This past Sunday, November 6th, PAGSA partnered with the Society of Physics Students (SPS) to host a department wide picnic at Lake Nicol! Undergraduates, professors, family and friends all gathered at the scenic lake for games, food, a nature hike, or just to meet new people in other areas of the department. With a turn-out of nearly 50 people, this was our biggest off-campus event yet!
Although we provided catering platters, some people also brought home-made goodies to share! We certainly have some chefs among us, because the food was delicious.
Thank you too everyone who helped organize the event and give rides to those who needed them!
If you attended the event, please feel free to fill out this brief form about the experience! We value your feedback and hope to have more events like this in the future, so let us know what you think!
Lake Nicol feedback survey
Do you know how much football relies on physical intuition? Our players must be applied physics experts! Last weekend PAGSA partnered with the Society of Physics Students (SPS), our undergraduate counterpart, to come up with some fun physics demonstrations to show off at our booth. With the help of the campus machine shop, we made a see-saw with an adjustable fulcrum and invited children to guess where to put the fulcrum so their weight could lift a "dinosaur" (well....physics student in a dino costume). We also had a Van de Graaff generator, and a magnet that launched small metal tubes into the air, or heated them rapidly, depending on the nature of the metal. Very cool!
Pictured above: some of our scary physics dinosaurs.
On October 14th 2022 Bhuwan Nepal successfully defended his thesis, "Study of Magnetization Dynamics for Neuromorphic Computing Device Applications" and became Dr. Nepal!. His work uses simulations of complex magnetic activity to understand particular materials; these materials may allow us to create much more efficient computers by mimicking some properties of the human brain.
He's currently in California working for Headway Technologies Inc. in direct relation to his research. He says he really appreciates how work with magnetic materials has very practical applications that benefit everyday people, such as giving us the technology in magnetic tape, hard drives, and credit cards.
On October 3rd, student Weidong Jin successfully defended his dissertation and became Dr. Weidong Jin! His research concerns the highest energy light; gamma rays. The same processes that produce exotic phenomenon like neutrinos and gravitational waves also produce these rays. Dr. Jin has spent the last 5-6 years studying multi-messenger astronomy, focusing on followup observations from IceCube (neutrinos) and LIGO/Virgo (gravitational waves). This area has many exciting opportunities-- grad student research projects can have an immediate impact on cutting edge science. When asked about his time as a grad student, Dr. Jin emphasized the importance of attending conferences; "you can talk with experts in your field, present your research results, and even receive postdoc offers!" (I hope everyone experiences that last one).
If you see the doctor around campus, be sure to congratulate him!