NASA’s Fundamental Physics Program has selected seven proposals, including one from UW–Madison physics professor Shimon Kolkowitz, submitted in response to the Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences – 2022 Fundamental Physics call for proposal.
The selected proposals are from seven institutions in seven states, with the total combined award amount of approximately $9.6 million over a five-year period. Kolkowitz’s proposal is ““Developing new techniques for ultra-high-precision space-based optical lattice clock comparisons.”
Three of the selected projects will involve performing experiments using the Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Four of the selected proposals call for ground-based research to help NASA identify and develop the foundation for future space-based experiments.
The Fundamental Physics Program is managed by the Biological and Physical Sciences Division in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. This program performs carefully designed research in space that advances our understanding of physical laws, nature’s organizing principles, and how these laws and principles can be manipulated by scientists and technologies to benefit humanity on Earth and in space.
Justin Marquez and Sam Kramer named L&S Teaching Mentors
Congrats to physics PhD students Justin Marquez and Sam Kramer on being named 2023-24 L&S Teaching Mentors!
The L&S TA Training & Support Team is responsible for welcoming and training hundreds of new TAs each year. Teaching Mentors are the heart of this crucial undertaking: they serve as facilitators at the annual L&S Fall TA Training event and provide mentorship throughout the semester. Those selected to be Teaching Mentors have not only a proven track record of excellence as educators, but also a strong desire to share their experience and mentor new TAs navigating their first year.
Twenty-one outstanding graduate students — including physics PhD student Soren Ormseth — have been selected as recipients of the 2022-23 UW–Madison Campus-Wide Teaching Assistant Awards, recognizing their excellence in teaching. Ormseth earned a Dorothy Powelson Teaching Assistant Award.
UW–Madison employs over 2,300 teaching assistants (TAs) across a wide range of disciplines. Their contributions to the classroom, lab, and field are essential to the university’s educational mission. To recognize the excellence of TAs across campus, the Graduate School, the College of Letters & Science (L&S), and the Morgridge Center sponsor these annual awards.
Ormseth is a graduate student in the Department of Physics specializing in detector physics. He has taught intermediate physics lab and intermediate electronics lab.
“The best teachers hone their communication skills to make subject material and lessons interesting, relevant, well organized, and right at that difficulty-sweet-spot. At the end of the day though, every student has their own unique way of looking at the world and engaging with a particular topic,” Ormseth said. “When it comes time to deliver a lecture, write a textbook, or create a presentation, a teacher needs to work on those communication skills. But when it comes time to engage with an individual student, the best thing that a teacher can do is be approachable, flexible, and willing to listen with the intent to understand the student’s perspective. Mastering these two teaching modes is a lifelong journey which never stops!”
Help IceCube decode signals from outer space in new Citizen Science project
Every second, about 100 trillion neutrinos pass through your body unnoticed. At the South Pole, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory detects these elusive particles and works to identify their astronomical origins to help unlock mysteries of the universe. Such an undertaking requires a massive amount of data, with one terabyte of data recorded daily by IceCube. But organizing the data can be labor intensive. This is where the public can help.
Starting today, volunteers from anywhere can participate in the Name that Neutrino project led by IceCube researchers at Drexel University, which asks users to categorize IceCube data. Through the Zooniverse platform, volunteers can join in from the convenience of their own computer or phone. Name that Neutrino is open to everyone and will run for about 10 weeks.