Using the night sky to explain the culture of different societies is a practice familiar to Professor Anthony Aveni. In early December, the distinguished astronomy and anthropology professor co-hosted a symposium intended to spark a dialogue about Native American sacred sites and exploring their connections to cosmic events. Read more
An international collaboration of astronomers that includes Jeff Bary, Colgate associate professor of physics and astronomy, has published an article about the discovery of a “planet-forming lifeline” in a nearby triple-star system in the journal Nature.
Using the recently commissioned Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) located in the Atacama desert in Chile, the group, led by Anne Dutrey of the Observatoire de Bordeaux in France, found direct evidence of material passing from a large outer disk of material inward toward a smaller, inner disk surrounding the singleton star in the system. Read more
Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Katie Karnes ’17, an astrogeophysics major from Cincinnati, Ohio.
It’s 3:45 a.m. on a Thursday and I’m staring at the four monitors in front of me, trying to focus on saving the files correctly. Although sunrise is still hours away, the sky is beginning to lighten and this night of collecting data is coming to an end. This summer I am spending 10 weeks on campus working with Professor Tom Balonek in the physics and astronomy department. Read more
Colgate students are sharing their experiences conducting research with faculty members on campus and in the field. This post is by Brett Christensen ’16, a biophysics and philosophy double major from Marilla, N.Y.
This summer, I’m studying barnacles — impressive little organisms that live in the ocean. As a biophysics and philosophy double major, I found an opportunity in the research lab of Professor Rebecca Metzler in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Read more
Two interdisciplinary science research projects featuring collaborations among faculty from Colgate and from around the world have been awarded funding by the Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute at Colgate.
The projects support the core mission of the institute, which aims to foster the creation of new knowledge that is obtainable only through the development of sustained interdisciplinary research.
An astronomer is born. When I was nine, a friend gave me a book about astronomy titled What’s Up There? by Dinah Moche, which I read countless times. My dad, a middle-school science teacher, encouraged me to pursue the subject. He organized a series of events celebrating Halley’s Comet’s last visit in 1986. I was hooked. Read more
Appalachia is a region deeply connected to the history of the United States, yet rarely makes the headlines.
Jeff Bary, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, aims to change that by introducing a multidisciplinary series to Colgate honoring Appalachian culture and, more importantly, bringing awareness to what he considers a social and environmental crisis known as mountaintop removal.
U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, connected with the Colgate University community Monday, meeting with faculty, administrators, and students, discussing issues ranging from natural-gas fracking to political gridlock and the federal budget sequester.
After hearing Michael Hayes, professor of political science, describe Colgate’s Washington D.C. Study Group, Hanna immediately handed Hayes a business card and said he wants to meet with students when they travel to the nation’s capital for the spring 2014 semester.
Digistar Users Group members from around the world are now gathered at Colgate’s Ho Tung Visualization Lab for their 26th annual conference.
Hamilton, N.Y., joins sites in Germany, Japan, Canada, India, and the Netherlands as a conference host for users of the Digistar projection system, the technological heart of Colgate’s unique visualization lab.
Summer certainly means pool parties, lazy afternoons, and hot dogs on the grill. At Colgate, summer also means time for some serious research.
A sampling of about 150 students conducting summer research on campus presented their findings at the Robert H.N. Ho Science Center last week. The research on display spanned a wide range of disciplines, from biology and neuroscience to geology and sociology, to name a few.
“Did you hear the one about the new restaurant NASA is building on the moon? It has great food but no …”
This was the kind of question asked of undergraduates during Physpardy, the “geekiest of competitions” (according to Professor Enrique Galvez) that was held at the annual Rochester Symposium for Physics Students. Colgate placed second in the Jeopardy knockoff, competing against college teams from Houghton, Rochester, West Point, SUNY, and Siena.
The Colgate contingent was led by physics professors Enrique Galvez and Ken Segall. Galvez brought the juniors Carrie Brurgess ’14, Fiora Cheng ’14, Brett Ross ’14 to talk about quantum optics. Segall led seniors Matt Brunetti ’13, Sean Guo ’13, and Ryan Freeman ’13, to talk about their research in physics.
“I was really impressed with the research being done by undergraduates at other universities,” said Freeman, “but I have to say that I really think that Colgate’s undergraduate research stands out.” He said that is likely due to absence of graduate students at the university, who would likely draw the attention of professors.
“We, as undergraduates, are a more integral part of the research being done here,” Freeman said.
Galvez, a leader in the field of teaching quantum mechanics, was recently featured in a Scientific American roadshow.
Other questions at the event included:
In the category Alphabet: “Speed of light in a vacuum.”
In the category Newton’s gravity: “The number of “g’s” you’d experience if you’re on a planet with half the earth’s radius and half its mass.”
In the comment field, add your answers — in the form of questions of course.
Provost and Dean of the Faculty Douglas A. Hicks recently announced faculty appointments and promotions that had been approved by the university’s Board of Trustees. Read more
“The first time I ever saw quantum entanglement for myself was in August 2011 on a road trip to Colgate University,” wrote George Musser in an article called “George and John’s Excellent Adventures in Quantum Entanglement, Part Two.
Professor Enrique Galvez built a machine to observe quantum entanglement, and demonstrated it to Musser and a crew from Scientific American. Watch the video below:
For more Colgate faculty making news, visit the Newsroom.
Seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson deliver an exuberant lecture to a standing-room crowd at Memorial Chapel is an amazing experience, and hundreds of students took advantage of that Monday night. Now imagine being a physics or astronomy major with the opportunity to share your research with the acclaimed astrophysicist.
Acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will speak at Colgate’s Memorial Chapel at 7 p.m. Monday, February 25.
Tyson is director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. He is a highly regarded spokesman for science through his numerous books and TV programs, and he has received the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by NASA.
His talk at the Chapel will be on “Ten Things You Should Know about the Universe,” and a book-signing reception will follow at the Ho Science Center.
Securing observing time on the Hubble Space Telescope is a highly desirable and extremely competitive process for astronomers. There are hundreds more projects submitted than can be accommodated, and the selection criteria is stringent.
Colgate astronomy professor Jeff Bary and collaborator Tracy Beck of the Space Telescope Science Institute, though, were recently awarded 12 orbits, or about 9 hours worth of observing time, to collect data for their investigations into the formation of binary stars that might eventually host their own planetary systems. Read more
First-year students spend their first days at Colgate navigating new terrain, organizing their living spaces, meeting classmates, and otherwise adjusting to life in their new milieu. What they are doing intrigues professors of psychology, anthropology, physics, sociology, and many other disciplines.
While physicists consider the century-old theory of quantum mechanics to be the most successful physical theory ever invented, they have spent the past several decades figuring out the best way to teach it.
Colgate’s Professor Enrique “Kiko” Galvez is at the forefront of a paradigm shift in the way quantum mechanics is taught.
Starting with a grant from the National Science Foundation in 1999, Charles Holbrow, Emeritus Professor, and Galvez embarked in project that seemed far fetched and bold.
Advancing technology and a sound type of physics experiment led them to undergraduate-level demonstrations that only a decade earlier were stunning research discoveries. “By 2005 we had not only satisfied our wildest expectations, but we started disseminating and designing prototypes so others could adopt.”
Colgate alumnus Ben Cerio ’07, currently a research assistant at Duke University, was part of this exciting discovery.
“The discovery has very deep implications about the origin of mass in the universe” reports Cerio, who is confident that it is the elusive Higgs boson, adding: “Both teams announced discoveries yesterday with a statistical confidence of “five sigma,” which means that the probability that it is a fluctuation, and not actually a particle, is one in a million!”
The Higgs boson particle was proposed by theoretical physicist Peter Higgs in 1964. Since that time, scientists have tried to build particle accelerators that could smash protons together with enough energy to uncover elusive particles.
The Large Hadron Collider, the largest particle accelerator ever built, went online in 2010 and appears to be fulfilling the promise of finding these elusive particles.
Your turn: what do you think this discovery will mean for science?
Photographs by professors Tom Balonek and Roger Rowlett provide a Colgate vantage point of an event that won’t occur again for more than 100 years, the transit of Venus.
A paper coauthored by Colgate professor Tony Aveni and published today in Science might put a damper on any plans by Hollywood to capitalize on theories about the world coming to an end in 2012.
The paper details the discovery and excavation of a home in Xultún, Guatemala, and a “wall painting accompanied by a numerical table and a series of long numbers that appear to have functioned like those found in astronomical tables in the codices discovered the earliest known Mayan calendar.”
In a discussion about the paper, Aveni explained that the new calendar offers no hint that the world’s end is imminent – this is just the beginning of another cycle.
“It’s like the odometer of a car, with the Maya calendar rolling over from the 120,000s to 130,000. The car gets a step closer to the junkyard as the numbers turn over; the Maya just start over,” he said.
We’ll keep you posted. Especially on Dec. 22, 2012. Your turn: what do you think of all the Mayan 2012 news?
To paraphrase Michael Stipe and R.E.M., 2012 could be the end of the world as we know it. And pioneering archaeoastronomer Tony Aveni, Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of astronomy and anthropology and Native American studies, has every reason to feel fine.