July 13, 2010
THE DEMISE OF THE DEATH STAR
July 02, 2010
Department of Physics and Astronomy Mourns Alumnus and former Staff Member: Steven "Vince" Vincent Reinert, 1956-2010
June 18, 2010
Physics and Astronomy Department Announces Annual Undergraduate Student Award Winners
May 18, 2010
Fermilab scientists find evidence for significant matter-antimatter asymmetry
May 04, 2010
Congratulations to: graduate student Dimitra Atri on being awarded the 2010 Outstanding Thesis/Research Award from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for his Physics M.S. thesis work on the terrestrial atmospheric effects of cosmic rays.
Apr. 28, 2010
Congratulations to Dr. Humberto Campins (BA Astronomy 1977), Provost Research Professor of Physics and Astronomy and head of the Planetary and Space Science Group at University of Central Florida, on the first-ever detection of water-ice on the surface of an asteroid.
Apr. 08, 2010
Apr. 05, 2010
Mar. 20, 2010
Mar. 08, 2010
Where's Alice? As part of the celebration of International Women's Day, CERN and all of the collaborations at the LHC have put together posters. The CMS poster includes Dr. Alice Bean. Click to see if you can locate her!
Feb. 11, 2010
Jan. 11, 2010
Dec. 14, 2009
Nov. 23, 2009
Oct. 06, 2009
Kansas EPSCoR awarded $20 million for climate change, renewable energy research. Read the KU Press Release.
Sept. 24, 2009
Prof. Greg Rudnick discusses the new HST on the Walt Bodine Show on NPR. Listen to the Sept. 24 broadcast on the Walt Bodine Archives.
Aug. 25, 2009
Physical Review Letters selected papers from D0 and CDF on the discovery of electroweak production of the top quark at Fermilab's Tevatron as their result of the week/Aug. 24. The D0 collaboration includes Profs. Baringer, Bean and Wilson and graduate students Justace Clutter, Guo Chen and Carrie McGivern.
Aug. 19, 2009
Prof. Barbara Anthony-Twarog discusses Identified Flying Objects on the Walt Bodine Show on NPR Listen to the Aug. 19 broadcast on the Walt Bodine Archives.
Aug. 14, 2009
Prof. Steve Hawley discusses the future of the space program and manned missions with Steve Kraske on NPR - Up to Date. Listen to the Aug. 14 broadcast.
June 22, 2009
May 17, 2009
May 10, 2009
April 20, 2009
KU Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Greg Rudnick, discusses the Cosmos on the NPR Walt Bodine Show. To listen to the broadcast, click on this link and go to the April 20th program using the calendar listing.
April 06, 2009
KU Professor of Physics and Astronomy featured in the latest edition of KU Professor Profile. For the You-Tube video, see this site.
March 27, 2009
Congratulations to grad student Jennifer Sibille, selected as a Marie Curie Initial Training Network Early Stage Researcher, in the Marie Curie - PArticle Detectors network. The fellowship funds three years of study in Europe, with the majority at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland.
March 20, 2009
March 11, 2009
March 05, 2009
January 10, 2009
January 09, 2009
December 05, 2008
October 06, 2008
September 21, 2008
September 13, 2008
August 8, 2008
Ashley Jones, Freshman Astronomy Major, of Willard, MO will be among the Mount Oread Scholars walking up the Hill on Aug. 18. The complete press release can be found at this site
July 17, 2008
June 27, 2008
Congratulations to departmental Undergraduate Research Award winners for Fall 2008:
Jonathan E. Hill, sophomore in mechanical engineering, son of Lary and Diane Hill, working on Robust Micro Wind Turbine Generator for Remote and Austere Locations with Dave Besson, professor of physics and astronomy;
Alexander J. Krejci, senior in geology and in physics and astronomy, son of Jerry and Kelly Krejci, working on Proton Beam Calibration and LED Calibration System at CERN Particle Collider in Geneva, Switzerland with Michael Murray, associate professor in physics and astronomy;
Ryan E. Keast, junior in mathematics and in philosophy, son of Mark and Sandra Keast, working on Verdet Constants of Ice for Radiowaves with David Z. Besson, professor of physics and astronomy;
Mark L Stockham, senior in astronomy and physics, son of Steven and Marcia Stockham, working on Analysis and Classification of Background Sources in the Radio Ice Cherenkov Experiment (RICE) with Dave Besson, professor of physics and astronomy;
Miles L Detrixhe, sophomore in mechanical engineering, son of Gene and Mary Detrixhe, working on Radio Emission Coincident Analysis with Dave Besson, professor of physics and astronomy;
Jessica G. Snyder, senior in engineering and in physics and astronomy, daughter of Mike Snyder, working on Design, Development and Calibration of Radio Frequency Antennas in Tunka Valley, Russia with Dave Besson, professor of physics and astronomy;
Heidi JoAnn LeSage, sophomore in chemistry, daughter of Michael LeSage and Kim Nesbitt, working on Measuring the Brightness of the Large Hadron Collider with Michael Murray, associate professor of physics and astronomy;
Tyler Mark Cawley, sophomore in physics and astronomy, son of Brenda and Mark Cawley, working on IceCube with Dave Besson, professor of physics and astronomy;
Raul Velasco Ramos, sophomore in petroleum engineering, son of Raul Velasco Ramos and Ela Vania Guachalla Rivero, working on Antenna Simulation and Optimization with Dave Besson, professor of physics and astronomy.
The complete press release can be found at this link.
June 13, 2008
Undergraduate physics and geology major Alex Krejci has been named a finalist in the competition for the Vanderbilt Prize for Undergraduate Research in Physics and Astronomy, awarded in a national competition by Vanderbilt University. Alex received his prize for work in the area of Astrobiophysics with Prof. Adrian Melott, specifically computations to help determine the effects of increases in the high-energy cosmic ray flux on the Earth‘s atmosphere and biota. He will receive $500, an expense-paid trip to Vanderbilt for the awards ceremony, and compete for the first prize.
May 17, 2008 - Wes Unruh (1933 - 2008)
A service to celebrate the life of Wesley Paul Unruh will be held at 3 PM on June 7 at the Unitarian Fellowship of Lawrence. Wes died at home surrounded by family on Saturday, May 17, 2008, following a courageous five-month battle with acute leukemia.
April 25, 2008
Laura Stiles, undergraduate senior major in Engineering Physics, who received the award for the Best Undergraduate Student talk in Nuclear Physics at the APS meeting in St. Louis in April.
Dr. Dave Besson for his selection as an Outstanding Referee for 2008 for the journals of the American Physical Society.
Donald Edward Claus, senior in engineering physics, son of Donna Claus; Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, Salt Lake City, for his selection as one of 18 McNair Scholars for summer 2008. McNair scholars are undergraduates who plan to attend graduate school and pursue doctoral studies following the receipt of their bachelor’s degrees. The program supports first-generation college students and minorities underrepresented in graduate education. The full press release can be found at this site.
Bradley Joseph Klee, senior in engineering physics, and Alexander J. Krejci, senior in geology and physics, for receiving Undergraduate Research Awards for Spring 2008.
Bradley Klee, son of Kevin and Sheila Klee, is studying “Optimization of Statistical Analysis Programs for Cosmological Studies” with Hume Feldman, associate professor of physics and astronomy, while
Alex Krejci, son of Jerry and Kelly Krejci, is studying “Mechanisms by which Cosmic Rays Affect Biodiversity” with Adrian Melott, professor of physics and astronomy. The full press release can be found at this site.
Seven University of Kansas students, including Luis Vargas, senior in astronomy and physics with a minor in mathematics, and Eric Colangelo, freshman in mathematics and physics, calculated their way to $1,750 in prizes at the 26th annual KU Undergraduate Mathematics Prize Competition held March 31. Students will receive their awards at the mathematics department’s annual awards banquet April 23 at the Adams Alumni Center. The full press release can be found at this site.
April 07, 2008
Caitlin Rochford, recipient of a 2008 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. Caitlin is currently working toward a Ph.D. in the area of Condensed Matter Physics.
Laura Stiles, undergraduate senior major in Engineering Physics, who received an Honorable Mention in the competition for a 2008 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship.
February 27, 2008
Return to Planet Jayhawk - KU welcomes home astronaut and alumnus Steve Hawley, who will join the KU physics and astronomy faculty to teach and to promote math and science education in Kansas. Hawley flew on 5 space shuttle missions. All 3 Kansan astronauts are KU graduates. The complete press release can be found at this site.
February 26, 2008
KU students and researchers will be on hand this summer in Europe when the world's largest scientific device ever built begins operation. The Large Hadron Collider will allow researchers to better understand the underlying properties of the universe. The KU High Energy Experimental Group is featured among the stories cycling through on the KU top web page. For more details, go to this site.
January 31, 2008
Memorial services for Jacob Enoch, 80, Lawrence, will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Lawrence Jewish Community Center. Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Monday at B’nei Israel Cemetery in Eudora.
Mr. Enoch died Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008.
January 28, 2008
Recent items of interest regarding faculty and alumni include:
Dr. Amar Nath Ray (M.S. Physics 1995, Ph.D. Physics 1997) was selected as the top inventor last month by the communications firm, EMBARQ, where he is employed. During the last year, Dr. Ray has submitted more than 20 patent applications centered around 8 different concepts including seamless call transfer and VOIP address-based E-911. A copy of the story about Dr. Ray can be accessed at this link.
Dr. John Beacom (B.S. Physics and Mathematics 1991) has been promoted to Associate Professor at Ohio State University in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, after only three years at that institution. John is also a member of our Alumni Advisory Board.
Research carried out by the Astrobiology group at KU and Washburn, including recent Ph.D. graduate Dr. Brian Thomas, now on the faculty at Washburn, Prof. Melott and Prof. Anthony-Twarog, was featured on Space.com. The research is centered on the impact on Earth of a sunpernova generated by the death of Eta Carina. The news release can be found at this link.
December 28, 2007
Dr. Robert Stump
Private funeral services for Dr. Robert Stump, 86, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy, KU, will be at a later date.
Dr. Stump died Sunday, Dec. 23, 2007, at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington Kentucky.
Survivors include his wife, Jeanne Gass Stump; four sons, Daniel and wife Ruth Ann, East Lansing, Mich., Roger and wife Julia, Delmar, N.Y., Greg and wife Marcia, Lexington, and Jordan and wife Eleanor, Lincoln, Neb.; a brother, Thomas and wife Doris, Indianapolis; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Dr. Stump was preceded in death by a sister, Margaret Matchett. The family suggests memorials to a charity of the donor's choice. Kerr Brothers Funeral Home in Lexington, Kentucky is in charge of arrangements.
November 05, 2007
Congratulations to Alexander J. Krejci, senior in geology and physics, on his selection as a Dean's Scholar. Alex is one of nineteen University of Kansas students in the Dean’s Scholars Program who will be honored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the University Honors Program with a reception at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, at Nunemaker Center. Joseph Steinmetz, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will welcome returning and newly selected Dean’s Scholars. Established in 1992, the program provides recipients with annual $1,000 scholarships and faculty mentors and is designed to diversify the talent pool available for liberal arts and sciences faculties. A full press release may be found at this site.
October 25, 2007
Congratulations to Professor Adrian Melott on his selection as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of two faculty from KU chosen this year.The recognition was announced in this week’s issue of Science magazine. Dr. Melott, professor of physics and astronomy at KU, was recognized for “distinguished contributions to cosmological large-scale structure, for organizing public support for teaching evolution and for interdisciplinary research on astrophysical impacts on the biosphere,” the association said. A complete press release on this story may be found at this link.
October 18, 2007
Congratulations to Daniel Patrick Hogan, undergraduate major in Physics and Math, on his nomination by the University of Kansas to compete for prestigious Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, which provide tuition and living expenses for graduate study in Great Britain or Ireland. Daniel is one of three students nominated to compete for both scholarships. A complete press release on this story may be found at this link.
October 15, 2007
The research of Dr. Misha Medvedev and Dr. Adrian Melott on the effect of cosmic rays on the biodiversity of Earth is featured in the Search and Discovery section of the October issue of Physics Today. The complete version of the article, entitled Varying cosmic-ray flux may explain cycles of biodiversity by Bertram Schwarzschild, can be accessed at this link.
October 03, 2007
Congratulations to Daniel Cahn Nunes (BS: Astronomy, Physics - 1997) currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at theLunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX, on his selection as a NASA Carl Sagan Early Career Fellow. The fellowships are designed to facilitate the integration of new planetary science discipline researchers into the established research funding programs and to provide tools and experience useful when searching for a more advanced position.
September 17, 2007
Just when you thought it was safe to go outside: MEGADISASTERS
Scientists at the University of Kansas believe gamma ray bursts were responsible for a great mass extinction on Earth 450 million years ago. The gamma rays strip away the ozone layer and generate chemical smog, producing a widespread chill that grips the Earth. It would cause food chains to collapse resulting in a prolonged worldwide famine. Also, an expected electromagnetic pulse will zap all of our electronics. Scientists predict the Earth will be able to support only 5 to 10 percent of its current population; that means close to 6 billion people will die--most by starvation. How will our modern cities hold up in the face of a previous global catastrophe?
September 07, 2007
Congratulations to the following majors on their selection as recipients of the Departmental Scholarships/Awards for this year:
August 18, 2007
The annual picnic celebration of the start of the academic year by the Department of Physics and Astronomy was held at Dad Perry Park in Lawrence from 4:30 to 8:00 PM. Thanks to the organizational efforts of Chair Steve Sanders, Office Supervisor Teri Leahy, a host of faculty and student minions, and the expertise of the Director of Culinary Labs, Bob Curry, an enjoyable time and meal were had by a large collection of faculty, students, retired faculty, and associated family and friends. A few shots of the event are seen above.
August 10, 2007
Congratulations to incoming freshman majors within the Department of Physics and Astronomy who have been named Mt. Oread Scholars. The students, along with their majors, their parents, and their high schools are:
Alexander John Porter, Engineering Physics-BS, son of Frank and Robyn Porter, Iola Senior High School, Iola, KS; Bryce James Jones, Astronomy-BS, son of Susan and Brian Jones, Riverton High School, Riverton, KS; Alex Matthew Juby, Physics-BS, son of Michael and Kathrina Juby, Buhler High School, Buhler, KS.
The Mt. Oread Scholars will take part in the 11th annual Walk Up the Hill, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13. Kathryn Nemeth Tuttle, associate vice provost for Student Success, will lead the walk and provide commentary about campus history and Mount Oread, pointing out landmarks along the way. The walk signifies the beginning of a higher education journey for the 189 Mount Oread Scholars whose ultimate goal is to walk down the hill upon graduation. Two scholars will carry the 2007 KU graduation banner to further mark this important beginning, and scholars are encouraged to wear their Mount Oread Scholars T-shirt that states, “What Goes Up, Must Come Down.” Established in 1996, the Mount Oread Scholars Program is designed to facilitate academic connections on campus and is part of KU’s University Advising Center. New first-year students are invited to become Mount Oread Scholars during their first years at KU if they graduated in the top 20 percent of their high school classes and received an ACT composite score of at least 28 or a minimum SAT score of 1,240.
JULY 19, 2007
AWARD-WINNING STUDENT RESEARCH
Twenty-eight undergraduates at the University of Kansas are working on research projects this summer funded with grants of about $1,200 from the University Honors Program. Seven of the students are working with advisors within Physics and Astronomy. The students, their projects, and their advisors are listed below:
Lynne Marie Lammers, sophomore in physics, daughter of Jana Jorn of Baldwin City, and Carl Lammers of Ottawa; Baldwin City High School; “Antarctic Sensitivity Map”; Dave Besson, professor of physics and astronomy.
MAY 31, 2007
Etta "Elaine" Vick 1922 - 2007
Memorial services for Etta “Elaine” Vick, 84, Lawrence, will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Lawrence. Mrs. Vick died Thursday, May 31, 2007, at Brandon Woods Retirement Center in Lawrence. She was born Aug. 23, 1922, near White City, the daughter of Frank and Golda Good Leonard. She was valedictorian of her graduating class in 1939. She was a Watkins scholar at Kansas University from 1939 to 1941. She attended Tony Wicher’s photo school in Topeka. She received a Bachelor of Arts in general studies in 1985 and a Master of Social Welfare in 1991, both from KU. Mrs. Vick worked in photography studios in Corvallis, Ore., and Lincoln, Neb. She and her husband, Allen, moved to Burlington and opened Vick Studio in 1946. They moved to Lawrence in 1961. In 1977 they moved to the Baldwin City area and ran the studio there until the late 1990s. Mrs. Vick also worked at KU in the physics and astronomy department for more than 10 years. She was instrumental in development of the Ballard Center and served as a secretary on the founding board. She was an advocate for both civil and human rights. She and her husband served as emergency foster care providers for many years. She also advocated for the elderly and nursing homes. Mrs. Vick was a member of First United Methodist Church in Lawrence. She was active in the United Methodist Women’s Association and involved in mission work. She was also a member of the Photography Association. She married Norman Allen Vick on Nov. 11, 1945, in Baldwin City. He survives, of Lawrence. Other survivors include a son, Kevan Vick and wife Gail, Lawrence; two daughters, Shari Raybern and husband Don, Lawrence, and Ardith Meadows, Topeka; 11 grandchildren, Ryan, Colby and Hannah Vick, Jennifer and Kelli Raybern, Jon and Aaron Meadows, Maria Wikle, Nicole Brundage and Kristina and Nikolas Rasmussen; four great-grandchildren, Raven, Kaylyn, A’santi and Caden; and several stepgrandchildren. Mrs. Vick was preceded in death by a daughter, Lynette Rasmussen, and four brothers, Wilbur, Alvin, Wayne and Phillip. The family suggests memorials to the American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association in Topeka or First United Methodist Church, sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. Online condolences may be sent at www.warrenmcelwain.com, subject: Vick.
MAY 28, 2007
Congratulations to Professor Judy Wu on her designation as a UNIVERSITY DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR. Prof. Wu joins Professors Kristin Bowman-James, Townsend Peterson, and Joseph Steinmetz, who are also being honored at this time. Professor Wu's work has had great impact within her discipline while bringing honor and distinction to the University.
MAY 18, 2007
Professors Misha Medvedev and Adrian Melott were selected by the American Physical Society for a press conference on their work linking terrestrial biodiversity fluctuations, the dynamics of our Galaxy, and cosmic rays. The research has been written up in Science News, National Geographic.com, Science, Space.com, MSNBC.com, DailyIndia.com, and the all-important Kazinform, the Kazakstan national news agency. The work will be published in the Astrophysical Journal. A full press release can be found at this site.
STUDENTS: Congratulations to Michael Scott Merz, bachelor’s degree candidate in engineering physics, on his selection to carry the banner for the School of Engineering in the 2007 Commencement.University of Kansas students who have excelled academically have been selected to carry banners for KU’s 13 schools and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences during commencement next month. As banner carriers, the students will lead their fellow graduates in the traditional march down Mount Oread into Memorial Stadium at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, for KU’s 135th commencement. Banner bearers also will join university officials on a platform in the stadium for the ceremonial conferring of degrees. A full press release may be found at this site.
FACULTY: Congratulations to Professor Alice Bean on receiving the Steeples Service to Kansans Award. The award recognizes faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who provide significant service to the people of Kansas as a purposeful extension of their teaching and research. The award is $1000. Recipients also receive a base adjustment to their salaries. Prof. Bean is being cited for her work with the science education project, Quarked!
Congratulations to Professor Doug McKay on being selected as the 2007 recipient of the CLA&S Career Achievement Teaching Award.The $1000 award recognizes his distinguished teaching career, the profound impact he has had in the lives of students, and how deeply he is valued by the College.
ALUMNI: Congratulations to retired Rear Adm. Gene Kendall of Fernandina Beach, Fla., recipient of the Distinguished Engineering Service Award for 2007 from the School of Engineering. The award was created by the KU School of Engineering Advisory Board in 1980 to honor engineering alumni, or engineers who’ve maintained a close association with the school, for their outstanding contributions to the theories and practices of engineering research and development in new fields of engineering or direction of an organization that has made exceptional contributions in design, production and development. Admiral Kendall is a 1971 BS graduate of the Engineering Physics program. A full press release can be found at this site.
APRIL 17, 2007
Dr. Hui Zhao, currently a Post-doctoral Research Scholar at the Laboratory for Photonics and Quantum Electronics at the University of Iowa, has accepted an offer to join the Department of Physics and Astronomy as an Assistant Professor beginning Fall 2007. Dr. Zhao received his Ph.D. from the Institute of Optoelectronics, Northern Jiaotong University, China in 1999. He spent three years at the Institut fuer Angewandte Physik, Universitaet Karlsruhe, Germany before joining the research group in Iowa in 2003. His primary interest is in coherent control of carrier dynamics in semiconductors.