Department grants, one new and one renewal
Dr. John Tanis received word that his NSF grant, titled “Radiative Double Electron Capture (RDEC) of Ions with Quasi-free Electrons”, was renewed and will be funded at the level of $120,000 for another three years.
Dr. Michael Famiano and Dr. Zbigniew Chajecki have been awarded an NSF grant worth $420,000 to study how heavy elements were formed and provides further constraints on the characteristics of dense nuclear matter.
Department of Physics Award Ceremony
On April 20, 2017, the Department of Physics honored undergraduate and graduate students during their awards ceremony. Students were selected based on their outstanding work during the 2016-17 academic year. Congratulations to all the winners.
Spencer J. Henning is the Presidential Scholar in Physics
Henning is a graduate of the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center, Kalamazoo Central High School and a recent graduate of Western Michigan University. He was a member of WMU's Lee Honors College and majored in physics and minored in astronomy as well as in mathematics. Henning is a Kalamazoo Promise Scholar who came to WMU on a Medallion Scholarship, the most prestigious honor the University can bestow on an incoming freshman. He has conducted research in WMU's particle accelerator laboratory and worked on astrophysics data analysis with faculty members.
Science Olympiad draws 400 hundred students to WMU
On Saturday, February 25, 2017, over 400 middle and high school students competed in the Region 10 Science Olympiad at WMU. Many faculty, staff, and students from the Department of Physics volunteered their time to help with this event. Students blew away the physics department in demonstrating their skills and knowledge in the Wind Power event. They enlightened us with tests and demonstrations in Optics. Several star students showed up for Astronomy. Many teams geared up to show off their Rube Goldberg machines in Mission Possible. Special thanks to the WMU Physics Club for volunteering for this event.
Physicist melds scientific, humanitarian drive at UN's 'nuclear watchdog'
Since earning his B.S. in physics and applied mathematics from WMU and his Ph.D. in physics at Harvard University, Dr. Marc Humphrey has applied his training in unconventional ways. A recent article featured on WMU News delves into how Humphrey uses his training in physics while working at the International Atomic Energy Agency's Department of Safeguards. Humphrey’s story was also featured in the WMU Magazine and the Western Michigan University Brand Book.
Engaging young minds
The Department of Physics was thrilled to welcome about 200 eighth graders from Portage Northern Middle School on November 21, 2016. The students got to experience the best of Western's STEM-based programs during a field trip on campus. (Image left: students with College of Arts and Sciences dean, Dr. Carla Koretsky, in front of the Tandem Van de Graaff Accelerator.)