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Issue 3, Volume 2
January 2009


We take great pride and pleasure in sharing with you, even in these days of budget cuts and bailouts, some of the exciting news happening in the Physics Department.

Major Awards for Professor Emeritus Paul Richards and Professor George Smoot

Major recognition for two of our faculty came last week. It was announced that Paul Richards will be awarded the prestigious Dan David Prize by Tel Aviv University and George Smoot was awarded the Oersted Medal by the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Two New Physics Professors Awarded the Sloan Fellowship

Harmut Haeffner and Ahmet Yildiz, both new to the Physics faculty, were among 7 Cal assistant professors to be given the Sloan Fellowship award for early career scientists. Read more about this prestigious award:

Smoot Makes a Guest Appearance on Television Sitcom "The Big Bang Theory"

In these hard economic times, it's always wise to have a fall-back career. So, cosmologist and Nobel Laureate George Smoot has turned to Hollywood and will make his television debut on "The Big Bang Theory" on Monday, March 9 on CBS. Read more about the filming of the episode:

Scientific American Explores Professor Alex Zettl's Carbon Nanotube Radio

You may already have heard about the carbon nanotube radio, but Scientific American explains it for the general public and identifies some of its many pottential applications.

The J. Robert Oppenheimer Lecture in Physics

On Monday, March 9, Nobelist Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (1997 Nobel in Physics for "development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light") will give the Oppenheimer Lecture in 155 Dwinelle at 6:30. We look forward to seeing you there.

Please join us for a private reception at 5:00 p.m. in 375 LeConte. To RSVP please contact Maria Hjelm at 510-642-5979 or

Read the abstract for this lecture here:

Save the Date! Cal Day is on Saturday April 18

Experience the excitement of Physics first-hand at Cal Day, when we open laboratories, give lectures and offer hands-on events for the public. This year, you can learn about the Large Hadron Collider and the Planck Satellite at our lectures, not to mention an amazing show of Physics demos and a look back at the many discoveries made at Cal over the past year. You can also while away hours in our Hands-On rooms. Bring the whole family to enjoy this very special day, and if you've never been, please check out the slide show from last year:

Click here for a slide show


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