Department of Physics News
Announcements for 2008Posted Dec. 31, 2008
Symposium on Biaxial Nematic Liquid Crystals
On October 27 and 28, 2008, experts from around the world gathered at Kent for a special symposium on Biaxial Nematic Liquid Crystals, organized by Profs. Dave Allender and Satyen Kumar. Click on the photo above to see additional pictures.
- Congratulations to Dr. Jon Secaur; on October 8th, 2008, he was named by the University Teaching Council as a winner of the 2008 Outstanding Teaching Award.
- Congratulations to recent PhD graduate Dr. Ramesh Subedi (pictured opposite), and to his Research Advisor, Prof. John Watson, on the occasion of the publication in June 2008 of results from the PhD dissertation of Dr. Subedi in the prestigious journal Science. Dr. Subedi is first author of a high-impact paper entitled Probing Cold Dense Nuclear Matter, which resulted from experimental scattering measurements carried out by an international collaboration involving Kent State and thirty other institutions working at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, Virginia. The new measurements highlight the remarkable extent to which the protons and neutrons that make up the nucleus of an atom are on average configured as closely associated neutron-proton pairs. The special expertise of Kent State Profs. John Watson and Bryon Anderson in detection of neutrons with high efficiency, and in measurement of neutron properties, played an essential role in this ground-breaking measurement. In the future, this basic research has the potential to influence our understanding of nuclear matter in contexts ranging from everyday materials to the exotic superdense matter found in neutron stars. The July/August 2008 issue of CERN Courier features an article providing further details about this research.
Since graduation, Dr. Subedi has been employed as a Posdoctoral Researcher at the University of Virginia.
- Congratulations to our faculty members John Barrick, Tom Emmons and Jon Secaur, who in recent years, between them, have taught the great majority of the sections of the physics course Seven Ideas that Shook the Universe. All three are award-winning instructors and have been remarkably successful in building up the well-deserved reputation of Seven Ideas as easily the most popular and stimulating course for satisfying Kent State University's Liberal Education Requirement (LER) in the Basic Sciences.
Seven Ideas is taken by a large fraction of all Kent State students, and has earned many very remarkable distinctions over the years — see the page linked above for details. Our physics chair Bryon Anderson also deserves recognition as one of the original developers of the course and a co-author of the textbook (along with Emeritus Prof. Nathan Spielberg).
- Congratulations to Research Associate Dr. Mikhail Kopytine, who has been recognized by the periodical Science Watch, in their March/April 2008 issue, as sharing first place in their world-wide ranking of scientists with the greatest number of "hot papers" in 2006-07. Last year, Dr. Kopytine was jointly #2 in this ranking, but he has since pulled ahead of the long-standing leader, Japanese Immunologist Shizuo Akira. It should be noted that the ranking used by Science Watch has no subjective input, and is based solely on the number of citations received by papers published in peer-reviewed journals. Click on the table above to read the full article.
Dr. Mikhail Kopytine received his PhD in physics from Stony Brook in 2001, and has been employed as a Kent State Research Associate since October 2001. He works in collaboration with other physicists at KSU's Center for Nuclear Research (CNR), who in turn are part of a large international collaboration (STAR) that studies nuclear collisions at Brookhaven National Lab (NY). Results from these experiments have already been recognized as the Top Physics Story for 2005 by the American Institute of Physics. Kent State was one of the 13 original groups that in 1990 founded the STAR experiment, which has since grown to include 52 institutions, representing 12 countries.
- The cover story on the February 2008 issue of Physics Today is titled The Physics of Sailing, and was authored by our departmental chair, Prof. Bryon Anderson. Physics Today is the monthly magazine of the American Institute of Physics, which in turn is the parent body of the American Physical Society. Each issue reaches on the order of 120,000 scientists and engineers working in educational institutions, government and industry.
Congratulations also to.....
- ...Dr. Spiros Margetis on being promoted to Full Professor effective from AY 08/09.
- ...undergraduate physics majors Christopher Bruot, Brian Dailey, Andrew Konya, Danielle Lahurd, and Richelle Teeling, all recipients of academic awards (see link for details and photos).