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Gabriela Gonzalez, Physics PhD Professor, Physics and Astronomy Louisiana State UniversityBaton Rouge, LA Why Physics? Growing up in Argentina, Gabriela.

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Presentation on theme: "Gabriela Gonzalez, Physics PhD Professor, Physics and Astronomy Louisiana State UniversityBaton Rouge, LA Why Physics? Growing up in Argentina, Gabriela."— Presentation transcript:


2 Gabriela Gonzalez, Physics PhD Professor, Physics and Astronomy Louisiana State UniversityBaton Rouge, LA Why Physics? Growing up in Argentina, Gabriela first wanted to be a math teacher, like her mom. But after taking physics in high school, she was sold on physics for good: I was amazed at how we could explain the world with physics. When I found out that this applied to stars and the universe, I decided I couldnt do anything else! Today Gabriela works at LIGO, one of two gravitational wave detectors in the US. Aside from the obvious usefulness of her physics training in her job, Gabriela also says, The best lesson from those classes was to always ask Why? I think these skills are useful for any career: academia, industry, or even life.

3 Gravitational Waves What are they? When massive objects move in space (such as two stars orbiting closely), they generate ripples in space and time, called gravitational waves. As the waves move, space itself is distorted by extremely small amountsso the resulting change in the size of objects is very hard to detect! So how can we see them? H.-P. Bischof/Rochester Inst. of Tech. Image courtesy of Caltech/LIGO Ground based interferometers, such as LIGO, could detect gravitational waves, using a pair of interfering lasers to sense the small changes in length caused by an incoming wave. These detectors open a new window to the Universe, says Gabriela, and provide insight into the life and death of stars.

4 Special student oral and poster presentation sessions. Evening award receptions, featuring cool prizes and special guests. Career and graduate panelsopportunities to network with working physicists. The Future of Physics Days, 2011 Once again, APS is teaming up with SPS at the annual meetings to plan a number of special events just for Undergraduates! Events will include: Check out our FPD website for details! KEYWORD: Future Physics Travel Awards are available to presenting students! Two levels of support are available ($200 and $1000). All presenting students are eligible. Photos :Luke Heselden and Ken Cole

5 For years, scientists have wondered how insects (such as flies) can move in the air with such agility, executing tight turns in small spaces. Fly Boys Recently, a group of scientists at Cornell have unlocked the secret of fly flight, using a set of three perpendicular projectors and high speed cameras. Video courtesy of the Cornell University Insect Flight Group. The study revealed that flies could turn around in mid-flight by changing the pitch (the tilt of the wing with respect to the air) of one wing by a tiny amount. How ya like me now?? Understanding the mechanics of these maneuvers could help scientists design better aircraft, or airborne robots (for military or surveillance applications).

6 Rhett Creighton, Physics MS Company Co-founder Camm Security, Inc.Austin, TX Rhett is the co-founder of Camm Security, Inc, a company which produces and supports video security cameras which can be viewed virtually anywhereeven on your iPhone! I'm always able to break down any problem and model it…using the tools I acquired in physics. Keeping a physicists approach has provided a great way to design products and solve problems. Rhett attributes some of his success to recognizing opportunity, given the recent demand for better video technology for things like smartphones… …but his physics training is what allowed him to make his dreams a reality:

7 Did you know? By the way…. Roughly half of 2007 physics graduates found initial employment in the private sector in Engineering or Computer Science fields. Of these, nearly 100% stated that the problem solving abilities they gained as a physics student were useful in their jobs. So, a physics training gives you skills that are applicable to a variety of career paths. Other useful skills included technical writing, programming, and teamwork.

8 Want to get started on your Physics Career? Visit the APS Online Career Center! Search for jobs on the Career Center (totally free)! Search for positions by location, physics field, job sector, and more! Store your resume, cover letters, and other materials in your profile on the site. Apply for positions directly through the Career Center. Job Seekers can: Positions for Physics graduates are available on our website right now!

9 Hakeem Oluseyi, Physics PhD Professor, Physics and Space Sciences Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourne, FL Why Physics? Growing up in rural Mississippi, Hakeem knew that he was interested in Physics when he read about the work of Einstein at age 11. However at first, Hakeem didnt pursue Physics as a career: I didnt know what a physicist was or what they did, he says, but I had never heard of it being associated with money, so I thought to myself, no way. Im not doing that. But eventually, Hakeem enrolled as a Physics major at a small, historically black college in Tougaloo, MSand received his PhD from Stanford University. Today, Hakeem is a full time professor at Florida Institute of Technology, studying Dark Matter and Dark Energyand on top of loving his work, it pays pretty well, too!

10 What is Dark Matter? Dark Matter is invisiblebut we can infer its presence from gravitational effects on other objects, such as bending the light from distant galaxies, or changing their rotational motion. Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Supernova/Acceleration Probe-- SNAP Satellite Hakeems group is working on projects (like the SNAP Satellite) which will help measure Dark Matter in the universe. Dark Matter is a hypothetical substance which is thought to be distributed throughout the universe. Light from distant galaxy, bent by gravity Todd Mason, Mason Productions Inc./LSST Corp.Regents of the University of California

11 Did you know? By the way…. A physics bachelors degree now ranks higher in starting salary than many other technical fields (including mechanical engineering). The typical starting salary for a physics bachelor degree has increased by nearly $10,000 since 2003.

12 Who is Eligible? High school seniors College freshmen College sophomores Who are … African American Hispanic Native American Learn More at: APS Scholarship For Minority Undergraduate Physics Majors

13 Alison Binkowski Health Policy Analyst Government Accountability OfficeWashington, D.C. After receiving her dual Physics/Computer Science degree, Alison went on to earn an MS in International Affairs and Public Health, from Columbia University. She also volunteered internationally (in places like Costa Rica and China) for programs connected with Public Health issues. But: After a summer in Senegal and Mali with the UN where I ended up being hospitalized for a week, I became more cognizant of the advantages of working on domestic health issues." Alison says her physics background served her well throughout her career: My analytic training was noted as a primary reason why I was offered a partial scholarship in graduate school, and what helped me stand out…to get my current job at the GAO."

14 T-Rayslight waves with frequencies in the terahertz rangecan be used at airports to see through fabric, and detect concealed weapons. Remote Control Plasma! However, current T-Ray devices must be close-range to be effective (since the waves are absorbed by the humidity in air). T-ray sources are also rare (and therefore expensive). However, researchers have found a new technique which generates T-Rays out of air itself, using a pair of self-focused laser pulsescreating a T-Ray device which is less expensive, and can be operated from a distance of several meters! Such remote imaging capability could be useful in a variety of situationsnot to mention keeping people safe during their travels. BUSTED!

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