Editorial: Physics "Filibuster for Democracy"
Cathy Kunkel, Princeton University
Political activist and physics major do not often go together. That is why I was mildly surprised to find myself, two days before my physics final, traveling on a bus to Washington, DC, for a political protest. We were going to set up a mock filibuster for more than 24 hours in front of the Capitol, in order to protest the 'Nuclear Option' proposed by Senate Republican leaders to eliminate the use of the filibuster in blocking judicial nominations. This was the culmination of a mock filibuster that had started more than two weeks earlier in front of the First Campus Center at Princeton University
2005 Sigma Pi Sigma Undergraduate Research Awards
Laser Cooling and Trapping of Rubidium Adams
Advisor: Dr. Ming-Tie Huang; Prepared and Submitted by: Christopher S. Hopper
A single mode diode laser system has been set up for the future study of Doppler free spectroscopy and atom cooling and trapping. Within this system, we have observed the hyperfine transitions of the 85Rb and 87Rb D2 resonance. Over the course of the next several months, we wish to further study the Doppler free spectroscopy of the Rubidium atom, achieve laser frequency stabilization and lock to a hyperfine transition, attain laser beam splitting and polarization control to prepare for trapping atoms with a magneto-optical trap (MOT), design or purchase a Rb oven, and build a second laser for hyperfine re-puming.
Chaos in a Sinusoidally Driven Resistor-Inductor-Diode Circuit and in a Driven, Damped Torsion Pendulum
Advisor: Dr. Mohammad Z. Tahar; Prepared and Submitted by: Joseph Murphy, Jeremy Hewitt, Nicholas Lefort, Justin Brown, and Kristina Fuller
We want to purchase a Torsion Pendulum that can be driven to chaos to complement our work on a chaotic resistor-inductor-diode experiment. We have preliminary results for the fractal dimension of the strange attractor of the R-L-Diode Circuit, however, our goal is to figure out what this fractal dimension is telling us about the physics of this system. We are interested in studying other chaotic systems in order to broaden our understanding for chaos, dimensionality of the strange attractor, and how that dimensionality relates on the physics of the system.
2005 SPS National Intern Research Presentations
NOTE: Presentations are in PowerPoint format and may take a few minutes to download
Bridger Anderson, Minnesota State University of Moorhead
Matthew Hall, Coe College
Morgan Halfhill, Austin Peay State University; Rebecca Keith, Drew University
Mika McKinnon, University of California - Santa Barbara
Lindsay Windsor, Cornell University
Also of Interest
Three Outstanding Student Awards for Undergraduate Research in WYP2005
In the spirit of the 2005 World Year of Physics, SPS has selected three members for the Outstanding Student Award for Undergraduate Research. The trio will represent SPS and the United States to the 2005 International Conference of Physics Students (ICPS), August 11-18, in Coimbra, Portugal.
Present Your Research at a Professional Society Meeting
SPS holds sessions for members to present their undergraduate research at many professional society meetings around the United States each year. Both poster and oral sessions are conducted at meetings of the American Physical Society (APS), the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Geophysical Union, just to name a few. Travel grants are available for those who register the earliest.
You can find the meeting announcements, dates and abstract deadlines in the SPS Meetings section of the SPS national website.
SPS Summer Research Job Site Grows
Last year SPS and ComPADRE rolled out an upgraded and redesigned version of The Nucleus, the undergraduate sector of ComPADRE. The discussion forums on the site have been improved in v2.0, and you can still post resume information online and search for physics and science-related summer research jobs in the Summer Research Opportunities Section.
Last year, our jobs debate provided students with access to roughly 1,000 summer science opportunities at more than 140 research sites! We plan to have even more submissions this year, so stay tuned. ComPADRE, the physics and astronomy digital library, is part of the NSF-NSDL.