March 2, 2011
From the group of Richard Taylor
The BBC is filming a three-part series called “The Code” hosted by Marcus du Sautoy, a professor of mathematics at Oxford. The program is about the structural systems that determine the form of everything from beehives and bubbles to music, computer animation and the weather. Richard Taylor was featured to explain how the mathematical “code” behind one of Pollock’s drip paintings was unique enough to expose counterfeits. In the picture, Richard Taylor and Marcus du Sautoy discuss the physics behind the fractal “code” found in nature and in Pollock’s poured paintings, while Rick Montgomery operates the Pollockizer, a driven pendulum whose paint-filled bob splatters paint in patterns reminiscent of Jackson Pollock.
Feb. 13, 2011
From the group Oregon Center for Optics
The Science Program to Inspire Creativity and Excellence is an informal science outreach program targeting middle school aged girls. The goal of the program is to inspire young women to pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines by providing them with fun, hands-on science activities and camps.
Jan. 5, 2011
From the group of Robert Schofield
Leaf-cutter ants rely on their razor-sharp mandibles to cut leaves to pieces. But over time, their mandibles dull. Physicist Robert Schofield, of the University of Oregon, looked at what happens when the aging ants struggle with their snipping. He and his colleagues found they take on a new job.
Oct. 2, 2010
From the group of Mike Raymer
University of Oregon scientists have invented a method to change the color of single photons in a fiber optic cable. The laser-tweaked feat could be a quantum step forward for transferring and receiving high volumes of secured data for future generations of the Internet.
Sept 13, 2010
From the group of Steve Kevan
In collaboration with colleagues at Oregon State University and the University of Illinois, we have initiated a project to improve the efficiency of solar cells, by improving their quantum efficiency using an approach called heterojunction-assisted impact ionization. This approach is based loosely on advanced semiconductor detectors in which energetic carriers produced by higher energy photons decay by production of additional electron-hole pairs by impact ionization. Our approach could be applied to existing PV material systems, and we are also seeking new low-cost, environmentally benign materials for future applications.
Aug 5, 2010
From the group of Raghuveer Parthasarathy
A week-long Physics and Human Physiology camp for high school students, part of an umbrella of programs spanning several departments at UO that especially targets students from low-income backgrounds, ran successfully in August. We explored both physics and physiology with hands-on activities and visits to several labs, getting our hands wet with soap films, examining human cadavers, climbing rock walls, and more. (Organizers: Raghuveer Parthasarathy, Physics; Paul van Donkelaar, Human Physiology.)
From the group of Stan Micklavzina
Enlightening the general public to physics principles and research can be more effective if the material is presented in a timely way that intrigues and entertains the audience. Physics demonstrations stimulates the intrigue and practiced performance provides the entertainment.