Department News

Physicist Searches for Billion Year Old Particles

26 January 2015

Dr. Joe Haley, assistant professor of physics, is one of the leaders of the OSU High Energy Physics group that has joined scientists from around the world conducting research near Geneva, Switzerland, at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research to discover subatomic particles that haven't existed for billions of years. Haley's team is currently searching for vector-like quarks, particles predicted by theorists to explain some of the problems in the Standard Model of physics. If these particles are found, it would transform the current thinking of particle physics and help answer questions like the source of dark matter. The complete article with a brief video interview of Dr. Haley is available on the College of A&S Website.

Several OSU Physics Faculty and Former Students (at Lockheed-Martin) Were Involved in Last Weeks NASA Orion Launch

08 December 2014

  • Razvan Gaza is the lead on the Orion radiation protection program and worked for the design of the Orion capsule for radiation protection of the future crew. Razvan installed the radiation area monitors (RAM) in the capsule.
  • Ramona Gaza works at NASA Johnson Space Center as a contractor in the Space Radiation Analysis Group (SRAG) and will be analyzing the RAM data for SRAG.
  • The RAM contains radiation detectors (called OSLDs) developed by Steve McKeever's group at OSU and for which OSU owns the patents. Mark Akselrod worked with McKeever’s group here at OSU on this development.
  • Mark is currently Chief Scientist at Landauer, Stillwater Crystal Growth Division, where the OSLDs are produced and provided them to NASA.
  • The Orion capsule contained an OSU flag during its maiden voyage. Razvan and Ramona will present this to the Physics Department once it is returned to them.

Lusaka Bhattacharya Receives APS M. Hildred Blewett Fellowship

17 September 2014


One of our Physics Department members, Lusaka Bhattacharya, has received one of the five M. Hildred Blewett Fellowships awarded nationally this year. This award has been given out annually over the past decade to women who are returning to their careers after they take some time off for family or other reasons. Dr. Bhattacharya studied theoretical nuclear physics at the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics in India and received her PhD from the University of Calcutta in 2012. Studying nuclear physics there, she focused on studying quark gluon plasma, and traveled a great deal to present her work around the world. She traveled to universities and research institutions in Israel, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Finland and the United States. While working on her doctorate, she met her husband and the two married in 2010. He finished his degree early and traveled first to Helsinki then Oklahoma for his post-doc work. After Bhattacharya finished her doctorate in 2012, she moved to Oklahoma to join her husband. "My husband is a theoretical physicist like me, but it is very difficult to get a post doctoral position in the same university," she said.


It was the first time the two had been able to live in the same city for an extended period of time. Bhattacharya decided to take some time away from research and start a family. Earlier this year, her first son was born. "Now he's almost nine months old so now I think I should start my career again," she said. She started volunteering at Oklahoma State University to collaborate with her mentor at Kent State University. She's helping to develop a photon probe for detecting when quark gluon plasma has been created in accelerator collisions.


More details are available at the APS News Site.


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