associated with these eruptions? What is the role of magmatic gases in driving eruptions? To answer these questions Greg Waite and his research team at Michigan Technological University record earthquakes, low-frequency sound and gas emissions from high on the flanks of active, but relatively gentle volcanoes.More

Astronomy on a resurgent path in India
Indian Express
Astronomy is witnessing a resurgence in India, with the Indian government pushing for participation in several international projects. The National Radio Astronomy Center in India and the SKA Africa Project Office have already been cooperating under a bilateral agreement; and last year the Indian government pledged to participate in the Thirty-Meter Telescope megaproject in Hawaii. Expected to be ready by 2020, the TMT will be the largest and the most advanced telescope in the world. More

National Society of Black Physicists jobs board postings
Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics
Integrated Science Faculty in the College of Science
Summer Researcher
Summer Researcher
Mentor Opportunity Medical Physics Summer Experience Program
APS Scholarship Program for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors
AIP Congressional Fellows Program
Assistant Professor, Theoretical Physics, University of Minnesota Duluth
Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Summer Internship
Accelerator Physics Faculty
Jr Faculty Search — Elementary Particle Theory
Jr. Faculty Search – Elementary Particle Theory
Undergraduate Researcher
REU Participant
Summer REU Intern
Assistant Professor
University of Cincinnati Experimental High Energy Physics Tenure Track Assistant Professor Position
Baccalaureate Fellows Program
NanoJapan: International Research Experience for Undergraduates
Bucknell University - Assistant/Associate/Full Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Lehigh University REU Program in Physics

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 Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter
IOP Journal

A novel potential: the interlayer potential for the fcc (111) plane family

Elastic and anelastic relaxations in the relaxor ferroelectric Pb(Mg1/3Nb2/3)O3: II. Strain–order parameter coupling and dynamic softening mechanisms

Krylov-space approach to the equilibrium and nonequilibrium single-particle Green's function

High pressure transport properties of the topological insulator Bi2Se3

Dynamics and spontaneous coherence of magnons in ferromagnetic thin films More

Latest research from Journal of the Optical Society of America B
Journal of the Optical Society of America B
Switching and dynamic wavelength conversion in a fiber grating cavity

Sinusoidally chirped fiber Bragg grating for mode-locked application

Circuit model for mode extraction in lossy/lossless photonic crystal waveguides

Thermal noise in optical cavities revisited

Theory of lossless polarization attraction in telecommunication fibers: ErratumMore