This past weekend many of the female physics majors went to Umass Amherst for APS' conference for undergraduate women in physics. This is hopefully a start to an annual trip for the Gordon female physics majors. It was a great time for all of them to get closer with each other along with networking with other colleges, physicist, and organizations. While heading to the conference, one of the students had a "religious experience" when eating in a Chick-fil-A restaurant for the first time, and on the their way back, a student from Texas had the opportunity of driving in the snow for the first time. Even though the weather caused the conference to end a day early, everyone had a great time.
On December 8th Physics club went on their annual trip to the Boston Museum of Science during the Computer Science Education Weekend. They were able to enjoy the usual exhibits along with some fun interactive programming workshops and free computer science-themed merchandise.
At the end of last semester, this year's Intro to Engineering students ended their class strong with a robotics project final. Using a python programmable mini computer called a raspberry pi to control LEGO mindstorms motors and sensors, they had to design and built robots that will follow a line around the lab as fast as possible. This year the honor of fastest robot goes to Levi Strzepek who was able to get his robot to finish in 25 seconds. Unfortunately, the record of 18 seconds set a few years ago, has yet to be broken. Maybe next year's class can do it.
The Physics department is still hosting there weekly high school help sessions on Tuesday evenings from 7:30-9:30. A few weeks ago they had the pleasure of assisting a group of high schoolers from the same school prepare for their upcoming exam. Both the college and high school students seem to enjoy and benefit from these meetings. If you think this would help you or someone you know, spread the word or come on by.
On October 26th, the Physics Club had their annual Spooky Fall Party. The Engineering lab was completely decorated and students who came enjoyed food, music, games, and a very competitive costume contest.
During quad break, a few ladies from the Physics department decided to enjoy their day off and take a trip to the Museum of Science. They enjoyed not only learning new things about physics and other sciences but also applying and engaging in concepts of physics they've come across and learned in their classes so far this year.
There were physicists everywhere during Homecoming weekend. The day began early with two physicists finishing in the top-10 of the annual Scot Trot 5k race. Assistant Professor Tout Wang left everyone else choking on the dust kicked up behind Asics as he won the race by what seemed like an eternity over the 2nd place finisher. Physics major Ethan Williams had a strong showing too—after all, running is physics in motion. Over a dozen Physics alums came back to catch up on life since Gordon and to meet our new faculty. Physics Major Robert Mech tinkled the ivories on the bandstand with his punk rock group The Ultraviolet Catastrophe. Dr. Lee braved the sonic wall-o-sound to take a selfie. As you can see, Professor Lee also did some recruiting for next fall, figuring baby Nathan will probably be ready for Intro Physics by then, given the severely talented DNA in his cells. It was great to see everyone, and we hope to see you all again next year. But don’t wait for next year if you didn’t come this time—swing by anytime. You’re family.
The Physics Department has begun their weekly High School Physics help sessions. This is a time where students from local area high schools can come to get help on physics homework problems, conceptual clarification and maybe a good word of encouragement or two (and prayer if you ask!). These help sessions are every Tuesday evening from 7:30–9:20 p.m. in the Introductory Physics Lab on the 2nd floor of the Ken Olsen Science Center. Our physics majors are here to help you so come on by!
On September 15th the Physics Department went on their annual Fall Physics hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. They hiked Mount Pemigewasset and bonded over beautiful weather and magnificent views. Everyone discovered whether or not they were afraid of heights. Maggie and Betzy most definitely are not. Dr. Lee spent most of his time looking for small native Brook Trout in the stream that ran alongside the trail.
Freshman students in Physics Department and the 3-2 Engineering Program got acquainted with each other and with the Physics faculty during Orientation Day last month. They made some incredible pneumatic PVC marshmallow air guns. One way to add some “pop” to your life is to shoot mini-marshmallows out the barrel of a 120 psi PVC pipe air cylinder. This year our students hail from as close as Hamilton-Wenham high school just down to road to China and South Korea. And their interests vary just as much – we’ve got trumpeters and violinists, surfers and robot-builders, Fortnight masters and outdoors men and women. Welcome all to our family!
To start the year off right, the whole department celebrated by sharing a meal together at the with first of our weekly Monday Physics Dinners. It was a cookout and was held, as is tradition, on the first Thursday of the term. Guess what day the other Monday Physics Dinners are held?
David Yan and Luke Cui walked on May 19th, 2018 at commencement, receiving their degrees in physics. We send them off with prayers and blessings as they journey into the next season of their lives.
Freshmen students in Physics and 3-2 Engineering Department got acquainted with each other and the faculty during orientation. They made some colorful PVC lamps with LED bulbs to help them with their late night studying.
To kick off the year, Physics Club hosted a showing of Starwars: Rogue One in the engineering lab. The whole department celebrated the start of the year with a Labor Day cookout.
Tout Wang, Ph.D., joined the department as assistant professor of physics. Dr. Wang earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and his doctorate in physics from Harvard University, where he studied under Nobel Prize-winning physicist Wolfgang Ketterle at the M.I.T-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms. Most recently, Dr. Wang has worked as a scientific specialist at M Squared Lasers, a company specializing in widely-tunable lasers for the research market. When not experimenting on Bose-Einstein condensates, he enjoys running marathons. We are blessed to have Dr. Wang join us.
The Physics and 3-2 Engineering Department is excited to welcome recent graduate Jiin So to the department as a lab associate. In addition to helping our students wrestle with their physics courses and teaching Intro Physics labs, she will help maintain our labs and the many pieces of research and teaching equipment found therein. She will also continue the work she began in her senior thesis on time-resolved laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy of materials.
Oleksiy Svitelskiy, Ph.D., associate professor of physics received two separate NSF grants for his research, totaling over $500,000. One grant focuses on acoustic measurements in solids and the other one involves using whispering gallery mode resonant forces to manipulate microparticles. Congratulations to Dr. Svitelskiy on this professional affirmation of his good work.
“This summer I was working in a civil engineering lab at the University of Southern California. My main focus was on the corrosion properties of a newly developed alloy, CuAlMn. The alloy has super elastic properties that are of interest to seismic engineers, but the corrosion resistance has been studied very little compared to other alloys used in concrete reinforcement. We ran electrochemical tests on both the CuAlMn alloy and other common steel alloys to compare their corrosion behavior, with the goal of showing how the copper alloy behaves compared to the steel alloys currently used in corrosion resistant rebar.”
- Susan Alexis Brown '17
“I spent the summer at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a part of the Summer Computational Physics Workshop. I did studies on how the Portage parallel computing library scales with a number of processors. This work was in support of exascale computational simulations in a wide variety of physics topics. The summer program was a great experience and I highly recommend it if you are a rising junior or senior in physics.”
- Peter Crossman '17
“I was on campus doing research with Professor Svitelskiy on acoustic measurements of solids. The experiment is currently being modified to take measurements down to cryogenic temperatures and I spent my time helping design and build parts of the low-temperature apparatus.”
- Betzaida Berrios '19
Congratulations to the Class of 2017! Clayton Arundel, Susan Alexis Brown, Peter Crossman, Jungsu Lee, Qing Li, Kuo Lu, Sumin Kyoung, Jiaqi Qiao, Jiin So, and Andrew St Germain walked at the May 2017 Commencement, receiving their B.S. in Physics. Their hard work and dedication has been rewarded, and we wish them all the best in their future endeavors.