Page 1


The University of Utah

115 South 1400 East, 201 JFB Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0830

Newsletter for friends and alumni of


Department of Physics & Astronomy

Department Unveils New Website I

New Website Unveiled

n November, the Department of Physics & Astronomy unveiled its new www. website, This reorganized website was created in-house with the purpose of broadening the department’s mission and presence, as well as fostering a closer engagement with individuals and organizations in both the local and global communities.

Awards, Promotions & Recognition Upcoming Events Alumni Day, Science Day


W.L. Eccles Observatory Update

January 10, 2011 Spring Semester Begins February 23, 2011 Frontiers of Science New Drugs From the Venoms of Marine Snails Baldomero Olivera

March 1, 2011 Graduate Application Deadline

Did you know? The Spectrum is also available electronically. To receive the Spectrum by email, please contact

March 21-26, 2011 Spring Break

Objects That Exist in More Than 3 Dimensions Christopher Hacon

April 14, 2011 Frontiers of Science Climate Change: The Evidence and Our Options Lonnie Thompson

May 6, 2011 Graduation & Convocation

Alumni Spotlight GradSAC News Lab Renovations

March 23, 2011 Frontiers of Science


Research Open House Story suggestions, upcoming events & comments always welcome. Contact us at or contact Kathrine Skollingsberg at (801) 585-0182 © 2010 University of Utah

Off-The-Wall Demonstrations SPECTRUM Volume 2, Issue 2 Fall 2010


he department’s homepage welcomes visitors with a clean and uncluttered layout, a more intuitive navigation experience, and dynamic content. New features include the main slideshow, showcasing recent student projects and achievements, the latest department news and events, links to our Youtube channels, as well as NASA’s Astronomy Photo of the Day. Other new features include better accessibility for users, including compatibility with computer screen readers for the visually impaired, the ability to increase or decrease the text size, as well as printing any article or saving it in a Portable Document Format (PDF). In addition to the new layout and accessibility features, the website also offers more content than previously available. There now exists information for visitors including maps, parking and driving directions, a rich department history going back to the University’s beginnings, a Frequently Asked Questions section for undergraduate and graduate students (both prospective and current), as well as a detailed overview of the department’s varied research programs.


nnually, tens of thousands of users visit for information on star parties, colloquia, academic programs, and more. With the redesigned website, the department is hoping to better help users by maintaining a more modern, academic and research-oriented cyber-environment “I applaud the direction [in which the new site is moving] and the effort”, said Michael Vershinin, assistant professor and chairman of the website committee. David Kieda, department chairman, also noted, “The new website is a collaborative effort from the department as well as the community, and would not have been possible without the help and enthusiasm of everybody involved.”

Over the next several years, the department is planning on further improvements to the website including a dynamic catalog for the department library and stockroom, an enlightening Lecture Demonstration online learning center, as well as enriching the department outreach pages to fully encompass and illustrate efforts in the community. Visit our new website at We welcome feedback at

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



Physics & Astronomy Lab Renovation

Upcoming Events

Thanks to the latest renovations in the South Physics Labs, Spring semester 2011 will be the first semester the department will be able to simultaneously offer both undergraduate and graduate labs.

Over the next few months, the department is hosting or will be involved with a number of exciting events and conferences. Martin Luther King Jr Week

SnowPAC 2011 Workshop


Electronics Lab 302 South Physics

January 17 - 21, 2011



Student Lab 306 South Physics

Reaffirming Equal Opportunity, Keeping the Dream Alive The 27th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration will be cosponsored by the Hinckley Institute of Politics and the Office for Equity & Diversity. Keynote Address by Dr. Michael A. Olivas, Director of the Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance at the University of Houston. Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, a founder and leader of the Critical Race Theory. Further details will be posted online in the coming weeks.

January 30- February 5, 2011

SnowPAC 2011 will focus on experimental, observational, computational, and theoretical aspects of high energy astrophysics and cosmology. The workshop will also feature special sessions that cover the topics of dark matter, X-ray polarimetry, and AGN astrophysics. SnowPAC 2010 will be held January 30February 5, 2011. More information available at

May 6, 2011

University Commencement Activities Huntsman Center - 9:00am Department of Physics & Astronomy Graduation Reception James Fletcher Building - 1:00pm College of Science Convocation Kingsbury Hall - 3:30pm For more information, visit:

Past Events Before


Alumni Day

The Alumni Association of the College of Science presented the third annual Alumni Day as a way to reconnect its members with their home departments as well as to renew old friendships and make new friends. Short presentations were given by faculty, and posters were displayed from many of the research groups in Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Math, and Physics.

Oct 9 2010 James Fletcher Bldg College of Science 65 Attendees

For more information visit Student Lab 307 South Physics


Spectrum - Fall 2010

Science Day


Science Day at the U attracted more than 900 students, parents, and Nov. 13, 2010 educators from Idaho and Utah. There were 60 workshops covering 30 A. Ray Olpin specific research topics presented by faculty from various departments University Union under the College of Science, the College of Mines & Earth Sciences and the 900 Attendees Utah Museum of Natural History. Students learned about career possibilities from scientists at Idaho Technology, Kennecott Utah Copper, and XMission, in a series of “Industry Workshops.” Students also received academic advice about specific majors, science-related careers, and undergraduate research offered by each department. For more information visit

Spectrum - FALL 2010

News & Events

News & Events


2nd Annual Research Open House

Physicists Read Data After Storing it in Atomic Nuclei for 112 Seconds by Lee Siegel - Press Release 12/16/2010

Dec. 16, 2010 - University of Utah physicists stored information for 112 seconds in what may become the world’s tiniest computer memory: magnetic “spins” in the centers or nuclei of atoms. Then the physicists retrieved and read the data electronically - a big step toward using the new kind of memory for both faster conventional and superfast “quantum” computers. “The length of spin memory we observed is more than adequate to create memories for computers,” says Christoph Boehme (pronounced Boo-meh), an associate professor of physics and senior author of the new study, published Friday, Dec. 17 in the journal Science. “It’s a completely new way of storing and reading information.”

University of Utah physicist Christoph Boehme, shown here in his lab, is the senior author of a new study in the journal Science demonstrating that data stored in the world’s smallest potential computer memory -- the magnetic “spins” of the nuclei of atoms -- can be retrieved and read out electronically. That’s a key step toward using spin memory for faster conventional computers and superfast “quantum” computers of the future. (Photo Credit: Tom Bear Photography)

However, some big technical hurdles remain: the nuclear spin storage-and-read-out apparatus works only at 3.2 degrees Kelvin, or slightly above absolute zero - the temperature at which atoms almost freeze to a standstill, and only can jiggle a little bit. And the apparatus must be surrounded by powerful magnetic fields roughly 200,000 times stronger than Earth’s.

“Yes, you could immediately build a memory chip this way, but do you want a computer that has to be operated at 454 degrees below zero Fahrenheit and in a big national magnetic laboratory environment?” Boehme says. “First we want to learn how to do it at higher temperatures, which are more practical for a device, and without these strong magnetic fields to align the spins.”

by Ben Bromley - Director of Graduate Studies

GradSAC News by Zayd Ma - GSAC Chairman

The GSAC has been running monthly graduate student seminars with great success; we average about 30 students a talk and it is still growing. The discussions are always lively and we encourage students who aren’t already coming to do so. We would like to remind students that we have access to reimbursement money for conference travel. Last academic year we supplied over $2000 to various grad-students. So if you need money to travel and show off your science, please let us know. We are currently revamping the GSAC website (www.physics. and hope to have that finished in the coming months. If you have any suggestions or input, please contact us at • Zayd Ma, • Mark Limes • Kipp Van Schooten

As for obtaining an electrical readout of data held within atomic nuclei, “nobody has done this before,” he adds. Two years ago, another group of scientists reported storing so-called quantum data for two seconds within atomic nuclei, but they did not read it electronically, as Boehme and colleagues did in the new study, which used classical data (0 or 1) rather than quantum data (0 and 1 simultaneously). The technique was developed in a 2006 study by Boehme, who showed it was feasible to read data stored in the net magnetic spin of 10,000 electrons in phosphorus atoms embedded in a silicon semiconductor. The new study puts together nuclear storage of data with an electrical readout of that data, and “that’s what’s new,” Boehme says.

SPS T-Shirts on Sale

The apparatus shown here contains a phosphorus-doped silicon chip, only 1 millimeter square, that was used to demonstrate how data can be stored in magnetic “spins” within the centers or nuclei of phosphorus atoms, and then how that data can be accessed and read electronically. (Photo Credit: C. Dane McCamey, The University of Utah)

The study was led by Boehme and first author Dane McCamey, a former research assistant professor of physics at the University of Utah and still an adjunct assistant professor. His main affiliation now is with the University of Sydney. Other co-authors were Hans van Tol of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Fla., and Gavin Morley of University College London. The study was funded by the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, the National Science Foundation, the Australian Research Council, Britain’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, a British funding agency led by Prince Philip. Full release available here:

Spectrum - Fall 2010

Purchase your t-shirts for the 1st annual Society of Physics Students (SPS) T-shirt sale! Funds go to support the public educational activities of the SPS. Inquire via email to sps@ The design (front and back) looks like the image at left with the University logo on the front and the Society of Physics Students logo on the right sleeve. Many sizes are available. The t-shirts will be mailed out, or pickup is possible if you live in the area. If on campus, shirts can be purchased in 203 James Fletcher Bldg. Don’t miss out!

Ben Bromley, Director of Graduate Studies (Photo Credit: Tom Bear Photography)

Last year, Professor Jordan Gerton, then the department’s Director of Graduate Studies, initiated a symposium to showcase faculty research and to help graduate students find thesis research advisors. Running with the success of this event, the Department of Physics & Astronomy held a second incarnation of the Graduate Research Symposium in November. This time, potential graduate students, including seniors at other Utah colleges and universities, attended as well.

The format of the symposium (many short descriptive talks) allowed for a more allencompassing view of the U’s physics and astronomy research. By any measure, the breadth of topics is impressive, spanning at least 30 orders of magnitude in spatial scale from particle physics to nanoscience to extragalactic astronomy. The lineup of speakers included not only the department’s Dr. Hamid Ghandehari - Nano Institute own, but several people from (Photo Credit: Tom Bear Photography) elsewhere on campus who do physics-based research. Speakers included Dr. Hamid Ghandehari (Nano Institute), Dr. Chris Johnson (Scientific Computing & Imaging), and Dr. Dennis Parker (UCAIR/Radiology). For the many faculty who were part of the symposium, it was a nice chance to get a reminder of what their colleagues are doing. Sometimes one forgets that the people in the lab next door or running the Professor Inese Ivans of the Department of equations across the hall are Physics & Astronomy. doing world-class research that can be read about in Physical Review Letters, Astrophysical Journal Letters, Cell, or Nature. The current Director of Graduate Studies, Ben Bromley, expresses thanks to all those who helped make the Symposium a success. The event should become a regular event, and may even involve more of the University of Utah campus than last year.

Spectrum - Fall 2010

News & Events

News & Events

Fred Slock (1938 - 2010) by Ed Munford, Machine Shop Supervisor Fred Slock, who worked for the department as building maintenance and Woodshop Specialist for more than 33 years, passed away Thanksgiving morning of heart failure. He was 72 years old. He started at the University in April 1971 as a Lab Maintenance Technician, and moved up to Maintenance Technician later on. He retired in 2004, but was still around through the end of 2005 and into 2006.

I wanted to say a little something about one of my past friends, Fred “Freddy” Slock. When I started in the department ten years ago, both Freddy and the lecture demonstration specialist Ziggy Peacock, made it a point to befriend me and make me feel a part of the physics department. It was routine almost every morning, around 7:00 a.m. before classes started, for all of us to meet and have a cup of coffee in the lecture demo room. During the morning coffee, Freddy and Ziggy always delighted in a round of verbal bantering with professors such as Sid Rudolph. Rich Ingebretsen, Orest Symko and many others as they would prepare for their day’s lectures. This is how I was introduced to many of the faculty. Freddy was an amazing craftsman. He had a roll-around tool box that he pushed down the hallways of Physics going from one job to the next, and he also taught the wood shop class. There was nothing he would not tackle. My late son and his brother loved to come to work with me so Freddy could teach them how to make a “sun dial”. He really enjoyed passing his knowledge on to the students. Freddy loved to walk. We walked every street in the avenues and I mean every one of them! We single-handedly solved most problems and conflicts of the day on our walks. Freddy would always point out the building architecture in the neighborhood and tell of endless stories of his youth in Holland. We knew every fruit tree and berry bush in the area, and he never failed to make it a point on my “grazing on the bushes” as we walked. Freddy knew he had a fixed time line here and we talked about it often. We had a somewhat ghoulish outlook on death and weren’t afraid to make it part of our daily walks discussions. Jokingly, I would ask him occasionally, “Freddy, do you have lunch money today” he would look at me and say “Sure, why?”, “Well” I replied, “If you collapse on me again I’m propping you against the dumpster and I’m going to go get lunch.” He collapsed one day, in my arms, in front of the math building. I started to call 911, when he suddenly opened his eyes and asked, “why am I in the gutter?”. I just looked at him and said “Freddy, you need to ask yourself why you’re in my arms.” That was promptly followed by him cursing “Get me the hell up!” Truth be told, there are many friends and coworkers at the University that will miss the passing of our dear friend, “Freddy”. His obituary is available on our website:

Spectrum - Fall 2010

Frank Wanlass (1933 - 2010) from his obituary

W.L. Eccles Observatory by Kyle Dawson - Development Chairman

Dr. Frank Marion Wanlass died peacefully in his home in Santa Clara, CA the afternoon of September 9, 2010 from the complications of diabetes. He was under the care of Heartland Hospice, and his devoted brother David Wanlass. He was born in Thatcher, Arizona, the son of Frank Evans and Josephine Robinson Wanlass. He spent his childhood years in Nephi, UT, Pleasant Grove, UT, and Mesa, AZ, finally moving to Ogden, UT at age 11 where he graduated from Ogden High School and started his higher education at Weber University. He served his country in Army intelligence during the Korean War from 1953-55. He later went on to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City where he earned his PhD in physics in 1962 with Dr. Henry Eyring as his mentor and major professor. He married Carolyn Clark in 1957, and they had four children: W. Tane Wanlass, W. Bryn Wanlass, Justine W. Turcotte, and Bonnie W. Gonzales. He has 14 grandchildren. Frank and Carolyn divorced in 1970, and he moved to California and later married Narci Fisher. They were divorced in 1981. He had a special friend Barbara Ramirez from 1989 until her death from cancer in 2001. He lived and worked in the Cupertino/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, CA area from 1970 onwards. He very much enjoyed his associates, and the climate in California. In the early 1960’s, while still at the University of Utah, he had a “quantum leap” to formulate the idea of CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor), the technology employed in most modern microchips. After his graduation he perfected this idea while working for Fairchild Semiconductor. He was awarded patent 3,356,858 in 1967 for his invention. At the time, CMOS drew six orders of magnitude less power than the day’s state of the art circuits. Their low power consumption makes CMOS circuits particularly well suited for battery powered devices. One of the first applications Wanlass worked on was the digital watch. CMOS chips found wide application in many devices in the 1970’s, and are now part of nearly every electronic device. Wanlass left Fairchild in 1964, and since then involved himself in several start up companies, as well as working independently. He was awarded the IEEE Solid-State Circuit Award in 1991 for his invention, and was inducted into the Inventor Hall of Fame in 2009. These awards meant a lot to him. His mind was active and sharp to the end of his life. I LUV CMOS was on Frank’s personalized California license plate.

Construction of the observatory on Frisco Peak, in 2009.

Thanks to the generous support of the W.L. Eccles Foundation and E.R. and E.W. Dumke Foundation, the Department of Physics and Astronomy finished the construction of the new Willard L. Eccles Telescope at Frisco Peak Observatory in October 2009. The significant investment in this new telescope has already started paying dividends; the department has made pristine observations of supernovae, gravitationally lensed quasars, and clusters of galaxies. Our faculty are thrilled that the quality of the data is superior to any other telescope of its size in the continental United States. These new images were used for student projects in a new course in observational astronomy taught by Prof. Kyle Dawson.

The department will continue to improve this new observatory during 2011. With the help of graduate and undergraduate students, the department is developing software to control this 32-inch telescope remotely from Salt Lake City. The ability to perform remote observations will allow us to conduct research from campus, continue to improve our course curriculum, and expand our popular nights of public star gazing on campus. These improvements are made possible thanks to a grant to Professors Kyle Dawson and Wayne Springer from the NASA Space Grant Consortium. In order to access the telescope reliably and regularly, the department is grateful to the Larry Miller Foundation and W.L. Eccles Foundation who recently donated funds for the purchase of a 2008 Toyota Tundra pickup truck dedicated to Frisco Peak. Our faculty and students could not be happier now that they have access to Two students, Nic Ramsrud (left) and Upul “Iranga” Samarasingha this dedicated truck. Not only is the (right), working. hassle of renting trucks avoided, but there is substantially less risk of getting a flat tire on the bumpy and rocky access road! This project and our faculty’s leadership role in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a 5-year international collaboration of 250 scientists using a renowned observatory in New Mexico, have elevated the national reputation of our new astronomy program in short two years. In the same amount of time, the department’s astronomy faculty have hosted three major conferences which have attracted hundreds of top researchers from around the world. In particular, the number of attendees continues to grow for SNOWPAC, which will be held at the Snowbird Ski Resort in February of next year. Utah has quickly become a place where highly qualified astronomy faculty candidates are applying in record numbers. Inside the W.L. Eccles Observatory at night.

Beautiful images taken with the new telescope and more information on the site can be found here:

Outside the completed W. L. Eccles Observatory.

Spectrum - Fall 2010

News & Events

News & Events

Engineer etches microscopic U of U medallion


Appeared on September 14th, 2010. Images & text reprinted with permission.

Douglas J. Henderson PhD ‘61

SALT LAKE CITY -- A University of Utah fan expressed his Ute pride in a tiny way. An engineer created a golden University of Utah logo that is smaller than the width of an average human hair at less than three-one-thousandths of an inch. The medallion is magnified 3,000 times in the image at the bottom right. The medallion depicts the university’s block U symbol and the founding date, with the background of the mountains and rays of sunlight. The gold-covered parts of the medallion appear white, while the silicon background is dark. The medallion was made using a process called electron-beam lithography. The etching was done on a silicon base using a thin beam of electrons from one of two electron microscopes bought by the university in 2008. To the naked eye it is a barely discernible speck. Under a conventional light microscope, it looks like a fuzzy circle. Its full detail is revealed only by a scanning electron microscope -- the same device that was used to create it. The medallion was created by Randy Polson, a senior optical engineer at the university’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, as part of his job adjusting the microscope for use by researchers and private businesses. “People usually do things like lines and rectangles,” Polson said. “The software that came with the microscope included some stick-figure demos. I thought, ‘Hey, I can do better than a stick figure.’” The process of creating the medallion took about an hour, but the bulk of the project consisted of adjusting and refining the microscope settings, which took months. Ar ticle available here:

Douglas Henderson is to receive an honorary doctorate from the Institute of Condensed Matter Physics of the National Academy of Science of the Ukraine in recognition of his research and his efforts fostering interaction between Ukrainian and US scientists. He graduated from the Physics Department at the University of Utah in 1961 and taught at the University of Idaho, Arizona State University, and the University of Waterloo in Canada. The bulk of his career was spent with the IBM Research Laboratory in San Jose where he was located for 26 years. The last 2 years were spent on leave at the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico City. After retiring from IBM, he has been with the Chemistry Department of BYU. He has now retired from teaching but is active in research. ••••• We love to hear from our alumni. If you are an alum and would like to be considered for our Alumni Spotlight section, contact us at newsletter@physics. Frank Wanlass, previous Alumni Spotlight, passed away September 9, 2010. His obituary is available on the next page.

Selected Achievements 2010 - Doctor honoris causa, Institute of Condensed Matter Physics, Ukrainian National Academy of Science 2009 - Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry 2005 - ACS Utah Award 1999 - Joel Henry Hildebrand Nat’l ACS Award 1997 - Guggenheim Fellow 1990 - Foreign Member, Mexican Academy of Science 1988 - Manuel Sandoval Vallarta & Juan de Oyarzabal Professor of Physics, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana 1973 - Eighty-seven IBM Outstanding Research Awards 1965 - Fellow of the Institute of Physics 1964 - 66 Sloan Fellow 1963 - Fellow of the American Physical Society 1961 - Graduated with Ph.D from Univ. of Utah Thesis: “The Significant Structure Theory of Liquid Hydrogen in its Various Ortho-para & Isotopic Forms“

Committee: Henry Eyring, Jack Keuffel, Thomas Parmley Don Tucker Eliot Chamberlin

Science Night Live: John Belz On November 10, at Keys on Main, research professor John Belz gave his presentation “Desert Rain: Particle Astrophysics Under Utah Skies” as part of the College of Science’s Science Night Live Lecture series. The previous Science Night Live presentation given from a member of the department was “Stellar Imaging: Back to the Future” presented by Professor Stephan LeBohec in April 2009. Professor Belz’s lecture was about the ongoing Telescope Array project. Utah has some of the best dark-sky sites in the country for astronomy observations. In fact, the Beehive State is becoming an international center for astrophysics research. The Telescope Array project, near Delta, Utah, is a collaboration between universities and institutes in Japan, Korea, Russia, the U.S., China, and Taiwan. The facility can observe cosmic rays with energies up to and above 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 electron volts - that is a subatomic particle carrying the same energy as a fast-pitched baseball! (Photo Credit: Tom Bear Photography)

What is the source of these extremely high-energy particles flying through space? Belz discussed the possibility of detecting cosmic rays by their radar echo. Ever wonder what a cosmic ray sounds like? The next Science Night Live lecture will take place February 23, 2011 with famed biologist Baldomero Olivera, “New Drugs From the Venoms of Marine Snails”. For more information, please visit:

Spectrum - Fall 2010

Spectrum - Fall 2010

Spectrum Newsletter  
Spectrum Newsletter  

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