News

6/7/2012
people waiting in line

 

By Sarah Geegan

Approximately 350 people turned out at The Arboretum Tuesday, June 5, to witness an astronomical phenomenon, not to occur again in this lifetime.

The transit of Venus, in which Venus traveled directly between Earth and the sun, began at 6:04 p.m. and could be seen from Lexington for approximately three hours.  

The MacAdam Student Observatory and the Bluegrass Amateur Astronomy Club provided telescopes and instruction for safely observing the phenomenon, as cloud cover allowed.

Tim Knauer, director of the MacAdam Student Observatory, said that he was pleased with the turnout.

"I thought given the weather, the response was good," Knauer said. "If the weather had been better I

5/30/2012
venus

 

By Sarah Geegan

The UK and Lexington community will have a rare opportunity on Tuesday, June 5 — one that will not occur again for more than 100 years.

The Arboretum, the MacAdam Student Observatory and the Bluegrass Amateur Astronomy Club will present, "Standing in the Shadow of Venus," two events which will allow the community to both understand and observe the transit of Venus.

A solar transit involves an object in the solar system moving exactly between the sun and the observer; Venus will appear to glide slowly across the surface of the sun. Transits of Venus are especially rare, occurring at intervals of 8, 105.5, 8, 121.5, 8… years as viewed from Earth.

4/25/2012
whats new in science logo

By Sarah Geegan

The University of Kentucky BiologyPhysics and AstronomyChemistry, and Psychology departments are reaching out to area high school science teachers and teaching them something new: what's new in science.

The What's New in Science series, an outreach program aimed to strengthen UK's relationships with high school science programs, will engage teachers and youth in various scientific areas. It will focus specifically on emerging discoveries and developments in the realm of science.

"The university already has a strong history in supporting science teachers in Kentucky Schools," said Sally

4/24/2012

The College of Arts & Sciences is pleased to announce that the recipients of the 2012-13 A&S Outstanding Teaching Awards are Drs. Christia Brown (psychology), Brenna Byrd (MCLLC), Yanira Paz (Hispanic Studies), and Bradley Plaster (physics & astronomy).

Dr. Christia Brown has been in the psychology department since 2007 and is affiliated with the Children at Risk Research Cluster, Gender and Women’s Studies, and the UK Center for Poverty Research.  She exemplifies teaching excellence.  She creates an innovative learning environment in every classroom she enters, whether through engagement activities in her large lecture courses or debates in her smaller seminars. One of her students stated, “This is the best class and professor I have ever had at UK.”  Outside the classroom she is a

4/11/2012
steven yates

 

By Torie Johnson, Kathy Johnson

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) today announced the winners of its first ever Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Awards. The awards honor professors from SEC universities with outstanding records in teaching and scholarship who serve as role models for other faculty and students. The University of Kentucky's recognized professor is Steven W. Yates, professor of chemistry, physics, and astronomy in the UK College of Arts and Sciences.

In presenting the awards, the SEC becomes the only Division I conference within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) currently recognizing university faculty for their achievements, unrelated to athletics or student-athletes.

3/20/2012
quasicrystals banner

 

                                  

By Sarah Geegan

Paul Steinhardt, professor of physics and astrophysical sciences at Princeton University, will deliver the Van Winter Memorial Lecture at the University of Kentucky from 3:15-4:15 p.m. Friday, March 23, in Room 139 of the Chemistry-Physics Building.

The Van Winter Memorial Lecture honors Clasine Van Winter, a professor in the UK departments of Mathematics and Physics and Astronomy from 1968-1999. Van Winter is best known for Weinberg-Van Winter equations for multi-particle quantum

2/22/2012
A&S logo

 

By Kathy Johnson

University of Kentucky educators and others will be honored with teaching and public service awards today in UK's second annual Founders Day Award Ceremony at 4 p.m. in Worsham Theater in the UK Student Center.  Members of the campus and local communities are invited.  A reception will follow in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural Center.

The university was created by legislative act on Feb. 22, 1865. While Founders Day has been celebrated in various ways over those years, the Founders Day Award Ceremony was established last year to recognize outstanding teaching, research and public service among faculty.

The Provost's Awards for teaching and service, the Sullivan Medallions for community service, the Sturgill Award for contributions to graduate education, and the Kirwan Prize for outstanding research will be presented in today's

1/19/2012

 

By Jenny Wells

The University of Kentucky Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence has named three new Chellgren Endowed Professors.
The professors are:

Janet Eldred, an English professor in the UK College of Arts and Sciences currently working on a special assignment to advance writing in the College of Engineering. Michael Kovash, a professor of physics and astronomy in the UK College of Arts and Sciences. Carl Lee, a professor of mathematics in the UK College of Arts and Sciences.

Chellgren Endowed Professors maintain an active research program in their discipline; teach courses in one of the

11/29/2011
students and cavegnero

By Erin Holaday Ziegler

University of Kentucky freshmen pull out their iPads, gather in small groups around 21st century tables and begin to discuss physics problems in a way that's as far from conventional as the touch screens they are intently gazing upon.

This is just a typical afternoon for physics and astronomy Professor and Chair Mike Cavagnero's experimental A&S Wired research course: the Science of Measurement.

"Measurement and observation are the foundations of science," Cavagnero said. "Measurement is the first step in all of science, actually, and it's a step that's often left out of K-12 science education."

The 26 A&S Wired students who registered for the eight-week class have carried out customary physics coursework, but have also been asked to come up

11/4/2011
Year of China

 

By Erin Holaday Ziegler

The University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences will host a trailblazing American diplomat next week to continue the college's Year of China initiative.

Former U.S. Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch will speak on “Leadership and Education in a Globalizing World: China’s Challenge” at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in Room 118 of the White Hall Classroom Building on UK's campus.

Bloch’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the "Passport to China: Global Issues & Local Understanding" course taught by UK sociology Professor Keiko Tanaka.

Ambassador Bloch, the first Asian-American ambassador in American history, has had a broad career in U.S. government service. She is currently president of the U.S.-China Education Trust, a nonprofit organization working

9/19/2011
shaking hands

By Erin Holaday Ziegler

The University of Kentucky continues on its international course with a visit from University of Haifa Rector (Provost) David Faraggi this week.  While here, Faraggi signed a memorandum of understanding, or a general cooperation agreement, with President Eli Capilouto Monday, Sept. 12.

“The University of Kentucky is excited about the opportunity to partner with the University of Haifa,” said Capilouto. “With the phenomenal advances in technology and industry, strategic collaborations between postsecondary institutions play an important role in a growing global economy.”

This past June, a UK delegation including public health professors Douglas Scutchfield and Jim Holsinger and Associate Provost for International Programs Susan

9/15/2011
physics&astronomy logo

UK Physics Professor Gang Cao talks about what makes the research at the Center for Advanced Materials unique. He leads up a team of graduate students who work dilegently on breaking new ground for the technology of electronic materials. The motivation for this, according to Cao is "that whoever controls materials, controls technologies and research."

Click here for a Dean's Channel Chat with Professor Cao and Mark Kornbluh, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

7/29/2011
Archisman Ghosh

Ph.D. Student

by Rebekah Tilley
photos by Richie Wireman

Archisman Ghosh’s fascination with astronomy was born on a roof in Calcutta. He still looks at the sky, but now he does it through a 20-inch telescope on the roof of UK’s parking structure #2.

A third-year graduate student in the UK Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ghosh focuses his scholarly work on String Theory, and through his Graduate Assistantship at the MacAdam Student Observatory is able to help young astronomy students experience the thrill of first laying their own eyes on a planet.

“My previous experience in astronomy was mainly from amateur activities – stargazing and backyard telescopes,” Ghosh said. “UK's MacAdam Student Observatory gave me an opportunity to have a more professional encounter with the subject. We have superior equipment. We

7/15/2011

Three University of Kentucky students have been selected to receive government-funded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. The fellowships will present the students with more than $100,000 to use toward research-based master's or doctoral degrees. Additionally, four other UK students received honorable recognition from the program.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students

7/15/2011

Theoretical physicist Michael Eides was recently elected a Fellow in the Institute of Physics. Eides, a professor in the 

7/14/2011

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kentucky invites applications for a Visiting Research Professorship in experimental condensed matter physics with an intended focus on novel materials synthesis and characterization. Successful candidates are expected to establish independent research programs and strongly participate in our multidisciplinary Center for Advanced Materials, which is expected to add two tenure-track positions in the next four years.

  Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae and brief statements of research accomplishments and future research plans, and arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to: Professor Gang Cao (cao@uky.edu), Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0055. Initial consideration of applications will begin on September 15, 2011.  
4/4/2011
Gretchen Phelps

Ph.D. Student

by Kathryn Wallingford
photos by Shaun Ring

Gretchen Phelps refers to her research as “SMOKE ‘n Mirrors.” While it sounds like a magic act, if you did not see Phelps and the optics set-up of her latest experiment, you might just think her research was just that.

Don’t let the title fool you. Phelps is a fourth year Ph.D. student in University of Kentucky’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and SMOKE actually stands for ‘Surface Magneto-Optic Kerr Effect,’ a technique utilized by condensed matter physicists for the reflection of polarized light by a material that is subject to a magnetic field.

Under the mentorship of UK’s Physics professor, Dr. Wolfgang Korsch, Phelps has the

6/1/2010

Physics & Astronomy alum Dr. Anjan K. Gupta came to the University of Kentucky after earning bachelors and masters degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1995 in Kanpur, India.

Anjan is from a small city called Etawah in Uttar Pradesh, the most populated state in India.

“I wanted to go to the United States because I knew there would be many opportunities for research as a graduate student,” Anjan said. “I applied many places but I was interested in UK because they had a good condensed matter experimental department. I knew that’s what I wanted to pursue.”

Anjan said he found good teachers and mentors among the faculty in the physics and astronomy department, particularly Dr. Joseph Brill and Dr. Kwok-Wai Ng.

Anjan's

3/5/2010

Not many people get to spend their careers involved with something they’ve loved since they were 10 years old.

University of Kentucky alum Zeljko Ivezic is one of those lucky few. The Croatia native became fascinated with what he could see in the sky and beyond as a child and now Ivezic is a leading astronomer at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Having had a hand in creating the very first digital map of the sky, Ivezic continues to follow his passion, working on several projects including one that could help to identify dangerous asteroids that might strike our planet.

Ivezic, 44, earned undergraduate degrees in physics and mechanical engineering from Croatia’s University of Zagreb in 1991.

“But I knew I wanted to go to school in the U.S. for my graduate studies,” Ivezic said. “I always knew that’s what I wanted.”

He applied to UK somewhat

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