University of Texas at Austin

Posts Tagged ‘physics’


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

DIY: Building your own spin zone

Physics Professor Alex de Lozanne and his lab are building a $438,000 scanning tunneling microscope from the ground up.

Physics Professor Alex de Lozanne and his lab are building a $438,000 scanning tunneling microscope from the ground up.

When Professor Alex de Lozanne was a boy he made things with Tinker Toys, went on to a mechanical version of Tinker Toys and just kept on tinkering.

Even as a physicist at The University of Texas at Austin, he’s built instruments used in his laboratory.

For his latest project, de Lozanne and members of his lab are building a spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscope (STM)
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Friday, September 24, 2010

“2012″ –– The movie, the physics

Sacha Kopp, associate professor in the Department of Physics, at the Sept. 14, 2010 Science Study Break. Photo by the UT Libraries.

Sacha Kopp, associate professor in the Department of Physics, at the Sept. 14, 2010 Science Study Break. Photo by the UT Libraries.

Here’s physicist Sacha Kopp’s synopsis of “2012,” a 2009 movie that purports to depict what happens when the Mayan calendar turns a big page:

“In this story, the Earth is basically destroyed. There’s a giant solar eruption and this eruption releases this incredible burst of particles called neutrinos, and these neutrinos come whizzing through the universe and bury themselves like,
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sudarshan wins Dirac Medal

George Sudarshan

George Sudarshan

University of Texas at Austin physicist E.C. George Sudarshan will share the 2010 Dirac Medal and Prize with Italian physicist Nicola Cabibbo for their work on the fundamental forces of nature.

The prize is given by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy.

The award recognizes the physicists’ fundamental contributions to the understanding of weak interactions and other aspects of theoretical physics. The weak interaction is one of the four fundamental forces of nature, along with strong interaction,
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Time Scales: That was fast, really fast

Aaron Bernstein

Aaron Bernstein

Further Findings talked to several researchers at The University of Texas at Austin about the time scales in which they work, ranging from millions and billions of years to fractions of a second.

Aaron Bernstein is a laser physicist and associate director of the High Intensity Laser Group. The group operates the Texas Petawatt Laser.

In explaining the time scales involved in his research, Bernstein sounds like a question on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).

Bernstein works with lasers that blast pulses
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Heckuva job, Brownian

Toncang Li, lead author of Brownian motion paper

Toncang Li, lead author of Brownian motion paper

It’s not everyday one can headline a discovery, “Physicists Prove Einstein Wrong with Observation Of Instantaneous Velocity in Brownian Particles.”

But that’s what Dr. Mark Raizen, a professor in the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin, did in an experiment.

The title of the paper, published online in Science Express, had more Joe Friday just-the-facts tone, “Measurement of the Instantaneous Velocity of a Brownian Particle.”

You can hear Raizen talk about the
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Monday, May 3, 2010

Physics and psychology: Acts of creation

Steven Weinberg at Google

Steven Weinberg at Google

From coast to coast, University of Texas at Austin researchers are talking about their research–and their recently published books. Two recent talks are available on the Internet.

Steven Weinberg, the physicist, spoke at Google headquarters in California recently. His talk about his book, “Lake Views: The World and the Universe,” is posted on authors@google on YouTube.

David Buss, an evolutionary psychologist, spoke at the American Natural History Museum. His topic, Why Humans Have Sex. The talk is posted as a
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Principles of science

John Lacy

John Lacy

Scientists arrive at their careers in different ways. Some follow a childhood interest, others are inspired by a teacher or discover a passion in a class they took on a lark and others find they have a talent in a field they hadn’t considered.

Further Findings highlights the paths that some researchers at The University of Texas at Austin took to the laboratory, the library, the field—wherever they do their work.

John Lacy is an astronomy professor and researcher who uses infrared
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Exploring explosions

Visualization of a large jet fuel pool fire in a cross flow that is heating a suspended cylindrical container.

Visualization of a large jet fuel pool fire in a cross flow that is heating a suspended cylindrical container.

A story on the Web site of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is about research to model explosions. It highlights the work of Charles Wright, a chemistry professor at the University of Utah, who is using TACC’s Ranger computer.

Experiments on explosions can be tricky, but they’re no piece of cake to model on a computer. The story explains: Explosions are particularly challenging
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Light and air interacting

Conception of laser-generated filaments for lightning control.

Conception of laser-generated filaments for lightning control.

When something unexpected happened during Aaron Bernstein’s laser experiment in ionization, he veered from the original experiment, followed the surprise and found something he calls “pretty darn cool.”

What Bernstein, a scientist in the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Austin, and his colleagues found was that they could cross two laser beams in ambient laboratory air and transfer seven percent of the energy of one of the beams to the other.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Austin swings like a pendulum do

Most Foucault Pendulums are in places where they can be seen: in science museums or the lobbies of the buildings of university physics departments.

A view of the pendulum from above

Where the pendulum swings/Photo by Shae Small

The one at The University of Texas at Austin is a bit off the beaten path. It’s on the far east side of campus in the Development building, which houses the university’s development offices, the Charles Dana Center and a health clinic.

But it still gets traffic.
Video of the pendulum

Some comes from
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