View All People in Physics
We talk to Don about scary moments in space, immigrating to Mars, human spaceflight and more.
Nuclear physicist, Kelly Chipps (AKA Nuclear Kelly), understands just how difficult it is for some people to understand physicists, with her diverse background she is striving to make physics accessible to everyone.
James Roche is part artist, part skateboarder, part physicist, and full time funny man. This physicist and APS project coordinator knows how to make any experience fun and exciting. Physics after all, can be funny.
People from all over the world like stories and physicist Jelena Maricic is no exception. Maricic may enjoy a good fiction novel, but when it comes to explaining how particles in the universe behave she brings science to explanations that don’t seem far from science fiction.
What does one of the largest three-dimensional models of the solar system, Quantum Chaos in Nanoelectronics, the iPad, teaching and disc golf have in common? Besides varying from large to very small; from complicated computer technology to simple physics; from inside to outside and to far outside our Earth, these varied interests have found a friend in Ben Van Dusen.
There’s a great celestial chasm lurking at the heart of our galaxy, capable of swallowing anything that gets too close. It hides in plain sight, and its pull is strong enough to whip stars around like they were toys. Now a team at the University of California Los Angeles is methodologically peeling away its secrets. Meet Andrea Ghez, black hole hunter extraordinaire.
Andrew Noble hopes to use his knowledge of physics in a way you might not expect. He is working to help preserve the diversity of life on Earth.
Meet a dancer and a physicist who has been analyzing dancers as they pirouette.
If you’ve ever searched for a microcontroller or a transistor online, you may have come across Octopart.com, a search engine for electronic parts co-founded by Sam Wurzel in 2006.
When Prof. Nicola Spaldin was growing up in the British mountains where her “parents ran a hiking center,” it was apparent that she loved the outdoors and discovering her surroundings. She took this curiosity into her academic career, where she studied materials that can have more than one job.
Chad Orzel, a physicist and blogger, is not afraid to weigh in on the controversial issues of the day. On June 29th, 2010, for example, he made reference to "the immense suckitude of the refereeing" at the then-ongoing World Cup.
Peter Sorokin invented the world's second and third lasers and pioneered the ability to build lasers in all colors of the rainbow. And if that wasn't enough for one man, he is using laser physics to explain the light from distant stars.
James Wynne is the author of numerous articles and scientific journals and the holder of many patents, including several in laser dentistry and laser dermatology, and has received numerous Outstanding Innovation Awards throughout his career at IBM.
Millie Dresselhaus is one of the very first laser scientists. She quickly took this new invention and started using it to investigate the properties of matter. As well as pioneering laser science, she has promoted opportunities for women in science.
Spend a little time in Mary Lee McJimsey’s classroom and you will soon realize that she is not your traditional physics teacher.
Hiking, camping, kayaking and snorkeling while traveling throughout the Czech Republic, Turkey, Austria, Hawaii, Greece, Wales, Wyoming, Scotland, and most recently Germany. This is the life of a space scientist... if your name is Carol Paty. She shows us that you don't need to stay at home to in order to study the solar system.
Since earning my B.S. in Physics from the University of Alabama in 1997 I have committed the last 10 years as a pilot in the USAF.
Imagine starting a new internship, first week on the job and you don't know a soul. But you're curious. How did these people get here? What are they like? Where do they come from? Do they have any cool body piercings?
Laura Smoliar became interested in physics at a young age – her mother was a physicist. “Sometimes I’d get to go to her lab,” Smoliar said. “It was a fun place. There were lots of toys.”
Rob Semper is the Executive Associate Director of the Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco.
During his long career as a physics professor, you were just as likely to find Harlan Schone with a hammer and nail, improving substandard housing in his community, as you were to find him in a solid-state physics lab doing research.
Myriam Sarachick had a tough decision to make when it was time to choose her major. She had to decide between mathematics, music, literature and physics.
When Vincent Rodgers was six years old, he and his twin brother Victor got toy robots for Christmas. "The most fascinating thing about this," Rodgers recalls, “was a panel you could take off the side [so] you could actually see inside."
As a child, Chris Quigg wanted to make the laws of nature. He thought that was the difference between physics and engineering: physicists make the law and engineers apply the law.
Jorge Pullin has made a career of studying a weighty subject: gravity. He uses theories of gravity to predict what will happen when black holes collide.
Andrew Post-Zwicker is absolutely fascinated by plasmas. He is shown here on a bad hair day (actually a demo with a van de graf generator).
Marcello Pavan loves physics. He says that becoming a physicist is like joining the 'secular priesthood': "some people get the calling and some people don't."
Al Osborne doesn't have much of an accent anymore, but there's still a bit of the Texas drawl that even a few decades in Italy haven't erased.
Hakeem Oluseyi, an astrophysicist, inventor, educator, amateur voice-actor, and self-described “regular guy” from Mississippi, doesn’t remember exactly how he first became interested in science.
"I grew up in Philadelphia building houses with my father," says Richard Superfine-yes, that is his real name. "That has led me to always appreciate experimental work and using my hands and getting tangible results."
"All my life, I've liked to take long shots," said Alex Szalay, a former rock star who studies astronomy at Johns Hopkins University.
Margaret Murnane has a fascinating story to tell - if you can keep up with her. In a sense, Murnane is the fastest person who ever lived.
In addition to carrying out his own research in accelerator and high energy physics, MIT physicist Sekazi Mtingwa travels to Africa several times a year to promote science.
"For me, physics is done in a community, and research involves social interactions," says Patricia Mooney.
Luz Martinez-Miranda learned physics in a unique way: through optics.
Like many physicists, Sergio Ulloa loves constantly learning new things.
A physicist at Brown University, Valles uses strong magnetic fields to cancel the effects of gravity on frog embryos, so they float in thin air.
Like many people, Geoffrey West had difficulty with his high school physics classes.
Alice White proves that you can go home again. White grew up in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, the daughter of two physicists.
If you were to attend one of Kris Larsen’s classes, you might hear her describing the magnetic fields on the sun as a giant magnetic hernia. On another day, she might be comparing the shape of the universe to a Pringle’s potato chip.
Teaching and research are often portrayed as residing at opposite ends of the learning spectrum, but to David Landau, the two are closely interrelated.
Krauss, a prolific author, works in a new field called “particle astrophysics” that examines the interactions of two size extremes - fundamental particles smaller than atoms, and the entire universe.
David Kestenbaum had planned on becoming a physicist, but a funny thing happened on the way to his Ph.D. His girlfriend dumped him. “It was one of those weird quirks of fate,” David recalls.
Terence Hwa's research is in unconventional areas, as he shuttles between statistical physics, molecular biophysics and theoretical genomics. He says, “I don't fit into any particular community.”
Charles Holbrow's first memory of his interest in physics comes from when he was about 13 years old. He saved up money from his paper route to buy Millikan's Electrons. “I read about two pages and it made no sense to me whatsoever.”
As a child Carlos Gutierrez wondered why there weren't more Hispanics in physics. He asked his teachers if they knew of any Hispanic physicists. When they couldn't name any, Gutierrez wasn't sure if he was cut out to be a physicist.
Brian Greene believes that he and a growing number of physicists have caught a glimpse of the answers to some of the deepest questions that physicists face today, and he wants to share them with you. Photo: Andrea Cross/WGBH-TV.
Medical physics is not a well-known field, but it's an extremely important one, says medical physicist Albin Gonzalez. Gonzalez works with high-tech machines of the same type of accelerators used in cutting-edge science.
David Goldhaber-Gordon knows a thing or two about chocolate. While he served as the chocolate steward for Harvard's Society of Fellows, it was his burden to select just the right truffles and bar chocolates for weekly Society functions.
Anita Goel is fascinated by motors. Not the kind of motor that resides under the hood of your family car, but the molecular motors that make their way along strands of DNA, reading and replicating genetic information.
Timothy Gay of the University of Nebraska often engages in what he calls “physics propaganda.” He says, “As working scientists, we need to explain to the public why what we’re doing is cool and interesting.”
Sitting in Mr. Coney's physics class as a junior in a segregated high school, Jim Gates had an epiphany. Watching a ball roll down an inclined plane and learning that a simple equation could describe its motion, Jim Gates knew that he wanted to be a physicist.
Over 3,000 people a year lose fingers to table saws. One day in his workshop, Gass looked at his saw and wondered how quickly he could stop the blade in the event of accidental contact. His physics experiments led to SawStop.
Every once in a while, you meet someone who proves that the worlds of science and art are not intellectual opposites. Charles Falco is such a person.
“If you were to pick out the kid in the class who would be a physicist, you wouldn't pick me,” says Janet Conrad.
Cizewski grew up in Maryland. Her parents didn’t have high school diplomas. Her father earned a GED, and her mother, a refugee from Czechoslovakia, attended a high school that closed during World War II.
Physics is international. Look at the life of Manuela Campanelli, a physicist born in Switzerland, educated in Italy, who has worked in Germany and the United States and is married to a physicist from Argentina.
When Sam Zeller was in high school, some of the boys in one of her science classes put frog guts in her purse.
Over a hundred years ago, French science fiction writer Jules Verne wrote a novel called Journey to the Center of the Earth, in which a team of explorers descends below the ground, deep inside the Earth. David Stevenson has thought of a way to someday make Verne’s dreams a reality. Maybe.
Gravity is very important to Steve Giddings – both when he is pondering its place in a unified theory of everything and when he is clinging to a sheer ice cliff in the course of one of his climbing excursions.
Allison Porter breaks down many stereotypes. The 24-year-old Miss Washington 2004 graduated from Harvard in 2002 with a degree in astrophysics.
Juli Morgan is a modern-day explorer. A geophysicist at Rice University, she has sailed on nine “research cruises” on specially designed ships to distant parts of the world.
In 1999, after years of practice, Lene Hau learned how to bicycle at the speed of light.
Though it sounds like a major career shift to most people, going from doing plasma physics research in Boston to making graphite guitars in Hawaii has been a smooth transition for John Decker.
As an applied mathematician, Anne Catlla, a postdoctoral associate at Duke University, applies mathematical methods to a wide range of physical phenomena, learning about a variety of interesting subjects in the process.
Not many people would drop $5000 on a celebratory dinner for 25 friends at the Voodoo Lounge in Las Vegas, but that’s just what particle physicist Michael Binger did last August.
Ancient Navajo thought contains many parallels to modern scientific concepts, including radiation (Tsa'jilgish in the Navajo language), and lasers (Hatsoo'algha k'aa'), according to Navajo physicist Fred Begay, who has spent hundreds of hours translating and making the connections between traditional Navajo beliefs and modern science.
Networks are everywhere: from social networks and terrorist networks linking people through the World Wide Web and beyond to biological networks communicating within a cell and from linguistic networks describing how words relate to each other to networks tracking how diseases spread globally.
Former physics professor Catherine Asaro is a rising star among science fiction authors. Her books range from ‘hard’ science fiction, with scientific plot devices and premises laid out in intricate detail, to softer science fiction novels that use futuristic technology as a kind of backdrop to character-driven plots.