RIS-98 ConferenceThe physics department, through the Institute of Resonance Ionization Spectroscopy, co-sponsored the Ninth International Symposium on Resonance Ionization Spectroscopy: New Directions and Applications (RIS-98) in Manchester, U.K. June 21-25. The conference is held every other year, alternating sites between the U.S. and Europe. The meeting addresses principles and possible applications of RIS, an ultra-sensitive analysis technique. Dr. Jim Parks, associate department head and IRIS director, was co-chairman of the meeting.
Bingham Busy with Proton StudiesDr. Carrol Bingham has kept busy with two successful experiments studying proton radioactivity. He was part of the collaboration at Argonne National Laboratory who created football-shaped nuclei that produce a rare form of radioactivity and offer new insight into the tunneling rates of protons. The study was described in the March 10, 1998 edition of The New York Times. Dr. Bingham was also part of a research team at ORNL that identified a new proton-emitting thulium isotope (145Tm). More information on these studies is available on his home page (http://www-highspin.phys.utk.edu/~bingham/).
Sellin and Levin Win Recognition for Lithium StudyDr. Ivan Sellin and Dr. Jon Levin, in collaboration with their colleagues at the Photon Factory in Japan, were the first to observe the triple photoionization of lithium. The work was featured in the electronic bulletin Physics News Update for the week of September 4, as well as the Physics Update column in the November 1998 issue of Physics Today.
Nazarewicz Addresses INPCProfessor Witold Nazarewicz gave one of the welcoming addresses at INPC/98 (International Nuclear Physics Conference), which ran August 24-28 in Paris. His remarks concerned nuclear structure. The INPC belongs to the series of the most important nuclear physics conferences sponsored by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) held every three years. The 1998 conference was a special event in that it celebrated the centennial of the discovery of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel, and of the first radioactive elements by Pierre and Marie Curie.
Steady the VorticesDr. Jim Thompson, with his colleagues at the IBM Watson Research Center, has been working on "toughening up" superconductors. By finding ways to keep vortex lines from moving, the researchers help prevent losses in current conduction. The most recent work on this project is outlined in the November 2, 1998 issue of Physical Review Letters. Earlier reports have appeared in Nature, Applied Physics Letters, and Phys. Rev. B. Dr. Thompson hopes to travel to Argentina to work with fellow scientists who have built a strong program in low temperature physics at the Centro Atomico Bariloche and Instituto Balseiro.
New ArrivalsCongratulations to Assistant Professor Ken Read and his wife Valerie on the arrival of their son, Sean Duvall Read, born November 3. The physics department also welcomes into its extended family Leslie Arden Page, born on September 10 to Nikki Page (administrative services assistant, Science Alliance) and her husband, Lee.
Faculty, Staff, and Student Honors
Just Call Him "Mr. Ambassador"Paul Lewis, director of the department's astronomy outreach programs, was named one of Project Galileo's Ambassadors to Jupiter from February through December 1998. Criteria for ambassadorship include current knowledge of the Galileo Project, as well as experience in teaching and community relations. Ambassadors' responsibilities include developing events in their respective states to provide general information to the public about the Galileo Project and to highlight some of the more significant findings from the mission.
SARIF AwardMarina Shmakova, a physics doctoral student working with Dr. George Siopsis, won a graduate research assistantship from the Office of Research Scholarly Activities Research Incentive Fund (SARIF) to support her summer research. Marina's work, located at the Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC), involves applying string theory to black holes.
Chancellor's AwardsTwo of our professors were honored for research and creative achievement at the 1998 Chancellor's Awards ceremony in April. Dr. Bennie Ward was recognized for his work to make precise calculations on the scattering of quarks and other building blocks of matter. Dr. Robert Compton was honored for his work on ion bonding.
Alumni News & Honors
Beck Selected as Health Physics Society FellowWilliam L. (Jack) Beck, who earned a M.S. in health physics at UTK in 1971, has been named a fellow of the National Health Physics Society (HPS). The honor is bestowed upon senior members of the HPS for significant administrative, educational, and/or scientific contributions to the health physics profession. Only 150 fellows have been named since the society was established in 1956. Beck directs the Radiological Safety, Assessments, and Training (RSAT) program business unit at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). His family has eight UT degrees (with the addition of two more in December), and he and his wife are just ending a 15-year streak of paying UT tuition.
Webber Named Planetarium DirectorTom Webber, a former physics student, joined the Blount County School System this school year as planetarium director. Formerly a member of UT's Complex Systems Laboratory, Webber's new position involves work at the newly-refurbished Heritage Planetarium. Hundreds of schoolchildren have already taken field trips to the planetarium, which also offers public shows.
Back to Cross Sections, Fall 1998 issue.