News Archive - 2010
Recep Avci to lead MSU portion of $7.5M Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI)
project. Read more...
Congratulations to all of our graduating students for AY 2009-2010
Robert "Jake" Hitzroth; William Johnston; Aaron Kreitinger – Honors; Keith Mashburn – Highest Honors; Steven Smith.
Shane Atwood – Honors; Aaron Dalbey; Alex Destefano – Honors; Erin Egbert; Cassandra Knierim - Highest honors, Department Honors, University Honors Program; Matthew LaDue – Honors; Carolyn Laufer; Edward Marshall; Richard Mecklenburg; Jayson Nissen – Honors; Promethea Pythaitha – Highest Honors; Garret Vo.
Bridger Anderson; Hans Courrier; Gregory Gabrielsen (Su ‘09); Todd Gelbord (Su ’10); William Johnson; Jonathan Jorgenson (Su ’10); Wenjuan Liu; Gary Lowe; Ben Todt; Jeremy Wolf (Su ‘09)
Joey Shapiro Key (Advisor: Neil Cornish)
Dissertation: “Characterizing Astrophysical Sources of Gravitational Waves”
Nikolay Makarov (Advisor: Aleks Rebane)
Dissertation: “Ultrafast Two-Photon Absorption in Organic Molecules: Quantitative Spectroscopy and Applications”
Michael Kopczyk (Advisor: Dick Smith)
Dissertation: “The Structure of Low-Coverage Deposition of Ti and V on the Al(001) Crystal Surface”
Laura Lediaev (Advisor: Hugo Schmidt)
Dissertation: "Finite Element Modeling of Piezoelectric Bimorphs with Conductive Polymer Electrodes".
Anna Malanushenko (Advisor: Dana Longcope)
Dissertation: “Twist in Coronal Magnetic Fields”
Joseph Plowman (Su) (Advisor: Ron Hellings and Sachiko Tsuruta)
Dissertation: Constraining Massive Black Hole Population Models with Gravitational Wave Observations”
Chih-Long Tsai (Su) (Advisor: Hugo Schmidt)
Dissertation: “Ceramic Processing and Electrochemical Analysis of Proton-conducting Solid Oxide Fuel Cells”
Dick Smith (06/08/10)
MSU robot to dig "moon dirt" in national contest at Kennedy Space Center. Several of the participants
work as student employees in the Physics Department. Read more...
LaserFest: A Yearlong Celebration marking 50 Years of Laser Innovation! (APS.org) May 16th,
2010, marked a milestone important for both physics and the broader community. The
world's first laser light made its appearance on this date in 1960 in Theodore Maiman's
lab at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California. Since that time, the laser
has become an indispensable scientific tool, and has spawned innumerable commercial,
industrial and medical applications, including numerous companies in the Gallatin
Valley. APS, in partnership with OSA, SPIE and IEEE-Photonics, is spearheading LaserFest,
a yearlong celebration of this anniversary. APS is engaged in a broad spectrum of
outreach events and has created an exciting and informative website, www.laserfest.org. On May 4 a resolution recognizing the anniversary was passed by the House of Representatives;
and on May 12, President Obama issued a message in which he joins the celebration and comments on the significance of the laser.
Additional information on laser-related research in MSU's Department of Physics can
be found at http://www.physics.montana.edu/research/opticsres.asp
Congratulations to Anton Vorontsov on his recent NSF CAREER award for young investigators. This CAREER award supports
theoretical and computational research and education to investigate the nature of
superconductivity in materials that are highly non-uniform, have special arrangements
of atoms, or display an interplay between magnetism and superconductivity. This research
inspires demonstrations of some of the most powerful principles of condensed matter
physics, such as symmetry and emerging complexity in many-particle systems. It also
forms the basis of the education component which involves the development of new courses
at both graduate and undergraduate levels, and the development of an educational website
with graphical demonstrations and links to other physics, chemistry and biological
research conducted at Montana State University. For more information on the award
and the related research visit NSF website.
Dick Smith (05/12/10)
Crowd views new Solar Images that MSU helped capture.
Dick Smith (04/21/10)
Please join me in congratulating Carla Riedel who has been selected to receive the College of Letters and Science Outstanding Teaching
Award for 2010. Carla is one of the very few instructors in this department whom students
petition to have for their next class. According to one letter of support, the way
in which students speak of her teaching "borders on hero worship". "Hers is the type
of classroom we want for our undergraduate students", says another. One of Carla's
career goals is to have taught every class in the entire curriculum of undergraduate
physics courses. I am doing my best to help her accomplish that goal, but she added
that she would prefer to have more than one semester to do so. Congratulations, Carla.
This award is long overdue and well-deserved.
Dick Smith (04/19/10)
Please join me in congratulating Charles Kankelborg, just announced recipient of the 2010 Charles and Nora L. Wiley Faculty Award for
Meritorious Research and Creativity. The award will acknowledge Charles' many contributions
in the area of solar physics and development of instrumentation to remotely sense
the solar atmosphere. Congratulations, Charles. This award is well deserved!
Dick Smith (04/09/10)
Congratulations to Neil Cornish who has been awarded a sabbatical leave for Spring semester 2011. Neil's sabbatical
proposal has two themes: (1) the detection of un-modeled gravitational wave signals
for both LIGO-Virgo and LISA, and (2) using gravitational wave observations to test
Einstein's theory of gravity. Neil will work with collaborators at the University
of Florida which offers great opportunities to pursue both of these research projects.
It is home to one of the largest gravitational wave research groups in the world,
with experts in detector development, data analysis and theoretical modeling. Congratulations,
Dick Smith (03/05/10)
MSU helped design solar telescopes to be launched this week. Solar physicists at Montana State University helped design
and calibrate four telescopes that are now scheduled to be launched Wednesday, Feb.
10, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Click here for the full MSU News story... Should the launch be delayed, the viewing event will be rescheduled. Updates will
be available on the Montana Space Grant Consortium's Web page and on the MSU Solar Physics Group's Web page. For more information on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), visit the SDO webpage.
Dick Smith (02/08/10)
Congratulations to Jayson Nissen for his 2010 Alumni Association/Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence. The Award for Excellence signifies exceptional achievement - both academically and
in community leadership - over a student's entire MSU career. The selection for this
award recognizes Jayson as one of MSU's most outstanding seniors. In turn, each student
winner chooses a faculty or staff person who has served as a great inspiration as
well as a great mentor during the student's time at MSU. This person also receives
an Award for Excellence. Jayson selected Dr. Carla Riedel, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Physics, for her exceptional guidance and inspiration.
Congratulations, Jayson and Carla! We are all proud to celebrate your excellence.
Dick Smith (02/05/10)
In case you haven't seen the news in your otherwise busy days, NASA Headquarters has
officially announced this week, through their press release, the selection of the
SSEL Explorer-1 Prime nanosatellite to ride into space with NASA's Glory Spacecraft
on November 22 of this year. This is a historically important event because, to our
knowledge, NASA has never launched a satellite for a university other than official
NASA satellite missions selected under their highly- controlled Science research Program.
Montana State shares this unique distinction with University of Colorado, and a consortium
of Kentucky universities. This represents the first, of what NASA anticipates will
be multiple launch opportunities for university- built CubeSats to get rides into
space on rockets launched from United States soil. A large number of Montana State
undergraduate students (more than 100) have been working on this project for well
over two years. The satellite was designed, built, and is being tested in the Space
Science and Engineering Laboratory. Montana Space Grant Consortium is the project
Links to two relevant articles:
MSU News Service
Dick Smith (01/30/10)
Dr. Brian Welsch from Space Sciences Lab, Berkeley, is the 2010 winners of the Karen Harvey prize.
The citation reads: "The 2010 Karen Harvey prize is awarded to Brian Welsch for his
role in the development of correlation techniques to measure velocities at the solar
surface". Brian obtained his Ph.D. at MSU in 2002, working in the group of Professor
Dana Longcope. The Karen Harvey Prize was established in May 2002 in honor of the
late Karen Harvey. The award is given by the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society
in recognition of a significant contribution to the study of the Sun early in a person's
professional career. Previous winners of the Karen Harvey prize in our department
include Dana Longcope (2003) and Jiong Qiu (2007). Congratulations to Brian and Dana!
Dick Smith (01/22/10)
The NASAMontana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) is pleased to announce Dr. Angela Des Jardins as the new Director. Dr. Des
Jardins was previously the Deputy Director and Interim Director of MSGC. Her responsibilities
will also include directing Montana NASA EPSCoR. Dr. Des Jardins received her BS and
Ph.D. degrees in physics from Montana State University. During her time as a student
at MSU, Dr. Des Jardins was involved in several NASA and MSGC programs, including
the NASA Academy and the Space Public Outreach Team (as a presenter and a manager).
Under Dr. Des Jardins' leadership, MSGC will continue to strive to raise the level
of accomplishment of its goals, which are to: develop and connect interdisciplinary
aerospace education programs that will build and enhance opportunities for involvement
in space-based science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in Montana; strive
to build a Montana aerospace workforce, integrating women, under-represented minorities
and persons with disabilities; network Montana colleges, universities, aerospace industries,
and government with national aerospace programs in government and industry, especially
NASA centers and other Space Grant Consortia; and to expand and enhance aeronautics
and NASA-related research activity in Montana colleges and universities.
Dick Smith (01/22/10)
The 2009-2010 issue of Confluence magazine is now available. In case you're not familiar with it, Confluence is the annual magazine
for the College of Letters and Science at MSU. Copies of the magazine were sent to
all L&S faculty and staff via campus mail. If you did not receive a magazine and would
like a copy, please send an email to Jody Sanford (jody.sanford at Montana dot edu).
The magazine is also available online as a PDF file. Note in particular the articles on pages 8, 12, 13, 17, and 25.
Dick Smith (1/05/10)
More archived news items here...