Engleman discusses what to look for in the summer night sky, upcoming celestial events and tips
Do you want to learn more about the night sky? Nicole Engleman, a graduate student in physics at Auburn who has taught the astronomy lab, suggests two simple things people can do to enhance their sky-watching enjoyment: purchase a pair of binoculars and locate a start chart.
"The night sky is awesome. There is so much up there, so a star chart, whether you print one out or download one to your smart phone, helps you to know what you are looking at, which is really cool. Once you know you are looking at certain constellations, the night sky is 100 times more amazing," Engleman said. "And using a pair of binoculars is an inexpensive way to enhance your view of space without investing a lot of money in a telescope."
Engleman said that there are many easy objects to identify, such as the Big and Little Dipper, Polaris, also known as the North Star, which is found in the Little Dipper, and the fifth-brightest star, Vega, which is part of the Lyra constellation.
"Honestly, the summer sky is kind of boring compared to other times of year," Engleman said. "Orion is not even up there in the summer, and you can see it at other times of year. It's also not as easy to see as much in the summer because the atmosphere is humid. The moisture makes it more difficult to see the sky because water vapor reflects light."
Auburn Student Receives National Society of Physics Students Undergraduate Research Award
Patrick Donnan, Auburn Physics and Mathematics major, has been selected by the Society of Physics Students (SPS) as one of two students from the United States to present a paper at the 2013 International Conference of Physics Students (ICPS), August 15-21, in Ediburgh, Scotland.
ALPHA experimenters present novel investigation
The ALPHA collaboration at CERN has published a paper in /Nature Communications/ describing the first direct analysis of how antimatter is affected by gravity.
Paper by AU Faculty Member Featured by Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
A scientific paper by Prof. Allen Landers and co-authors titled "Probing the dynamics of dissociation of methane following core ionization using three-dimensional molecular-frame photoelectron angular distributions" has been picked by the Editorial Board of the Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics to feature within the Highlights 2012 collection due to its outstanding quality and impact within the field of AMO physics.
Donnan named a 2013 Goldwater Scholar
Patrick Donnan, an Auburn University Honors College student double-majoring in physics and music, has been chosen as a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, an honor bestowed only to approximately 300 students nationwide each year. The scholarship is widely considered the most prestigious award in the United States for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.
Two Physics Majors Honored by Goldwater Scholarship Program
Patrick Donnan named a 2013 Goldwater Scholar and Tyler Sutherland named Goldwater Scholar Honorable Mention
Prof. Lin Selected as a Changjiang Chair Professor
Coordinated by the Chinese Ministry of Education, Changjiang Scholars Program is one of the most prestigious higher education development programs of China provided by the Ministry of education and Li Ka Shing Foundation.
New antimatter method to provide ‘a major experimental advantage’
Prof. Francis Robicheaux is co-author of a study published in the Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics that describes a method for cooling trapped antihydrogen which they believe could provide ‘a major experimental advantage’ and help to map the mysterious properties of antimatter that have to date remained elusive.
AubieSat-1 mission is a success
The Auburn University student-built satellite, AubieSat-1, was the first student-built CubeSat in the state to be accepted by NASA for launch. A “CubeSat” is a 4-inch, cube-shaped satellite that is used primarily for research. The satellite launched into space at 2:48 a.m. PDT on Oct. 28, 2011, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a NASA-sponsored Delta II rocket. For approximately eight months, AubieSat-1 orbited the globe, and numerous universities and individual ham radio operators signed up to help track the satellite. The first signal was received shortly after launch from Vigo University in Spain. The signal was heard as far away as Japan and as nearby as the University of Alaska, and daily information arrived to the AubieSat-1 team via an amateur radio operator named Mike Rupprecht, who lives in Germany.
Physics student speaks at annual meeting
Senior Patrick Donnan was invited to give a talk at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Physical Society’s Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics in Orange County, Calif., that was held June 4 - 8. Donnan, who is double majoring in physics and music, gave a presentation during the undergraduate session of the national meeting titled, “Calculations of Hyperfine Antihydrogen Spectroscopy.”
Auburn researchers play role in antimatter breakthrough featured in journal Nature
A recent scientific breakthrough could lead to changes in the world of antimatter physics, according to Francis Robicheaux, an Auburn University physics professor and member of ALPHA, the international team of scientists conducting the antimatter research.
Last year the ALPHA (Anti-Hydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus) team was able to trap and hold the antimatter version of the hydrogen atom. They have now accomplished the goal they set at that time of being able to measure the fundamental properties of antihydrogen.
An article in this week’s edition of the journal Nature, titled “Resonant quantum transitions in trapped antihydrogen atoms,” describes the progress made in that research.
The article reports that ALPHA has made yet another monumental step toward being able to make defendable and precise comparisons between atoms of matter and those of antimatter. Recently, Robicheaux and collaborators were able to measure the frequency needed to alter the magnetic properties of the antihydrogen atom by sending microwaves through the atom trap.
“This is the first baby step into doing great experiments with antihydrogen atoms,” Robicheaux said. “This is the first time any properties of antihydrogen have been measured with any type of precision.”
Auburn University Space Program to launch state's first student-built satellite into space
Auburn's famous battle cry, "War Eagle," will be heard from space Oct. 27 when it is transmitted to earth from a student-built satellite known as "AubieSat-1."
The construction of the satellite is part of the Auburn University Student Space Program, and AubieSat-1 is the first student-built satellite in the state to be accepted by NASA for launch. The satellite will launch aboard a NASA-sponsored Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Once in space, the satellite will communicate with Auburn students in Morse Code, and the phrase "War Eagle" is the signal that the launch was successful and the satellite is in orbit and operating correctly.
Auburn University and Auburn City Schools educators fly in NASA's "Weightless Wonder"
Educators from Auburn University and Auburn City Schools floated like astronauts during a once-in-a-lifetime flight on NASA's "Weightless Wonder" aircraft. The team of six educators call themselves the "Flying Tigers," and as they floated, they conducted experiments that were set up in a clear plastic box to see how various objects and scientific concepts would alter under a reduced gravity environment. According to the team, words cannot accurately describe the feeling of being weightless.
AU Student Space Program featured on Alabama Public Television
Alabama Public Television did a feature on COSAM's Auburn University Student Space Program as they prepare for the launch of the first student-built satellite in the state, AubieSat-1.
Physics professor receives $2.1 million grant
Physics Professor and Director of the Plasma Sciences Laboratory, Edward Thomas, received an NSF award through the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program. This competitive program research training in our nation's institutions of higher education, museums, science centers and not-for-profit organizations. The total amount awarded to Thomas is $2.1 million, which includes a 30 percent cost-sharing by Auburn University. This project represents one of the largest MRI projects ever awarded to Auburn University.
Physics professor involved in anti-matter breakthrough
Last year, an international team of scientists including Auburn University physics professor Francis Robicheaux made a scientific breakthrough by trapping and holding the anti-matter version of the hydrogen atom. When the discovery was initially announced, the team, known as ALPHA, had captured 38 atoms of antihydrogen, storing each for a mere sixth of a second. Since then, ALPHA has made significant progress by trapping 309 antihydrogen atoms, with some held for as long as 15 minutes.