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  Mobile version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit Nov. 10, 2012
Volume: III
Number: 41

National Society of Black Physicists    African Physical Society   South African Institute of Physics   African Astronomical Society  


Electrons in solids may reveal intrinsic electron dipole moment
American Physical Society    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One key open question in physics is whether or not an electron has perfect spherical symmetry in its charge distribution. If the electron's charge distribution were found to deviate from perfect spherical symmetry (i.e., that it has an intrinsic electric dipole moment) this could potentially signal new physics beyond the standard model of particle physics. Physicists have heretofore studied this question via electrons in beams. But in a new paper in Physical Review Letters a team of physicists report their approach to this problem by studying electrons in the paramagnetic ferroelectric solid Eu0.5Ba0.5TiO3. Electron polarization and the material's high spin state lead to magnetization that can be robustly detected by a SQUID. The result leads to a nonzero electric dipole moment for the electron with an upper limit on the order of 10-25. More

Millimeter-wave oscillation is possible in ferromagnetic nanocontact device
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Technology    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A team of physicists in Japan has demonstrated that oscillation of 5-140 GHz is possible by supplying direct current to a ferromagnetic nanocontact device. Conventional giant magnetoresistive devices or ferromagnetic tunnel junction devices provide only low frequency oscillation and have been deemed unsuitable for applications requiring millimeter-wave (30-300 GHz) oscillation, including radar. However, as detailed in a paper in Applied Physics Letters, upon analyzing precessional motion of spin induced by supplying a current to a ferromagnetic nanocontact device, it was predicted that varying the current supplied to the ferromagnetic nanocontact device would cause the device to act as a current control-type oscillation device in the microwave to millimeter-wave range. If such a ferromagnetic nanocontact device is realized, it is expected to have applications in next-generation wireless communication technology and sensor technology. More

NSBP is participating in the 2012 Quadrennial Physics Congress

Get live updates from the 2012 Quadrennial Physics Congress via Twitter and the NSBP blog, Vector.

Weak measurements on photons push past Heisenberg's precision limit
University of Toronto    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Using quantum entanglement and the technique of weak measurements, where the action of a measuring device is weak enough to have an imperceptible impact on what is being measured; physicists at the University of Toronto have directly challenged the so-called measurement-disturbance consequence of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. That is, the idea that the very measurement of a system disturbs it. The researchers measured the polarization of a pair of photons in a way that allowed determination of the polarization both before and after measurement. The polarization of a photon is complementary to the position and momentum of an electron, and as such is subject to the Heisenberg constraints. As reported in Physical Review Letters, the researchers found that the disturbance induced by the measurement is less than Heisenberg's precision-disturbance relation would require. More

Increase your options for graduate or REU program admissions
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The NSBP GradApps and REUApps services are open to all students and allows them to upload all the elements of an admissions application, including academic and work history, transcripts, letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Graduate and REU programs can subscribe to these databases to increase the programs' applicant pool, while at the same time allowing students can put their credentials in front of more programs than to which they would otherwise apply. More

Nanoscale device makes light travel infinitely fast
Science Now    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A team of physicists and engineers has fabricated a waveguide wherein the index of refraction for visible light is zero. This means that light in the material can travel infinitely fast. The device consists of a rectangular bar of insulating silicon dioxide 85 nanometers thick and 2,000 nanometers long surrounded by conducing silver. The key to the device is its physical dimensions and the boundary conditions for the Maxwell equations. At the cut-off frequency for a given frequency-dimensions combination, a uniform field of light is in the waveguide instead of patterned fringes. The light therefore appears to be traveling infinitely fast as is everywhere at once. The key challenge in this work is the fabrication and characterization of the waveguide at the dimensions needed to make it work at visible light wavelengths. The paper will appear in Physical Review Letters. More

Semiconduction nanocrystals catalyze hydrogen gas production
Science News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Scientists long searched for cheap ways to photochemically produce hydrogen gas from water. A new report in Science indicates that a team in New York may have done it by using cadmium selenide nanoparticles coated with dihydrolipoic acid as the photoreceptor. Previous work using CdSe nanoparticles was limited by their insolubility in water. But tagging the particles with DHLA chains proved to be a significant advance as they allowed the nanoparticles to dissolve in water where there were nickel ions to catalyze the reduction of protons to neutral hydrogen gas. The resulting system is robust and lasts for nearly a month in continuous operation before degrading. More

The problem of the missing hydrogen in the early universe
University of Sydney via    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although stars themselves are hot, they can only form out of the coldest gas when a massive cloud of hydrogen can collapse under its own gravity until nuclear fusion starts. Astronomers have been puzzled as to why they could not detect cold star-forming hydrogen gas in the most distant, and hence older, regions of the universe. Two astrophysicists working in Australia have just devised a model that shows how supermassive black holes, which are present in the center of each active galaxy, is able to ionize all of the surrounding gas even in the very largest galaxies. When hydrogen gas is ionized it cannot be seen at 21 centimeters — the way cold star-forming gas is normally found. The model is presented in the Astrophysical Journal, and it suggest that the he nondetection of 21-centimeter absorption is not due to the sensitivity limits of current radio telescopes, but rather that the lines of sight to the quasars, and probably the bulk of the host galaxies, are devoid of neutral gas. More

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How do floating water bridges defy gravity?
Brookhaven National Laboratory    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Take two beakers of deionized water and set them close to each other. Apply a high voltage ~15 kV dc across the two beakers. After a critical charge accumulation has occurred a stable water filament will spontaneously form between the two beakers. This exact cause for the stability of the filament has confounded scientists for over 100 years. Recently, a team of scientists at Argonne National Lab were able to look at the local structure of the filament using high energy X-rays, and compare it to normal liquid water. The supposition was that there was some alignment of water molecules that stabilized the filament against the otherwise destabilizing force of gravity. The results reported via the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences were that there is no quantitative difference between the liquid water and the water in the bridge. It appears that it is only surface tension that holds the filaments up. The next step will be to employ small angle X-ray scattering studies to see if there is any special 2-D structure at the surface of the film compared to that of bulk water. More

Up-to-the-minute report from the 2012 Quadrennial Physics Congress
NSBP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
PhysCon 2012 is off to a great start with tours of NASA Kennedy Space Flight Center and inspiring opening talk by John Grunsfeld. Friday's program included talks by Nobel Laureate John Mather on the James Webb Space Telescope, and by NSBP member, professor Mercedes Richards, on astrophysical applications of tomographic imaging. You can follow Saturday's program, including talks by Freeman Dyson, Jocelyn Bell Burnell and NSBP member John Johnson by following the #PhysCon hashtag on Twitter and regular updates on the NSBP blog, Vector. More

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
Designed as a unique and much-needed resource for educators, managers and policymakers, the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering publishes original, peer-reviewed papers that report innovative ideas and programs for classroom teachers, scientific studies and formulation of concepts related to the education, recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in science and engineering.

Access now available to NSBP members at

Hunting dark matter with DNA
Science News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A theoretical physicist at the University of Michigan has proposed that a new kind of DNA-based detector could not only spot weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs, a leading candidate for dark matter, but could also determine incoming particles direction of flight. The paper detailing her proposal is posted on As the Sun orbits the center of the galaxy it should encounter a “wind” of WIMPs. Freese is proposing a sensor gold-DNA sensor where the collision of WIMPs with gold atoms would lead to specific cuts in the DNA strands. The idea has yet to be demonstrated but does represent an exquisite way to exploit the sensitivity and specificity of molecular biology to a problem in particle physics. More

365 Days of Astronomy Podcast
365 Days of Astronomy Podcast publishes daily podcasts, five to 10 minutes in duration. They are written, recorded and produced by people around the world. We are looking for individuals, schools, companies and clubs to provide five to 10 podcasts. You can do as few as one episode or up to 12 episodes (one per month, subject, of course, to our editorial discretion). Our goal is to encourage people to sign up for a particular day (or days) of the year. For more information, see the 365 Days of Astronomy website.

Physicist Bill Foster regains seat in U.S. House of Representatives
Physics World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Former Fermilab physicist Bill Foster was again elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Foster first won a congressional seat in 2008. Then he was a one of three physicists in Congress. He lost his re-election bid in 2010. When the House convenes in early January, Foster will join fellow Democrat Rush Holt, a one-time assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, who has represented a constituency in New Jersey for the last 14 years. More

Subscribe to NSBP e-newsletters for daily updates on physics, astronomy, photonics, policy and more. Twitterphysics, Twitter Astronomy Observer, Photonics and Optics Daily, Cosmology and Quantum Gravity, Science Policy Monitor and Science Funding Report. Powered by

National Society of Black Physicists jobs board postings
NSBP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Faculty Position in Experimental Astrophysics and Cosmology
Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy — Valparaiso University
Chair, Department of Physics
National Radio Astronomy Observatory Research Experience for Undergraduates
LIGO Livingston Operations Manager
Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Evolution
Astronomy Faculty Position at University of Arizona
Tenure Track Position in Experimental Quantum/Nano-Optics at the University of New Mexico
Associate Professor in Geometry and Topology in Physics at the University of Chicago
Member-Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards
Post Doctoral (12-0164)
Renewable Energy REU at Colorado School of Mines
Lecturer (Physics), U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Tenure-Track Faculty Position, Physics
Post Doctoral Research Associate - Space Telescope Science Institute
Assistant Professor, Experimental Physics
Tenure-track Position Applied Physics — #18557
Tenure-Track Assistant Professor — University of Maryland Baltimore County

Latest research from Laser Physics Letters
IOP Publishing    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Electrical pulse — mediated enhanced delivery of silver nanoparticles into living suspension cells for surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy

Fiber laser at 2 micron region using double-clad thulium/ytterbium co-doped yttria-alumino-silicate fiber

Diode-pumped continuous wave operation and passively Q-switched performances of a Nd:Sc2SiO5 laser crystal at 1.08 microns

Graphene-based, 50 nm wide-band tunable passively Q-switched fiber laser

Transmission spectroscopy of dengue viral infection

Latest research from Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids
Elsevier    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Intense blue up-conversion emission in Tm3 +/Yb3 + co-doped phosphate glass

Effect of La2O3 on the physical and crystallization properties of Co2+-doped MgO–Al2O3–SiO2 glass

Assessment of Ge-doped optical fibre as a TL-mode detector

Residual entropy and structural disorder in glass: A 2-level model and a review of spatial and ensemble vs. temporal sampling

Photoluminescence properties of PVP/Tb(TTA)2(Ph3PO)2NO3 nanocomposites

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