25 years later: Challenger crew remembered
On Jan. 28, 1986, NASA space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board: Michael J. Smith, Francis R. Scobee, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnick, New Hampshire teacher Christa McAuliffe and NSBP member Ronald E. McNair.
Ron McNair received his first physics degree from North Carolina A&T State University. He spent his junior year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) were he took nuclear physics with former NSBP President, Dr. Sekazi Mtingwa, who was also an MIT undergraduate at the time.
McNair went on to earn a Ph.D. in physics at MIT under the supervision of Michael Feld. As a student he performed some of the earliest work on chemical HF/DF and high pressure CO lasers, publishing path-breaking scientific papers on the subject. After completing his Ph.D. he began working as a physicist at the Optical Physics Department of Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, Calif., and conducted research on electro-optic laser modulation for satellite-to-satellite space communications. Current NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden, credits McNair with inspiring him.
McNair had many other talents. He was a fifth degree black belt in karate. "He inspired me to get my black belt in karate," says Mtingwa. He also was an accomplished saxophone player.
Today, McNair's legacy lives on in dozens of programs like the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. More
1 giant step for African space industry
Making history by hosting the World Cup of space events, the International Astronautical Congress, a prominent leader of space science and technology in Africa and an emerging exporter of micro-satellite systems internationally – South Africa is making its considerable presence felt among 21st century space-faring nations. South African Institute of Physics (SAIP) President, Dr. Peter Martinez, talks about the benefits of space technology for Africa. More
Ghana to host first-ever science congress
Ghana Broadcasting Corporation Share
Ghana will host in June its first science congress in the West African country. The congress will discuss the need to harness and create a platform for academic interaction among participants. Leading scientists from Africa and other parts of the world are expected to attend the congress. The congress will be on the theme "Water, Sanitation and Environment: Securing our future through Science." More
African chemistry booming, but funding is scarce
African chemistry is booming, fuelled in particular by the classification and investigation of natural products. But, despite the recent boom in African chemistry with several continental and regional networks springing up, sustainable funding for research and maintenance of laboratory equipment remains a big challenge. More
Malawi's science commission finally takes shape
The National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) of Malawi has finally burst into life more than five years after it was first announced. The commission, which lay dormant due to lack of funding, was officially launched Jan. 13 after the government included it in the 2010–2011 budget. "NCST will define national research and development priorities to promote technology development, transfer and application, and provide monitoring and evaluation services in the national S&T and innovation system," said Henderson Chimoyo, NCST's director. More
Teaching in Africa
Marin Independent Journal and IOP News Share
South Africa is struggling to educate its black students, held down for years by apartheid. During apartheid it was forbidden to teach math and science to black students, who were trained only for manual-labor jobs. In international tests, South African students have tested at the bottom in math and science. South Africa also suffers from a serious shortage of qualified teachers. But San Francisco-based nonprofit Teach With Africa program is helping to close the gap in these and other subjects. More
Elsewhere in Africa, the Institute of Physics (IOP) is working with physics teachers to enhance their subject knowledge and give them the practical skills to show students the myriad of applications of physics. IOP is also providing internet and computing technology, and is working with local craftsmen to build experimental equipment for physics classrooms. More
Science 'could have helped with Brazil's floods'
In the wake of hundreds of deaths caused by torrential rains and mudslides in Brazil, the country's scientists have said they are frustrated by a lack of application of their knowledge, which could have prevented many deaths. In response Brazil will put in place a national disaster-prevention and early-warning system before next rainy season, the country's top science official recently said. More
Science Podcast: Science in Brazil
An interview with Science's Antonio Regalado on science in Brazil and how the country's fast-growing economy and oil discoveries are propelling its scientific enterprise to new heights. More
New twist on the electron beam: Nanograting imparts persistent angular momentum on beam
Science Daily News Share
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have found a novel and potentially widely applicable method to expand the capabilities of conventional transmission electron microscopes (TEMs). Development opens the possibility of adapting transmission electron microscopy, for quick and inexpensive imaging of a larger set of magnetic and biological materials with atomic-scale resolution. More
Italian scientists claim to have demonstrated cold fusion
Few areas of science are more controversial than cold fusion, the hypothetical near-room-temperature reaction in which two smaller nuclei join together to form a single larger nucleus while releasing large amounts of energy. In the 1980s, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleishmann claimed to have demonstrated cold fusion, but their experiment could not be reproduced. Several studies since then have made mainstream science highly skeptical of cold fusions plausibility. But recently two scientists at the University of Bologna, Italy, announced that they developed a cold fusion device capable of producing 12,400 W of heat power with an input of just 400 W. More
High school teacher develops new method of creating lab-on-a-chip devices
Daily Tech Share
A Cambridge high school physics teacher in Ohio has found an easy way to create a microfluidic chip, and a Harvard University researcher has used this inexpensive and simple method in his recently developed Microfluidics Lab for undergraduates. More
Neil de Grasse Tyson on 'The Daily Show'
NSBP member Neil deGrasse Tyson recently made an appearance on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show", where he promoted his new series of PBS specials for NOVA ScienceNOW. This season's episodes explore cutting edge science topics from human Mars exploration to how we might possibly be able to live forever (or at least a really long time). NOVA ScienceNow has featured NSBP members, Stephon Alexander, Arlie Petters and Richie Robinson.
National Society of Black Physicists Jobs Board Postings
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Latest research from Optics Express
Optics Express Share
Robust synthesis of dispersive mirrors
Analytical expression and optimization of spatial acquisition for intersatellite optical communications
Electrically controllable liquid crystal random lasers below the Fréedericksz transition threshold
Wide bandwidth, low loss 1 by 4 wavelength division multiplexer on silicon for optical interconnects
Surface line defect solitons in square optical lattice More
Latest research from IOP Publishing
Quantum Electronics Share
High-sensitive interferometric control of the quality of diffractive elements
Non-invasive, MRI-compatible fibreoptic device for functional near-IR reflectometry of human brain
Interference suppression of SRS
On the problem of local tissue hyperthermia control: multiscale modelling of pulsed laser radiation action on a medium with embedded nanoparticles
Regenerative amplification of picosecond 10-μm pulses in a high-pressure optically pumped CO2 laser More