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Nov. 12, 2011
Volume: II
Number: 44
National Society of Black Physicists    African Physical Society    South African Institute of Physics   African Astronomical Society   
Global political economy meets radioastronomy research
The Economist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The high-stakes next decision point for the Square Kilometer Array is predictably colliding with global political and economic considerations. As an international panel is working through its process to make a site recommendation (either Africa or Australia) based of scientific and engineering considerations, the overriding political and economic considerations may take precedence if the SKA is to be built at all. More

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Can 2-dimensional metals support macroscopic supercurrents?
American Physical Society    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
How thin can a material be and still superconduct? Advances in synthesizing high-quality, ultrathin metal films have provided unprecedented opportunities to address this question. Experimental evidence suggests that superconductivity persists with a similar transition temperature, Tc, even in films that are only one to two atomic layers thick; however, these experiments have been based primarily on scanning tunneling spectroscopy, which detects the Cooper pairs, but not the existence of a macroscopic supercurrent. A result based on direct and macroscopic electron transport measurements, published in Physical Review Letters, shows that robust supercurrents flow over macroscopic distances in an atomically thin metal film of indium. More

Increase your options for graduate or REU program admissions
NSBP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article

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.

Physicists chip away at mystery of antimatter imbalance    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Why there is stuff in the universe — more properly, why there is an imbalance between matter and antimatter — is one of the long-standing mysteries of cosmology. A team of researchers working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology has just published in Physical Review Letters the results of a 10-year-long study of the fate of neutrons in an attempt to resolve the question, the most sensitive such measurement ever made. The universe, they concede, has managed to keep its secret for the time being, but they've succeeded in significantly narrowing the number of possible answers. More

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New metamaterial allows transmission gain while retaining negative refraction property
EurekAlert    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers at the University of Arizona have reported in Physical Review Letters a new type of active metamaterial that incorporates semiconductor devices into conventional metamaterial structures is demonstrating an ability to have power gain while retaining its negative refraction property, a first in the world of metamaterials research. More

2 distant gas clouds seem to be pure relics from the Big Bang    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the first time, astronomers have discovered two distant clouds of gas that seem to be pure relics from the Big Bang. Neither cloud contains any detectable elements forged by stars; instead, each consists only of the light elements that arose in the Big Bang some 14 billion years ago. Furthermore, the relatively high abundance of deuterium seen in one of the clouds agrees with predictions of Big Bang theory. More

Masters of the Universe:
National Society of Black Physicists

Electon spin increases the speed of polarization modulation in semiconductor laser    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new type of pulsed semiconductor laser that uses electron spin to boost the polarization modulation speed of its emitted has been created by researchers in Germany and Scotland. The polarization modulation occurs much faster than the intensity modulation normally used in optical telecoms systems — and the resulting polarization pulses could increase dramatically the speed of fiber-optic communications. The work has been published in Applied Physics Letters. More

Nuclear clock could steal atomic clock's crown
New Scientist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Atomic clocks are the basis of GPS devices, they define the official length of the second and recently played a role in tracking subatomic particles that seemingly traveled faster than the speed of light. Now this "ultimate" timekeeper has a rival: a new method for making nuclear clocks suggests such devices could be 60 times as accurate as their atomic rivals. A nuclear clock has not yet been made but the idea would be to use the atomic nucleus like a tuning fork. More

Gravitational lensing technique discerns distant quasar    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new twist on gravitational lensing has led to a unique view of a quasar surrounding a distant black hole. While black holes themselves are invisible, the forces they unleash cause some of the brightest phenomena in the universe. Quasars — glowing discs of matter that orbit supermassive black holes — heat up and emit extremely bright radiation as they do so. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, an international team of astronomers measured the quasar's size and studied the colors (and hence the temperatures) of different parts of the disc. These observations show a level of precision equivalent to spotting individual grains of sand on the surface of the moon. More

AfAS leader participates in LBL-founded program to share astronomy with African youth
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab    Share    Share on
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Susan Murabana, the education and outreach officer of the African Astronomical Society, has been in Berkeley, Calif., for the last few months working with the Global Hands-On Universe. GHOU was started in the early 1990s by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory astronomer Carl Pennypacker, who has now brought it to thousands of teachers in more than a dozen countries around the world. Through GHOU Murabana endeavors to develop human capacity to continue astronomy research programs taking place across the African continent, from Kenya and Ethiopia, to Ghana and Nigeria, and of course to Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Mauritius. More

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OSTP seeks comments on public access to data and results of federally-funded research
The White House    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On Nov. 4, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued two separate Requests for Information seeking recommendations for (1) ensuring "broad public access to the peer-reviewed scholarly publications," and (2) ensuring "long-term stewardship and encouraging broad public access to unclassified digital data" that results from federally-funded research. Comments regarding public access to scholarly publications are due Jan. 2; comments on access to digital data are due Jan. 12. More

South Africa's science ministry partners with national theater group to build excitement for the SKA
The Government of South Africa    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
South Africa's Department of Science and Technology is partnering with the arts via the South African State Theatre to launch a national drive to create awareness about Africa's bid to host the Square Kilometer Array telescope. The Full Moon Fever campaign combines exhibitions, a laser show, a performing arts presentation of African Stars and a night sky view — courtesy of the State Theatre. More

Purchase SKA Africa Gear at the SKA CafePress Store

SPIE conducts salary global survey for optics and photonics industry
OptoIQ    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
SPIE conducted a global salary survey of the optics and photonics community this past spring, with the goal of capturing employment and compensation patterns across regions, disciplines and types of organizations. Survey results identified a median salary of $75,000 overall. Not surprisingly, the survey found that location has a major effect on salary levels, with the highest in North America and Oceania (Australia and New Zealand). More

Southern Africa Large Telescope relaunched with new capabilities
Creamer Media's Engineering News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The South African Astronomical Observatory, the National Research Foundation and their international partners recently relaunched the Southern African Large Telescope in Sutherland, South Africa, six years after it was first launched in November 2005. Speaking of engineering challenges that had curtailed operations previously, SAAO director Dr. Patricia Whitelock said, "SALT science operations haven't started discontinuously; they've been gradually ramping up as less engineering is necessary and more science is possible." Astronomers can apply every six months for time on the SALT telescope. More

Argentina is trying to build a scientific establishment
The Economist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
South Africa is not the only middle-income country which aspires to join the world's scientific powers. Argentina, which boasts three Nobel science prizes — the largest haul of any Latin American nation — would like to as well. The country has increased national expenditures on research and development, raised salaries for scientists and been successful in luring departed expats back home. More

National Society of Black Physicists jobs board postings
NSBP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
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. More

Latest research from Reports on Progress in Physics
IOP Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Directional point-contact Andreev-reflection spectroscopy of Fe-based superconductors: Fermi surface topology, gap symmetry and electron–boson interaction

Films of iron chalcogenide superconductors

Does the growth of structure affect our dynamical models of the universe? The averaging, backreaction and fitting problems in cosmology

Nonequilibrium statistical mechanics: From a paradigmatic model to biological transport

Quasi-probability representations of quantum theory with applications to quantum information science

Latest research from Physics Letters A
Physics Letters A    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Staggered car-following induced by lateral separation effects in traffic flow

Nanogroove array on thin metallic film as planar lens with tunable focusing

Dynamics of vector dark soliton induced by the Rabi coupling in 1-dimensional trapped Bose–Einstein condensates

Integrable deformations of integrable Hamiltonian systems

Valley polarized electronic transport through a line defect in graphene: An analytical approach based on tight-binding model

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