Monday Morning Memo

Here's a brief synopsis of what's going on this week in regards to Physics... and beyond.

Posted by Jill Ackerman at 11:32AM   |  Add a comment

Tuesday December 1:

Physics & Astronomy Seminar:

Please join us for a talk with Alum Romaine Isaacs '10 entitled: The structure and properties of Cu covetic, a Cu-C alloy with high C content

The incorporation of carbon nanostructures into the copper lattice has the potential to improve the current density of copper to meet the ever-increasing demands of nanoelectronic devices.  We report on the structure and properties of a new material formed by the incorporation of carbon in concentrations up to 10 wt% into the crystal structure of copper that we refer to as “Cu covetic”. The carbon does not phase separate after subsequent melting and re-solidification despite the absence of a predicted solid solution at such concentrations in the binary phase diagram. Bulk samples, as well as thin films grown at room temperature and high temperature are investigated.  X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) confirmed that C incorporates in the bulk of the Cu. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) shows that C forms a modulated structure in the crystal lattice, and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) indicates that C-K edge has graphitic nature with sp2 bonding. Raman scattering from bulk Cu covetic samples show weak peaks at ~1300 and 1600 cm-1 indicating weak sp2 bonding, in contrast to Ag and Al covetics. Copper covetic films exhibit greater transparency, higher conductivity, and resistance to oxidation than pure copper films of the same thickness, making them a suitable choice for transparent conductors.

Romaine Isaacs received his B.A. in Physics from Ithaca College in 2010. His interest in research started in his sophomore year where under the supervision of Professor Beth Joseph he conducted a solar feasibility study for Ithaca College, which was presented to the President’s Sustainability Committee. He also performed radar telescopic observations of metallic asteroids in Arecibo, Puerto Rico and remote observations from Hawaii’s infracted telescopes under her tutelage.  He went on to studying the superconductor PCCO in the group of Professor Matthew C. Sullivan, and over the following two years gained experience through the Ithaca College DANA summer internships program while working at Cornell University, Binghamton University and the University of Maryland.  He continued his education after being accepted into the Materials Science and Engineering PhD program at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. While there he has conducted research on materials for organic and inorganic solar cells at the National Institute of Standards and Technology through the NIST-ARRA Fellowship. His recent focus is on a new material that he will speak about called “covetics”.

Tues., Dec. 1 CNS 112 @ 12:10 p.m. Pizza and Refreshments will be available for $1.
Please bring your own cup. Remember to Recycle, Reuse, Reduce.

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Tuesday, Nov 17:

Please join us for a talk with Rebecca Metzler, Colgate University:
Composition and Structure of Oyster Cement Provides Unique Materials Properties

Rebecca Metzlera, Rebecca Rista, Erik M. Albertsb, Jonathan J. Wilkerb,c

aDepartment of Physics and Astronomy, Colgate University, 13 Oak Dr., Hamilton, NY 13346 bDepartment of Chemistry, Purdue University, 560 Oval Dr., West Lafayette, IN 47907 cSchool of Materials Engineering, Purdue University, 701 West Stadium Ave., West Lafayette, IN 4907

 Eastern oysters, Crassostrea viriginicas, are bivalve mollusks that form extensive reefs that are vital for maintaining coastal habitats along the Atlantic coast of the United States. The reefs are formed by the oysters attaching to one another through the secretion of a complex composite adhesive that solidifies under water and holds the oyster in one location for life. Recent breakthrough work by Wilker et al. found the adhesive to be a mixture of organic and inorganic components, but was unable to determine the microstructure and distribution of the components.

In using a combination of x-ray photoemission electron microscopy (X-PEEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and micro-hardness data, we were able to obtain an unprecedented view of the Crassostrea virginica adhesive’s composition, structure, and materials properties. The data show that the adhesive is non-uniform in both composition and structure, containing not only organics and calcium carbonate polymorphs, as previously observed, but also inclusions from the external environment. The variation in composition within the adhesive leads to varied hardness values. Based on the combination of data, we propose that this variation provides the material properties necessary for the adhesive to fulfill its function in the marine environment.

Rebecca Metzler, BS in Physics from Denison University, PhD in Physics from University of Wisconsin, started at Colgate in 2010.

Tues., Nov. 17, 2015 - CNS 206B @ 12:10 p.m. Pizza and Refreshments will be available for $1.
Please bring your own cup. Remember to Recycle, Reuse, Reduce.

Posted by Jill Ackerman at 10:49AM   |  Add a comment

Tuesday, Nov. 3:

Seminar Talk with Karl Smolenski: An engineer¹s role in high energy physics: Building a next generation detector for CMS at CERN

Recently Cornell University has been selected as the American hub for construction of the next generation Forward Pixel detector (FPix) for the CMS experiment at CERN.  This detector will enable precision measurements of Higg¹s properties and perhaps physics beyond the standard model.  As a layman in this world myself, I will try to gently introduce the physics program but focus more on the role engineering plays in the world of high energy physics as it enables larger and more complex experiments to be built and utilized.

Karl Smolenski is a senior mechanical engineer at Cornell University.  He has spent the last 10 years working on accelerators and electron beam systems for high energy physics and material science.  In the previous 10 years he was the lead engineer for all Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source beamlines developing specialized cooled x-ray optics. He designed, built, and tested the highest average current, highest-brightness electron photo-injector in the world.  Recently he earned a master¹s degree in management.

12:10 PM in CNS 206B

Pizza and Refreshments will be available for $1. Please bring your own cup. Remember to Recycle, Reuse, Reduce.

Posted by Jill Ackerman at 11:49AM   |  Add a comment

Tuesday October 20:

Please join us for:

David Gonzalez: ”Equations of Wonder and/or A Poet Looks Up"

with observations and commentary by Karen Jenson


David Gonzalez is a professional storyteller, poet, playwright and public speaker. He is a cultural ambassador for the US State Department, and is the proud recipient of the 2011 International Performing Arts for Youth "Lifetime Achievement Award for Sustained Excellence".  In 2010 he was named a Fellow of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, and was nominated for a 2006 Drama Desk Award for "Unique Theatrical Experience" for his production of The Frog Bride at Broadway's New Victory Theater. David has created numerous productions, including the critically acclaimed ¡Sofrito! with The Latin Legends Band, and MytholoJazz, both of which enjoyed sold-out runs at New Victory Theater. Sleeping Beauty was co-commissioned by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Brooklyn College, and The McCallum Theater. David was a featured performer at the National Storytelling Festival, and appeared for three seasons at the Royal National Theatre in London.  The Man of the House was commissioned by, and premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2013.  His poetry has been performed at Lincoln Center, Bill Moyers’ “Fooling with Words”, and at colleges and universities throughout the country. David received his doctorate from NYU in 1992.


Karen Jenson is a visual artist, vlogger, poet, and theater artist based in Wyoming and New York. Her work often explores the interfaces and similarities between science and art. She presents examples and prototypes of her work on her website “…And Karen Show.”  Karen co-directs the High Falls Headquarters: Clubhouse for

the Curious, a performance venue and art gallery in High Falls, New York.


12:10 PM in CNS 206B


Pizza and Refreshments will be available for $1. Please bring your own cup. Remember to Recycle, Reuse, Reduce.


Posted by Jill Ackerman at 10:58AM   |  Add a comment

Tuesday, October 6, 2015:

Seminar talk wth Luke Keller: When did the first planets form? (And what were they like?)

Luke Keller teaches physics and astronomy at Ithaca
College and has always been interested in the origins of things in the
natural world. Through his undergraduate and graduate education (B.S. in
Physics, University of Arizona; Ph.D. in Astronomy, University of Texas at
Austin, he has focussed on the formation of stars and planetary systems.
He and his students have been studying the early formation stages of
planetary systems orbiting intermediate-mass stars (several times the mass
of the sun) in our own Milky Way Galaxy for over a decade. They have
recently turned their attention to planet formation in a neighboring
galaxy. The star and planet formation environment there resembles that in
the very early universe and it got Luke thinking: When would the earliest
planets have formed after the Big Bang? Where would they have been like?
Could they have harbored life? Where would they be now? Join us and
explore these questions and more.

CNS 206B @ 12:10 p.m

Pizza and Refreshments will be available for $1.
Please bring your own cup.
Remember to Recycle, Reuse, Reduce

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