UW-L Physics NOW Summer 2013 Dear Alumni, Students, and Friends, I am extremely pleased to have this opportunity to reach out to all of you through UW-L Physics NOW, our first newsletter, at such an exciting time for the UW-L Physics Department. Our Physics program received the prestigious 2013 American Physical Society (APS) Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Education and continues to attract a large number of quality students and dedicated faculty members. The Distinguished Lecture Series in Physics is flourishing. On October 10-11, 2013 Dr. David Wineland, the 2012 Nobel laureate in physics, will be the fourteenth Nobel laureate to visit UW-L. We introduced a new Teacher Education Program in the fall of 2011 and also redesigned our introductory calculus-based physics courses (PHY 203 and PHY 204) to the activelearning format. Our Society of Physics Students (SPS) Chapter is vibrant and thriving, receiving an Outstanding SPS Chapter Award for the last two years. Our students are doing extremely well, receiving awards and attending some of the best graduate schools in the country. More good news is that the science departments in Cowley Hall will be receiving a new building with state-of-the-art facilities. Construction of the new building is scheduled to begin in the near future. Please share your current ventures and activities with us. If you are in the area, please visit and share your experiences with our current students. I would love to hear from you. I can be reached at email@example.com. Best wishes, Sudha UW-L Physics: What have we been up to? For those of you who graduated from UW-L awhile ago, here's an update on the status of the department. The UW-L Physics Department is one of the largest undergraduate physics programs in Wisconsin and continues to garner national recognition for its success. We have approximately 160 physics majors and are ranked third in the nation in terms of the average number of graduates produced by BS-only-granting programs. This spring we were awarded the 2013 American Physical Society (APS) Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Education which recognizes physics programs that support the best practices in education at the undergraduate level. We are the first department to receive this award in the state of Wisconsin. The other recipients of the award were the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Kettering University, and the Colorado School of Mines. In addition, we were cited in 2012 by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) Career Pathways Project as a model program with regard to our success in placing our graduates into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers. In the spring of 2012, representatives from AIP visited us to learn more about the ways we prepare our students and guide them along successful career paths. Previous accolades also include recognition from the National Task Force on Undergraduate Education in 2003 and the 2004 Teaching Excellence Award from the UW-System Board of Regents. Our success is due to the talents and hard work of our students, faculty and staff and their ability to create a supportive community with thriving student organizations, numerous research opportunities, seminars and guest lectures by world-renowned scientists. Over the past few years, a number of additions have been made to the faculty and staff of the Department. Beginning in the fall of 2013, we will have 10 full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members and 3 full time instructional staff. Details about our faculty are included in this newsletter. Faculty in the Department have received over $1.5 million dollars in external funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, and other external agencies to support faculty and student research activities. Our department strongly encourages undergraduate participation in research. During the past year, approximately 25 students have participated in a wide variety of research projects with UW-L faculty: developing novel oxides for use in the next generation of photovoltaics/solar cells, investigating nuclear structure with accelerators, studying erosion patterns in Wisconsin by measuring radioisotopes, studying interstellar shells, simulating galaxies, developing and testing physical models of the human knee, studying the mechanics and dynamics of microtubules, and counting single photons of light using quantum dots. At the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) hosted by UW-L in April of 2013, eight physics students presented posters of their work and 10 students gave oral presentations. Weâ€™re proud of our undergraduate researchers and plan to highlight their activities in future issues of this newsletter.