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Research opportunities for undergrads

Excellent summer research opportunity for undergraduates. The NCA&T Collaborative Earth System Science Research REU program is accepting applications for REU fellowships (residential) at North Carolina A&T State University for the summer of 2015. Please spread the word. The deadline for applications is April 1, 2015. Details of the program and Application materials can be downloaded from here.

Similar Summer Internship opportunities for undergraduate students are also available at the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, University of Akron. Please spread the message to the undergraduates you may know and who could be interested in the positions. See the link for further information. http://www.uakron.edu/academics/reu-summer-internships.dot

2015 Conference of the National Sciety of Black Physicists

The 2015 Annual Conference of The National Society of Black Physicists will be held on February 25th–Saturday, February 28, 2015 at the Hilton Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland.

Event Registration Deadline: Monday, February 9, 2015

Hotel Reservation Deadline: Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Abstract Submission Deadline: Friday, January 30, 2015

For more information click here.

2014 Nobel Prize in Physics Winners Announced

EPS-NA congratulates Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura, recipients of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources." 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics:

EPSNA held a meeting in Denver during the APS March meeting

EPS-NA members held a satellite meeting during the APS March meeting in Denver. The meeting was held at the Colorado Convention Centre & Sheraton Denver Downtown, in the Plaza Court 2 on March 5, 2014. Two executive members of the EPS-Ethiopia, Drs. Mulugeta Bekele and Yergou Tatek were also present at the meeting. Dr. Mulugeta gave a brief report on the 2014 EPS-Ethiopia annual meeting that took place in Addis Ababa and on the 2014 EPS-NA award to Ethiopian Physics students.

Pictures from the EPS-NA meeting in Denver

The 2014 EPS-Ethiopia annual meeting was held on February 28-March 1 in Addis Ababa. The meeting was partially supported by the grant obtained from APS. The 2014 EPS-NA awards were presented to the winners at the meeting.The Ethiopian Physics Society in North America congratulates the EPS for its successful completion of the conference.The 2014 EPS-NA awards were presented to the winners at the meeting. The names of the awardees are,

  1. Under graduate junior:
    1. Haben Tadesse
    2. Gebreab Woldeyohanes
    3. Bayisa Deme
    4. Mequanint Mola
    5. Shallo Fikadu
  2. Undergraduate senior:
    1. Mane Asema
    2. Shine Shewangizaw
    3. Tamiru Gebreamanuel
  3. Graduate:
    1. Tsegaye Kassa
    2. Dereje Abera

The awardees received certificates of recognition and prize money in the amount of $120 and $150 for each undergraduate and graduate students, respectively.

Pictures from the EPS annual meeting

Dr. Solomon Bililign, the president of EPS-NA, also gave a brief report on the activities of EPS-NA since the new leadership’s tenure began. He highlighted the efforts needed to reach out other sister Ethiopian Organizations. This includes the Ethiopian geophysical Union and the Ethiopian Chemical Societies in the US. On behalf of EPS-NA and EPS-Ethiopia, he acknowledged the generous grant from APS International programs of $1500 that was used to support the award ceremony at the 2014 EPS-Ethiopia annual meeting. He then briefly introduced Dr. Amy Flatten who is the APS director of the international affairs and invited her to the podium for any words she might like to add.

Dr. Flatten briefly described some of the APS international activities and answered some questions from members. Some of the APS international activities she spoke about are APS membership fee exemption for scientists from developing countries and a $2000 international travel grant program to encourage collaborations between Diaspora physicists and physicist in developing countries. The grant covers travel and lodging expenses while traveling to visit a collaborator for at least a month. She values the activities of the EPS-NA and indicated that EPS-NA is the only well organized international physics group among the African Diaspora. That was the highlight of the meeting.

Dr. Bililign also emphasized the need for members to pay their dues and to encourage other young Ethiopians to join the group. He noted that members are also encouraged to develop local activities in their cities to bring together more Ethiopian members. At the end of the meeting, attending members suggested that creating a Facebook account for EPS_NA might increase our visibility and help us to reach out younger physicists. The EC members agreed and Dr. Haile Ambaye, the public relations officer, has taken the responsibility to create and maintain the facebook account and notify all members about it.

2013 Nobel Prize in Physics Winners Announced

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.

EPSNA congratulates both Francois Englert and Peter Higgs. 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics:

Faculty Position at Morgan

Faculty position in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics at Morgan is announced on the October issue of Physics Today. For more information go to http://jobs.physicstoday.org/jobs/5713528?utm_source=BoxwoodIndeed&utm_medium=Indeed&utm_campaign=Boxwood%2BIndeed%2BFeed

Symposium on Computational Materials Science at the 7th Africa Materials Research Society biennial Conference (Addis Ababa, December 8-13, 2013):

Symposium conveners: 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 Materials Science.

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 (scandolo@ictp.it). 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.

Science news from media:

University of Minnesota engineers make sound loud enough to bend light on a computer chip. The PI in the article published in nature communication is Semere Tadesse, an Ethiopian graduate student at the department of Physics and Astronomy.

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (11/26/2014)—During a thunderstorm, we all know that it is common to hear thunder after we see the lightning. That’s because sound travels much slower (768 miles per hour) than light (670,000,000 miles per hour).

Now, University of Minnesota engineering researchers have developed a chip on which both sound wave and light wave are generated and confined together so that the sound can very efficiently control the light. The novel device platform could improve wireless communications systems using optical fibers and ultimately be used for computation using quantum physics.

The research was recently published in Nature Communications, a leading research journal.

The University of Minnesota chip is made with a silicon base coated with a layer of aluminum nitride that conducts an electric change. Applying alternating electrical signal to the material causes the material to deform periodically and generate sound waves that grow on its surface, similar to earthquake waves that grow from the epicenter of the earthquake. The technology has been widely used in cell phones and other wireless devices as microwave filters.

“Our breakthrough is to integrate optical circuits in the same layer of material with acoustic devices in order to attain extreme strong interaction between light and sound waves,” said Mo Li, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the lead researcher of the study.

The researchers used the state-of-the-art nanofabrication technology to make arrays of electrode with a width of only 100 nanometers (.00001 centimeters) to excite sound waves at an unprecedented high frequency that is higher than 10 GHz, the frequency used for satellite communications.

“What’s remarkable is that at this high frequency, the wavelength of the sound is even shorter than the wavelength of light. This is achieved for the first time on a chip,” said Semere Tadesse, a graduate student in the University of Minnesota’s School of Physics and Astronomy and the first author of the paper. “In this unprecedented regime, sound can interact with light most efficiently to achieve high-speed modulation.”

In addition to applications in communications, researchers are pursuing quantum physics applications for the novel device. They are investigating the interaction between single photons (the fundamental quantum unit of light) and single phonons (the fundamental quantum unit of sound). The researcher plan to use sound waves as the information carriers for quantum computing.

The research is funded by National Science Foundation and Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The device was fabricated in the cleanroom at the Minnesota Nano Center at the University of Minnesota.

To read the full article, entitled “Sub-optical wavelength acoustic wave modulation of integrated photonic resonators at microwave frequencies,” visit the Nature Communications website.

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.

Violation of Heisenberg’s Measurement-Disturbance Relationship by Weak Measurements
Quantum test pricks uncertainty

Curiosity's First Steps:

(Credit: NASA, APS )

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

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