Francois Englert and Peter Higgs won this year's Nobel Prize in Physics for predicting the Higgs mechanism, the process that gives elementary particles their mass. This comes one year after CERN observed the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider.
Venue: The first EPS-NA EC meeting was held on Skype.
Agenda items, based on earlier presented by the EC president, were:
Certificate of acknowledgment
Meeting date, frequency and length
EC members responsibility
Setting short term and long term goals include:
To promote and support the education and training of Ethiopian Physics professionals by donating educational materials, field equipment, computing facilities, and other necessary resources.
To promote and support the training of Ethiopian Physics professionals by providing scholarship, financial and mentoring assistance to Ethiopian students and educators.-ON GOING
To inform Ethiopian students of career and scholarship opportunities that may exist in the physical sciences.
To organize conferences and workshops on all aspects of physics in Ethiopia.-(Expand to STEM)
To sponsor educational programs and to undertake coordinated research in Ethiopia.
To provide a networking platform for Ethiopian physics professionals-(Enhanced membership drive and sponsoring local and regional activities)
To act as a liaison between members of this organization and other physical science organizations.- (Coordinate efforts with NA- Ethiopian Geophysical Society, Ethiopian Chemical Society, Society of Ethiopian Engineers, Young Ethiopian Professionals, and APS)
To create or facilitate collaboration among universities in Ethiopia and North America.
To organize and teach short courses in Ethiopia. (Work Closely with NGO's like Alliance for Brain-Gain and Innovative Development (ABIDE) in Ethiopia and US State Department and USAID Diaspora engagement efforts)
Who will do what? Set division of labor and create subcommittees for the activities decided in #4
After extensive discussions and deliberations, the Committee agreed to acknowledge the important leadership Dr. Tessema has offered to the EPS-NA and the Society at large.
On agenda item #2: the Committee agreed to hold regular meeting once a month on the second Saturday of every month at 7pm EST. But the Committee also understood dates can be flexible to accommodate unforeseen circumstances and other issues that may limit participation. It was also decided that attendance by 3 or more members will be considered as quorum. In the event where attendance fall below 3, the meeting will be postponed to another time.
The EC also extensively discussed goals and objectives for the coming two years. Accordingly, the committee agreed on the following:
Short term: To fulfill the mission of the organization (reference EPS-NA website), there is a need to maintain status and promoting supporting of Ethiopian professionals in Ethiopia. The established work of recognition and award provision to the young promising physicists in Ethiopia should continue-this will be accomplished in collaboration EPS-Ethiopia. Recognition and award should include all universities. In this case, relevant decision will be left for EPS-Ethiopia.
Collaborative efforts to secure grants: Opportunities that may be available can be used to foster collaboration among scientists here in the US and Ethiopia. Such opportunities may be available through US-AID and other US based agencies. However, the Committee reaches an understanding and potential ramifications and decided to explore this further.
Update members' address and reaching out: The Committee called upon individual and group efforts to reach out local and regional activities (e.g., around Washington, DC, metro area, West Coast and North Carolina, Ohio, etc.). It was hoped that individuals take the initiative to enhance memberships drive and reach out people and encourage them to participate. Each EC member is encouraged to call friends, acquaintances, former classmates etc and encourage them to attend before the next meeting. Sharing highlights of the EC meeting minutes with the whole membership is also suggested to keep the members engaged and show them the ongoing activities by the EC
The other Agenda items were tabled for the next meeting
Symposium on Computational Materials Science at the 7th
Africa Materials Research Society biennial Conference (Addis Ababa,
December 8-13, 2013):
S. Scandolo, N. Marzari, G. Amolo, N. Chetty, R. Martin
A special symposium on Computational Materials
Science will take place at the 7th
Africa Materials Research Society biennial Conference (Addis Ababa,
December 8-13, 2013). A description of the symposium is appended below.
Submission of abstracts is now open, with deadline September 15, 2013. The meeting will bring to Addis leading scientists from around the world and Africa. Lectures by a Nobel prize winner are schedule. A large African participation is anticipated. Scientists from Africa are particularly encouraged to submit.
Abstracts can be submitted following the instructions at
http://www.africamrs.co.za/Abstract.html. For more information go to the symposium's web site.
In your submission please
specify that the abstract is for the symposium on Computational
Financial support will be available to cover the travel expenses of a
few selected contributed speakers from Africa. If you intend to apply
for financial support, please send a copy of the submitted abstract,
along with your CV, to me (email@example.com). Junior scientists should
also arrange for a letter of support to be sent by their supervisor to me.
EPS-NA elected new leadership on July 6 2013:
The Ethiopian Physics Society in North America held its general meeting on July 6, 2013 at the Thirkield Physics auditorium, Howard University, Washington DC. Members of the society, and friends attended the meeting by coming to the meeting site and/or by remote video connection and by proxy. Overall the meeting went well and was conducted according to the planned agenda with minor adjustments.
Highlights of the meeting:
1- Overview of activities over the last 5 years.
2- Announcement of the results of the election for the executive office.
3- Distribution of Certificate of Recognition to outgoing Executive Officers
4- Presentation of high quality science and education and training by EPSNA members. These covered research in industry, government labs, and academia, and medical physics, and a presentation on the growing importance of community colleges in preparing the next generation.
Overall observation: The general meeting met its goal of implementing the important task of transitioning of leadership after an open and competitive general election. This was a critical step in the history of the society. The meeting will be remembered as a major milestone in the growth of EPSNA. It is a turning point from a period of childhood to that of adolescence. The next 2 years will be guided by the newly elected leadership of 6 with
- Dr. Solomon Billilign, President.,
- Dr. Mesfin Tsige, Vice President,
- Dr. Ademe Mekonenn, Secretary,
- Dr. Haile A. Ambaye, Public Relations Officer,
- Dr Eyob Sete, Treasurer, and
- Dr. Solomon Duki, Auditor.
EPSNA urges all members of the society to actively support the newly elected EC members and work with them in charting the path to a bright future for EPSNA. The outgoing EC members thank all those members who supported and encouraged us through out the 5 years, and call on them to do the same with the new EC.
Outgoing EC memebrs:
Dr. Tessema G/Xabier, Dr. Tesfaye Kidane, Dr. Tesfaye Abtew, Dr. Negussie Terfessa, and Dr. Selemon Bekele.
EPS-NA will hold its annual meeting, July 6 2013, in Washington DC :
Location: Thirkield Hall, Howard University, Washington DC.
The Ethiopian Physics Society in North America (EPS-NA) will hold its general Meeting, July 6 2013 in Washington DC.
The EPS-NA Executive Committee would like to invite all of its members and interested individuals
to attend the meeting.
Dr. Robert Catchings, Associate Dean for Research, Howard University.
9:05-9:25 am :
Introductory Remarks and Report by EPSNA Executive Committee
9:25-9:45 am :
Invited talk: "Current Technologies and Techniques in Radiation Therapy Physics", Dr. Dagnachew Workie
9:45-10:00 am :
Invited talk: Physics in industry, Dr. Tesfaye Kidane
10:00-10:15 am :
"The Increasing Role of Community Colleges in STEM Education", Dr. Negussie Tirfessa
10:15-10:30 am :
"Experience with Collaboration between Diaspora Experts and Academics in Africa", Dr. Solomon Billilign (REC)
10:30 am :
11:00-12:00 pm :
Dr. Dereje Seifu,
Dr. Mesfin Tsige, (REC)
Dr. Haile Ambaye,
Dr. Ademe Mekonnen, (REC)
Dr. Solomon Duki,
Dr. Eyob Sete (10 min each) (REC)
12:00 pm :
1:00-2:00 pm :
Panel Discussion: Ethiopian Physicists in the 21st Century and the role of EPS-NA: Moderator Dr. Selemon Bekele
2:00-2:30 pm :
Lesson from other sister organizations: Society of Ethiopian American Engineers (15 min)
2:30-3:00 pm :
Funding Opportunity in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the National Science Foundation (Dr. Tessema G.X).
3:00-4:00 pm :
New Executive Committee, Transition and Acceptance of role.
4:00 pm :
EPSNA members meet at the APS March meeting in Baltimore:
Mar. 31, 2013
The members of EPSNA who participated in the APS March meeting 2013 held a meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. A total of 14 people including 3 EC members were present.
In the meeting, the members discussed about the role of EPS-NA and what direction it needs to take in the future.
On behalf of EPS, Dr. Mulugeta thanked EPS-NA for awarding scholarships to four students of Addis Ababa University.
The EC members present discussed the need for an election of new EC members. There were potential candidates present at the meeting and the EC members expect they will be nominated or self-nominate themselves once the email solicitation is sent out.
There were few concerns raised about the lack of participation from registered members of EPS-NA. Furthermore, suggestion were made to increase the registered members of our society by reaching out to students, researchers and scholars.
The need to strengthen and continue EPS-NA partnership with EPS, and other Ethiopian professional organizations was also discussed.
Finally, the members agreed to have the upcoming EPS-NA general meeting on July 6, 2013. The venue for the meeting will be announced soon.
EPSNA featured on the Spring 2013 FIP Newsletter
Mar. 8, 2013
The Spring 2013 FIP newsletter has featured the Ethiopian Physics Society in North America EPS-NA.In this letter, Prof. Tessema Guebre Xabiher, President of EPS-NA and Program Director at the National Science Foundation,
briefly discussed the history, objectives and accomplishment of the society.
EPSNA Awarded its 1st Scholarship to 4 Outstanding AAU Students
(at EPS conference held in Ethiopia)
Feb. 18, 2013
Ethiopian Physics Society - North America (EPS-NA) awarded its 1st scholarship to 4 outstanding Addis Ababa University (AAU) students at the seventh national conference of the Ethiopian Physics Society (EPS) held in Ethiopia.
At the conference, on behalf of EPS-NA, the current EPS president Dr. Mulugeta Bekele handed the first EPS-NA award certificate and undisclosed amount of cash prize for best physics students in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Physics Society in North America congratulates the EPS for its successful completion of the conference. The conference was held at Mekele University on February 2-3 2013.
This year the awards went to 4 AAU students.
The EPS-NA intends to make these regular annual awards and to expand eligibility to all physics students and scholars at Ethiopia’s growing Universities and colleges. The awards include a certificate of recognition and a symbolic level (undisclosed amount) of cash award.
EPS-NA would like to express its appreciation to the EPS local EPS-NA award selection committee members who submitted a list of outstanding candidates for selection by the EPS-NA Executive Committee (EPS-NA EC). The EPSNA-EC selected 4 awardees, two junior physics students, one senior student and one PhD student.
The Awardees are:
1- Mr. Sisay Shewamare: Best PhD Student Award “ in recognition of the highest performance among his peers, the high quality of his research in the field of physics and for his contribution to the community.”
2- Mr. Abreham Moges: Best Senior Student Award “in recognition of his high academic performance, the high quality of research in the field of physics and for his contribution to the community.”
3- Mr. Mane Asema: Best Junior Student Award “in recognition of the highest academic performance and for the best contribution to the community among his peers”
4- Mr. Shimelis Woleyoohannes: Best Junior Student Award “ in recognition of the highest performance among his peers, the high quality of his research in the field of physics and for his contribution to the community.”
Upcoming General Meeting of EPS-NA:
July 6, 2013
At its regular monthly meeting, November 28, 2012, the Executive Committee discussed the plan for the upcoming general meeting of the society and reached a decision to hold the 3rd general meeting of EPSNA on Saturday July 6, 2013. The committee also discussed a tentative timeline for preparation of the meeting. The timeline below is shared with the EPS-NA community to allow time for members to contribute to the planning and to enable a high level of participation in all aspects of the Meeting.
Dec. 3: Announce the plan on the EPSNA website
Dec. 15: Announce meeting objectives and give a detailed timeline
Define a crisp objective for the meeting and advertise to the community
Lay out the various committees and tasks (logistics, nominating committees, program committees, etc...)
Call for volunteers
Jan. 1st: Poll community, start an online registration
March 18-22: At the March Meeting: EC Members meet with current members and others
to complete formation of committees
to nominate a selection or electoral board for new members of the EC
to discuss meeting format location or venue
to develop an agenda and list of invited speakers
Finalize all Meeting Venue and logistics
Post EC report on-line for community review and comment.
April 15: Send invitations for speakers
July 6, 2013:
General assembly meeting
Adopt report by the general assembly
Elect new members of EC
An Ethiopian Physicist received a 5-year, $1.6 million grant for his nanoscale materials research:
Dr. Dereje Seifu, an associate professor of Physics at Morgan State University, recently received an award in a form of research grant from the Army Research Laboratory (ARL). The award is for a Cooperative Research Agreement providing $1.6 million for five years.
Dr Dereje’s research will focus on developing novel methods for synthesizing and characterizing nano-scale, magnetic materials including nano-wires, nano-magnets, and two-dimensional highly correlated magnetic systems such as, hybrid graphene-based materials, with especial focus on B, N, and transition-metal elements to develop two-dimensional (2D) nanomagnetic structures. A nanomagnet is a submicrometric system that presents spontaneous magnetic order (magnetization) at zero applied magnetic field (remanence).
Dr Dereje is also a receipient of a National Science Foundation, Major Research Instrumentation (NSF-MRI) award which he used to build a state-of-the art thin film synthesis and magneto-optics laboratory.
EPSNA congratulates the winners of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics!:
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2012 was awarded jointly to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems"
Dr. Teketel Yohannes, of Addis Ababa University announced that the
2013 Africa MRS meeting will be held in Addis Ababa:
MRS tv recent interview.
Imaging at a trillion frames per second:
Ramesh Raskar presents femto-photography, a new type of imaging so fast it visualizes the world one trillion frames per second, so detailed it shows light itself in motion.
This technology may someday be used to build cameras that can look “around” corners or see inside the body without X-rays.
Photography is about creating images by recording light. At the MIT media lab, professor Ramesh Raskar and his team members have invented a camera that can photograph light itself as it moves at, well, the speed of light.
Imaging at a trillion frames per second Read more here
Watch the video below:
New quantum test claims that the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle not quite right
(Source: Phys. Rev. Letter. and BBC News)
The Heisenberg uncertainty principle is in part an embodiment of the idea
that in the quantum world, the mere act of observing an event changes it.
But the idea had never been put to the test, and a team writing in
Physical Review Letters (PRL 109, 100404 (2012)) says "weak measurements" prove the rule was never quite right.
That could play havoc with "uncrackable codes" of quantum cryptography.
Quantum mechanics has since its very inception raised a great many philosophical and
metaphysical debates about the nature of nature itself.
Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, as it came to be known later,
started as an assertion that when trying to measure one aspect of a particle precisely,
say its position, experimenters would necessarily "blur out" the precision in its speed.
That raised the spectre of a physical world whose nature was,
beyond some fundamental level, unknowable.
NASA's most advanced Mars rover, Curiosity, landed on Mars August 6, 2012, as part of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission. Curiosity, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars after a 36-week flight. Curiosity will conduct a two-year investigation looking particularly for signs that Mars ever had conditions or ingredients favorable for microbial life.
Read more at
Curiosity's First Steps
Higgs boson-like particle discovery claimed at LHC:
(Credit: BBC news by Paul Rincon Science editor, BBC News website, Geneva )
Cern scientists reporting from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have claimed the discovery of a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson. The particle has been the subject of a 45-year hunt to explain how matter attains its mass. Both of the Higgs boson-hunting experiments at the LHC see a level of certainty in their data worthy of a "discovery". More work will be needed to be certain that what they see is a Higgs, however.
The results announced at Cern ( European Organization for Nuclear Research) , home of the LHC in Geneva, were met with loud applause and cheering. Prof Peter Higgs, after whom the particle is named, wiped a tear from his eye as the teams finished their presentations in the Cern auditorium. "I would like to add my congratulations to everyone involved in this achievement," he added later.
"It's really an incredible thing that it's happened in my lifetime."
(Source: BBC news by Richard Hollingham, image source: Copyright: Science Photo Library)
Will space elevators ever be more than science fiction? Our space columnist meets the man who hopes to do away with dangerous and expensive rockets forever.
Science fiction fans have long been familiar with space elevators. Popularised by Arthur C Clarke, the concept of an elevator from the Earth to orbit has been around for more than a century. In the space operas of Iain M Banks or Alastair Reynolds, space elevators are pretty much taken for granted – they’re what advanced civilisations use to leave their planets.
These futuristic engineering feats consist of a cable – also known as a ribbon or tether - of material stretching from the Earth’s surface into orbit. An anchor and Earth’s gravity at the lower end, and a counterweight and centrifugal force at the top end keep the elevator’s “cable” taut and stationary over ground station. Robotic ‘climbers’ would then pull themselves up the ribbon from the surface, through the stratosphere and out into space, potentially powered by lasers. The climbers could carry satellites up and bring minerals from the moon, or asteroids, back. They could take tourists into orbit or convey astronauts on the first part of their journey to the stars. No longer would space exploration be held back by gravity or rely on smelly, dangerous and expensive rockets.