School of Physics & Astronomy
Advanced Photon Source (APS) User Organization
RIT School of Physics and Astronomy professor Michael Pierce was recently nominated, and subsequently elected by the x-ray science community, to the steering committee for the Advanced Photon Source (APS) User Organization. This committee advises the APS Laboratory Director on several matters related to the science, operation, and improvement of the most intense source of x-rays in North America. The steering committee represents an important link between the community of scientists that use the facility and the team of scientists that maintain and operate the facility. This is a very exciting period of time for the organization as the facility will undergo an upgrade over the next few years to maintain its position as a world leader of x-ray based science.
From the APS website: "The APS is one of the most technologically complex machines in the world. This premier national research facility provides the brightest x-ray beams in the Western Hemisphere to more than 5,000 (and growing) scientists from around the United States and the world. These scientists come to the APS from universities, industry, medical schools, and other research institutions. Our users bring with them ideas for new discoveries in nearly every scientific discipline, from materials science to biology, chemistry, environmental and planetary science, and fundamental physics. They bring their ideas to the APS because our x-ray beams let them collect data in unprecedented detail and in amazingly short time frames. The knowledge our users gain here promises to have real and positive impact on our technologies, our health, our economy, and our fundamental understanding of the materials that make up our world."
Why Astronomy Images Matter
How can scientists present complex images to the public without diminishing their scientific content? This dilemma, routinely faced by researchers from a wide range of fields, is being tackled by education and public outreach experts at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, as described in the space.com article "Spellbinding Cosmic Beauty: Why Astronomy Images Matter." The article makes its point via astronomical X-ray images obtained with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory by RIT's Joel Kastner and his international team. (An article on the same RIT-led Chandra imaging program, written for the international community of astronomers by Kastner and inaugural RIT AST PhD recipient Rudy Montez, serves as the cover story for the Spring 2013 Chandra X-ray Observatory newsletter.)
left to right is Zhiping Zhou (editor-in-chief of "Photonics Research") , Shin-Tson Wu( board-of-editors chair), Steven Chu (then Secretary of Energy for President Obama) and Grover Swartzlander (editor-in-chief of J. Opt. Soc. Am. B).
Rochester Institute of Technology Associate Professor of Imaging Science and Physics, Grover Swartzlander recently attended the Leadership Meeting of the Optical Society of America in Washington DC (6-8 Feb), where he had the opportunity to meet with other editors and discuss topics related to science publishing.
RIT Observatory had a successful, but chilly, Open House
On Dec 13, 2012 over 50 visitors came to watch for shooting stars from the Geminid meteor shower. We also provided views of Jupiter through our telescopes. As a bonus, we were able to see the asteroid Toutatis (see picture) zip through the sky as it passed the Earth only about four million miles away. More details can be found at the RIT Observatory web site
RIT Doctoral Student Wins Time with Two NASA Observatories
Principe is in his third year of RIT’s astrophysical sciences and technology doctoral program housed in the School of Physics and Astronomy within the College of Science.
Rochester Institute of Technology graduate student David Principe has won observation time in the upcoming year to study star formation with NASA's new Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)—flown on a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft—and the space telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Read the full story at University News
A Multi-Wavelength View of Radio Galaxy Hercules A
Plasma Jets from Radio Galaxy Hercules A
Stefi Baum (CIS) and Chris O'Dea (SOPA) obtained 3 orbits of observing time on the Hubble Space Telescope in order to study the parent galaxy of a very powerful radio source known as Hercules A. The color image is constructed using filters in the visual (V-band) and near-infrared (I band). The Hubble image shows a massive elliptical galaxy with a companion galaxy surrounded by faint members of a galaxy cluster. There is also a network of filaments containing cold gas and dust in the galaxy. The Hubble image is shown overlayed on a radio image made by William Cotton and Rick Perley (NRAO) using multiple telescope configurations and frequencies of the newly upgraded Jansky Very Large Array telescope. The radio source shows two oppositely directly relativistic outflows ejected by the central supermassive black hole in the parent galaxy.
Visit the HUBBLESITE
Undergraduate physics major Hao Shi recently published three peer-reviewed articles with his research advisor Mishkat Bhattacharya.
Hao was first author on publications appearing in the Journal of Modern Optics and in Physical Review A
Robert Teese, Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy, is the recipient of the 2012-13 Provost's Innovative Teaching with Technology Award.
Astrophysicists to probe dark matter in sunny California. Assistant professor Sukanya Chakrabarti brings together leaders in the field for American Astronomical Society conference.
Sukanya Chakrabarti talked about Jupiter's Big Red Spot on The Weather Channel's "Deadliest Space Weather" series. View Video
Mike Kotlarchyk, Head of the School of Physics & Astronomy, wrote an article providing an overview of Optics at RIT for the Rochester Section of the Optical Society of America.
Physics majors Zachary Howard and Robert Karl Jr. traveled to Baltimore MD for the March Meeting of the American Physical Society. At this meeting, the single largest annual gathering of professional physicists, they each gave a contributed talk based upon their work at RIT. Mr. Howard gave a talk over the results of his capstone project studying the simulation of magnetic domains and how these simulations can be used to help guide and model experimental results. Mr. Karl presented his work on the analysis of x-ray speckle patterns used to study the dynamics of Ag single crystal surfaces.
During the meeting they were also able to attend lectures by 3 different Nobel laureates: Prof. Serge Haroche and Dr. David J. Wineland, both of whom shared the 2012 award for their experimental work with quantum systems, and a separate lecture by U.S. Secretary of Energy, Prof. Steven Chu, that won the 1997 prize for his work cooling and trapping atoms.
David Merritt received a grant of $448,929 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to support his research into dynamics of galactic nuclei.
Rochester Institute of Technology professor Grover Swartzlander has been appointed the incoming editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Optical Society of America B.
The international scientific publication of the Optical Society of America has been in print since 1917. It currently publishes approximately 450 papers per year in the area of optical physics.
Read the full story at University News
"The effect of controllable thin film crystal growth on the aggregation of a
novel high panchromaticity squaring viable for organic solar cells" was accepted for publication in Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells on 8 January 2013.
The authors are (all RIT except †Department of Physics and Astronomy, Appalachian State University) Students: Susan D. Spencer, Cortney Bougher†, Patrick Heaphy, Victor Murcia, Cameron Gallivan, Amber Monfette,
Faculty: John Andersen, Jeremy A. Cody, Brad Conrad†, Christopher J. Collison
RIT Physics major, John (Jay) Howson, won the college student submission to the RMSC Science. Video of the demonstration can be found on youtube
Science TV Show Invites Middle-School Kids to Prove Their World.
Read the full story at University News
A Young Star Flaunts its X-ray Spots in McNeil's Nebula. Read the full story at University News
Three of Dr. Mishkat Bhattacharya's students made presentations, earlier this year, including Sydney Igbokwe at the McNair Conference, Niagara Falls, NY in July, Hao Shi at the American Physical Society (Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Atomic Physics) meeting in Anaheim, CA 2 in June, and Hao Shi and Michael Eggleston at the Special Undergraduate Symposium, Optical Society of America meeting , Rochester, NY in October.
Mishkat Bhattacharya is among the recently announced winners of the 2012
Three physics students were accepted to present at the Materials Research Society Fall Meeting in Boston this November. Junghune Nam, a physics senior working with Dr. Michael Pierce, will present on his research related to measuring structural disorder in magnetic thin films. Two of Dr. Seth Hubbard's students, Mitch Bennett (BS Physics, MS Materials Science & Engineering) and Adam Podell (BS Physics, MS Materials Science & Engineering), will present on their research related to growth of quantum dots and the use of novel light management for solar energy. In addition, Dr. Hubbard was invited to give a presentation on his group's work in quantum photovoltaics.
Scott Franklin was published in Physics Today for his article, “Geometric cohesion in granular materials.” Several undergraduates aided him in research and are also mentioned. Click here for the full article.
Prof. Grover Swartzlander presented an invited talk on the topic of optical lift at the 4th International Conference on Smart Materials, Structures, and Systems (CIMTEC-2012), on June 12 in Montecatini Terme, Italy. The week long meeting included talks on biomimetics, metamaterials, shape memory alloys, and biomedicine.