Letter from Chair
1) Dr. Daniel Gauthier receives tenure
1998 Graduate Students - First Year
1) Teaching Award-Dr. Roxanne Springer
2) Humboldt Award - Dr. Mueller
3) APS Fellowships
1) Dr. N. Russell Roberson retires
2) Dr. Larry Evans retires as Chairman
1) Shailesh Chandrasekharan
5) Post-Doctoral Research
6) Focusing on Education
7) Study Room
Welcome to the first departmental newsletter since 1983. This a long hiatus, and you may ask: Why has it taken so long? The answer is simply that we all have been too busy in the meantime with our teaching and research programs, leaving little time for projects like newsletters. However, many changes have occurred in the Physics Department over the course of the past sixteen years, and it is time to share these with our alumni.
The past year has been an especially exciting one for the department. Several members of our faculty received important honors, ranging from fellowships of the American Physical Society and teaching awards, to prizes from foreign government foundations. Our research projects are going extremely well, evidenced by the fact that we breached the threshold of $10 million in external research funds for the first time in the department's history.
The University has recognized our success by authorizing several searches for new faculty, in the areas of experimental high-energy physics, theoretical physics, and physics with free electron lasers. These searches are either complete or nearing completion, and we will report about them in the next newsletter, introducing our new faculty members.
We have also had retirements, the latest one being that of Professor Russell Roberson, who served as Director of the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL). Russell plans to share his time between sailing off the North Carolina coast and his research projects at TUNL. Our other emeriti, among them Horst Meyer, Edward Bilpuch, and William Walker, also remain actively engaged in departmental affairs, helping out with their experience and sheer limitless energy.
The Free Electron Laser Laboratory (DFELL), perhaps the world's leading research facility in this novel area of technology, is about to finish construction of a major new research annex, the Life Sciences Research Laboratory. The $3.3 million project is funded by grants from the Keck Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. The new laboratory building will provide research space for applications of the coherent infrared and ultraviolet radiation generated by DFELL's two free electron lasers for research projects in the biomedical and physical sciences.
Aided by a grant from the National Science Foundation to the University and by a generous private donation, the Department is also embarking on an ambitious program of modernization of its introductory physics courses. Our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Professor Daniel Gauthier, Senior Lecturing Fellow Mark Johnson, and Lecturing Fellow Jeffrey Tull are hard at work to incorporate the latest advances in lecturing and laboratory technology into our courses, which are taken by over 600 students from all parts of the university.
Other noteworthy developments concern the renovation of a study room for the physics majors, which was made possible by a donation from one of our alumni, the renovation of our library with the help of an anonymous donor, and the creation of a separate lab area for the introductory physics courses of our physics majors. Associate Professor Calvin Howell, has led the effort to develop new cutting-edge projects for our Advanced Laboratory, among them the demonstration of the spin-statistics theorem in scattering of carbon nuclei with help of the tandem accelerator at TUNL.
We are also very happy about the success of our graduate program, which is attracting outstanding students of increasing international diversity. We are especially pleased to note the start of a regular graduate exchange program with the Technical University of Dresden in Germany, which annually allows three students from Dresden to spend a year in our department.
I hope that you enjoy reading this newsletter and getting back in touch with your department. You can find more news in the department home pages on the World Wide Web (http://www.phy.duke.edu). Please, take a moment from time to time to look for the latest developments. We also would like to learn more about you. If you have news about yourself that you would like to share with us or just like to send us comments on this newsletter, please send us e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy New Year 1999.
Last modified: 8-Feb-99