Neil Cornish to receive Cox Faculty Award for Creative Scholarship and Teaching
Congratulations to Prof. Neil Cornish, a recipient of the 2011-2012 Cox Faculty Award for Creative Scholarship and Teaching. This award was established to honor faculty members who best combine teaching with research or creative activity, and is given by the MSU Provost and VPR. Neil is being recognized as being at the forefront of gravitational-wave science, a leader in developing new and effective data analysis techniques, and having a reputation of the highest caliber as a research mentor and student advisor. The award will be presented at the Spring Convocation to be held January 10, 2012, 10:15 a.m. - noon in the Reynolds Recital Hall.
Dick Smith 12/2/11


We note with sadness and respect the passing of Dr. James R. Anderson, Emeritous Research Scientist, in the Physics Department at Montana State University.
Jim worked as a postdoc and Research Scientist with Jerry Lapeyre starting in 1973, and continuing with the Center for Research in Surface Science (CRISS) from 1980 until his retirement. Jim continued working post-retirement in the ICAL lab with ICAL Director, Dr. Recep Avci. Jim was a mentor for many postdocs and students working in the group of Prof. Gerald J. Lapeyre, providing invaluable training during numerous trips to the synchrotron light source in Stoughton, WI. Jim played a major role in the development of the surface science research program over the years at MSU. He was the "go to" person for anything in the lab related to ultrahigh vacuum technology or electron spectroscopy. Working with Jerry Lapeyre, Jim was a pioneer in the field of synchrotron photoemission, angle-resolved photoemission, and many applications in the area of electronic structure determination using photoemission and the unique properties of the synchrotron radiation. Creamation has taken place. No services are planned at this time. We will miss Jim around the department, and wish his wife, Dora, and Jim's family comfort in their loss. Notice of future memorial activity will be provided here on the Department web page.
Dick Smith 11/22/11


MSU's satellite renamed to honor former director of Montana Space Grant Consortium

Evelyn Boswell, MSU News Service, 11/04/11


Montana has its first satellite!
Explorer 1 [Prime] launched successfully at 5:48 EST on Oct. 28, 2011, along with NASA and NOAA's NPP mission and 4 other Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) cubesats. Launch was perfect; ejection from the P-POD (Poly Picosatellite Orbital Deployer) was perfect; and best of all, several HAM radio operators in the UK, France, and the Netherlands have heard E1P's beacon loud and clear.
Congratulations to the 125+ Montana students who worked on the project over the last decade, to the Space Science and Engineering Laboratory, Montana State University, the Montana Space Grant Consortium (E1P's sponsor), and the National Space Grant College and Fellowship program. This is truly a special day. Read more...
Angela Des Jardins 10/28/11


See the latest issue of Mountains and Minds to read about the optics community rooted at MSU and how it drives local industry. Many of our students and faculty are featured in the article
Dick Smith 10/14/11


Visiting Professor Yongchen Sun joins the Cone Group for AY11-12
Welcome to our Visiting Professor for 2011-12, Dr. Yongchen Sun, from the University of South Dakota.
Dr. Sun received his Ph.D. from MSU in 1993 under the guidance of Prof. Rufus Cone. During his year in the department Dr. Sun will will work closely with Dr. Cone and Dr. Charles Thiel investigating the properties of Eu and Tm doped laser materials, and their possible uses in laser applications. We look forward to the enrichment opportunities Dr. Sun will provide for the faculty and students in our optical physics groups, and we hope that the year at MSU offers him some time for professional growth, and a time to develop new ideas for research and academic programs at USD.
Dr. Sun's visit to MSU is being sponsored by MSU Provost, Martha Potvin, MSU Vice President for Research, Tom McCoy, and the Dean of the College of Letters and Science, Paula Lutz. Thank you for the support.
Dick Smith 10/14/11


SSEL's CubeSat catching a ride on upcoming NASA Launch
SSEL's CubeSat catching a ride on upcoming NASA Launch
SSEL's next CubeSat, the Explorer-1 [Prime] - Unit 2, is catching its ride into space on a rocket carrying the next Earth monitoring satellite to be launched by NASA.  This flight, on October 25th, 2011, will be the first time that any CubeSats have flown on a Delta II, and only the second time that university CubeSats have flown on NASA launchers (launchers purchased by NASA, and carrying primary NASA payloads) -- MSU's SSEL has the unique distinction of being the only university to fly a CubeSat on BOTH OF NASA's Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) missions. No other university in the world has flown university-built small satellites on two NASA orbital launches. 
Explorer-1 [Prime] was built in its entirety here at MSU by students and staff of the Space Science and Engineering Laboratory. It will ride into space to become a free flying satellite of the Earth approximately 500 miles above Earth's surface.
While in orbit the satellite will be operated from the SSEL Space Operations Center on 4th floor of Cobleigh Hall. E1P was developed under support from the Montana Space Grant Consortium.
Dick Smith 10/14/11


Nasa Scientist Receives Presidential Early Career Award
Jonathan Cirtain (Ph.D. with Piet Martens, MSU 2005 ) has won a Presidential Early Career Award for 2011. Previous years' winners from MSU are Dana Longcope (2000) and Charles Kankelborg (2008)
MSU news item...
Here is the White House press release...
Read the NASA press release here...
Dick Smith 09/27/11


Bridger Photonics, Inc., co-founded by Dr. Pete Roos and Dr. Randy Reibel who received their Physics Ph.D.s at MSU, was ranked No. 164 on INC. magazine's 30th annual Inc. 500 list, which ranks the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The Bozeman firm topped the list among companies in the engineering sector.
Dick Smith 09/02/11


Congratulations to Rick Bollinger and other members of the Neumeier group on their recent Physical Review Letters publication (8/12/2011).
For over 50 years, scientists have believed that the Group 5 transition metals vanadium, niobium and tantalum retain their cubic crystal structure at cryogenic temperatures. A recent publication in Physical Review Letters shows that this is not the case. All three elements undergo a lowering of crystallographic symmetry. In niobium, the structural distortion begins slightly below room temperature.
Through careful experiments, graduate student Richard Bollinger was able to show that the presence of oxygen in the 100 ppm range suppresses the structural distortion. This explains why it was never before observed. The results improve the basic knowledge of these elements, explain previously reported anisotropy in their superconducting states, and have implications for some of the most important superconducting compounds used in applications. This project resulted from a collaboration with Brazilian scientists at the University of Sao Paulo – Lorena, which has a long history of producing the world’s purest niobium. Brazil is the world’s largest supplier of niobium and its ores.
See PRL article here ...
Dick Smith 08/16/11


The department is happy to announce the arrival of new Assistant Professor Nico Yunes and his family to Bozeman and MSU Physics. Nico received his Ph.D. from Penn State University and was most recently an Einstein Fellow at MIT. His research concentrates on the study of Einstein's theory of General Relativity and Gravitation, specializing in the dynamics of black holes and neutron stars, the most dense, compact and gravitationally strongest objects in the Universe. To read more, see Nico's web page
Dick Smith 08/16/11


Please join me in congratulating Charles Kankelborg on his invitation to attend the National Academy of Sciences' 23rd annual Kavli Frontiers of Science symposium in November, 2011. This symposium is the Academy's premiere activity for distinguished young scientists from a wide variety of fields. Attendees are selected by a committee of Academy members from among young researchers who have already made recognized contributions to science, including recipients of major national fellowships and awards who have been identified as future leaders in science. In the past 22 years, more than one hundred symposium "alumni" have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences and eight have been awarded Nobel Prizes. No pressure, Charles!
Dick Smith 07/12/11


Andres Munoz, former graduate student of Dibyendu Nandi and Piet Martens, was informed that he has won the 2011 Fred L. Scarf Award. The award will be presented at the Fall AGU in San Francisco in December, and Andres will give an invited talk. Andres is the first solar physicist to win the award since Mark Linton, more than a decade ago. This reflects well on solar physics as a discipline too. Read more...
Dick Smith 06/10/11


Neil Cornish to appear on "Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman"
Neil Cornish - shown on horseback in snowy Montana - illustrates the concepts of finite and infinite universes. Read more...
Dick Smith 06/10/11


Congratulations to all of our graduating students for AY 2010-2011!
Dick Smith 05/06/11


Dana Longcope, MSU Physics, "Magnetic Reconnection: How it works and what ions & electrons do when it happens"


Drobizhev and Rebane report on two-photon excitation of fluorescent proteins
The latest issue of Nature Methods features an article in which Misha Drobizhev and colleagues describe the results of their efforts to characterize the two-photon excitation characteristics of fluorescent proteins. The accompanying editorial explains how this type of research assists scientists in avoiding wasted effort on experiments using non-optimal choices of parameters
Dick Smith 04/29/11


Our alumnus Andres Munoz has won the rather prestigious Jack Eddy LWS postdoctoral fellowship to continue his research at CfA under the capable direction of Ed DeLuca. His proposal was among three selected from 30 submissions.
Congratulations Andres!
Dick Smith 04/06/11


NASA's Glory Mission, Carrying Explorer-1 Prime, Fails to Reach Orbit!
See the NASA news release pages here...


Explorer-1 Prime - Launch Announcement!


MSU team solves mystery of missing sunspots, helps predict space weather
Findings published in the March 3rd issue of Nature magazine.
Full story here...



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