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Aug. 10, 2011
Volume: II
Number: 31
National Society of Black Physicists    African Physical Society    South African Institute of Physics   African Astronomical Society   
Belt of antiprotons around Earth discovered by Pamela craft
BBC Science    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A thin band of antiprotons enveloping the Earth has been spotted for the first time. The find, described in Astrophysical Journal Letters, confirms theoretical work that predicted the Earth's magnetic field could trap antimatter. The antiprotons were spotted by the Pamela satellite (an acronym for Payload for Antimatter Matter Exploration and Light-nuclei Astrophysics) — launched in 2006 to study cosmic rays. More

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A thermal planetary habitability classification for exoplanets
Planetary Habitability Laboratory @UPR Arecibo    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Current and future observations by ground and orbital missions will be able to identify habitable exoplanets. But there are no scientific planetary habitability classifications schemes — Star Trek notwithstanding. Professor Abel Mendez Torres of the University of Puerto Rico proposes a classification scheme derived from the simple thermal classification for microbial life. More

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NASA spacecraft data suggest water flowing on Mars
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed possible flowing water during the warmest months on Mars. Dark, finger-like features appear and extend down some Martian slopes during late spring through summer, fade in winter, and return during the next spring. Repeated observations have tracked the seasonal changes in these recurring features on several steep slopes in the middle latitudes of Mars' southern hemisphere. "The best explanation for these observations so far is the flow of briny water," said Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona, Tucson. More

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Astronomy of Ramadan
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Science Magazine features a nice profile of Algerian astrophysicist Nidhal Guessoum and his work to make the determination of Ramadan more systematic. Currently the determination of the holy month is made by naked eye observations that are very dependent on local atmospheric conditions. Guessoum is vice president of the Islamic Crescents' Observation Project, which has developed computer models to help Islamic religious leaders derive start dates for the holy month, no matter where their mosques are located. More

How planets can survive a supernova
Scientific America    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When a star dies in a violent supernova, some of its planets may survive the blast but be ejected from orbit and sent wandering the galaxy, a new study suggests. The theory offers an explanation for the handful of free-roaming planets found so far, and it could mean many more such rogue worlds exist across the Milky Way. More

Masters of the Universe:
National Society of Black Physicists

What is the Higgs boson and why is it important to science?
ExtremeTech    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Why are physicists around the world eagerly searching for the Higgs? The so-called Higgs field itself, aside from being the explanation for why everything in the universe has mass, is also one of the final pieces of the puzzle we call the Standard Model of physics. It neatly ties together elements of quantum mechanics and electromagnetism, and would be an integral part of the material world that we all live in. Plus, it may even interact with other particles we have yet to discover, like the ones that may make up dark matter. More

Magnetic semiconductors for opto-spintronics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Diluted magnetic semiconductors — which are semiconductors in which some of the nonmagnetic cations have been replaced with paramagnetic ions — are often touted as being the ideal building blocks for spin-based electronics, or "spintronics" because of the interactions between the magnetic dopants and mobile charge carriers. ZnO in particular has attracted a flurry of attention recently as a possible spintonics material for high-temperature applications. Daniel Gamelin and colleagues of the University of Washington, Seattle, together with Rudolf Bratschitsch and colleagues at the University of Konstanz, Germany, have used time-resolved Faraday rotation to measure the ultrafast spin dynamics in ZnO thin films with and without cobalt doping. More

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CERN taps home PCs for virtual particle collisions
ZD Net    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
LHC@home 2.0, which officially opened in public beta Aug. 8, provides a way for volunteers to donate spare computing power from their PCs and laptops to simulate particle smashes like those that occur inside the Large Hadron Collider. To participate, people download open-source visualization software. The first project to be conducted under the public beta is Test4Theory, which already has 2,000 users from the limited trial of the platform. More

SETI receives over $200,000 in donations; Allen Telescope Array back in action
Daily Tech    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Back in April of this year, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute was temporarily shut down due to reduced federal dollars and a state budget crisis. But after receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from fans, SETI is now back in action. More

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Zeroed out by House Republicans, NASA's controversial Webb telescope struggles on    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Scientists at Huntsville's Marshall Space Flight Center are continuing to test James Webb Space Telescope mirrors this summer, even though the telescope hailed as the world's next great leap in astronomy is arguably, at the moment, broke. The House Appropriations Committee zeroed out the Webb telescope in July, citing frustrations at cost overruns caused by bad budgeting and management mistakes. It literally provided no money for the telescope in fiscal 2012, even though $3.5 billion has already been spent. More

Study: Even Nobel Prize-winning ideas take a long time to get accepted
BioScholar    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many laureates see their Nobel-winning idea grow in acceptance from their first related scientific article to their most successful publication. But their later work related to the Nobel idea gains less acceptance, and many times is no more accepted by the scientific community than their very first efforts. More

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US National Research Council proposes science education shift
The Scientist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A National Research Council panel, led by former American Physical Society President Helen Quinn, unveiled the details of a new framework to serve as the foundation for K-12 science education in the United States. Under the new framework, science curricula will focus on four core disciplinary areas — the physical sciences; the life sciences; earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology and the applications of science. This format differs from the traditional separation of science education into distinct classes like physics, chemistry, biology and environmental sciences — a division that has been criticized for being "a mile-wide and an inch-deep." More

Algeria gears up for National Festival in Astronomy
Sirius Astronomy Association    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Algerian astronomers invite worldwide participation in the country's 10th National Festival on Popular Astronomy, Oct. 29 - Nov. 2. The gathering is both an astronomy exposition and a series of seminars and workshops geared to the general public. The festival has grown to be the largest multinational gathering of its kind in North Africa and even perhaps in Africa. This year's theme is "50 Years of Space Exploration." To encourage more participants, especially from Africa, full local accommodation and participation fees will be covered. More

National Society of Black Physicists jobs board postings
NSBP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Assistant Professor - Nanoscience Biophysics — UPenn
4 Tenure-Track Faculty Positions in Experimental and Computational Condensed Matter Physics
Program Manager Antartic Research Logistics Integration
Faculty Position in Experimental Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
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)
Project Officer: IAU Global Office of Astronomy for Development (3-Year Contract)
South African Research Chairs
Faculty Position in Theoretical Solid State Physics
APS Scholarship Program for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors
HBCU STEM Fellowship Program
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
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. More

Latest research from Physics in Medicine and Biology
IOP Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail

Modelling of the acoustic field of a multi-element HIFU array scattered by human ribs

Evaluation of multiple-sphere head models for MEG source localization

SPECT detectors: the Anger Camera and beyond

A novel phoswich imaging detector for simultaneous beta and coincidence-gamma imaging of plant leaves

Feasibility study for a novel method of dual energy X-ray analysis

Latest research from the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America Express Letters
JASA Express Letters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Importance of temporal-envelope speech cues in different spectral regions

Propagation of 2 longitudinal waves in a cancellous bone with the closed pore boundary

Geoacoustic inversion in a dispersive waveguide using warping operators

Perception of interrupted speech: Cross-rate variation in the intelligibility of gated and concatenated sentences

Modeling manner of contact in the synthesis of impact sounds for perceptual research

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