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Issue 7, Volume 3
August 2010


This is the back-to-school issue of the Physics E-Newsletter! We are gearing up for another busy and exciting academic year, and we extend a huge welcome to all of our new students. Here are a few highlights of the summer’s news and happenings:

Gerson Goldhaber (1924-2010)

With great sadness, the Physics community at the University of California, Berkeley and at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory remembers the life of Gerson Goldhaber.

Graphene Continues to Amaze

Graphene is the material that keeps on giving, as shown by Professor Michael Crommie and his colleagues in the July 30 issue of the journal Science (and blogged about throughout the science community). Turns out that the electrons in graphene, when put under the right kind of strain, behave as though they are in a strong magnetic field.


Understanding Antimatter

Much discussed and fictionalized, antimatter is one of the biggest mysteries in physics. Why is the universe made up mostly of matter, when matter and antimatter should have been produced in equal parts during the Big Bang? Where did all the antimatter go? The Science Channel series “Through the Wormhole,” produced and narrated by Morgan Freeman, attempts to explain some of the mystery, and Professor Joel Fajans helps him along.

Previews of all the episodes, including "What Are We Really Made Of?", can be viewed on the following link:

And here’s a bit more on Joel Fajans’ antimatter research at the LHC in Cern, Switzerland:

Studying Plasma Physics in the Solar Atmosphere

Stuart Bale, Professor and Director of Space Sciences Lab, hopes to have an experiment on board NASA’s Solar Probe Plus in 2018. He will study the acceleration and heating of the solar wind.

The Physics of Knuckleballs

Here’s a great story about the only woman playing professional baseball and her incredible knuckleball. Professor Bob Jacobsen explains the physics of these pitches, which very few people throw well, and you might recognize the 111 Lab in the background!;lst;5

Commencement 2010

Despite the rain and chill, it was a great day, filled with wonderful speeches, happy families, proud faculty and ecstatic students. Here are two slideshows from the festivities:


We’ve put together a remarkable calendar of public events for the 2010/2011 academic year. We hope that you will mark your calendars and join us for any or all of these happenings! Times and venues are still to be determined, but the dates are confirmed.

Monday October 18
The Emilio Segre Distinguished Lectureship
Professor Arthur McDonald of Queens University

Monday February 7
The Regents’ Lecture
Professor Sally Ride, University of California, San Diego

Monday March 14
The J. Robert Oppenheimer Lecture
Professor Lisa Randall, Harvard University

Cal Day!
Saturday April 16


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