International research sends department faculty and students far and wide this past summer.
Physics major Cinthia Padilla traveled to Paris and Seoul this summer as part of an international REU program to learn methods for analyzing data related to gravitational-wave detection with LIGO. Cinthia is a student researcher in Josh Smith's LIGO group.
In early June, Mike Loverude gave a presentation to the Committee on Undergraduate Physics Education Research and Implementation, which is a National Academy of Sciences study of the coming decade in physics education research and undergraduate physics teaching. His presentation focused on the state of the art in physics education research in upper-division physics courses.
Later on in June, Mike presented a plenary overview to the Foundations and Frontiers in Physics Education Research Conference in Bar Harbor, Maine.
In early August, Mike gave a contributed talk at the summer meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in Omaha, NE. The talk covered work funded by his CCLI grant, and was entitled, "Student understanding of the approach to thermal equilibrium." He also presented an invited poster at the Physics Education Research Conference, also in Omaha. This poster was entitled, "Assessment to complement research-based instruction in upper-division physics courses." An accompanying paper will be included in the conference proceedings.
Graduated-senior Casey Sanchez also attended with Mike the Physics Education Research Conference in Omaha and presented a contributed poster entitled, "Further investigation of student understanding of Lenz' law and Faraday's law." A paper describing Casey's work was recently accepted for the peer-reviewed portion of the conference proceedings.
In mid July, Patricia Cheng gave an invited talk to nearly 200 participants in Project Math Intensive Summer Session (MISS). These girls are from high schools and junior highs in Orange and Los Angeles counties, as well as the Inland Empire. They studied algebra I and II, geometry and pre-calculus at CSUF for a month. Patricia also traveled to Boston in late May and participated in the 218th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society.
Greg Childers presented in June a week-long intensive overview of our introductory physics curriculum to sixteen faculty visiting from Duy Tan University in Vietnam as part of a six-week international collaboration with CSUF Extended Ed, Civil Engineering, and Physics.
In late July, Ionel Tifrea participated in the 2nd Workshop on Spin and Charge Properties of Low Dimensional Systems, which he helped organize and which was held in Brasov, Romania. The meeting brought together scientists from the US and Europe to present their latest results in the field of semiconductor physics. Ionel gave an invited talk which highlighted his work with Masters students Dan Henriksen and Tom Kim.
In early August, Ionel presented a poster coauthored with Dan Henriksen on nuclear spin diffusion in semiconductor nanostructures at a workshop on the Frontiers of Quantum and Mesoscopic Thermodynamics held in Prague.
On August 22nd, Ionel gave an invited talk at the annual SPIE Conference in San Diego.
Morty Khakoo, Greg Childers, and Leigh Hargreaves traveled to Ireland in late July and participated in the 27th International Conference on Photonic, Electronic and Atomic Collisions ICPEAC 2011. Leigh and Morty presented posters entitled "Cross sections for electronic excitation of water by low-energy electrons" and "Cross sections for near threshold excitation of furan" based on data largely taken by physics majors Kevin Ralphs and Gabriela Serna in Morty and Leigh's lab, who were also coauthors on the posters.
Just before ICPEAC, Leigh gave an invited talk at the 17th International Symposium on Electron-Molecule Collisions and Swarms in Maynooth entitled "Electron Scattering Cross Sections for Atomic and Molecular Species of Technological Relevance."
Morty gave an invited talk there entitled "Near-threshold electron impact ionization of the rare gases," which in part described the work of students Brent Yates, Kyle Keane, and Ling Hong.
Jim presented a plenary overview entitled "Vortices in the electron-pair continuum, or just deep bubbles in my Guinness."
In early June, Josh Smith attended the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration meeting in Orsay, France. He chaired a plenary session on LIGO detector characterization and presented a plenary overview on "Progress towards aLIGO Detector Characterization."
In mid June, Josh visited Visited LIGO Livingston Observatory in Louisiana to work with Masters student and his LIGO group member Thomas Abbott and local scientists on characterization of the Advanced LIGO Data Acquisition system (DAQ). Thomas remained on site for a total of three weeks to complete this project, and is currently writing a LIGO internal document about the results.
In mid July, Josh participated in the NASA Center for Astronomy Education Hilo Workshop "Effective Implementation of Interactive Instructional Strategies to Improve Learning in Earth and Space Science Introductory Classrooms: A Tier I Teaching Excellence Workshop," in preparation for teaching this fall our Phys 120 Introduction to Astronomy with a learner-centered approach and assessment. The planned assessment of his course is a project Josh is collaborating on with Mike Loverude and student Gabriela Serna.
In early August, Josh traveled to MIT to participate in the annual LIGO Scientific Collaboration Memorandum of Understanding Panel meeting. This was to review, assess, and provide feedback on the member institutes of the LSC.
Just before school started back, Josh along with physics majors and his LIGO group members Fabian Magana-Sandoval and Jacqueline Lee visited Caltech to collaborate with Dr. Jan Harms on a project to measure scattered light from sample optics for beyond Advanced LIGO. While there they also spent time at the 40m LIGO prototype and the LIGO Caltech computing cluster (supercomputer).
Over the summer break several students in the department, both at the undergraduate and Masters level, participated in research projects in two of the department's research labs involved with gravitational wave detection and electron collisions. Some of the data taken this summer by these students has already been submitted for publication and presented at conferences, as mentioned above.
In our first department colloquium of the fall 2011 semester, six of these students, Cinthia Padilla, Alex Gauf, Amos Jo, Bobby Wright, Gaby Serna, and Fabian Magana-Sandoval, will present and discuss results from their current research.