NBSP Industry Update
April 20, 2011

DOE's spending cuts: A guide to trimming Obama's 2012 budget request
The Heritage Foundation
Nicholas Loris of the Heritage Foundation offers his thoughts for trimming the administration's request for the Department of Energy. Loris suggests cutting the Office of Science's budget by 29 percent or $1.59 billion, including $506 million from Basic Energy Sciences, and $94.4 million from High Energy Physics. He takes dead aim at the Office or Workforce Development for Scientists and Teachers, slating it for total elimination. Loris' analysis supposes that the private sector would step in and be a more efficient benefactor of these DOE activities. He implicitly assumes that the private sector would be more efficient in delivering the benefits from scientific research, even as anyone can trot out examples of public-funded and private-funded successes. (See also, IBM Honors the 25th Anniversary of High-Temperature Superconductivity) The analysis does not explore whether or not the private sector would actually be willing and able to replace the $1.59 billion worth of research activity cut from DOE.More

Obama's 2012 budget would freeze total spending, expand science and technology
Physics Today
Clean energy and basic physical sciences research would continue to shine in the president's budget. But House Republicans want cuts in research and development to begin right now. More

Quantum entanglement may help birds migrate
The Tech Journal
New research is suggesting that birds are able to "see" the Earth's magnetic field as if it were a pattern of colors by the method of quantum entanglement. The theory is that birds use a molecule called cryptochrome, located in their eyes, to sense magnetic fields. Electrons in cryptochrome electrons typically come in entangled pairs and movement between the pairs occurs when magnetic fields cause the molecules' electrons to wobble when sunlight knocks one of the electrons aside. More

Scientists teleport light
Discovery News
Researchers from Australia and Japan have successfully teleported wave packets of light, potentially revolutionizing quantum communications and computing. The technique depends upon entanglement, or superposition, of quantum states that can be prepared in the lab. This research shows that a complex mixture of quantum states can be destroyed in one place, and recreated with fidelity in another, a huge advance in quantum computing.More

Ferromagnetism plus superconductivity
A team of German chemists and physicists have been able to fabricate a bismuth-nickel compound (Bi3Ni) in the form of nanorods that exhibit both superconductivity and ferromagnetism simultaneously. The nanostructured material exhibits completely different properties than larger-sized samples of the same material. The nano scale size and the special form of the intermetallic compound — namely, tiny fibers — caused the physical properties of the material, which is nonmagnetic under normal conditions, to change so dramatically. Explaining the mechanism of superconductivity and the effect of nanostructure remains a challenge for these and related materials.More

Crystal containing mercury, rhenium and oxygen elevates Tc over that of metallic mercury
A research team in Japan has synthesized a promising new class of superconductors made of Hg0.44ReO3, where an unusual motion of the mercury atoms enhances superconducting properties at temperatures up to 7.7 K. Onnes noted 100 years ago that mercury was superconducting up to 4.2 K. The seminal BCS theory connects lattice vibrations to electron motion that produces superconductivity. The irregular structure of the Hg0.44ReO3 produces spatial vacancies through which Hg atoms can paired up. This provides a strong feedback to the electrons, resulting in Cooper pairs and superconductivity.More

Light's magnetic field could make solar power without solar cells
Wired Magazine
Physicists at the University of Michigan think they've discovered a new way of sourcing solar energy, that doesn't need expensive semiconductors and solar cells. Optical rectification in light's electrical field causes the positive and negative charges of a material to be forcibly tugged apart, causing potential difference. A magnetic field induces a deflection in electrons' trajectories causing electric and magnetic dipoles. More

Realization of a gravity-resonance-spectroscopy technique
Scientific Computing
Gravity creates several possible quantum states for neutrons. The Gravity Resonance Method allows induction and accurate measurement of transitions between these states. With ultra-cold neutrons, high-precision measurements of resonant transitions between different quantum states of gravity at short distances are possible. Beyond testing the gravity equivalence principle, the technique may usher in new understanding of cosmology and dark matter. More

The astronomy of Easter
Since the early centuries of the church, Christians have honored the death and resurrection of Jesus in the celebration of Easter. While the observance of Easter has changed over the centuries, it is based on the Hebrew Passover. For centuries, Passover and other Hebrew holidays, have been based on the well-known, 19-year cycle of the sun and moon. Two hundred thirty-five cycles of the moon's phases is nearly equal to 19 solar years. This means that every 19 years, the moon's phases will recur on the same dates of the solar year. This 19-year "luni-solar" cycle was the basis for the calendar used in Babylon, which influenced the Jewish calendar.More

South African Minister of Science launches the IAU Global Office of Astronomy for Development
In a ceremony held April 16 at the South Africa Astronomical Observatory, the International Astronomy Union's Global Office of Astronomy for Development was officially launched. In addition to Minister Pandor and IAU President Bob Williams, Dr. Pius Okeke, the first permanent president of the African Astronomical Society was in attendance, as well as NSBP members Charles McGruder and Hakeem Oluseyi. GOAD's mission is to coordinate a wide range of worldwide activities designed to use astronomy as a tool for education and development.More

Mozambique enters the radioastronomy community
Independent Online
Though the bulk of the African Square Kilometer Array will be in South Africa, it will be linked to no fewer than eight other smaller radio-telescope complexes across southern Africa. Recently, South Africa's Minister of Science, Naledi Pandor, led a delegation to Mozambique where a 12 m radio telescope is currently under construction. Supported by a $70,000 assistance package from South Africa, the Mozambique Radio Astronomy Observatory will be operational very early next year.More

Open access meets the not-so-open purse
American Institute of Physics
Over the past decade, debates on open access as a business model, or public access as a civic right, have arisen, primarily because of the economic stresses on library budgets, which have not kept pace with the rising costs of the journals. A recent report from the U.K. presents economic analyses of business model options to increase access while protecting the sustainability of the scholarly publishing enterprise.More

'How-to' guide will boost seismic networks in Africa
A group of U.S. academic institutions is putting together the first guide to setting up sustainable seismological monitoring centers in developing countries. The document is being put together by Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology — a U.S.-based academic consortium that supports open access to seismic data. The work follows the experiences of the AfricaArray, a six-year-old public-private partnership that supports training and research in earth, atmospheric and space sciences in Africa.More

Economic disparities drive differences in access to high school physics courses
American Institute of Physics
In her 2006 dissertation, Angela Kelly found that in New York City, often students' addresses, race or socioeconomic status are major determining factors in whether they have the opportunity to study secondary physics at any level. A new report published by the American Institute of Physics, based upon a larger sample of schools, suggests that the differences are likely driven more by socioeconomic factors than by race; a social phenomenon recognized more than 43 years ago as Martin Luther King worked to organize the Poor Peoples' Campaign in 1968. The incidence of black and Hispanic high school students increased apace with the overall identified pool, but still lagged that of Asian and Caucasian students. While the AIP analysis focuses on the 16 point gap between Caucasian students and black or Hispanic students, it would be interesting to explore the reasons behind the 11 point gap between Caucasian and Asian students, where the differences in socioeconomic descriptors are less pronounced.More

Science blogging and tenure
Science Careers
Can running your own blog help your career? Cell biologist Alexander Palazzo says his blog helped him secure an assistant professorship. Blogs can be a way to get your research results out early and discussed in an open forum, much like arXiv does. But there are professional pitfalls in using the blogosphere in a scientific professional setting. More

National Society of Black Physicists jobs board postings
Physics Faculty - 9 Month Appointment
Assistant Professor - Physics
APS Scholarship Program for Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors
Assistant Professor, Energy Resources Engineering
National Astrophysics and Space Science Program
Visiting Professor
Postdoctoral Research Associate Positions
Visiting Professor Positions

Latest research from Journal of the Optical Society of America B
Journal of the Optical Society of America B
Isochronal chaos synchronization of semiconductor lasers with multiple time-delayed couplings

Ultraviolet polarization pulse shaping using sum-frequency generation

Enhanced soliton self-frequency shift and CW supercontinuum generation in GeO_2-doped core photonic crystal fibers

Feedback-controlled recording and fixing of photorefractive holograms in reflection geometry on lithium niobate crystals

Pulse-width-dependent subluminal and superluminal propagation in highly doped erbium fibersMore

Latest research from IOP Journal
Europhysics Letters
Fe-based superconductivity with T c =31 K bordering an antiferromagnetic insulator in (Tl,K) Fe x Se 2

Coexistence of superconductivity and antiferromagnetism in single crystals A 0.8 Fe 2−y Se 2 (A=K, Rb, Cs, Tl/K and Tl/Rb): Evidence from magnetization and resistivity

Marked enhancement of Néel temperature in strained YMnO 3 thin films probed by femtosecond spectroscopy

Design of a low band gap oxide ferroelectric: Bi 6 Ti 4 O 17

Patterned deposition of particles in spatio-temporally driven latticesMore