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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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).
"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."
Luz Martinez-Miranda learned physics in a unique way: through optics.
"For me, physics is done in a community, and research involves social interactions," says Patricia Mooney.
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.
Alice White proves that you can go home again. White grew up in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, the daughter of two physicists.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.