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Department News

2008 News

November 7, 2008
UT Arlington Today
Physics alumni mixer featured astronaut, new planetarium show
The Physics Department hosted its inaugural physics alumni mixer Wednesday, Nov. 5, in the Planetarium at UT Arlington and the atrium of the Chemistry and Physics Building. The event featured Dr. Sam Durrance, a former space shuttle astronaut and professor of physics at Florida Institute of Technology, who described his experiences during his shuttle flights during the 1990s. Also, a new planetarium show, "Ice Worlds," was presented, followed by the reception in the atrium. Approximately 80 people attended the event, arranged by Physics Chair James Horwitz, Professor Ramon Lopez and College of Science Development Director Shelly Frank, with assistance from Planetarium Director Levent Gurdemir and Lori Norris, the College of Science special events coordinator. Among the physics alumni in attendance were Stewart Allen (1963), Jack Fisher (1962), Don and Carol Johnson (1970), Bob Hatfield (1988), Percy Vaughn (2006) and Dr. Manori Nadesalingam (2007). The UT Arlington Physics department will be sponsoring a number of exciting events during the International Year of Astronomy in 2009 (http://astronomy2009.nasa.gov/ ). Area Physics, Space, and Astronomy enthusiasts who wish to be involved in or attend any of these or other UTA Physics activities are encouraged to send their contact information and any background information of note to Jim Horwitz, horwitz@uta.edu and Nila Veerabathina, nilakshi@uta.edu

October 3, 2008
UT Arlington Today
News Release - Computer grid for LHC is launched
ARLINGTON - While there will be no collisions in the Large Hadron Collider near CERN in Switzerland until next year, on Friday computer centers worldwide celebrated the launch of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid. The University of Texas at Arlington is a participant in this worldwide grid for LHC computing and physics professor Kaushik De is coordinator for the ATLAS grid in the United States. Once LHC collisions begin, it is estimated that they will produce 15 petabytes (15 million gigabytes) of data annually. CERN alone cannot handle this data volume, so a worldwide distributed computing system has been created over the past decade to distribute the data almost in real time, and manage the use of the data by 7,000 scientists worldwide. The requirements for LHC computing have been driving many aspects of network, grid and distributed computing development for years, so the fact that this grid is up and running is a major achievement.
Media Contact: Sue Stevens, Senior Media Relations Officer, sstevens@uta.edu

October 2, 2008
UT Arlington Today
NASA selects UT Arlington for display, funds shows
The Planetarium at UT Arlington has received from NASA an artifact from its loan program and grants for two planetarium shows. The planetarium received a tire from the main landing gear of the Space Shuttle Columbia, which was destroyed over East Texas on Feb. 1, 2003. University of Texas at Arlington alumnae Kalpana Chawla, for whom the university’s newest residence hall is named, was one of the crew members tragically killed in the accident. NASA-funded shows, "SOFIA — the Unseen Universe" and "Magnificent Sun," are in development.
Read the complete press release.

September 22, 2008
UT Arlington Today
Dr. J. Ping Liu speaks at the next Focus on Faculty program
Dr. J. Ping Liu speaks at the next Focus on Faculty program at noon, Wednesday, Sept. 24, sixth floor parlor, Central Library, 702 Planetarium Place. Lui, a UT Arlington associate professor in physics, discusses the use of permanent magnets as the key materials for energy conversion in many modern machineries and devices and as a solution to the current energy crisis. The next generation of permanent magnets based on nanoscale composite structures is part of a systematic research by the UT Arlington Nanostructured Magnetic Materials Research Group. Liu received the Outstanding Research Achievement or Creative Accomplishment Award in 2008 from UT Arlington, where he leads the Nanostructured Magnetic Materials Group and is credited with $6 million in funded research. Free. Contact Tommie Wingfield at (817) 272-2658 or wingfield@uta.edu.

September 10, 2008
Department News
Large Hadron Collider (LHC) First Beam

September 10, 2008
UT Arlington Public Affairs
News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Sue Stevens, sstevens@uta.edu
ARLINGTON - Scientists today sent the first beam of protons zooming at nearly the speed of light around the 17-mile Large Hadron Collider (LHC), located at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC is the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. The University of Texas at Arlington built components for the ATLAS particle detector at the LHC and is the lead institution for the SouthWest Tier 2 computing facilities that will analyze data from the giant detector. UT Arlington Professor of Physics Kaushik De is the computing operations coordinator for the ATLAS in the United States.
The first circulating proton beam is a major accomplishment on the way to the ultimate goal: high-energy beams colliding in the centers of the LHC’s particle detectors. The scientists participating in these experiments will analyze these collisions in search of extraordinary discoveries about the nature of the physical universe. Beyond revealing a new world of unknown particles, the LHC experiments could explain why those particles exist and behave as they do. They could reveal the origins of mass, shed light on dark matter, uncover hidden symmetries of the universe and, possibly, find extra dimensions of space.
Read more of the press release.

September 5, 2008
UT Arlington Today
News Release
Physicists discover "doubly strange" particle Physicists of the DZero experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have discovered a new particle made of three quarks, the Omega-sub-b (Ωb). The particle contains two strange quarks and a bottom quark (s-s-b). It is an exotic relative of the much more common proton and weighs about six times the proton mass. The discovery of the doubly strange particle brings scientists a step closer to understanding exactly how quarks form matter. The UT Arlington High Energy Physics Group has worked on DZero for 15 years. Participants are physics professors Kaushik De, Andrew White, Andrew Brandt, Jaehoon Yu and postdoctoral scientists Mark Sosebee, Armen Vartapetian and Barry Spurlock. See the press release for more information.

August 18, 2008
UT Arlington Today
News Release
Physics Professor Kaushik De and Research Assistant Professor Nurcan Ozturk recently were invited to present at a grid school, held in Ankara, Turkey. The ATLAS experiment at the soon-to-be opened Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, is adding more sites in its Grid computing system and is testing the distribution and analysis of data at remote sites. De is the U.S. coordinator for the ATLAS program.

August 11, 2008
UT Arlington Today
News Release
U.S. scientists count down to Large Hadron Collider startup
Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider will attempt for the first time to send a proton beam zooming around the 27-kilometer-long (nearly 17 miles) accelerator on Sept. 10. The LHC, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, is located at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. About 1,600 scientists from 93 U.S. institutions participate in the LHC experiments, including The University of Texas at Arlington. The experiments will analyze the LHC’s high-energy collisions in search of discoveries about the nature of the physical universe. The experiments could reveal the origins of mass, shed light on dark matter, uncover hidden symmetries of the universe and possibly find extra dimensions of space. See the press release for more information.

July 10, 2008
UT Arlington Today
In Memoriam
Dr. Jia Li, a post doctoral fellow in the Department of Physics, and his wife, Yun Qian, died Monday, June 16, in an automobile accident in New York where they had traveled to visit their son, You Li, a student at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Dr. Li worked on the design and construction of a special energy measuring system for the ATLAS experiment in CERN — the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland.This system was built at UT Arlington and shipped to Switzerland, where Dr. Li guided its installation. For the last several years, Dr. Li and the High Energy Physics Group worked on a new type of detector for the future International Linear Collider — a 40km long accelerator that will collide electrons and anti-electrons at very high energies. He designed and built many prototype detectors for this project, working with colleagues in Chicago, and at Stanford University. Services have been held.

July 8, 2008
The Shorthorn
News Release
Physics lecturer Nila Veerabathina quoted in The Shorthorn
Dr. Veerabathina discusses her involvement in a new requirement to enhance and increase active learning in classrooms.
Read her comments in the article.

June 23, 2008
UT Arlington Public Affairs
News Release
Professor elected to post in Texas Section of the American Physical Society ARLINGTON - James L.Horwitz, professor and chair of the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Arlington, has been elected to the executive committee of the Texas Section of the American Physical Society. His term as member-at-large will run through March 2011.

June 10, 2008
Department News
News Item
An article appeared in this week's issue of the ATLAS e-news about a meeting in Ankara, Turkey which UT Arlington high energy physics Research Assistant Professor Nurcan Ozturk and Professor Kaushik De both attended as invited speakers. The Ankara meeting took place was part of a Grid school from April 30th to May 2nd, 2008.
Read more about the article here.

June 6, 2008
UT Arlington Public Affairs
News Release
ARLINGTON—The University of Texas at Arlington Department of Physics has established a joint graduate degree program with the physics department of Changwon National University (CNU) in Korea. Students in this program will complete coursework and research in both Korea and UT Arlington and will receive master's degrees or doctorates from both institutions.
Read more about the joint graduate degree program launch.

May 30, 2008
UT Arlington Public Affairs
News Release
ARLINGTON—Elizabeth J. Mitchell, a graduate student in physics at The University of Texas at Arlington, has been awarded aNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Graduate Student Research Proposal (GSRP) fellowship to study the "Solar wind variations associated with geoeffectiveness of geomagnetic storms." Beginning July 1, Mitchell will be working with Dr. Ramon E. Lopez at UT Arlington and Dr. James Slavin at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to better classify the variations within the solar wind that produce relatively large geomagnetic storms. The NASA GSRP fellowship will provide Mitchell with funds to support her graduate studies and research and to travel to two conferences to present her results. She expects to complete this research and herdoctorate in Physics in the next 12 to 18 months.

April 25, 2008
UT Arlington Today
Accolades
Maria Hossu, Yaowu Hao and Ali Koymen of the Department of Physics and the Department of Material Science and Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington have recently co-authored and published a paper in the IOP Publishing journal, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter (http://www.iop.org/EJ/journal/JPhysCM).

April 17, 2008
The Shorthorn
The university will finalize an agreement with Changwon National University in South Korea for a dual MS/ Ph.D. degree program in the science field. The agreement signing will be held in conjunction with the UTA-CNU Joint Physics Research Symposium held May 14-16 at CNU.
“It’s a dual degree program which will allow students to earn a degree from both CNU and UTA,” said Phillip Cohen, dean of the graduate school and vice provost of academic affairs. “It’s the kind of program that requires close collaboration between the physics faculty at CNU and the physics faculty at UTA.”
The dual degree program will consist of students from CNU with research in mind taking half of their required coursework in their home country and working with professors who collaborate with UTA, associate physics professor Jaehoon Yu said. “Students in this program will have to pass stringent criteria; research, grades and proficiency in English,” he said.
The student would then come to UTA to finish the other half of their course work and research for their thesis, then defend their thesis to a committee made up of members from both universities, he said. Yu said once the program is completed, the student would receive a degree from both universities.
Cohen said the students receive funding from the South Korean government and some modest funding from the Graduate Studies Office, and possibly funding from the university. Yu said he and CNU physics professor Wonjeong Kim, are “hammering out the details” of the symposium and the dual degree agreement.
Nine faculty members from the physics department, including Cohen, will attend the symposium where a signing ceremony will be held. Yu said Chang Hie Hahn, dean of the CNU college of science, developed the idea and wrote proposals to CNU after returning from working at UTA in the High Energy Physics Group.
The details of program should be ironed out by the time the group travels to South Korea, physics department chair James Horwitz said.
“It was not difficult to get compatibility between the two institutions,” Horwitz said.

April 10, 2008
UT Arlington Public Affairs
News Release
UT Arlington professor named to coordinate U.S. Atlas operations

News Release — 10 April 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media contact: Sue Stevens, (817) 272-3317, sstevens@uta.edu
ARLINGTON—The appointment of University of Texas at Arlington Physics Professor Kaushik De to be the U.S. ATLAS Operations Coordinator became effective April 1. The ATLAS is one of four detectors to be located at a powerful new accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, now under construction near Geneva, in Switzerland. More than 500 physicists, engineers and graduate students from 43 United States institutions participate in the ATLAS collaboration. These scientists represent 39 universities and four Department of Energy national laboratories. The whole ATLAS collaboration includes 1,900 participants from 35 countries.
The announcement noted that De has been leading the ATLAS Monte Carlo production effort on an international scale for several years. He has made several important contributions to the development of ATLAS production systems, most notably PanDA, which has been recently chosen to be the common system for production throughout ATLAS. De will be responsible for coordinating Computing Operations at U.S. Tier 1 and Tier 2 facilities. This includes services required for Monte Carlo production, data re-processing, user analysis, databases, and overall data management. He will also chair the U.S. Resource Allocation Committee.
As the U.S. Operations Coordinator, De will be the primary contact person in interactions with ATLAS Distributed Computing Management, to schedule common operations activities in the areas of production and distributed analysis. De will closely work with the Facility Integration Program, led by Robert Gardner from University of Chicago, to implement the required functionality and capacities. He will be leading the United States’ participation in major ATLAS activities, involving many experts from the U.S. teams at Tier 1 and Tier 2 facilities.
The U.S. ATLAS collaboration will contribute $163.74 million to the construction of the ATLAS detector by the end of 2008. United States groups have contributed components to all of the ATLAS detector subsystems, each dedicated to measuring different properties of different types of particles. Scientists from the United States have also contributed to the development and testing of the data acquisition system, which takes the raw data from the ATLAS detector, filters it, and stores it in a form that physicists will use to search for and measure fundamental particles and forces.
Major components of the ATLAS detector were built at UT Arlington and are now installed at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), near Geneva. UT Arlington is one of five Tier 2 supercomputing centers in the United States, which will be used by all ATLAS physicists to search for new physics at the Large Hadron Collider. De will be coordinating the Tier 1 and Tier 2 computing centers deployed in the United States to process the petabytes of data expected soon.

April 9, 2008
Department News
Congratulations to Dr. Yi-Jiun Su
Congratulations to Dr. Yi-Jiun Su on having been selected as one of the 2008 “Forty Under Forty”. This event honors select men and women under the age of 40 who are helping to shape the future through their business and community involvement.
Dr. Su will attend a introductory cocktail reception at Neiman Marcus in Fort Worth. She will be profiled in the “2008 Forty Under Forty” special publication, which is an annual publication by the Fort Worth Business Press.
In addition Dr. Su, will get a custom pair of Justin Boots with the “Forty Under Forty” logo stitched on the front. And she will also attend the “Forty Under Forty Awards Dinner”, at the Fort Worth Club.

---Fort Worth Business Press

April 3, 2008
UT Arlington Today
Accolades
Drs. Wei Chen and Ron Schachar were mentioned in a University of Ulster press release concerning research that deals with the treatment of cataracts. They are conducting the research with Professor Barbara Pierschionek of the University of Ulster. Dr. Chen is a UT Arlington assistant professor of physics and a nanotechnologist. Dr. Schachar is an ophthalmologist and physicist. Read the entire press release here.

February 12, 2008
UT Arlington Today
In The News
Dr. Wei Chen, UT Arlington assistant professor of nanobio physics, was featured on nanowerk.com’s Web site for his work using nanoparticles for deep cancer treatment.

February 7, 2008
UT Arlington Today
Accolades
Dr. Andy White, UT Arlington physics professor, has been named as a representative to the Physics Research Committee for the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg, Germany. The PRC will give advice to the DESY directorate on all matters related to the particle and astroparticle physics program at DESY.

January 31, 2008
UT Arlington Today
UT Arlington physicists publish textbook
Drs. Manfred Cuntz, associate professor of physics, Nilakshi Veerabathina, astronomy lecturer, and Levent Gurdemir, astronomy laboratory supervisor – all affiliated with the UT Arlington Physics Department – have published a new book titled “Practical Universe: Observations, Experiments, Exercises” with Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co. The book features state-of-the-art material to be used in the “Astronomy Laboratory for Introductory Astronomy” courses offered to students with non-science majors. It replaces a text written by U. O. Herrmann & B. C. Thompson more than 25 years ago. “Significant progress in astronomy has been made in the meantime; progress that is almost beyond anybody’s comprehension,” Cuntz said. The new developments, both in regard to observations and theory, prompted the incorporation of new methods and material into the new book. Besides traditional exercises such as the study of terrestrial coordinate systems, planetary motions and scale models for our solar system and the Milky Way, the new book also offers chapters on extra solar planets and black holes, which will give students insight into modern day astronomy. Other exercises utilize new Internet-based material, as well as computer programs such as “Starry Night” and “Stellarium,” allowing computer-based, hands-on demonstrations of stars and planets in the night sky. “Practical Universe” is available through the UT Arlington bookstore or the Kendall/Hunt Web site, www.kendallhunt.com.

January 22, 2008
UT Arlington Today
Planetarium director remarks on UFOs
In light of recent news about UFOs out of nearby Stephenville, Texas, Marc Rouleau, director of the Planetarium at UT Arlington, says tens of thousands of school children visit the facility every year and one of the most popular questions is: “Are UFO’s real?” Technically, the answer is “yes,” since “UFO” really stands for “Unidentified Flying Object.”  If you look up and see something you don’t recognize, it’s a UFO. This does not imply that the object is an alien spacecraft, however. Most objects that get fingered as UFO’s turn out to have easy explanations. A bright planet, like Venus, has fooled many casual sky watchers, Rouleau said. Atmospheric phenomena, like lenticular clouds, can make many people stop and pause. Some UFOs have turned out to have more of a human origin. There have been cases of secret aircraft being tested by the military that were viewed by civilians on the ground. In other cases, hoaxers were deliberately trying to fake a UFO sighting. In the “old days” this maybe meant rigging up a pie plate, suspending it from a wire, and taking its picture, the planetarium director said. Today, computer animation software and a worldwide audience through YouTube is all you need. Even if no easy explanation comes up, there are reasons why a lot of people are skeptical about aliens visiting Earth. The distances between stars are so great, Rouleau said. The next closest star system to our Solar System is 25 trillion miles away. That’s so far away that the fastest robotic spacecraft ever launched by humans would need over 50,000 years to make the trip. Even light, traveling at 186,000 miles per second, takes years to make the trip. Since nothing can accelerate faster than light, any creature that wanted to fly from Alpha Centauri to Texas would need to commit to at least several decades for a one-way trip, Rouleau said.

January 22, 2008
Department News
Physics PhD graduate student selected as a University Scholar
Swati Routh, a PhD graduate student at the Physics Department, was selected as a University Scholar at The University of Texas at Arlington. The University created this award to formally recognize the top one percent of the student body who exemplify academic and research excellence. Ms. Routh’s current research activities, performed under the direction of Dr. Z.E. Musielak, involve studies of the energy transfer by waves propagating along magnetic flux tubes in the atmosphere of the Sun and other solar-type stars. She is a co-author of 5 refereed papers and 3 conference proceedings.

January 17, 2008
UT Arlington Today
Physics team part of big educational event in North Texas
Expo Group 2008
A team of 11 members of the UT Arlington Department of Physics participated in educating and entertaining thousands of students in the Fourth Annual Aviation & Transportation Career Expo last month. The expo is one of the largest educational events of the year in North Texas. More than 4,000 students and their teachers arrived at DFW International Airport last month in an effort to gain career knowledge in the fields of aviation, transportation, science, math and technology. The UT Arlington team included Astronomy Lecturer Nila Veerabathina (team lead), Planetarium Director Marc Rouleau, former Planetarium Program Coordinator Joe Eakins and Astronomy Labs Supervisor Levent Gurdemir. Graduate and undergraduate students Phyllis Whittlesey, Randy Bradshaw, Pierce Weatherly, Suman Satyal, Craig Karr, Kenneth Crawford and Jose Barona also participated. Activities included using containers of liquid nitrogen to freeze and break racquetballs, flowers and fruits. Other activities also included using mechanical electrical generators to create spark discharges and mild shocks. The team also conducted demonstrations using magnetic levitation devices, a cloud chamber to detect cosmic rays, a model of the solar system, a telescope and samples of meteorites. Students also made several structures of various elements using gummy candies. Students were presented brochures and other materials from the department of physics, the College of Science, the UT Arlington Planetarium and university admissions office. See pictures of the students in action at the expo.

January 15, 2008
UT Arlington Today
Accolades
Dr. Nilakshi Veerabathina, lecturer in the department of physics, and Marc Rouleau, UT Arlington Planetarium director, judged science fair projects at Walker Creek Elementary School on Friday, Jan 11. They joined teams of other judges from National Weather Center and TCU. Together, they judged about 50 projects related with to all branches of science from astronomy/physics to marine biology.

January 4, 2008
Department News
Physics Assistant Professor research published in prestigious journal
Physics Assistant Professor Dr. Wei Chen, approached a lens physiologist [Professor Barbara K Piersionek of the University of Ulster] and an ophthalmologist [Ronald A. Schachar, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of Texas at Arlington] to study the biochemical causes of cataractogensis. They use quantum dots made at Dr. Chen’s lab to investigate the diffusion processes into lens. Their work is interesting as it might uncover the causes of cataractogensis and figure out the channels for drug delivery to cure cataracts. The preliminary results of their research were published in a prestigious Journal NANOTECHNOLOGY http://www.iop.org/EJ/abstract/0957-4484/19/2/025102/ And there are two reports related to their work at Nanowerk and Nanotechweb at links below: http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=3894.php and http://nanotechweb.org/cws/article/lab/32322.

January 3, 2008
Department News
Physics chair served as a judge for the Texas Section of the APS fall meeting
Dr. Jim Horwitz served as a judge for the Texas Section of the American Physical Society. He served on a panel of 29 judges at the Fall 2007 meeting.

January 3, 2008
Department News
Physics graduate student, recipient of Student Presentation Award
Physics graduate student, Ximena Cid, is a recipient of the Student Presentation Award (poster category) at the Fall 2007 meeting of the Texas Section of the American Physical Society. In addition, she will receive a monetary award of $200.

 

 

2007 News

December 17, 2007
Department News
Congratulations on the AAPT Outstanding Teaching Awards
Graduate Teaching Assistants Tonmoy Chakraborty, Carlos M. Hernandez, Will Maddox, Manori Nadesalingam, and Somilkumar Rathi have been honored with the 2007 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards of the American Association of Physics Teachers. http://www.aapt.org/Grants/outstandingta.cfm

November 6, 2007
UT Arlington Today
Accolades

Several UT Arlington physics faculty, undergraduate and graduate students attended the recent Joint Texas Section of the American Physical Society (TSAPS) and Society of Physics Students (SPS) meeting in College Station at the campus of Texas A&M University. Physics faculty attending included Professor and Chair James Horwitz, Professors Ramon Lopez, Suresh Sharma and John Fry. Undergraduate physics SPS students attending included SPS President Cassie Dobbs, Pierce Weatherly, Phyllis Whittlesey, Jose Barona, Kenneth Crawford and Crystal Red Eagle. Physics graduate students attending included Mingzhen Yao, Ximena Cid, Elizabeth Mitchell, Robert Bruntz, and Jorge Landivar. Horwitz presented three talks, while Yao, Cid, Mitchell, Bruntz and Landivar made presentations on their research work. Several undergraduate and graduate students are supervised in their space physics research by Professor Lopez, an SPS advisor. Sharma is vice-chair of the TSAPS and attended an executive session of the meeting.

November 6, 2007
UT Arlington Today
In the News

Manfred Cuntz, associate professor of physics and co-director of astronomy, is involved in the search for Earth-like planets outside our own solar system. Texas Technology

November 5, 2007
UT Arlington Today
Accolades
Raymond Atta-Fynn in the department of physics recently co-authored and published a paper, “Real space information from fluctuation electron microscopy: applications to amorphous silicon,” in the IOP Publishing journal, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. The paper is also featured in the November 2007 print version of JPCM.

October 15 2007
UT Arlington Today
Accolades
Yiping Wang, Yang Li, Chuanbing Rong and J. Ping Liu of the department of physics recently co-authored and published a paper in the IOP Publishing journal Nanotechnology. The paper, “Sm–Co hard magnetic nanoparticles prepared by surfactant-assisted ball milling,” appears in the current online edition and is freely available at the following link: http://www.iop.org/EJ/abstract/0957-4484/18/46/465701.

September 6, 2007
UT Arlington Today
DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS TO TEACH AT UT ARLINGTON
A noted space physicist and physics and science education expert, Dr. Ramon Lopez, is joining The University of Texas at Arlington Department of Physics and will teach introductory physics this fall. Lopez comes from Florida Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Florida Tech, he was C. Sharp Cook Distinguished Professor of Physics and Chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Texas at El Paso. Lopez was born in the continental United States and is Puerta Rican. He has approximately 87 peer-reviewed publications in space physics, and has made numerous invited presentations at various national and international conferences. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Space Science Institute’s 1999 Scientist in Education Achievement Award and the American Physical Society’s 2002 Nicholson Medal for Humanitarian Service to Science. He was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1999. Lopez is bringing a new multi-year grant of almost $1 million in association with his National Science Foundation-funded research of the Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling (CISM). A Visualization Laboratory, where much of his research will be conducted, is currently being designed in the basement of Science Hall. Read more.

August 20, 2007
UT Arlington Today
PROFESSORS AWARDED NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION GRANT
University of Texas at Arlington Assistant Professor of Physics Wei Chen is the principal investigator and Associate Professor Andrew Brandt is the co-principal investigator for a $300,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation/Department of Homeland Security Academic Research Initiative. Alan Joly of Pacific Northwestern National Lab is a collaborator. The investigators will use nano-particles to detect uranium to aid in homeland security. Detecting uranium is a critical concern due to its potential for use in nuclear terrorism. Although there have recently been significant improvements in the development of scintillator materials, no current scintillator has the ideal combination of properties. The researchers plan to develop a novel kind of nanostructure phosphor for radiation detection. They will pursue two avenues for scintillation luminescence enhancement: coating scintillation Nan particles to silver and gold and using periodic surface patterning as in LED enhancement. Read more.

June 18, 2007
UT Arlington Today
UT ARLINGTON PHYSICS PROFESSOR WINS GRANT FROM OFFICE OF HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Sue Stevens, (817) 272-3317, sstevens@uta.edu
ARLINGTON–University of Texas at Arlington Associate Professor of Physics Andrew Brandt, along with only seven other principal investigators from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Washington University at St. Louis, Iowa State University, University of Cincinnati, Texas Tech and University of California, Irvine, won a grant from The Advanced Detector Research (ADR) program.
The ADR is a competitive grant program in the Office of High Energy Physics that supports detector research by university-based physicists. The ADR program seeks to encourage research into detector technologies that will enable new, not yet approved experiments. For the fiscal year 2007 cycle, eight proposals were selected for funding based on external peer reviews, totaling $804,000 in new commitments. The winners will investigate new or improved detector technologies, including high-resolution calorimetry, fast time-of-flight counters, autonomous power and communications systems for array detectors, improved Cherenkov techniques and very fast triggers.
Brandt's $73,000 award is for research and development involving a detector that aims to measure the time that a proton passes through a small quartz detector with an accuracy of 10 picoseconds. (By way of comparison, light travels only 3 mm in 10 picoseconds.) Personnel and some equipment for this project has been provided by a previous Texas ARP grant, while the DOE award primarily provides advanced electronic equipment, including an extremely fast (and expensive) oscilloscope.

June 14, 2007
UT Arlington Today
HABITABLE PLANET IDENTIFIED BY UT ARLINGTON ASTRONOMER AND TEAM

ARLINGTON–Dr. Manfred Cuntz of The University of Texas at Arlington and fellow scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany got a surprise during their search for a second Earth.
The scientists were investigating the habitability of the planetary system Gliese 581 in the constellation Libra, 20 light-years away. With the help of a model for the evolution of Earth-like planets coupled with a climate model, they were able to demonstrate habitable conditions on the planet Gliese 581d, while determining that its smaller brother, Gliese 581c, previously acclaimed as a “second Earth” has to be classified as uninhabitable.
Both planets investigated are so-called Super-Earths; i.e. planets with a mass of up to 10 times higher than that of the Earth. In fact, Gliese 581d very likely has about eight Earth masses, whereas Gliese 581c has five Earth masses.
“Gliese 581c is just too hot for life to exist,” said Cuntz, “owing to the fact that the planet is too close to its host star – just like Venus is too close to the Sun.”
This contradicts the findings of another research team in April of this year that
proclaimed Gl 581c the first habitable planet outside our solar system.
The new investigations incorporate the thermal evolution of planets, i.e. the cooling of the planetary body from its formation and the connected geodynamic parameters. Because of their heavy masses the Potsdam scientists consider it likely that both Gliese 581c and Gliese 581d have dense atmospheres. Previous calculations for Gliese 581c derived the habitability of this planet only from temperatures calculated for the radiation balance of the planetary surface without an atmosphere.
Gliese 581d, the other Super-Earth in this system, orbits at a distance of 23 million miles, which would normally make it too cold for liquid water. However, the same greenhouse effect that torches Gliese 581c, the smaller and closer planet, would be able to warm the larger outer one and make it habitable, Cuntz said. He and his colleagues have submitted a paper to the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics detailing their findings.
Cuntz said the planetary system Gliese 581, with probably three planets orbiting a red dwarf star, contains the closest analogues to the Earth that have been found so far. The central star has about 100 times less luminosity than our Sun.
Astronomers will learn more about these planets when upcoming space missions like NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder and the European Space Agency's Darwin, designed to study terrestrial planets in the realms beyond our solar system, are in operation.

June 13, 2007
UT Arlington Today
FERMILAB PHYSICISTS DISCOVER "TRIPLE-SCOOP" BARYON;

THREE-QUARK PARTICLE CONTAINS ONE QUARK FROM EACH FAMILY

ARLINGTON–Physicists at The University of Texas at Arlington are part of a Department of Energy Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory experiment, DZero, which has discovered a new heavy particle, the Ξ_b (pronounced "zigh sub b") baryon.
The UTA scientists are Professors Andy White and Kaushik De, Associate Professors Andrew Brandt and Jaehoon Yu, Staff Physicists Dr. Mark Sosebee and Dr. Jia Li, and Research Assistant Professor Dr. Armen Vartapetian, along with several postdoctoral researchers and graduate students.
The newly discovered particle has a mass of 5.774±0.019 GeV/c2, approximately six times the proton mass. The newly discovered electrically charged Ξ_b baryon, also known as the "cascade b," is made of a down, a strange and a bottom quark. It is the first observed baryon formed of quarks from all three families of matter. Its discovery and the measurement of its mass provide new understanding of how the strong nuclear force acts upon quarks, the basic building blocks of matter.
The DZero experiment has reported the discovery of the cascade b baryon in a paper submitted to Physical Review Letters on June 12.
"Knowing the mass of the cascade b baryon gives scientists information they need in order to develop accurate models of how individual quarks are bound together into larger particles such as protons and neutrons," said Physicist and Associate Director for High Energy Physics for the Department of Energy's Office of Science Robin Staffin.
The cascade b is produced in high-energy proton-antiproton collisions at Fermilab's Tevatron. A baryon is a particle of matter made of three fundamental building blocks called quarks. The most familiar baryons are the proton and neutron of the atomic nucleus, consisting of up and down quarks. Although protons and neutrons make up the majority of known matter today, baryons composed of heavier quarks, including the cascade b, were abundant soon after the Big Bang at the beginning of the universe.
The Standard Model of High Energy Physics summarizes the basic building blocks of matter, which come in three distinct families of quarks and their sister particles, the leptons. The first family contains the up and down quarks. Heavier charm and strange quarks form the second family, while the top and bottom, the heaviest quarks, make up the third. The strong force binds the quarks together into larger particles, including the cascade b baryon. The cascade b fills a missing slot in the Standard Model.
Prior to this discovery, only indirect evidence for the cascade b had been reported by experiments at the Large Electron-Positron collider at the CERN Laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. For the first time, the DZero experiment has positively identified the cascade b baryon from its decay daughter particles in a remarkably complex feat of detection. Most of the particles produced in high-energy collisions are short-lived and decay almost instantaneously into lighter stable particles. Particle detectors such as DZero measure these stable decay products to discover the new particles produced in the collision.
Once produced, the cascade b travels several millimeters at nearly the speed of light before the action of the weak nuclear force causes it to disintegrate into two well-known particles called J/Ψ ("jay-sigh") and Ξ- ("zigh minus"). The J/Ψ then promptly decays into a pair of muons, common particles that are cousins of electrons. The Ξ- baryon, on the other hand, travels several centimeters before decaying into yet another unstable particle called a Λ ("lambda") baryon, along with another long-lived particle called a pion. The Λ baryon too can travel several centimeters before ultimately decaying to a proton and a pion. Sifting through data from trillions of collisions produced over the last five years to identify these final decay products, DZero physicists have detected 19 cascade b candidate events. The odds of the observed signal being due to something other than the cascade b are estimated to be one in 30 million.
DZero is an international experiment of about 610 physicists from 88 institutions in 19 countries. It is supported by the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and a number of international funding agencies. Fermilab is a national laboratory funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy, operated under contract by Fermi Research Alliance, LLC.

May 4, 2007
UT Arlington TODAY
PROFESSOR AND PLANETARIUM DIRECTOR FILM FLIGHT FOR NEW PLANETARIUM SHOW
The University of Texas at Arlington Associate Professor of Physics Manfred Cuntz, whose work with NASA on finding life in the universe is featured in the UT Arlington planetarium show “Cosmic CSI,” has received another NASA Education and Outreach Grant to develop a new planetarium show. The new show is tentatively titled “SOFIA and the Cool Cosmos.” This grant, awarded by the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., will be used to develop a show on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). SOFIA is the world’s largest airborne observatory consisting of an 8.2-foot diameter telescope built into a converted Boeing 747SP. Peering out through an open cavity in the side of the aircraft, the telescope will allow astronomers to obtain sharper infrared images than ever before. It will focus on the mid-and-far infrared of the light spectrum invisible to the human eye and ground-based observatories. SOFIA’s operating altitude will be at or above 41,000 feet, thus avoiding 99 percent of the obscuring water vapor. Read more.

May 3, 2007
UT Arlington Today
ASTRONOMY STUDENTS, STAFF INTERVIEWED ON DALLAS COMMUNITY TELEVISION
“Teen Talk,” a career exploration program for teens produced by Lyn Williams, visited UT Arlington last weekend to film a program about astronomy that will be shown on the Dallas cable channel. Interim Planetarium Director Joe Eakin was interviewed, as well as astronomy students Christy Cox, Amber McCuddy and Phyllis Whittlesey. Others taking a turn on camera were Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Astronomy Program Manfred Cuntz, doctoral student Peter Williams, Astronomy Lecturer Nilakshi Veerabathina, Astronomy Lab Supervisor Levent Gurdemir and Sarang Brahme, the president of Olympus Mons, Astronomical Student Organization. The program will air later on UT Arlington’s cable channel. UT Arlington Today will publish the times when scheduled. Photos by Martin Durbec.

April 13, 2007
Department News
News Item

Dr. Suresh C Sharma, Professor of Physics and Director, Center for Nanostructured Materials has been elected for a four-year term evolving annually from Vice-Chair-Elect to Vice-Chair, Chair, and Past Chair of the Executive Committee of the Texas Section of the American Physical Society.


April 6, 2007
UT Arlington Today
News Release
Dr. James L. Horwitz, professor and chair of the Department of Physics, presented an invited colloquium to the High-Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, April 4. The title was “Dynamic Fluid-Kinetic Simulations of High-Latitude Ionospheric Outflows and their Compact Parameterization for Use in Global Magnetospheric Modeling.”

March 30, 2007
UT Arlington Today
News Release
Dr. Manfred Cuntz, associate professor of physics will be representing UT Arlington at the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) Council of Institutions Annual Meeting, Friday, March 30, in Columbia, Maryland. USRA is “an entity in and by means of which universities and other research institutions may cooperate with one another, with the Government of the United States, and with other organizations toward the development of knowledge associated with space science and technology.”

March 26, 2007
UT Arlington Today
ARLINGTON—“Cosmic CSI: Looking for Life in the Universe,” an original new show developed with a grant from NASA, is opening this week at The Planetarium at UT Arlington.
The production takes its cue from “CSI,” its spin-off series, “CSI: Miami” and “CSI: NY” and numerous other television shows featuring sharp-minded investigators armed with high-powered forensic gadgetry that have burst into popular culture in the last few years. The new planetarium show takes the investigation out of our solar system, using tools that were non-existent just a few years ago, to search for life in the universe. It investigates planets around nearby stars, extreme life forms on planet Earth and future missions to answer that great galactic question. . .got life?
The search has a dual focus, said Dr. Manfred Cuntz, associate professor of physics at the University.
“Scientists are making progress in finding life in the universe by using new search methods to identify planets in habitable zones around many different types of stars,” Cuntz said. “At the same time, scientists are finding that life, in very simple forms, can survive and even thrive in conditions never thought possible, like organisms that live at temperature of 210 degrees Fahrenheit or more in hot vents or at temperature of less than 10 degrees in Antarctica.”
Planetarium Director Bob Bonadurer said the show was developed with the help of an Education Public Outreach supplemental grant connected to an earlier research grant awarded to Cuntz to work with FUSE, a NASA-supported astrophysics mission launched in June 1999 to explore the universe using the technique of high-resolution spectroscopy in the far-ultraviolet spectral region.
Cuntz said he did not originally anticipate that his and his fellow scientists’ findings would form the basis for an entertaining and educational planetarium show. But when the new, technologically superior planetarium opened on campus last March, the potential became obvious. The show was created by planetarium staff in collaboration with Cuntz, and is narrated by Glenn Morshower, an actor and a native Texan, who has played parts in shows like “24,” “CSI” and “Star Trek”
Cosmic CSI is showing at 7 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in the planetarium, 700 Planetarium Place. For more information, call (817) 272-0123.

March 19, 2007
The Shorthorn
News Release
Dr. James Horwitz, chair of the department of physics, presented “Ionospheric Plasma Transport Simulation-Based Formula Parameterization of O+ Outfluxes Produced by Wave-Driven Transverse Ion Heating and Soft Electron Precipitation,” at the International Space Simulation School-8 (ISSS-8) in Kauai, Hawaii.

January 24 - 25, 2007
Department News
Nobel Laureate David M. Lee

Nobel Laureate David M. Lee from Cornell University will deliver the Presidential Lecture in Physics at the Physics Colloquium at 4 p.m. Wednesday, January 24, 2007 in the Planetarium in the Chemistry and Physics Building. He will speak on “Matrix Isolated Free Radicals: Chemistry and Physics Below 3 K“.
Nobel Laureate David M. Lee from Cornell University will deliver the Presidential Public Lecture in Physics titled ”Superfluidity, a Century of Discovery” on January 25 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 100, Nedderman Hall. A reception will follow the presentation at 5 p.m.


January 5, 2007
UT Arlington Today
News Release
Physics Department Chairman Dr. James Horwitz, Assistant Professor Dr Yi-Jiun Su, researcher Dr. Sam Jones and graduate student Fajer Jaafari attended the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco in December. Dr. Horwitz presented a paper entitled “DyFK-simulation-based formulaic representation of the effects of wave-driven ion heating and electron precipitation on ionospheric outflows” and chaired a session “Polar Cap, Cusp, and High-Latitude Ionosphere,” while Jaafari presented a poster titled “DyFK Simulation of the O+ Density Trough at 5000 km Altitude in the Polar Cap.” Horwitz was co-author on another paper, and Su and Jones presented a paper on “Electron Acceleration on Jupiter-Io Flux Tube: Possible Generation Mechanism of S-Bursts.”

 

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