Department News

The Department of Physics at Oklahoma State University invites applications for our NSF-Funded REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program. A select number of undergraduate physics majors will experience an intense 10-week summer research program working with faculty researchers in the Department of Physics. A summer research stipend of $5,000 is provided. The application deadline is February 15, 2019. The summer’s program will run from May 20 to July 26, 2018. Along with the $5,000 stipend for the ten weeks, the program will provide housing (single bedroom suites), meal plan, travel funds to present research at the appropriate APS national meeting, and partial support for travel from their home institution to OSU and back. Applications from students that belong to underrepresented populations are strongly encouraged.

 

For more information please visit: http://physicsreu.okstate.edu/.

 

Scientists find themselves reunited at OSU as they work on projects to help NASA get to Mars

By Shannon Rigsby, STATE Magazine, 1-Nov-2018

 

One component of the Active Tissue Equivolent Dosimeter (ATED)Eighteen years ago, a physicist and a materials scientist from different parts of the country were paired on a project for NASA involving the study of radiation. Their paths crossed again in 2008 as colleagues at Oklahoma State University.

Nearly two decades after their first NASA project, physicist Dr. Eric Benton, materials scientist Dr. Ranji Vaidyanathan and their graduate students are making the dream of reaching Mars safely a greater possibility for NASA.

Benton studies radiation itself, designing efficient, economical ways to accurately measure cosmic rays while Vaidyanathan creates new composite materials in hopes of protecting astronauts from them.

“Now, the new administration is talking about a ‘hop, skip and jump,’” Vaidyanathan said. “They are talking about hopping to the moon and jumping to Mars. Not a direct jump. The moon would come first, and creating a colony there. On the moon, they need to create what is called an igloo for protecting astronauts from space radiation and then jumping from there to Mars and back.”

Getting to Mars would take a year at today’s space travel speeds, Vaidyanathan said, noting the voyage isn’t even possible with current spacecraft materials. There’s no clear picture of exactly how much radiation astronauts are exposed to, nor is there a material for the space craft that would fully protect them.

That’s changing.

In partnership with NASA, Benton recently put an inexpensive radiation detector on the International Space Station to find out just how much radiation astronauts in space receive. Next spring, Vaidyanathan will have a composite material with a greater radiation shielding capability on the ISS as well.

 

Read the complete article from STATE, the official magazine of Oklahoma State University

 

Faculty Position Openings

Updated 17-Dec-2018

 

The Department of Physics at Oklahoma State University invites applications for the following faculty positions:

 

 

Search for New Quarks Highlighted by CERN and PRL

04-Dec-2018

 

A search for a new type of quark performed by Dr. Haley and his colleagues on the ATLAS experiment at CERN has been highlighted by CERN and selected by PRL as an Editors' Suggestion. This paper sets the world's tightest limits on these hypothetical particles (call "vector-like quarks") that some theorist believe may be the key to understanding the properties of the Higgs boson and the unification of the fundamental forces.

 

"Combination of the Searches for Pair-Produced Vectorlike Partners of the Third-Generation Quarks at √s=13  TeV with the ATLAS Detector", M. Aaboud et al. (ATLAS Collaboration), Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 211801 (20 November 2018)

 

Radiation Physics Education and Research Fund

15-Nov-2018

 

OSU Associate Professor of Physics Eric Benton recently established the Radiation Physics Education and Research Fund with a $500,000 gift from an anonymous donor. The Fund, administered through the OSU Foundation, will be used to support both graduate and undergraduate students working in Benton's laboratory. Research in the Benton Radiation Physics Laboratory focuses on understanding how ionizing radiation interacts with matter, including living tissue, and on the development of low cost radiation detectors to measure human exposure to radiation and characterize ionizing radiation environments, especially those encountered in space and the atmosphere. The fund also supports Benton's "museum" of scientific instruments, demonstration apparatus and other curiosities used in teaching physics. The fund has already been put to good use, supporting the travel of OSU Physics Graduate Students Bryan Hayes and Paul Inman to Los Alamos National Laboratory to carry out experiments at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center.

 

Women in Physics Luncheon

09-Nov-2018

 

Women in Physics luncheon group photo.

Our amazing group at the Women in Physics Luncheon. For more information on Women in Physics go to: https://www.aps.org/programs/women/

Noble Chair for Laser Research

12-Nov-2018

 

The Department of Physics invites Associate and Full Professors in the department to apply for the Noble Chair in Laser Research.

 

 

Physics Department 2018 Newsletter

The Physics Department 2018 Newsletter in available PDF format.

 

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Employment Opportunities

 

 

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