I like to say when asked why I pursue science, that it is to satisfy my curiosity, that I am by nature a searcher trying to understand. If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day.
John A. Wheeler

News Archives 






January 31, 2014

The 7th Annual Super Bowl of Chili was held January 31st for faculty, staff, and students. In the closest voting yet, there was a tie for First Place between administrative assistant Teresa Kolb and grad student Eitan Lees, with an honorable mention going to custodian Dale Ramsey. Also on the menu were cheesy potatoes, a wide array of snacks and dips, carrot cake, and spicy chocolate cookies.


January 22, 2014

Seven months before the scheduled opening of Kreger Hall, members of the Miami Physics Department had their first meeting in the building. Faculty and staff, together with contractors and architects, toured the building and had many questions answered. The group concurred that after seeing building plans for the last few years, it was helpful to see the actual office and lab spaces.


January 2014 Alumna named 2014 TED Fellow
Shohini Ghose, an associate physics professor at Wilfrid Laurier University is a 2014 TED Fellow. A 2001 graduate of Miami University with a BS in Physics, Dr. Ghose did undergraduate research with Perry Rice in theoretical quantum mechanics.  She returned to Miami Physics in 2011 to give a seminar titled "Quantum signatures of Chaos." 
December 2013

Miami SPS named "Notable Chapter"
The Society of Physics Students National Council named Miami's SPS a "Notable Chapter" for efforts in outreach and chapter activities. Specific activities mentioned included a visit to GE Aviation and hosting a booth at Nano Days at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Previous SPS advisor Paul Urayama and current advisor Christopher Beer are commended for their "dedication to support a functioning SPS Chapter and efforts to bring out leadership in their students."


November 25, 2013

Dr. T. William Houk retires
After 39 years of service to Miami University, Bill Houk retired at the end of the fall semester. During his tenure, Bill has served on University Senate, as department chair, and as adviser and mentor to countless students. The Physics Department honored Bill at a reception on November 25, 2013 at The Marcum Conference Center and Hotel. More than 100 guests attended to celebrate, reminisce, and honor him.


November 2013

13th Annual Arfken Scholar-in-Residence held Nov 5-8
The 2013 Arfken Scholar-in-Residence was Nourredine Melikechi, Professor and Dean, College of Mathematics Natural Sciences and Technology at Delaware State University. Dr. Melikechi is also a member of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, NASA. He met with students and faculty in various research labs, gave the Wednesday seminar and two short courses, and presented a public lecture on "Exploring Martian Rocks and Soils With Single Laser Pulses: A Wonderful Journey of Remote Analysis of a Planetary Surface," to a packed house on Thursday evening.


September 17,  2013

Affiliate Faculty Jade Morton receives honor
Congratulations to Yu Tong (Jade) Morton, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and affiliate faculty in Physics, on receiving the Distinguished Scholar Award for sustained excellence in research in the applied and natural sciences. Full article


August 28, 2013

Senior Dirk Auman receives Astronaut Scholarship
A biochemistry and engineering physics double major, Dirk Auman was awarded one of 28 Astronaut Scholarships nationwide. The $10,000 prizes are awarded each year by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation to top science and engineering students. Presentation of the scholarship was made by Space Shuttle Astronaut Charlie Precourt on August 28th.  E-Report article


August 2013

Bayram Receives NSF Award
Burcin Bayram received NSF funding for three years in the amount of $150,000 for her proposal entitled  "Polarization Quantum Beat Spectroscopy in Diatomic Molecules.” The Bayram research group will initiate pico/femto second laser spectroscopy in diatomic molecules to investigate energy transfer processes arising from collisions between atoms and molecules.


June 26, 2013

ALPhA Laboratory Immersion at Miami University
Miami Physics hosted a workshop for the Advanced Laboratory Physics Association (ALPhA) on June 24-26, 2013. Participants chose from two different advanced lab experiments: "Laser Induced Fluorescence in Iodine," conducted by Burcin Bayram; and, "Quantized Conductance and the Arduino Platform for Advanced Labs," by Herbert Jaeger and Khalid Eid.  The immersion program provided participants with two to three days of intensive hands-on work with a single advanced laboratory experiment. For more information, visit the ALPhA website.


May 1, 2013

Scholarships & Awards Presentation
The 2013 Scholarships and Awards Presentation was held on May 1 in 46 Culler. Scholarships totalling about $40,000 were announced, as well as Undergraduate and Graduate achievements. Bill Konyk presented James Clemens with the Faculty Member of the Year award as voted by the senior majors.  A reception was held prior to the event in the Edwards Seminar Room. List of Award Winners


April 21, 2013

Jaeger places first in Red Brick Run
Congratulations to department chair Herbert Jaeger who placed first in his age group in the 34th Annual Red Brick 5K in Oxford on Sunday, April 21st. With a time of 22:21.73, Jaeger improved from his previous two third place finishes and last year's second place finish. Also walking in the 5K was Physics Administrative Assistant Teresa Kolb who was happy to improve on her time from last year.


April 19, 2013

SPS Picnic coldest in recent memory!
The Society of Physics Students' spring picnic was at Peffer Park on April 19th, a day involving rain, a cold front, and falling temperatures. At picnic time, the temperature hovered around 40 degrees F, and snowflakes were spotted in the air.  Not to be dissuaded by the weather, the SPS group provided freshly grilled burgers and hot dogs, and the faculty, grad students, and staff provided delicious side dishes.


April 17, 2013

Benson Lecture with Nobel Laureate Eric Cornell
The annual George Benson Memorial Lecture was held on April 17th. Nobel Laureate Eric Cornell, Senior Scientist at NIST, JILA, and Professor Adjoint at University of Colorado discussed "How symmetric is the Electron?" Prior to the lecture, the Physics Department hosted a reception at in Culler Hall. At the same time, the Society of Physics Students conducted physics demonstrations in Culler Hall for the guests' enjoyment and participation.


February 1, 2013

The 6th annual Superbowl of Chili took place during lunch on Friday, February 1st in the physics office. Six different pots of chili vied for top honors this year, with grad student Diane Beamer's sausage and beer chili receiving the most votes. Bill Houk receives an honorable mention for the second place finish with his renown Texas-style chili.  Students, staff, and faculty also contributed and feasted on chips, dips, fruits and desserts.


January 2013

On the Cover of the AJP

Miami Physics is proud to announce that for the second time in six months, one of our research groups will grace the cover of the American Journal of Physics. The January 2013 issue has Assistant Professor Khalid Eid's paper on "Quantized Conductance" published inside, and photos of the set up are on the cover. The Eid Research Group consists of both undergraduate students and MS students who conduct research in nano-science and nanotechnology.


November 7, 2012

Recipient of Presidential Award gives Wednesday's seminar
Alumnus Dave Bonner (BS 2002, MAT 2003), one of 97 teachers nationwide to receive the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, gave the Wednesday seminar on November 7th.  His talk was titled, "You are the game-changer in the success of our country!"  For more information on Dr. Bonner, see below.


October 2012 Bayram Research Group awarded for best poster
From a field of 40 entries, the Bayram Research Group's poster based on a Quantum Beat Spectroscopy study was selected as the top research poster at the Ohio Section of the APS (OSAPS) Fall meeting on October 5-6, 2012.  Dr. Bayram's group simultaneously excited hyperfine levels of the cesium  8p level by a short laser pulse and measured the first time atomic polarization quantum beats using a delayed-detection method in conjunction with pump-stimulated probe excitation technique.  Led by Dr. Burçin Bayram, the group consists of Oleg Popov (MS 2012, now a PhD student at UC Riverside), graduate student Stephen Kelly, and  undergraduates Andrew Salsman and Patrick Boyle.
October 4, 2012

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar
Christopher Essex, professor of applied mathematics at the University of Western Ontario and a former director of the University's Theoretical Physics Program, presented "Climate as a Problem of Fundamental Science" on October 4, 2012.  In the spirit of liberal education, Dr. Essex entertained questions following the lecture, as well as during the reception afterward. The presentation was sponsored by the Department of Physics, Iota of Ohio, and Phi Beta Kappa.  Co-sponsors were the Department of Geology and Environmental Earth Science, and the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability.


September 2012

2012 Provost Student Academic Award
Two physics majors are among the 15 students who received the 2012 Provost Student Academic Award. Congratulations goes to Joshua Kaine, biochemistry and biological physics double major, computer science minor, from Cincinnati; and, James Morton, quadruple major in computer science, electrical engineering, engineering physics, and mathematics and statistics, Chinese minor, from Oxford.


September 2012 Astronaut Scholarship presented at Miami University
The Physics Department welcomed Astronaut Joe Allen back to Miami University.  Dr.  Allen was in Oxford on September 4th, to present the 2012-13 Astronaut Scholarship to Prashant Rajan, a zoology and biochemistry double major.  Dr. Allen was the department’s 1971 Benson Memorial Lecturer, and was friends with the late Jim Poth, Professor emeritus of the Physics Department.  We are honored that Jim’s wife, Alice, was able to attend events surrounding Dr. Allen’s visit.  Of the 27 participating schools, Miami University students have won more scholarships than any other school.  For more information about the Astronaut Scholarship, visit their website at astronautscholarship.org.
August 2012

Congratulations to Associate Professor Burçin Bayram and Visiting Assistant Professor Mario Freamat, whose paper "Vibrational spectra of N2: An advanced undergraduate laboratory in atomic and molecular spectroscopy" from earlier this year was selected to be featured on the cover of the August 2012 edition of American Journal of Physicsabstract


August 2012

Dr. Samir Bali was recently honored to be one of four researchers of 184 grant awardees to be featured in "Researcher Stories" at the site of the Annual Report on Research 2011 from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund.  Dr. Bali and his team have developed a new method and a tool to measure the optical properties of turbid materials.  ACS feature


July 25-2012

Beyond the First Year Conference
Four Physics faculty members attended the Conference on Laboratory Instruction Beyond the First Year of College (or BFY Conference) held at University of Pennsylvania & Drexel University in Philadelphia.  Jan Yarrison-Rice and Khalid Eid presented six workshops highlighting PHY293 through two selected nanoscience experiments, entitled “Frontiers in Contemporary Physics Education: Gold Nanoparticle Photoabsorption & Quantization of Conductance Experiments.”  Six other workshops were conducted by Burçin Bayram and Mario Freamat highlighting the Advanced Spectroscopy course PHY441/541: “Simple Laser-Induced Fluorescence Setup to Explore Molecular Spectroscopy.”  In addition, Khalid Eid, along with N. Lindquist from Bethel, presided over a Breakout Discussion Session on Nano and Condensed Matter & Materials Physics instructional labs. Additional Information


July 2012

Congratulations to Dave Bonner (BS 2002, MAT 2003) who was selected one of 97 teachers nationwide to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.  He traveled to Washington, D.C. this summer to meet President Obama and accept his award.  The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding kindergarten to 12th grade science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process at the state level.   Burr Ridge Suntimes article


May 2012 Hope Spangler Strickland (MAT 1993) was selected as Dayton Public Schools' 2012 Teacher of the Year.  A teacher at Stiver School for the Arts, Mrs. Strickland serves as coordinator for the Physics Department's annual Stiver School visit, which brings 40-50 students to campus for a day of physics.  Stivers news release.
May 2012

Herbert Jaeger approved as next Chair of Physics
The Miami University Provost has approved the appointment of Herbert Jaeger as the next chair of the Department of Physics for a five year term commencing with the 2012-13 academic year. College of Arts and Science Dean Phyllis Callahan made the announcement on May 1, 2012, stating, "I believe Dr. Jaeger will be an effective advocate for your department and I look forward to working with him. I hope you will join me in thanking Dr. Jaeger for his willingness to serve the department in this capacity."


April 25, 2012

The Annual Physics Department Awards Presentation was held Wednesday, April 25, 2012 in 46 Culler.  Students were recognized for outstanding academics, research, and graduate student teaching.  Scholarship awards were announced, and Dr. Michael Pechan was chosen by the senior class as this year's Outstanding Faculty Member, selected for having had the most influence on their education in Miami's Physics Department.  See the full list of awards.


April 25, 2012

Graduate students Jason Barkeloo and Andrew Jacobs have been selected as the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Outstanding Teaching Assistants in physics at Miami University. e-Report article


April 16, 2012

Andrew Jacobs (BS Physics 2007) is the recipient of the 2011-12 College of Arts and Science Graduate Student Teaching Award. Andrew returned to Miami in 2010 and will complete his MS in Physics this August, after which he will enter a physics PhD program at the University of California, Merced.


April 2012

Kashika Goyal (ZOO, BS2013) is one of six undergraduate students nationwide who have been selected this year to give an oral presentation at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in the premier annual conference of the American Physical Society for Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP). Kashika was also one of eight students selected by Miami University to present her research at Miami's “Poster-on-the-Hill” event at Washington DC during Spring Break 2012. Kashika's research is carried out exclusively in the Physics Department in Professors Samir Bali and Lalit Bali's group, and focuses on developing novel optical sensing methodologies for applications in bio and environmental sensing. She is the first author on two papers submitted for review to refereed journals.


March 2012

Janet Hurn had a contribution published in Quick Hits Teaching with Technology: Successful Strategies by Award Winning Teachers.  Her article is The Inverted Hybrid Science Classroom.  “I am excited to share what is going on in the classroom in Miami Physics.  This isn’t your typical classroom, and I think it is the future of education. I love teaching this way,” said Hurn.  Read her article here.


March 2012

Kreger Hall to become the new home for Physics
Renovations will transform Kreger Hall into the new home of the Physics Department by 2014.  Changes in teaching methods, growth of the department, and advancements in research necessitate moving to a new home.  Full article


March 29, 2012

The annual George C. Benson Memorial Lecture was held on March 29, 2012.  Dr. Daniel P. Lathrop of the University of Maryland presented, "Laboratory Models of the Earth's Core."  The lecture was in 46 Culler Hall, and was followed by a reception in the Edward's Seminar Room.


March 21, 2012

In conjunction with Year of the Arts at Miami University, special guest lecturer Charles M. Falco spoke on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 in the Art Building. His lecture was, "The Science of Optics: The History of Art."  The Physics Department, the School of Fine Arts, and the College of Arts and Science sponsored this lecture, and held a reception after the lecture.


February 2012

Jan Yarrison-Rice was recognized recently by Semiconductor Science and Technology, having her publication selected as one of the highlighted articles for 2011.  "Nanoscience is alive and well at Miami University and continues to be internationally recognized," said Yarrison-Rice, regarding her noteworthy accomplishment. Abstract pdf


February 3, 2012

The annual Superbowl of Chili was held on February 3, 2012, with a different varieties of chili submitted by faculty, grad students, and staff. Judging was done by informal taste tests by all members attending.  Top honors go to Bill Houk for his Texas style chili, with honorable mentions to grad student Andrew Makepeace for a beef, sausage, and beer chili; and grad student Diane Beamer for an Italian sausage and sweet pepper chili.


November 2011

Daniel Steck of the Oregon Center for Optics & Department of Physics at the University of Oregon visited the Department of Physics for a week in November as the annual Arfken Scholar-in-Residence.  Dr. Steck delivered the public lecture titled, "Chaos, Quantum Mechanics, and Colling Atoms with laser Light" on Thursday, November 10, 2011 to a full house in 115 Shideler Hall.  A reception was held after the talk in for students, faculty and guests to mingle.  Dr. Steck also gave the Wednesday Seminar in 46 Culler Hall titled, "Controlling the Motion of Ultracold Atoms."   During his visit, Dr. Steck also presented two short courses for faculty and students.  The first, "Optical Lattices and the Casimir-Polder Effect," was on Monday; the second, "Dynamics Under Continuous Position Measurements," was held on Thursday afternoon.


September 12, 2011

Physics emeritus James Poth, 78, passed away on September 12, 2011.  A private burial was held at the Oxford Cemetary.  A memorial service was held on October 8, at the Faith Lutheran Church in Oxford.  Full Obituary


June 12, 2011

Physics emeritus Dave Griffing, 85, passed away June 12, 2011 at the Knolls of Oxford after a battle with stomach cancer.  A memorial service was held on July 19 at the Oxford Presbyterian Church.  Full Obituary


April 27, 2011

Traditionally, the last weekly Physics seminar is dedicated to recognizing student accomplishments in Physics for the academic year.  The annual Awards Presentation, held April 27, included Culler Awards given to outstanding physics students in introductory courses from all majors, physics scholarship announcements, and recognition for outstanding research and teaching.  Two new scholarships were awarded for the first time, and another new scholarship was announced by Miami Physics alumnus Russell Starkey, who set up the award for incoming freshmen.


April 2011

Three members of the Physics faculty were selected to receive Shoupp Awards for 2011-12, for two research projects designed to establish collaboration with business and industry.  The research projects and awards are as follows:  Samir Bali, “Measurement of the Refractive Index and Attenuation Coefficient of Turbid Media,” $10,000;  and Herbert Jaeger and Michael Pechan, “Linear Generator For Novel Fixed-Shaft Wind Turbine,” $20,000.   e-Report article


April 2011

Matthew Ciccone graduated in May 2011 with a BS in Physics.  Matt was a featured student on the home page of Miami University's website.  He had the following to say about his Miami Experience.  "During freshman year, I took an honors course in physics, called Energy and the Environment. I never believed I was very good at math or physics, but taking that course, I realized how interesting it was. I knew majoring in physics was going to be a challenge, but it was the right decision for me."  full story


March 30, 2011

The Annual George Benson Memorial Lecture was Wednesday evening, March 30, 2011.  Miami alumnus Dr. Norman Salem of Martek Biosciences Corporation discussed, "What does physics have to do with nutrition, omega-3 fatty acids, and brain development?"  Dr. Salem graduated from Miami University in 1972 with a BS in Physics. 


February 2011

The Annual George and Carolyn Arfken Scholar-in-Residence for 2011 was Evgeny Tsymbal of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  Hosted by Khalid Eid, Dr. Tsymbal visited the week of February 15-18, and gave the Wednesday Seminar and a public lecture on Thursday evening titled "Magic of Magnetism: From a Compass Needle to Data Storage."  There were two short courses given during his visit. On Thursday, February 17, Dr. Tsymbal discussed "Physics of Spin Dependent Tunneling."   On Friday, February 18, he discussed "Electronically-Driven Magnetoelectric Phenomena at Interfaces."


January 21, 2011

The Society of Physics Students visited a uranium enrichment facility on January 21, and were treated to a tour of gaseous diffusion and gas centrifuge facilities at USEC Inc., a leading supplier of enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants.  Companies like USEC are continually on the look out for students with quantitative-modeling and problem-solving skills such as those obtained by training in physics.  With energy being a long-term national issue, companies like USEC may represent a promising career path.


SPS thanks Angie Duduit and department alumnus and former VP of American Centrifuge Russ Starkey for helping to organize the tour, Sandy Fout for giving the presentation and tour, along with American Centrifuge engineers Greg Corzine, Don Weber, Bob Lykowski and Jason Bolling.  SPS vice-president Eric Todd organized the details for the students. 


November 2010

Physics/Mathematics major Megan Marshall was named 2010-11 Astronaut Scholar from Miami University.  The  $10,000 scholarship was awarded in a presentation on November 22 at 7:00pm in Room 1000 in the Farmer School of Business.  The award was presented by Astronaut Fred Gregory, veteran of three Space Shuttle missions and a member of the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.  For more information on the scholarship, visit the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's websitee-Report article


September 2010

Paul Urayama, associate professor of physics, has been awarded a $141, 556 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a cellular biophysics program that will involve undergraduate students in all stages of the research process.  e-Report article


August 23, 2010

Megan Marshall was one of eleven Miami University students who were recipients of the 2010 Provost's Student Academic Achievement Award. The $1,000 award is given annually to students who have completed their junior year, have an outstanding record of academic achievement and have made significant intellectual contributions to the university. e-Report article


August 2010

Past SPS chapter-president Peter Harnish along with faculty mentor Prof. Bali are featured in the Spring 2010 issue of The SPS Observer (on page 10), in an article called "Using Lasers to Probe Nearly Everything."   The same issue also has a photo on page 18 of graduate student Emmy Mills dining with Vera Rubin, an American astronomer known for the galaxy rotation problem. 


The SPS Observer is the magazine of the Society of Physics Students, an organization for all students interested in physics.  Contact Megan Marshall (2010-11 president) or Prof. Urayama (faculty advisor) for information on joining SPS.


August 1, 2010

Professor Samir Bali, his father, Adjunct Professor Lalit Bali, and three of their students received notice in July that their paper, "Measurement of the refractive index of highly turbid media," was accepted for the VJBO.  Originally published in Optics Letters, the editor-in-chief of the VJBO saw the article and accepted it for inclusion.


May 8, 2010

After 3.5 years as a student worker in the Physics Office, Melissa Schrade graduated.  A farewell lunch buffet was held in her honor on Friday, April 30.  Attended by faculty, staff, and students, Melissa was presented with a token of thanks for outstanding service to the department.  With a degree in Systems Analysis, Melissa will work for Westfield Insurance Company in Cleveland.


May 4, 2010

Khalid Eid, Assistant Professor of Physics, is one of five faculty members receiving the Shoupp Award for research for 2010-11.  The awards are named in honor of the late William E. Shoupp, a charter member and chair of the Miami University Research Advisory Council.   e-Report article


April 28, 2010

The annual Physics Department Awards Ceremony was held on April 28, 2010.  Approximately $34K was awarded in scholarships, and 45 students were recognized with Culler Book Awards for outstanding performance in entry-level classes. Also awarded was the AAPT Award for Teaching Excellence and the Outstanding Faculty Award. 


Spring 2010

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) has released its latest findings on enrollment of and degrees awarded to physics majors around the country. Among universities with master’s programs in physics, Miami University ranked first in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded annually and second in the number of master’s degrees awarded annually. Miami averaged 15 physics bachelor’s degrees, and eight physics master’s degrees, per year for the classes 2005 to 2007. e-Report article


March 24, 2010

The 2010 George C. Benson Memorial Lecture was given by Miami Alumnus Craig Benson.  Mr. Benson earned his Masters in Physics in 1988 and his M.B.A in Operations Research in 1989 both from Miami.  Mr. Benson is a senior scientist at Wyle Laboratories Advanced Non-Destructive Inspection Division, specializing in eddy current and ultrasonic methods, and robotic deployment of these methods to inspect military aircraft engines and aircraft structures.  Mr. Benson is the son of Letitia Benson Patterson and George Benson, for whom this lecture series was established.

March 23, 2010

The Physics Department sponsored a one-hour, hands-on workshop for Physics graduate students/senior undergrads titled, “Using Library Resources for the Prospectus and Thesis”.   The workshop was held on Tuesday, March 23 in Brill Science Library, led by librarian Meghan Gamsby. Each student was able to login to a computer provided by the library, and follow Meghan directly on the computer.

November 30, 2009

Engineering Physics senior Lauren Regueyra has been awarded a Minority Biophysicists Travel Grant to attend the 2010 Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in San Francisco, February 20-24, 2010.  Travel awards for up to $1000 are nationally competitive with the selection of awardees based on scientific merit.  Lauren's abstract entitled "Pressure effects on the solvent denaturation of NADH" is based on research performed with Prof. Urayama.  Lauren is also a 2009-2010 CAS Dean's Scholar and a 2009 Undergraduate Summer Scholar.


November 2, 2009

To celebrate the Miami Bicentennial, the Physics Department featured displays titled, "Physics: A Miami Perspective" on the first floor of Culler Hall during the afternoon.  Displays included historical documents, pictures, course catalogs, and a timeline from 1809 to 2009 (and beyond).  The event was in conjunction with the annual Arfken Lecture which followed that evening, after a reception buffet in Room 115.  The displays were maintained through the end of the year.


November 2, 2009

The 2009-10 Arfken Scholar-in-Residence, Julio Gea-Banacloche of the University of Arkansas, visited the Miami Physics Department the week of November 2-6.  Short courses were offered Nov 2nd & 5th titled, "Entanglement in Cavity QED, the Giant Kerr Effect, and Quantum Information Processing."  Dr. Gea-Banacloche gave the Wednesday Seminar, "Energy Constraints for quantum computation," and delivered a Public Lecture titled, "Fate and the Physicists" on Thursday evening of that week. 


September 25, 2009

Joseph R. Priest, Emeritus, 1929-2009.  Joe Priest, emeritus, colleague, and friend, lost his hard-fought battle with cancer on Friday, September 25, 2009.  Services were held at St. Mary's Church in Oxford, Ohio. An effort is underway to establish the Mary Jean and Joseph R. Priest Scholarship.  Visit our gift page for information on how to contribute.  Full obituary.


Spring 2009

As a result of the University's Review of Graduate Programs in fall 2008, the Physics Department's MS Program was ranked in the top tier of programs at Miami.  This was based upon a combination of student placement, scholarly productivity, and graduate and undergraduate synergy.  The department was awarded two additional teaching assistantships as a result of the ranking.


May 10, 2009

Carol Crannell (BA1960) passed away on May 10, 2009. She earned a PhD from Stanford University and held positions over the course of her career at CalTech, MIT, Catholic University of America and NASA-Goddard.  She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Hall Crannell, and three daughters, Annalisa, Francesca, and Tasha and families. Hall shared with us that Carol always credited the Physics Department of Miami University for giving her the foundation on which she built a successful career.


April 29, 2009

The 2009 Physics Department Awards Ceremony was held Wednesday, April 29th.  Presentations included scholarship recipient announcements, Culler Book Awards, AAPT Outstanding Teaching Awards for graduate students, and the Outstanding Faculty Award as voted by the senior class.  The Outstanding Faculty Award was presented to Herbert Jaeger via Skype, as Dr. Jaeger was on leave in Germany. 


April 24, 2009

The annual Society of Physics Students' Spring Picnic was held on April 24 at Peffer Park.  The weather was perfect for a change, and students played kickball, cornhole, and frisbee.  Faculty turn-out was light due to prior commitments, but all who were there enjoyed great covered dishes brought by faculty, staff, and grad students, and hamburgers & hot dogs expertly grilled by members of SPS.


April 2, 2009

This year's George Benson Memorial Lecture was April 2, 2009 with Miami University Alumnus Gerald Smith ('57), professor emeritus of Pennsylvania State University.  Dr. Smith is founder of Positronics Research, Llc. and  gave a lecture titled, "Antimatter: History, Science and Opportunities."  During his visit, he also gave the Wednesday seminar and enjoyed the opportunity to interact with faculty, students, and administrators. 


March 24, 2009

Janet Hurn, a senior instructor in physics at Miami University Middletown, who also serves as director of the Miami University Center of Online Learning, has received one of the  University System of Ohio's first Faculty Innovator Awards. These awards are given to 10 faculty members and teams recognized for work they have done to introduce digital course materials in the classroom. Hurn and other honorees were recognized by Chancellor Fingerhut and Governor Ted Strickland on March 24, 2009. Full article


 March 10, 2009

Retired Physics professor Glenn Julian is having an art exhibition at the Knolls of Oxford from March 10th through May 12th featuring his recent works.  An opening reception was held on Thursday, March 19th in the Commons Art Gallery.  


February 20, 2009 Janet Hurn, Senior Instructor of Physics at the Miami Middletown Campus and part-time director of the Center of Online Learning (CoOL), received recognition for developing new methods for teaching her students with the use of Articulate e-Learning products.  Ms. Hurn gives students the ability to tailor their learning needs.  Quizzes help her to focus the lecture portion to address the needs of the group.  For more on her methods and to see samples of her work, visit the Articulate website blog.


February 19, 2009

Dr. John Snider, professor emeritus, passed away at the age of 84.  He received his AB and MA in Physics from Miami in 1949 and 1951, respectively.  He received his PhD from Ohio State in 1957 and taught at Miami until his retirement in 1992.  He served as scout leader and was a member of the Boy Scouts for over 40 years, and was active in lay capacities at the Oxford Methodist Church for 50 years. Memorial contributions may be made to the John and Genny Snider Scholarship Fund, Miami University Panuska Development Center, Oxford, OH  45056.


January 16, 2009

The 2008-09 Arfken Scholar-in-Residence was Eugenia Etkina of Rutgers University. Her public lecture was titled, "Physics on Rollerblades."  She also gave the Wednesday seminar titled, "Can Students Develop Scientific Habits of Mind in an Introductory Physics Course?"   Dr. Etkina was on hand in the Physics Department for several days to interact with faculty and students.  On both January 14th and 16th, she gave a short course titled, "What does cognitive science tell us about teaching physics." 


January 5, 2009

Paul Urayama and his research team is receiving attention for their unusual method of studying life at exteme pressures.  Published in the Journal of Microscopy, they are using capillaries to simulate conditions--an alternative to the high-cost pressure resistant chambers currently used for such research.  e-Report Article


December 15, 2008

Sara Savage has been awarded a Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research award.  Sara is a zoology major working with Prof. Urayama on techniques for fluorescence-based calcium ion sensing under high hydrostatic pressures.  The Grants-in-Aid of Research program is a prestigious, highly competitive national grants award program for undergraduate and graduate students, with application deadlines in March and October annually.  For information, visit http://www.sigmaxi.org/programs/giar/ .


November 21, 2008

Jon Schueger, Physics Graduate Student, received an award from the Dayton Section of the Institute of Navigation (ION) for demonstrating excellence in the field.  His research involves the design of a novel system for the Air Force.  e-Report Article


November 18, 2008

Professor Jan Yarrison-Rice was named Sigma-Xi Researcher of the Year, and gave the annual Sigma Xi Lecture on Tuesday, November 18th in Pearson Hall.  Her lecture was titled, "Nanotechnology: Here, there, and Everywhere."  e-Report Article    Seminar Flyer

November 14, 2008

Glenn Julian, emeritus, received the Crystal Apple Award from Michigan State University in a special presentation ceremony in East Lansing on November 14, 2008.  Nominated by a former student now affiliated with Michigan State, the College of Education Crystal Apple Award is a way to honor an educator as being representative of excellence and commitment. Teachers, professors, administrators, and counselors - active, retired or deceased - from preschool through the university level, are eligible to receive the award.


October 29, 2008

Burcin Bayram, assistant professor of Physics, is author of a recently published study of the first experimental observation of collisions between atoms using a novel laser technique.  e-Report article


October 10, 2008

Paul Scholten, emeritus, was awarded the Howard Maxwell Award from the Ohio Section of the American Physical Society.  The Howard Maxwell Award for Distinguished Service is presented to those members of the Section who have rendered outstanding service to the Section. It is named in honor of Howard Maxwell of Ohio Wesleyan University who rendered nearly two decades of such service.  Dr. Scholten was a member of the Physics faculty from 1978-2008.


September 30, 2008

Physics major Richard Wagner was presented with a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Foundation by Captain Jim Lovell of Apollo 13.  Chosen by a university-wide committee, Richard's undergraduate research focuses on quantum optics.  He intends to pursue an advanced degree in the field.

Captain Lovell spoke to a packed house at Hall Auditorium of his experiences and the successful failure of the Apollo 13 moon mission.  After his talk, Lovell presented Wagner with his scholarship check of $10,000.

Scholarship nominees are those students who have shown initiative, creativity, and excellence in their chosen field.  They must be engineering or natural or applied science (e.g. astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, computer science) or mathematics students with intentions to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degrees. For more on the Astronaut Scholarship, visit their website


March 29, 2008

Philip A. Macklin, professor emeritus, passed away at the age of 82.  Dr. Macklin spent nearly 40 years as a physics professor at Miami, and served as chairman of the department from 1972 to 1985.  After his retirement in 1993, he stayed current by attending weekly physics seminars, and he sponsored the Philip and Cora Macklin Physics Scholarship for undergraduates.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Cora, and is survived by their three children and five grandchildren.


August 2008

www.muphysics.org website launched.