E-Newsletter - Summer 2010

issue #2 - Summer 2010

The Department of Physics & Astronomy Website



Meet the New Chair of Physics & Astronomy
Chair_PABProfessor James Rosenzweig

Professor James Rosenzweig was appointed Chair of the Department of Physics& Astronomy as of July 1, 2010. After having served as Chair of the Department totaling more than 14 years, Professor Ferdinand Coroniti steps down to take a position as Associate Dean in the College of Letters and Science, Division of Physical Sciences.

Professor Rosenzweig was born in Denver, CO, in 1960, and was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and in London, England. He received his Ph.D., at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, 1988. Upon graduation, he held an assistant physicist appointment at Argonne National Labs, 1989 to 2000 was Robert R. Wilson Fellow in Accelerator Physics at Fermilab. He joined the UCLA Dept. of Physics faculty as an assistant professor in 1991. Since 1999, he has been Professor of Physics at UCLA. He has had visiting physicist positions at Argonne National Laboratory, and Fermilab. On sabbatical in 2003 and 2007, he was Visiting Professor, Universita di Roma "La Sapienza", and visiting scientist at Laboratori Nazionale di Frascati (INFN-LNF). He is a frequent lecturer in the US Particle Accelerator School.

Professor Rosenzweig is world renowned as an expert in the physics of intense, ultra-fast charged particle beams and and their interactions. These interaction scenarios include the beam self-interaction, classified as single component relativistic plasma physics, the beam-radiation interaction – e.g. the free-electron laser – very high field acceleration in plasma or other media driven by charged particle or laser beams. Prof. Rosenzweig currently is the Director two laboratory programs, known collectively as the Particle Beam Physics Laboratory, PBPL, in the physics of advanced accelerators (the Neptune Lab on-campus at UCLA) and the physics of free-electron-based radiation production in world-leading off-campus labs. The PBPL maintains active collaborations with other major accelerator facilities, such as Fermilab, SLAC, BNL, LLNL, Argonne, DESY, Sincrotrone Trieste and INFN-LNF (Frascati).

Prof. Rosenzweig is the author or co-author of over 400 scientific articles, and several topical books in beam and accelerator science. He has developed a course on modern approaches to beam physics, Physics 150 "The Physics of Charged Particle and Beam Physics", for which he has written a textbook, published by Oxford University Press in 2003, entitled "Fundamentals of Beam Physics".

Prof. Rosenzweig has received a Sloan Fellowship, a Robert R. Wilson Fellowship, and an SSC Junior Faculty Fellowship. He is a lifetime member and a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). In 2007 he was awarded the 2007 International Free-electron Laser Prize. Prof. Rosenzweig has served the APS, as well as many high energy physics, light source, industrial accelerator, and high energy density laboratory programs and worldwide in organizational, advisory and leadership capacities.

Message from Chair

Welcome to the Department of Physics and Astronomy Summer 2010 newsletter.

It is my extraordinary privilege, beginning July 1, 2010, to serve as Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.  It is indeed an honor to do so, as this Department possesses an extraordinarily collegial and collaborative atmosphere.  It is a place I have felt professionally at home now nearly 20 years.  The Department is, despite great difficulties within the State and the University, in excellent shape, due to the dedication and enthusiasm of the faculty, staff, the student body, and – not in a small part – to the long and distinguished service of the previous Chair, Ferd Coroniti.  I would like to wish Ferd well in his new position as Associate Dean of Physical Sciences in the UCLA College of Letters and Science.

The present is a time of great change in the university, due to changing budgetary support from the State, but it also is a time of great opportunity.  The research university finds itself in a central position in the nation's economic recovery, and in its economic future, as the federal government has placed unprecedented emphasis on scientific research funding.  As such, our Department was uniquely placed to grow in its research reach in the past two years.  With our first-rate faculty, the response to this opportunity was an overwhelming success.  I note with pride that our Department now has the largest external support of research funding in the UCLA College of Letters and Science.

The story of the Department's progress goes well beyond numbers.  It is found in the remarkable diversity of subjects investigated by the faculty, covering disciplines ranging from traditional areas – e.g. the quest for the Higgs boson at the LHC – to emerging new programs such as the physics of neuroscience.  Our ambitious research agenda is an integral part of the educational mission here and energizes the faculty and students.  I invite you to learn more from this newsletter, and from the departmental website, which provides continual updates on new developments here at UCLA.

The Department of Physics & Astronomy Website

Faculty Research Highlights

JOHN MIAO: Three-dimensional structure determination from a single view
UCLA researchers, Kevin Raines, Sara Salha, Huaidong Jiang, Jose Rodríguez and John Miao have played an important role in developing this method. This work is also in collaboration with Richard Sandberg and Henry Kapteyn of University of Colorado, Boulder and Jincheng Du of University of North Texas.

    The ability to determine the structure of matter in three dimensions has profoundly advanced our understanding of nature. Traditionally, the most widely used schemes for 3D structure determination of an object are implemented by acquiring multiple measurements over various sample orientations, as in the case of crystallography and tomography, or by scanning a series of thin sections through the sample, as in confocal microscopy. Now, the Miao group, in collaboration with Richard Sandberg and Henry Kapteyn of University of Colorado, Boulder and Jincheng Du of University of North Texas, has developed a novel 3D imaging modality, termed ankylography (derived from the Greek words ankylos meaning 'curved' and graphein meaning 'writing'), which under certain circumstances enables complete 3D structure determination from a single exposure using a monochromatic incident beam. With further development, this approach of obtaining complete 3D structure information from a single view could find broad applications in the physical and life sciences. For more details, please refer to the paper, which is published in Nature. Nature miao_1

GILL TRAVISH: Creating a Portable X-Ray Machine and Radius Health Joins Tech Incubator at CNSI to Conduct Proof-of-concept Research
Gil Travish and collaborators have developed a Microemitter Array X-rays (MAX) technology that has the potential to address the widespread demand for both performance improvements and cost reductions in the traditional vacuum tube-based technology of the X-ray-imaging market.

    Electric point: This point, carved into a pyroelectric crystal, emits electrons when the material is heated. A flat-panel x-ray source uses an array of such points to make a more uniform field for medical imaging.
    Credit: Gil Travish

Read more: Creating a Portable X-Ray Machine and Radius Health Joins Tech Incubator at CNSI to Conduct Proof-of-concept Research

ERIC HUDSON: First there were atomic clocks that beat at microwave frequencies. Then along came optical clocks that provide higher frequency standards. Now, physicists in the US have unveiled plans to build the first "nuclear clock" that runs at still higher frequencies.Read article in
Plan for 'nuclear clock' unveiled


    Thorium doped crystal under illumination by the Advanced Light Source beam at Berkeley Lab in California. (Courtesy: Eric Hudson).

EDWARD L. (NED) WRIGHT: NASA's WISE launched on Monday, December 14, 2009. An unmanned NASA satellite that will survey the entire sky to discover millions of uncharted stars and galaxies, asteroids, and planetary "construction zones," providing valuable new information on our solar system, the Milky Way and the universe. NASA'S Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), launched from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on Dec.14, 2009, will map the sky at four infrared wavelengths – invisible to the unaided human eye – with a sensitivity hundreds of times greater than its predecessors. WISE will catalogue hundreds of millions of objects.


    An infrared image of Edward L. (Ned) Wright, WISE's principal investigator and a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy. In the image, warm objects appear brighter than cool ones. His eye sockets are the hottest and brightest, while his clothes are cooler and look dark. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, will measure infrared light from asteroids, stars, galaxies and more.

    Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

    Read More: NASA'S WISE infrared satellite to reveal new galaxies, stars, asteroids

    • July 16 - WISE Eyes the Whole Sky – WISE will complete its first survey of the entire sky on July 17, 2010. Visit WISE website


    2010/WISE_telescope-developed by L3 Communications-SSG Credit- NASA_JPL-Caltech_L-3 SSG-Tinsley

ERIC BECKLIN: an emeritus astrophysicist at UCLA and SOFIA's project's chief science adviser : NASA's Flying Telescope Sees Early Success. NASA has begun operating a flying telescope powerful enough to record the birth of distant stars and planets. In late May it made its first scientific flight, capturing images of Jupiter and a nearby galaxy.
The telescope, which weighs 17 tons, is built into a 747 that serves as an airborne observatory. It's called the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, and it's a marvel of astronomy and aeronautics. NPR interview July 2, 2010

    Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images
    NASA filled SOFIA's interior with workstations for airborne scientists.

February 2010 UCLA 'dark matter' conference highlights new research on mysterious cosmic substance

UCLA 'dark matter' conference highlights new research on mysterious cosmic substance.
UCLA scientists discuss XENON100, the newest dark matter detector

Dark matter, for more than 70 years is as mysterious and unknowable a subject to science as the legendary island of Atlantis has been to history. The ninth Symposium on Sources and Detection of Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe was held at the Marriott Hotel in Marina del Rey February 24 - 26, 2010. UCLA professor of physics Katsushi Arisaka and Hanguo Wang, a UCLA physics researcher, described the newest dark matter detector, XENON100, which UCLA has been operating beneath Italy's Gran Sasso mountain, some 70 miles west of Rome, in partnership principally with Columbia University and Rice University, along with seven other institutions in Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, Germany, France, Japan and China.

XENONXENON100 Detector

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Departmental Awards

KATSUSHI ARISAKA: Awarded 2010 UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award

The UCLA Physics & Astronomy Department is very pleased to announce that Professor Katsushi Arisaka is the recipient of a 2010 UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award. While Dr. Arisaka is extremely successful at both undergraduate and graduate instruction, he has been particularly effective in teaching physics to non-physics majors. His special seminar for Physics 6B students, Physics 89, is especially praiseworthy. Often those interested in biological science avoid mathematics and quantitative reasoning. This is a particular challenge for students who wish to attend medical school and who must take some physics. However, by developing Physics 89, Professor Arisaka has very powerfully and successfully introduced our students to science. This is a central issue in modern education, and therefore Professor Arisaka is most deserving of this Distinguished Teaching Award. See UCLA Today Article

Professor Katsuchi Arisaka

STEVEN FURLANETTO: Awarded 2010 Sloan Research Fellowship

The department is pleased to announce that Professor Steven Furlanetto was just awarded a 2010 Sloan Research Fellowship. The Sloan Research Fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. These two-year fellowships are awarded yearly to researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.

You may also want to visit the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation website to find out more about this prestigious organization.

Steven Furlanetto


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Faculty News

Dean of the Division of Physical Scieces

Joe Rudnick

Joseph A. Rudnick was appointed Dean of the Division of Physical Sciences in the College of Letters and Science effective August 1, 2009.  Dean Rudnick had been serving as acting dean of the Division of Physical Sciences since October 2006.

Andrea Ghez invited to TED (Ideas worth spreading) in Oxford
July 2009

Andrea Ghez

Andrea Ghez, a 2008 Macarthur Fellow, gave an invited talk at Oxford at the TED Global Conference in July 2009. TED Global is a nonprofit gathering devoted to "ideas worth spreading." Previous TED speakers have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Michelle Obama, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and others. The hunt for a supermassive black hole has been a subject of raging debate among astronomers for more than a quarter of a century. Nothing can escape black holes, not even light. In her talk Ghez addressed how astronomers observe something they can't see. From TED Website - listen to the talk Transcript of Andrea's talk at TED

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Departmental Events
John Cornwall 75th Birthday - November 14-15 th
John M. Cornwall John Cornwall 75th Birthday - November 14-15th Quantum Field Theory and Beyond Celebrating John M. Cornwall's 75th Birthday was held at UCLA, Department of Physics & Astronomy. Attendees came from as far away as Kobe University in Japan, China and Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Mike Cornwall has been a faculty member at UCLA since 1965, where he does his research in elementary particle theory. To learn more about Mike Cornwall's 75th birthday celebrationl visit the website


2009 - Celebrating 20 years of Infrared Instrumentation and Science!


From left: Eric Becklin, Ben Zuckerman, Dr. Kandri Vural*, Dr. James Beletic*, Ferdinand Coroniti, Michael Jura, Michael Fitzgerald, James Larkin and Ian McLean

Founded in 1989 by Erick Becklin and Ian McLean, the UCLA Infrared Lab celebrated its 20th anniversary in the Fall of 2009. The work of the lab is to produce instruments for the Keck 10-meter telescopes and other upcoming facilities.  A celebration of this milestone was held in November 20, 2009. See pictures of event

About the UCLA Infrared Laboratory (pdf)

* Kandri Vural and James Beletic -senior executives of Teledyne Imaging

Robert Cousins presentation on the Large Hadron Collider, world's largest science experiment March 31,2010 at UCLA

On March 31, 2010, UCLA Professor Robert Cousins, who spent three years at CERN as a deputy to the leader of one of the huge experiments at the Large Hadron Collider, presented the goals of revolutionizing elementary particle physics and the implications for our understanding of the Big Bang and dark matter.

"I guess you couldn't get tickets to Paul McCartney at the Hollywood Bowl," Cousins told the more than 500 people who attended his talk. But it wasn't long before his audience was thinking, "Maybe I'm Amazed." Watch video

Find out more about the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) at Cern.
Visit event site



Pictured right - background is CMS and foreground is Professor Robert Cousins



2010 Career Night

The department's annual Career Night on April 12, 2010 was a great success with students and panelist enjoying pizza, drinks and dessert, followed by interesting questions from the students and equally interesting and helpful answers from the panelists (Dan Dawes, Matthew Lee, John Taborn, John Vaszari, Tatiana Vinogradova, Thomas Wilcox and Clara Yoon).  This event provided the students with a wonderful opportunity to talk with some of the department's alumni about the reality of finding jobs after graduation in a variety of career paths.


May 15, 2010 – UCLA Alumni Day

alumnidayMay 15, 2010 UCLA Alumni Day

The department once again was pleased to have the opportunity to participate in UCLA Alumni Day.  The astronomy students offered 30 minute Planetarium shows throughout the day, and during the morning a number of students volunteered to run various physics demonstrations, as well as assist the alumni and their families to view the sun via 2 solar telescopes.  We were pleased to see that these demonstrations generated a great deal of interest and curiosity.  There were always a number of people at our tables enjoying the demos and asking questions.  Additionally, Professor Ian McLean, the director of the UCLA Infrared Laboratory in Astrophysics, along with Anna Fisher, a NASA Astronaut, spoke on the topic of "Watching the Skies:  Bruins in Space".  They discussed dozens of ways that UCLA is helping us understand the cosmos in manned and unmanned space exploration, from discovering planets around distant suns, finding massive black holes or visiting our nearest neighbors in the solar system.


Astronomy is one of the most ancient of all the sciences and has fascinated humankind since we first looked up at the night sky. Nowadays people are becoming increasingly aware of the study of celestial objects and phenomena as astronomers discover more about the mysteries of the universe.  Up until early in the 20th century, noted astronomers were mostly men, but women began to play a greater role in the field from then on.  On May 25, 2010, the UCLA Planetarium hosted 50 guests, the maximum number for the planetarium, in an event to showcase the cutting edge research of the three women on our Astronomy faculty, Professors Andrea Ghez, Alice Shapley, and Jean Turner.  The event was a joint effort by the Department of Physics & Astronomy and Women & Philanthropy.  Those attending were very enthusiastic about the event, and found it a unique opportunity to learn about the "star" women in astronomy.


Astronomy faculty, surrounded by astronomy undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral scholars and researchers.


Commencement 2010

abelmannRonald A Abelmann BS, MS (1960)
Applied Physics, UCLA

This year's commencement saw the largest graduating class thus far in the department. In all, 75 undergraduate degrees were conferred, 9 MS degrees and 26 PhD degrees. One of the highlights was the address of alumnus Ron Abelmann, our keynote speaker, who gave an inspiring and timely speech about how to negotiate the professional world in these most uncertain of times.
Read Ron Abelmann's speech


2010 STAR Analysis Meeting
The Department of Physics & Astronomy at UCLA hosted 80 plus people for the 2010 STAR Analysis Meeting. The meeting was held in the new Physics & Astronomy Building June 15-18, 2010. For more information about the meeting visit the meeting site.


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Campus Outreach

November 14, 2009 - Public Event to celebrate International Year of Astronomy and
the launch of Astronomy Live! website

Nirvana-Astro pic of the dayNirvana- astronomy picture of the day

The UCLA Physics and Astronomy and Earth and Space Sciences Departments put on an exciting free public event on Saturday Nov. 14th, 2009. The event was to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy and the launch of Astronomy Live!. Astronomy Live! is UCLA's astronomy outreach program run by a group of graduate students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

In developing this program Astronomy Live! wants to be able to visit schools, hospitals, and local events to interact with the community in addition to fostering interest in astronomy and science in general.

Visit Astronomy Live! for more information and upcoming events

PLANETARIUM: UCLA Planetarium and Telecope Shows Public planetarium shows (suitable for all ages) are given by current astronomy and astrophysics graduate students. Content varies with presenters, but commonly includes discussion about the current night sky, constellations, astronomical phenomena, and more!

Wednesday Evening Public Shows:
Planetarium Show - 8:00 PM
Telescope Viewing is subject to current weather conditions.
Visit the planetarium website for more information



Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU program) 2010

The Physics & Astronomy department is hosting the 8th annual Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU program) during Summer 2010. Fourteen undergraduate students have come came from across the country to engage in real frontier level research with a UCLA faculty member for a period of 10 weeks. Each of the participants was matched with a faculty mentor according to the student's stated interests.The projects spanned the various fields represented in the department, such as plasma physics, biophysics, cosmic ray physics, astrophysics, accelerator physics. The students are being trained in the newest lab, computational and theoretical techniques to prepare them for the world of research. Over the last 8 years, the department has hosted a total of 106 students under this program.

REU 2010

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Giving to the Department of Physics & Astronomy:
The principal commitment of the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy is to train the scientific leaders of the next generation and to expand the limits of our knowledge of the nature of the universe in which we live. Your generosity plays a vital role in our ability to fulfill that commitment. Your gift to the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy allows us to enrich and enhance our educational program and to create new opportunities for students, faculty and all who benefit from the pursuit of knowledge at the frontiers of human understanding.
Giving to P & A

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The Department of Physics & Astronomy Website

Diana Thatcher
Assistant to the Chair
James Rosenzweig, Chair
UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy
Box 951547
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547
(310)825-3440 (310)206-0864 Fax

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