## events

• ### Coming Soon: Physics is Phun presents Induction and Deduction

Coming up in two weeks, University of Maryland Physics will present our first Physics is Phun program of the semester.

At Induction and Deduction, you are not just an audience; we are all detectives helping to solve a mystery. Our tools: Physics! Our guest presenter and lead detective: Dr. David Stewart of the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics.

Physics is Phun is our ongoing series of programs presenting exciting physics concepts and demonstrations at a high-school level. It is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

The program will be Thursday October 11 and Friday October 12 at 7:00 PM in UMD Physics Lecture Hall 1412.

More details are available at the UMD Physics Outreach page.

• ### Demonstration Highlight: Diameter and Circumference

Today, Third Month Fourteenth, we celebrate Pi Day. π=3.14…. is a well known fact of science, from our grade school mathematics classes and many dessert-related puns, but what does that actually mean?

Let’s take a look at demonstration A2-11. We see a large metal cylinder mounted on a stand. A bead chain can be wrapped around the cylinder, or pulled off and stretched out straight. When you stretch it out, π is the ratio between its length and the diameter of the cylinder. Technically, π= ½ (c/r), where c is the circumference and r is the radius, radius being the distance from the center to the edge or half the diameter.

Why don’t we define the ratio without the ½? Or why do we use radius rather than diameter? The answer is that using radius makes it easier to generalize to other calculations. If we want to calculate the area, rather than the circumference, we use the square of the radius – which is less annoying to calculate than the square of half the diameter. And even more so when we generalize to three or more dimensions. Ultimately, the factor of 2 falls out from the process of taking derivatives and integrals, just like in elementary calculus.

To see this effect virtually, check out this animation from wikipedia: Pi unrolled. As you can see, if you  have a cylinder 1 unit in diameter, its circumference “unrolls” to be approximately 3.14 units long.

Now, check out the Pi(e) Day events at the Maryland Science Center

• ### Distinguished Scholar-Teacher, Prof. Michelle Girvan

The University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award recognizes faculty who have done exceptional work in research and education. It is granted to only a few faculty every year across the whole university.

This year, Physics Professor Michelle Girvan has been named a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher. Her research is interdisciplinary and explores complex systems and network science, an outgrowth of her background in biophysics. Five years ago, she was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society for her work in the statistical physics of complex networks.

In recent years, she has drawn attention for her work with COMBINE (Computation and Mathematics for Biological Networks, where their studies of network epidemiology have been applicable to understanding the spread of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, December 13, Prof. Girvan presents her DST Lecture: Machine Learning for Forecasting Complex Systems. https://umdphysics.umd.edu/events/physicscolloquia.html#machine-learning-for-forecasting-complex-systems

You can learn more about Dr. Girvan’s work in this recent episode of the podcast Relatively Uncertain: https://jqi.umd.edu/news/podcast/taming-chaos-physics-and-ai

Over the years, several UMD Physics faculty have been named Distinguished Scholar-Teachers.

You can find a full list of Physics recipients at https://umdphysics.umd.edu/about-us/awards.html#distinguished-scholar-teachers-of-the-department-of-physics

• ### FLIGHT!

As part of this year’s Maryland State STEM Festival, the Department of Physics hosted the program “FLIGHT!” This fun and educational event featured physics demonstrations, hands-on activities, and yummy treats. The forces of drag, lift, thrust, Coandă effect, and Bernoulli’s principle were highlights of the day. The excitement of FLIGHT was enhanced by an outreach table hosted by NASA. An astronaut cut-out for kids to take pictures, stickers, handouts on flight missions, and a hands-on activities that rounded out a very special day of learning about flight technology.

Thanks to the impressive efforts of the FLIGHT Team: Undergraduate volunteers: Anna Grafov, Tyler McDonnell, Sara Negussie, Joey Taylor, Ronan Hix, Kristiana Ramos, Angel Torres, Lucy Wilkerson, Peter Mielke, Samyak Mehta, Samantha Stesch, Matt Bravo, and David Bour. Graduate Students: Jameson O’Rielly and Sandesh Kalantre. Staff: Eliot Hammer, Logan Anbinder, Janell Coleman, Clay Daetwlyer, Don Lynch, and Donna Marafino-Hammer. Also, the entire FLIGHT Team thanks Jason Osheroff for representing NASA at our event!

• ### Happy Spring 2023!

Happy 2023! Welcome to the spring semester at UMD Physics!

The Physics Lecture-Demonstration Facility is here to fulfill your classroom demonstration needs this semester. We’re looking forward to an exciting semester!

Be sure to explore our new online resources as well, including the demonstration videos channel, LecDem blog, and the directory of simulations. Keep an eye out for new material to come!

If you have any questions about finding the right demonstrations or other resources for your class, access to the order form, or anything else we can help with, be sure to call or email.

Please remember to order your demonstrations before the cutoff deadline for the order form system: For morning classes, before 1PM the previous working day; for afternoon classes, before 4AM the day of the class. Where possible, we appreciate having the orders at least one full working day ahead, to ensure plenty of time to make sure everything is ready for you.

We have many events coming up this spring, including Physics is Phun, Physics Discovery Day, and Maryland Day; watch our website for news!

• ### Maryland Day 2023

We all had a fabulous time at Maryland Day 2023! Thank you so much to all our amazing and dedicated volunteers.

From Physics is Phun shows to giant smoke cannons to the ever-popular liquid nitrogen ice cream, UMD Physics pulled off a terrific program despite weather and construction.

Congrats to the whole team for a fabulous day!

See you again next year!

• ### Outreach Events in February are Hot and Cold!

UMD Physics Outreach opens 2023 with a hot (and cold) time in the old town this month!

Demonstrations include infrared radiaion, liquid nitrogen, combustion, convection, and therman expansion and contraction. A great way to warm up on a chilly weekend!

• ### PhysCon 2022!

This fall, UMD Physics played host to PhysCon 2022, the 2022 Physics Congress, a grand gathering of undergraduate physics students from around the country. Our tours, presentations, and demonstrations were a big hit!

Our campus hosted tours of laboratory facilities, panel presentations on student life, and even demonstrations over lunch! Other parts of the congress were held in downtown DC, including presentations by our own Professors Gates and Mather. A grand time was had by all.

• ### STEM News Tip: #BlackInAstro Week 2021

#BlackInAstro is a project to celebrate the work of Black space scientists and engineers. The online event #BlackInAstroWeek will be held June 20-26. The calendar of events will be announced soon, watch their website and the tag on social media for more. Meanwhile, check out the website for profiles and resources for students and postdocs.

• ### STEM News Tip: 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics Announced

The recipients of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics were announced this morning. This year, the prize has been awarded for discoveries related to black holes. The recipients: Reinhard Genzel, Andrea Ghez, and Roger Penrose.

Black holes are a phenomenon predicted by the theory of relativity, that a sufficiently massive object could have enough gravity to warp spacetime such that even light could not escape from it. Roger Penrose carried out some of the important theoretical calculations establishing the reality and properties of black holes; Andrea Ghez and Reinhard Genzel led experiments that established that a supermassive black hole exists at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy.

Reinhard Genzel made a virtual visit to UMD last month as the speaker for the Astronomy Colloquium; he is director of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and is also a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Andrea Ghez is a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles. She and her research were featured in a NOVA television special on black holes in 2018. She won the APS Maria Goeppert Mayer Award in 1999.

Roger Penrose is a professor at the University of Oxford. In 1988 he shared the Wolf Prize in Mathematics with Stephen Hawking for their mathematical research regarding spacetime singularities.

We’ll share more information on black hole physics in an upcoming post; meanwhile, check out these links for more about the physics, the people, and the prize.

• ### STEM News Tip: AIP Celebrates 90th Anniversary This Month

The American Institute of Physics is a federation of physics-related scholarly societies with the goal of advancing and promoting the physical sciences. AIP was first founded in 1931 in New York, but has since moved much of its operations to College Park for proximity to both other locally based member societies and the federal government in Washington DC.

To celebrate the 90th anniversary, AIP is hosting a free virtual event and Trivia Night on July 22. You can learn more and sign up for the event at https://www.aip.org/aip-90th-trivia-night . Space is limited, so sign up soon!

• ### STEM News Tip: AIP Foundation & TEAM-UP Report

• The American Institute of Physics is launching the AIP Foundation, a charitable organization to support education and historical programs. The foundation will be officially introduced this Thursday, November 19, in a virtual event at 6:00PM EST. Speakers will include our own Prof. John Mather and astronaut Ellen Ochoa.

You can read more and register for Thursday's event here: https://foundation.aip.org/support-science/index.html

• This year the AIP’s National Task Force to Elevate African American Representation in Undergraduate Physics & Astronomy (TEAM-UP for short) released their report on the experiences of African-American physics students. The task force has been hosting a series of webinars on their work. This Friday, November 20, they will host a webinar at 2:00PM EST to discuss implementation and their recommendations for the physics community. The event will be hosted by Dr. Kate Kirby and Prof. S. James Gates, who recently retired from our department.

• ### STEM News Tip: AIP TEAM-UP Webinar With Dr. Jami V Miller & Prof Kelly Nash

Tuesday 22 June, AIP’s TEAM-UP Project will host a new webinar, Belonging: African American Women in Physics & Astronomy. Presenters will include Professor Kelly Nash of UT San Antonio, science communicator Jessica Harris, and Dr. Jami Valentine Miller of African American Women in Physics, Inc. The program will explore the racialised and gendered experiences of Black women in physics and astronomy, as part of the projects discussion of factors affecting African American student success in our field.

• ### STEM News Tip: APS Begins Public Engagement Webinar Series

The American Physical Society regularly hosts webinars one a variety of physics-related topics. This month, they begin a new webinar series: Engaging the Public Through Science.

This series is aimed particularly at graduate students and early career physicists, aimed at developing skills and a community of practice around public engagement and science communication.

The first webinar in this series, “Designing Informal Physics Programs: Identifying appropriate methodologies for contextualized research,” will be held May 27.

For details and to register, visit: https://www.aps.org/webinars/engaging.cfm

Also, all of APS’s past webinars can be found archived at https://www.aps.org/webinars/archive.cfm

• ### STEM News Tip: APS Public Engagement Webinars This Week

This week, the American Physical Society wraps up their summer webinar series on engaging the public with science with a pair of webinars. On Tuesday at 1:00PM, Designing Creative Graphics for Public Engagement will discuss graphic design and how to create graphics that are both visually appealing and scientifically accurate. On Thursday at 2:00PM, Using Social Media for Public Engagement discusses the uses of social media to engage with the public about science and reach out to diverse audiences.

• ### STEM News Tip: Coming events

Welcome to Fall 2021! There are many exciting STEM events coming up, both in person and virtual.

The Physics Colloquium returns! Today’s speaker is Manuel Franco Sevilla on B decay and interesting LHCb results. You can also read more about his work in our recent profile of Dr. Franco Sevilla here.

The Colloquium continues every Tuesday this semester. The series will also include several important special events:

Also upcoming at UMD is the STEAM Salon series

• September 29: Meredith Gore

• October 20: Simone Nicole Durham

And watch for upcoming events in the CMNS Science on Tap series!

And be sure to check out these events elsewhere, as well.

And coming up in October-November is the Maryland STEM Festival

• ### STEM News Tip: Coming soon to a sky near you! Comet 2022 E23 (ZTF)

Keep your eyes on the sky for the next few weeks, because we have a visitor. Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) was discovered last year by Palomar Observatory’s Zwicky Transient Facility (hence the name). Its orbit will bring it on its closest approach to the sun next week, and its closest approach to Earth at the beginning of February.

Right now, the comet can only be seen with a telescope; but by its closest approach, may be visible in the early morning sky with just a pair of binoculars.

• ### STEM News Tip: COVID-19 and the Physics Job Market

Last month, we featured news on the impact of COVID-19 on physics research, including a recent Physics Today article by Mitch Amrbose.

In this month’s issue, they continue the discussion to talk about how COVID-19 is changing job searches in physics. Online video job interviews can be a big change from traditional campus visits, and job offers are sometimes left in limbo along with the budgets that support them.

Also, be sure to check out this Tuesday’s American Physical Society webinar where Crystal Bailey, Head of Career Programs at APS, talks about how COVID-19 changes the picture for the physics workforce: https://www.aps.org/careers/guidance/webinars/

• ### STEM News Tip: DOE on STEM Careers

The US Department of Energy’s STEM Rising program has released a new infographic on STEM careers; click the thumbnail to check it out!

Also, check out some of these upcoming opportunities they’ve shared with us to explore or expand STEM career at all levels:

• ### STEM News Tip: Earth Observation Hackathon

June 23-29 will be the virtual Earth Observation Dashboard Hackathon, jointly sponsored by NASA, ESA, and JAXA. Teams will work on coding challenges related to Earth & climate data and the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects include studying air and water quality changes, economic and agricultural impacts of the pandemic, and data visualization.