Otterbein Physics Blog

News And Psuedo-Random Blurts from the Otterbein University Physics Department

Otterbein Nobel Symposium 2019

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On November 12, Otterbein held a symposium on the 2019 Nobel Prizes, organized by Prof. Aida Odobasic of the Department of Business, Accounting, and Economics. Prof. Robertson presented the Physics prize, which this year went to Jim Peebles (1/2) for his work on theories of cosmology, and to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz (1/4 each) for their discovery of an extra-solar planet orbiting a solar-type star. Profs. Dean Johnston (Chemistry) and Jennifer Bennett (Biology and Earth Science) discussed the Chemistry and Medicine/Physiology prizes. Dr. Odobasic spoke about the Economics prize. The event was a great success and we hope it will be repeated in coming years.

Written by David Robertson

January 4th, 2020 at 11:05 pm

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Stephan Frank wins Teaching Award!

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Dr. Stephan Frank, adjunct faculty member in the Physics Department, has won this year’s Part Time Faculty Teaching Award for General Education courses :-). Stephan has been teaching at Otterbein since the fall of 2012, and has contributed to the Integrative Studies program (teaching astronomy) as well as in general physics. He is an astronomer by training, with a Ph.D. from OSU and postdoctoral experience at the University of Marseille, in France. He is originally from Germany, having obtained his undergraduate degree at the University of Heidelberg.

Stephan is a great teacher and a valued colleague, and we congratulate him!

Written by David Robertson

January 4th, 2020 at 10:41 pm

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Recent Theory Group Publications

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Written by David Robertson

January 4th, 2020 at 10:11 pm

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Alumni News

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Keep the updates coming!

Written by David Robertson

January 4th, 2020 at 9:59 pm

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Public Lecture at the Bexley Public Library

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Written by David Robertson

July 23rd, 2019 at 10:23 am

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Murray Gell-Mann (1929-2019)

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Murray Gell-Mann, a titan of physics in the 20th century, died last Friday at age 89.

He was probably best known for proposing the existence of, and naming, “quarks,” the elementary particles that bind together to form protons, neutrons, and other strongly-interacting particles. (The name comes from Finnegan’s Wake: “Three quarks for Muster Mark.”) For this work he received the 1969 Nobel Prize for Physics. But he made many other seminal contributions as well, and in the mid-20th century Caltech, where he and Richard Feynman were on the faculty, was arguably the leading center for theoretical physics in the world.

I never met him personally, though I saw him give talks on a couple of occasions. He was scrupulous in pronouncing names correctly, e.g., “Einshtein.” The joke was that Gell-Man had eight brains, and each one was smarter than you. Another story in which he makes an appearance: When his student Sidney Coleman (also a legend of theoretical physics) was applying for a job he wrote a letter that said, “Coleman knows more about quantum field theory than anyone in the world except Dick Feynman.” Feynman’s letter said, “Coleman knows more about quantum field theory than anyone in the world except me.” So Gell-Mann and Feynman agreed on at least one thing.

Written by David Robertson

May 30th, 2019 at 10:08 am

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BAH Dark Matter Theory

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I saw this in London. The video is timestamped for the winning presentation, but all of it was hilarious.

Written by Nathaniel Tagg

April 3rd, 2019 at 9:05 am

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Places to get jobs

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Here’s a list of companies in Ohio who have recently been hiring Physics Bachelor’s.

https://www.aip.org/statistics/ohio

Written by Nathaniel Tagg

March 15th, 2019 at 5:52 am

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All Time Travelers are Invited!

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If you are a time traveler and learned about this talk from this blog post, please stop by and say hi to Prof. Robertson last Thursday!

Written by David Robertson

September 22nd, 2018 at 12:04 am

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Seen at the Library of Congress…

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Thomas Jefferson’s copy of Newton’s Principia.

Written by David Robertson

September 10th, 2018 at 10:34 pm

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