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Lewis O'Kelly Memorial Slideshow
Dr. Jingbiao Cui, Chair of the Department of Physics and Materials Science, welcomed everyone to today's 50th Anniversary celebration of the July 1, 1966 establishment of the UM Department of Physics!󾔗 There were 4 original faculty - Dr. Carroll Ijams, Chair, Dr. Albert Woollett, Dr. Michael Garland, and Mr. Lewis O'Kelly. Of those, two are still living - Dr. Michael Garland retired to Florida and Lewis O'Kelly was the guest of honor today. He told about how the Dept. Of Physics was established 50 years ago. He shared that Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Consumer Science (Home Economics) were originally all in Manning Hall together. There will be a larger event in the fall at which we hope to have many alumni and current and retired physics faculty, join us as we take a look back over our 50 year history, and then move into an exciting future with new areas of concentration for undergraduate physics majors, and a new PhD program in Engineering Physics!
Happy 50th Anniversary to the UM Department of Physics and Materials Science, established July 1, 1966. 󾔗 Cake and liquid Nitrogen ice cream, expertly made by physics major Kelli Wehner, were enjoyed at today's celebration! We hope that alumni will join us at our larger 50th Anniversary event in the Fall, date TBA.


Dr. Robert Scherrer, a cosmologist specializing in the physics of dark matter and dark energy, will deliver the 2018 Lois McGlothlin Donaldson Endowed Lecture in Physics on Friday, April 6, 2018, at 7:00 pm in the UC Theater. There is a public reception at 6:30 pm in the UC rotunda.

Lecture Abstract:...
Over the past three decades, cosmologists have made remarkable strides in understanding what the universe is made of, and it’s weirder than we could possibly have imagined. The observational evidence points to a universe that is roughly 5% ordinary matter, 25% dark matter, and 70% dark energy. The dark matter binds galaxies and clusters of galaxies together, while the dark energy exerts repulsive gravity, driving the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe. I will discuss the evidence for dark matter and dark energy, the properties of each, and ongoing searches to discover the particle comprising the dark matter and to pin down the exact nature of dark energy.

Biography of Dr. Scherrer
Dr. Scherrer, a cosmologist, currently specializing in the physics of dark matter and dark energy. After earning his A.B. degree in physics at Princeton University and spending two years at Cambridge University on a Marshall Scholarship, Scherrer earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1987. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics before joining the faculty at Ohio State University in 1989. He came to Vanderbilt in 2003 to serve as Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, a position that he occupied for 14 years. Professor Scherrer is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles as well as several popular science articles and a number of science fiction short stories. He was a 1999 winner of the Ohio State Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, and he received the 2010 Klopsteg Memorial Award of the American Association of Physics Teachers for “outstanding communication of the excitement of contemporary physics to the general public.”

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The Department of Physics and Materials Science at the University of Memphis is hiring assistant professors in Astrophysics and in Biophysics as part of the plan for new concentrations in those areas.


The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association explicitly designed for students. Membership, through collegiate chapters, is open to anyone interested in physics. The only requirement for membership is that you be interested in physics. Besides physics majors, our members include majors in chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, medicine, and other fields.

The chapter recently received the Distinguished SPS Chapter Award. See photo... above.

Within SPS is housed Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, which elects members on the basis of outstanding academic achievement. This unique two-in-one society operates within the American Institute of Physics, an umbrella organization for ten other professional science societies.

For more information check out the national page at:

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At 3:00 pm on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, Prof. Rhodes will be showing the film "Particle Fever" in MN 201, and all are welcome. It is about the discovery of the Higgs Boson at the Large Hadron Collider in 2012, and also about the teamwork of people from the international particle physics community who worked together to make the discovery possible. See the trailer below, and join us!

"Mindblowing" - The New York Times Available Now On iTunes Check for more info. https://www.facebook.c...

A summary of Events from Spring, 2017


Dr. Clifford Will presented "Black Holes, Waves of Gravity & Other Warped Ideas of Dr. Einstein," as the second Lois McGlothlin Donaldson Endowed Lecture in Physics for 2017. The event was March 31 in the University Center Theatre with a reception beginning at 6:00 p.m and lecture at 6:30 p.m. More on this event.


Mr. Lewis O'Kelly passed away in March, 2017 after an association with the Department of Physics for more than 50 years. He was an original physics faculty member when the Department was established on July 1, 1966, and continued teaching for years after retirement. He was guest of honor at the 2016 events observing the 50th Anniversary of the Department of Physics on July 1 and Oct 29, 2016. He is greatly missed, and his kindness and humor in teaching made a lasting impression with his many students and colleagues.


Cumulative Downloads By Countries (Total: 1500) Microscopic Formulation of Fractional Theory of ViscoelasticityDrs. Narahari Achar and John Hanneken received notification from Intech, the World's largest Science, Technology & Medicine Open Access book publisher that their book chapter has been downloaded over 1500 times. The chapter titled, "Microscopic Formulation of Fractional Theory of Viscoelasticity" is published in the book, Viscoelasticity - From Theory to Biological Applications. The chapter was downloaded in Brazil, Germany, India, China and USA. Intech Article Stats


Narahari AcharDr. Narahari Achar received the Donald E. Osterbrock Prize for his contribution to the Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers (2nd edition). The award is given to the author or authors of a book "judged to advance the field of the history of astronomy" by The AAS Historical Astronomy Division. View Certificate.

Dr. Achar also received the World Association for Vedic Studies (WAVES) 2016 Abhinandanam for Outstanding Service to the Vedic Studies, New Delhi, December 2016. See Award.


Martina RodriguezMartina Rodriguez Sala, Physics and Biology major, is the recipient of the 2016 Dr. Naseeb Shaheen Scholarship and is currently working on her research in Experimental Materials Physics under the supervision of Dr F Sabri. She is also the recipient of an Helen Hardin Honors Summer Research Fellowship. Congratulations Martina for receiving this award! This scholarship is awarded to students majoring in Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, or Geography who plan to become high school teachers in one or more of these subjects.

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A summary of Events from our 50th Anniversary year, 2016!


The Oak Ridge Associated Universities recognized Dr. Xiao Shen with the 2016 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award in Physical Sciences. The Awards provide seed money for research by junior faculty at ORAU member institutions. These awards are intended to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty and result in new fu...

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"Black Holes, Waves of Gravity and Other Warped Ideas of Dr. Einstein"- By Dr. Clifford Will, University of Florida

50 years of Chairs of UM Physics 1966-present:
Dr. Carroll Ijams,
Dr. Pete Shugart,
Dr. Don Franceschetti,
Dr. Michael Garland,...
Dr. M. Shah Jahan,
Dr. Jingbiao Cui

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Meet and Greet Dr. Clifford Will Friday at 3:00 pm in the Physics Learning Center before he goes to the UC Theater for his lecture on "Black Holes, Waves of Gravity & Other Warped Ideas of Dr. Einstein," the 2017 Lois McGlothlin Donaldson Endowed Lecture in Physics. Read more about Dr. Will at

Fri 3:00 PM CDTPhysics Learning Center, MN 215
1 person interested
Fri 6:00 PM CDTUniversity of Memphis University Center Theater
2 people went

On March 31, 2017, we hosted our 2nd Annual Lois McGlothlin Donaldson Endowed Lecture in Physics - "Black Holes, Waves of Gravity, & Other Warped Ideas of Dr. Einstein." by Dr. Clifford Will, author of Was Einstein Right? Here is a YouTube link to a video of the talk. Enjoy!

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