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Awards, Promotions & Recognition

Adam’s Off-The-Wall Demos


Faculty David Ailion

International Society of Magnetic Resonance (ISMAR) Treasurer 2011 This fellowship identifies the highest achievers in magnetic resonance. It carries with it an associated responsibility and advocacy for this community of science.

Nick Borys J. Irvin & Norma Swigart Fall 2010 Graduate Scholarship

John Belz

National Science Foundation Award Pulsed electrically detected magnetic resonance - Advancing underrepresented groups in science through breakthroughs in materials spin spectroscopy.

Adam Bolton

Two Hubble Space Telescope Observing Guest Observer Cycle 18 Awards A Strong Lensing Measurement of the Evolution of Mass Structure in Giant Elliptical Galaxies, and SLACS for the Masses: Extending Strong Lensing to Lower Masses and Smaller Radii. These NASA grants provide both observing tie on the Hubble space telescope as well as substantial research funds for students and research activities.

Inese Ivans

University Teaching Grant University Teaching grant: Astronomy Fundamentals for the 21st Century.

Peter Brown NASA SWIFT Award “Improving Standard Candles through Ultraviolet Studies: The Effect of Host Galaxy Environment on Type Ia Supernovae”

Jessica Johnston SPS 2010 Leadership Award & Goldwater Scholarship Finalist

Dave Kieda

Fellow of the American Physical Society “For development and use of innovative ground-based astrophysical techniques to discover new sources of very high-energy gamma-rays, and for the discovery and study of cosmic rays at the highest energies. Nominated by: Astrophysics (DAP)”

Saveez Saffarian

Interdisciplinary Teaching Grant Science on the Stage, a joint award with faculty in Theatre and Medical Ethics.

Yong-Shi Wu

Fellow of the American Physical Society

“For his contributions to the mathematical foundations of quantum physics--particularly for his work establishing profound connections between physical laws and topology and geometry.”

Spectrum - Fall 2010

Upul Samarasingha

In each newsletter, Adam Beehler, Lecture Demonstration Specialist, explains one of his demonstrations. Adam recently authored two articles, published in The Physics Teacher: •“Demonstrating the photoelectric effect using household items” (Vol. 48, 348. 2010) •“Demonstrating spectral band absorption with Adam Beehler a neodymium light bulb” (Vol. 48, 206. 2010) Lecture Demonstration Specialist


Do Mirrors Really Flip Images?

f you were to go up to some random person and ask her if mirrors flip images, what do you think she would say? Whether or not they actually understand what is going on with the physical light rays, most folks will agree that their image looks reversed. Well, it is a misconception that plane (flat) mirrors flip images. Indeed, when you view yourself in the mirror, the image you see is reversed left-to-right; however, it is not the mirror that does the flipping.


et’s look at an example. In the light ray box picture there are five rays exiting the box to the right. They then reflect off of a plane mirror and continue on their way down to the left. If you were to look at the light source, you would see the letter “A” on your right. Please note that your face would be to the right of the box and you would be facing left in order to see the rays coming out of it. Now, in order to see the light rays reflected off of the mirror, you must move to the lower left and face right, looking at the mirror. What side is the letter “A” on now? Ahh, the image has reversed! The letter “A” is now on your left. So what did the actual flipping? Trace light ray “A” coming out of the box and off of the mirror. See how it stays on the same side (the top in our picture’s view). The mirror did not do the flipping. It was us. We are the ones who turned around.


irrors do not flip images left-to-right nor top-to-bottom, but they do flip images front-to-back. This can be seen (pun intended) by facing a mirror. You face in one direction yet the image of yourself is facing back at you in the opposite direction. If the image was not flipped front-to-back, then you would see the back of your head. The following images are some intriguing ways to prompt discussion of reflections from plane mirrors. The jack-o-lantern was my creation one Halloween.

Best Undergraduate Talk APS meeting Oct 2010 “The Origins of the Elements -- An Educational Web-Site”

Eric Sorte Best Graduate Student Talk APS meeting October 2010 “Long-time Behavior of Nuclear Spin Decays in Various Lattices “

You can also view this demo, and a complete materials list, online at

Spectrum - FALL 2010

Spectrum Newsletter - Fall 2010  

Fall 2010 newsletter for faculty, students, friends & alumni of the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah

Spectrum Newsletter - Fall 2010  

Fall 2010 newsletter for faculty, students, friends & alumni of the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah