Department of Physics
Our campus continues to grow with work on Fiedler Hall, adjacent to Durland Hall, nearing completion. Work has also begun on the K-State Alumni Center on the south side of Memorial Stadium. The remodeling of the K-State Union continues. Some results can already be seen with a more spacious cafeteria area. Changes have been going on just outside campus as well. The biggest change is the widening of Anderson Avenue along the south side of campus to allow four lanes and a turn lane.
The Golf Course Management and Research Foundation of K-State announced
in October that it has named its golf academy the Earl Woods National Youth
Golf Academy. The announcement was made at the conference of the National
First Tee Organization in Houston. Earl Woods, the father of Tiger Woods,
graduated from K-State in 1953 and is president of the Tiger Woods Foundation.
K-State has an exclusive beverage contract with Pepsi starting Jan. 1, 2000 for ten years. This contract will provide $7 million in charitable funds to support Hale Library and student scholarships.
The K-State Wildcat football team finished up their 1999 regular season with a 66-0 win over the Missouri Tigers on Nov. 20th. The victory gave K-State a 10-1 regular season finish. K-State will play in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on December 29, 1999.
By Mick O'Shea, Editor
We've added two new Assistant Professors this year. Regina Demina is a High Energy Experimentalist who comes to us from a post-doc at Fermilab. She is also the only faculty member I know who holds a patent for an invention from Russia. Brett Esry is an Atomic Physics Theorist who comes from a post-doc at Harvard. I should note that Brett got his B.S. from here and that his father, Les, and I knew each other back when Les was a technician helping to establish the Macdonald Laboratory.
As mentioned last year, we are changing the format of our Engineering Physics course. We are retaining the lectures but combining the recitations and laboratories into a studio environment. Most of the available research says that doing this will result in the students having improved understanding of important concepts. Chris Sorensen and Suzanne Maleki are leading the effort. At the moment it is a real race to see whether we shall have the studio and the class material ready for our first meeting of a studio in January 2000.
Over ten years ago, the department spent almost a year developing a consensus plan about improving the quality of the department over the next ten years or so. I think most observers would say that those planning efforts have paid off. This year we are trying to develop a new consensus about what the department should do in the next eight to ten years. This is not an easy exercise but I hope that the department can reap as many rewards from the new planning as it has in the last ten years.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't recognize the kind gifts of David and Harry Bearman and their families, who have endowed with $50,000 each a scholarship fund and a discretionary fund. A fuller story is elsewhere in this newsletter, but I want the Bearmans and everyone else to know how grateful we are and how much good we intend to accomplish with the proceeds from these funds.
By James Legg
The mechanisms for forming cold atoms are understood, and recently the cooling has been improved so as to produce a Bose-Einstein condensate by the laser-gas interaction. The physics of interacting condensates and the interaction of the condensate with the outside environment offer new avenues for the theory of scattering at the atomic level. We recently hired Assistant Professor Brett Esry (see related article) who studied these systems for his Ph.D. at the University of Colorado. Laser-cooled atoms make better atomic clocks, which have application in GPS systems, but also provide a new regime to measure the ion-atom scattering process. Laser cooled atomic targets are now made in hundreds of labs around the world. In the JRML Professor Brett DePaola is building a Magneto Optical Trap of cold Rb atoms that will be used as a cold target in a COLTRIMS (Cold-target recoil-ion momentum spectroscopy) experiment as has been developed by Professor Lew Cocke and collaborators. The laser-cooled atoms will play the role of the usually supersonically cooled gas jet. Improvements in the momentum analysis as well as new types of collisions experiments could result.
We have laser-cooled atoms now and the JRML plan for the future is to produce so-called dressed states via ultra fast high intensity laser-atom interactions. At the moment we do not have the lasers to do this work but we will propose this to the DOE in our next round of program review. The combination of our ion beam capabilities and high power ultra-fast lasers would offer unique opportunities to study the mechanisms for producing the exotic states of matter and their decay channels, which are not understood.
Professor Itzik Ben-Itzhak’s group has recently demonstrated a new technique to measure charge transfer in ion-atom collisions at extremely low velocities (i.e. an energy of a few meV in the center of mass), far below what has been measured in the past. The method is to look at the breakup of a molecule that has been electronically excited by a fast, very short pulse ion beam. They observe the outgoing products in an imaging detector. This project is Eric Wells’ dissertation.
Space doesn’t allow for a discussion of all the activities of the JRML. The funding of the AMOP program is through three DOE grants and one NSF grant. The lab is funded by the umbrella grant from DOE, which is $2 Million for operation and $400K for equipment replacement and upgrade. We also have a $250K grant for installing a new high voltage ion source platform. This will enable us to better serve our users. During the last year we provided approximately 100 days of ion source/accelerator time for outside users. All the outside users collaborated with JRML personnel. Since the last writing Allen Landers graduated with his Ph.D. and has a research associate position at the University of Western Michigan. Professor Brett Esry has hired Dr. Esben Nielsen in a research associate position. Habib Aliabadi, Erge Edgu-Fry, Thomas Ehrenreich, Danny Fry, Teck Lee, Ingrid Reiser, Ridvan Unal, Chris Verzani and Eric Wells are making progress towards getting a Ph.D. We have four new graduate students in the JRML – Peter Nabradi, Hai Nguyen, Timur Osipov, and Mikhail Zamkov. We have recently hired Scott Chainey (EE May, 2000, KSU) for Electronic Design and Repair. Scott replaces Steve Kelly who has accepted a new position at Montana State University in Bozeman.
On sabbatical leave this year are Professor Lew Cocke, at the University of California-Berkeley and then the MSI University in Stockholm, Sweden; Professor Siegbert Hagmann, at GSI, Darmstadt, Germany; and Professor Uwe Thumm at Harvard and then Freiburg University, Germany.
On sabbatical leave this year in the Macdonald Laboratory is Professor Hiro Tawara from the National Institute for Fusion Science, Toki, Japan. Dr. Xavier Flechard, CIRIL, Caen, France, will begin a Research Associate position in the Macdonald Laboratory beginning February, 2000.
Pat Richard, Cortelyou-Rust Distinguished Professor
Director, J.R.Macdonald Lab
She was born during an era when a woman's primary goals were to make a home, support a husband and nurture her children. Women simply did not have professional careers let alone careers in science. Kathryn Bearman set aside her dreams of a professional career for that of a loving mother and wife. In doing so, she shared with her children the same love for the study of science that brought her to academic excellence at Kansas State College.
In recognition of her unsung efforts and for the trails she blazed for future women scientists, sons Harry and David Bearman have established the Kathryn and Charles Bearman Scholarship in Physics to benefit female students who are majoring in physics, chemistry, biology or biochemistry. This scholarship was established with a gift of stock and cash to the Kansas State University Foundation. They have also established the Kathryn and Charles Bearman Discretionary Fund for Physics that will provide funds for use within the Department of Physics. The scholarship and discretionary funds were named to honor both Kathryn and Charles Bearman, who died in 1997 and 1999, respectively.
Kathryn (Blevins) Bearman was born Sept. 27, 1920, in Kansas City, Mo. During her childhood, her family lived in farming communities throughout eastern Kansas, eventually settling in Manhattan. Kathryn graduated from Manhattan High School in 1937 as valedictorian of her class. She entered Kansas State College on a National Honor Society scholarship and continued her academic excellence throughout her collegiate career, gaining membership in four honor societies and induction into the American Physical Society. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree with both sophomore and Senior Honors in 1941. In addition, she obtained a teaching certificate for elementary and high school, and taught for one year in Goodland, KS.
From her first marriage, Kathryn's son, David, was born in 1945. In 1946, Kathryn traveled to Rochester, N.Y., to start a job with Eastman Kodak as a sensitometrist. She remained at Kodak until 1948, when according to her son Harry; she was told during a performance review that women were not promoted at Eastman Kodak. "Mum promptly went back to her desk and quit her job. That experience and other difficulties professionally destroyed her and she decided to come back to K-State to get her master's degree," Harry Bearman said. She earned her Master's degree in physics from K-State in January 1949. At that commencement, only thirty M.S. degrees and one Ph.D. degree were awarded.
While pursuing her master's degree, Kathryn and Charles "Charley' Bearman were introduced by a mutual friend, Wally Penn, a geology student at Kansas State College. Charley was also a student at Kansas State College, pursuing a degree in geology. He interrupted his studies to enlist in the Army in 1942, and served in France, Belgium and Germany until 1945. He then resumed his studies at Kansas State College and earned his bachelor's degree in geology in 1948.
Charley grew up in Wamego and Johnson, KS, where his family farmed. Kathryn and Charley were married April 2, 1949, in Hays, KS. Following graduation, Charley went to work for the Kansas State Highway Commission as an engineering geologist. Later he joined Tide Water Associated Oil Company, Tulsa, Okla., which ultimately became part of Texaco. He remained with the company for 33 years.
Charley's job with Tide Water Associated Oil took the Bearman family across the United States. Moving gave Kathryn and the children the opportunity to experience several different cultures. She used this to her advantage and was constantly searching for new learning experiences for herself, as well as for David and Harry, who was born in 1954. "We come from a family of self-starters and self-educators," David said. "She laid her dreams or calling aside to become a housewife and mother -- she truly is an unsung hero. She did not seek public acknowledgment, though what she accomplished throughout her life was significant."
Upon Charley's retirement from Texaco in 1984, Charley and Kathryn began
traveling, and eventually visited every continent except Australia and
"Mum did all of the research for every trip they ever took, collecting information about the history, political structure, flora and the fauna of these countries and she recorded all of their travels in journals," David said.
"Mum was sort of a trailblazer. In the past 30 years lots of social changes for women in the work force have occurred, very positive things, and I encourage women to keep at it," Harry said. David agrees that women should follow their dreams. "Do not hide your light under a bushel basket, just do it," he said. "This scholarship is a gift from myself, my brother David, and our folks. It sends a wonderful message to those women in the physics field that we are supporting their mission," Harry said.
Kathryn Bearman left a legacy of love of learning with her sons, who fondly remember the lessons learned from a woman who knew no boundaries. While Kathryn may be remembered as a trailblazer for future generations of women seeking a career in a field once dominated by men, her family will simply remember her as a true unsung hero who made the greatest sacrifice.
(Much of this material is reproduced with the permission of the Kansas
State University Foundation.)
And then, FINALLY, Kathleen had her baby! And with our superstar administrative assistant back home with Hayden Michael Pierce (7 lb, 14 oz), a laptop, and fast modem connection to KSU, the high energy group resumed its frenetic pace of activity that lasted through all of 1999.
The HEP group has totally immersed itself in preparations for the upcoming
run of the D0 experiment at Fermilab. This effort, a massive
collaboration of several hundred scientists from over a dozen nations, is concerned with studying collisions of protons and antiprotons at a center-of-mass energy of two trillion electron volts (2 TeV). Excitement is mounting as data-taking approaches because a variety of indirect clues suggest that D0 and its sister experiment CDF have an excellent chance of making the first observation of the object in Nature responsible for electro weak symmetry breaking (the effect that makes the weak nuclear force weak compared to electromagnetism at low energies). Excellent prospects also exist for observing the first indications of super symmetry, a new invariance of Nature emerging at high energies that partners every fermion with a boson cousin and vice-versa.
KSU efforts have focused on construction of a critical piece of the D0 experiment for both types of new physics called a silicon micro strip tracker (SMT). Management of the construction of this multi-million dollar precision tracking device has been the responsibility of Bill Reay for the past 18 months. Bill has suffered through months of commuting between Manhattan and Illinois, as well as innumerable trips to vendor locations throughout the world; but his efforts have paid off. The project is on track for installation in late 2000. Other group members have been busy with pieces of the SMT. At Fermilab, Mikhail Kubantsev leads construction of the small-angle tracker portion of the SMT called the H-disks. Back at KSU, Noel Stanton has been working with Allied Signal Corporation of Kansas City on the delicate job of designing and constructing the fine-low mass cables required to bring electronic signals from the SMT in its location deep inside the D0 detector to the outside world. Using the Electronics Design Laboratory and a new 520 square foot class 10000 clean room assembled by Tim Bolton, Ron Sidwell has led the design, construction, testing, and repair of complex interface boards. This work includes diagnostic and repair functions with our new probe stations and wire bonder in the clean room, which is located in the Physics High Bay facility. In all, some six hundred thousand dollars of D0 detector work has come to Manhattan over the past two and a half years.
With the end in sight on detector construction for D0, it is now time to turn towards preparation of data taking and analysis. Nothing could have helped us better in these takes than our new assistant professor Regina Demina, who joined us in the fall of 1999. Regina is an expert in detection strategies for super symmetry and electro weak symmetry breaking, and she brings to us several years of experience on CDF and D0. In her short time here, she has already submitted five new proposals to funding agencies, several of which deal with the NEXT generation of SMT for the D0 experiment, of which she is already leading the design effort. Also joining us as a research technologist is Regina's husband, Sergei Korjenevski. Sergei has become a key member of our silicon team, and the expert in a tool that Regina demanded we acquire before she came: a video-conferencing system. The latter lets us connect with our colleagues at Fermilab and elsewhere for meetings and technical exchanges without spending so many mind-numbing hours on the road to and from KCI. With the right equipment in hand, and new post-docs Bill Kahl and Flora Rizatdinova and new grad student Sasha Khanov joining us soon, KSU is ready for D0 physics.
Cooperation and collaboration have long been a theme in high energy physics, and the KSU group is pleased by the expanded links formed through the D0 project. As well as the joint ventures with Allied Signal and KSU-EDL mentioned above, the HEP group now fully collaborates with our sister group in Lawrence on D0 silicon. Connections with the KSU semiconductor group have also been expanding, and HEP joined with Hongxing and Jingyu to submit a large DOE-EPSCoR proposal at the end of the year.
While gearing up for D0 has been HEP's main focus in 1999, strong analysis programs based on data collected in previous experiments have not stopped. Post-doc Todd Adams leads the NuTeV group of Bolton's grad students Drew Alton, Jesse Goldman, and Max Goncharov. A number of NuTeV results have been presented at international conferences and Todd has produced one the experiment's first publications from these recently collected data. Meanwhile, grad student Patrick Berghaus is working hard with Reay and Sidwell on analyzing data from DONUT, K-State's other premium neutrino effort. In their "free time", Adams, Demina, and Bolton have engaged in exploratory for long-term projects ion high-energy physics. These include a high-energy linear electron-positron collider and a novel muon collider.
Tim Bolton, High Energy Physics
We have welcomed a new graduate student, Alicia Allbaugh, who is returning for her Ph.D. after working at Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the past few years. Wally Axmann is commuting between KSU and Wichita as he has returned to complete his Ph.D. in Physics after a few years of high school teaching and an M.S. in Mathematics from Wichita State. Alice Churukian and Seunghee Lee are making progress on their research.
In addition, we have a visiting student from The Netherlands this semester, Bart van der Schans, who is working on the bicycle project. For more information on this project, visit our web site at http://www.phys.ksu.edu/perg/bicycle.
We wish Michael Thoresen the best of luck as he joined the University of Northern Iowa physics faculty in August. Michael had been a research associate with us for the past two years. Michael does have another friendly face at UNI,former graduate student Lawrence Escalada is a member of the Science Education and Physics Departments there as well.
Kastro Hamed received his Ph.D. from KSU this semester also and has taken a visiting faculty position at Georgetown University. Gabi Mihalcea received her M.S. degree in the spring and is teaching at the Illinois Science & Mathematics Academy near Chicago.
The Computers in Physics Educational Software Contest awarded KSU with an honorable mention award for Energy Diagram Explorer, which was written by N. Sanjay Rebello, with Chandima Cumaranatunge and Dean A. Zollman in January of 1999. This program models the motion of a magnet-carrying cart in an external field and was created as part of the Visual Quantum Mechanics project. For more information or to use any of the VQM programs visit www.phys.ksu.edu/perg/vqm.
Dean Zollman continues collaborative research with faculty in Europe.
He spent a week in Austria working on the Science of the Bicycle project
and a month in Kiel, Germany, continuing research on student understanding
of quantum mechanics.
The KSU Colbert Hills Golf Course will have its grand opening in May 2000. Pro golfer Jim Colbert, former KSU student, who was instrumental in the concept and planning of the new KSU golf course, has invited a few celebrity pro golfers to participate in the event.
One of those celebrities is Deb Richard who grew up in Manhattan and has been on the LPGA Tour since 1986. She is the daughter of Pat Richard, Cortelyou-Rust Distinguished Professor of Physics and Dea Richard, Administrative Assistant for the Macdonald Lab. Deb has won 6 LPGA tournaments including the World Match Play Championship in Hawaii. While at Manhattan High School, Deb won the state 6A golf championship each year; while at the University of Florida, she won 7 tournaments including 3 consecutive SEC Championships. She still holds the university scoring record set in 1983-84. Deb was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame in 1995 and was recently selected one of the top 40 Athletes of the Century at Florida. Deb won the 1984 U. S. Women’s Amateur Championship; a few months later she won the World Amateur Championship in Hong Kong while representing the U. S. team.
Besides being active on the LPGA pro golf tour, Deb has been very active in helping physically challenged youths. This endeavor was inspired by a young girl with juvenile arthritis, who presented Deb with a bouquet of roses following Deb’s first LPGA win in Rochester, N.Y. in 1987. Seven years ago, Deb began hosting a pro-am tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida to raise money for college-bound, physically-challenged youths. She founded the Deb Richard Foundation four years ago based upon proceeds from her annual pro-am. Her Foundation awards 2-3 scholarships annually worth $5,000 per year for up to five years.
This has been an eventful year with two students finishing their Ph.D’s and two others very close to it. Pavlin Staikov’s thesis was on “First Principle Studies of the Structural and Dynamical Properties of Metalsl.” Dr. Staikov is now working in the research division of Sprint Corporation. Sondan Durukanoglu’s thesis work is entitled “Structural, Vibrational, and Thermodynamical Properties of Metal Surfaces.” She has accepted a faculty position at the Technical University of Istanbul.
As part of a collaborative endeavor in ab initio studies of chemisorption
at metal surfaces, Dr. Abdelkader Kara spent a month in Trieste, Italy,
in a group of Professor S. Baroni at SISSA, while Talat Rahman spent the
summer working with experimentalists at the Fritz Haber Institut in Berlin.
These studies are focused on understanding adsorbate induced effects on
Drs. Kara and Rahman Co-organized the Ninth International Workshop on Surface Dynamics at Charlottesville, Virginia. This was a very lively meeting with participants from a large number of countries. In the past this meeting has been held mostly in Germany.
Collaborative work is also underway with Professor Ala-Nissila’s group at the Helsinki Technical University, Finland. Talat Rahman was recently in Helsinki to serve as “opponent” in the Ph.D. thesis defense of Tuomo Hjelt. Together with the formal black attire, public forum, and related festivities, this turned out to be a memorable occasion.
News from Semiconductor Group
1999 was a truly breathtaking year for the semiconductor group (Hongxing Jiang and Jingyu Lin). The highest priority for the group was to renew five regular grants (from NSF, DOE, and DOD), which apparently came during the same year. They are happy to inform everyone that the renewal of these projects have been granted. With several additional grants for major instrumentation and graduate students training, the total extramural funding of the group has reached a level of about $1 million/year. Future research funding prospects are extremely promising as the group’s research capability further expands. The group just became a current team member of the DOD’s GaN power device consortium. Hongxing was also primarily responsible for establishing the Kansas Advanced Semiconductor Coordinated Laboratory (KASCL), a statewide facility for the research and development of wide band gap semiconductors based on the new materials, the group III-nitrides. KASCL has just received a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation (KTEC) (through the EPSCoR program) to do research in advanced semiconductors.
Several major instruments have been added to their laboratory this year. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) and a SEM based e-beam lithography system are running already. To illustrate the capability of the e-beam lithography system, they have used it to create a KSU-power-cat pattern of about 10-micrometer in size, which will be used later for fabricating micro-size KSU-power-cat light emitters such as LEDs. Together with the existing inductively coupled plasma (ICP) dry etching system in their lab, they now have the capabilities to fabricate semiconductor structures and devices down to a dimension as small as 60 nanometers. A complete frequency Quadrupled Ti-Sapphire femtosecond laser system specifically designed according to their request will be delivered in January, 2000. This laser will generate a femtosecond tunable deep UV (195-200 nm) laser light source with 30 mW average power. This femtosecond laser together with their existing picosecond laser spectroscopy system will be the world’s first picosecond time-resolved optical measurement facility with excitation and detection capabilities expanding from IR to deep UV (1.7 lm< k< 0.195 lm), dedicated to semiconductor research.
Their growth facility, metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), is running well and has been producing III-nitride materials with very high quality. Recently, they have successfully fabricated for the first time III-nitride microdisks and micro-ring LEDs of varying dimensions (5 – 20 lm) by photolithographic patterning together with ICP dry etching. In collaboration with their industrial partners, they have also fabricated and studied tiny GaN pyramids of about 10 micrometers in size, which represent a totally new type of microcavities. These works were cited by the November 1999 and January 2000 issues of the Laser Focus World in the section of “World News.”
A series of work done on III-nitride microstructures and microdevices has put the semiconductor group at KSU-Physics in a world leading position in III-nitride micro-size blue light emitters. With continuing improvements in material quality and device fabrication technologies as well as better understandings of physics, they believe that they will be able to fabricate III-nitride UV/blue micro-lasers in the near future.
They have become more involved in services to the professional societies as well. Hongxing will be co-organizing a focused session on “Wide Band Gap Semiconductors” in the 2000 APS March meeting. He also accepted an invitation to edit a book entitled “Optical Properties of III-Nitrides,” which is to be published in 2000 by Gordon & Breach. Throughout the year, they have also given many invited presentations in international conferences.
In the past decade, semiconductors have been an exciting and breathtaking
field. With white LEDs for lighting in the horizon, compound semiconductors,
especially III-nitrides, after Si are going to change many aspects of our
A 10-micrometer KSU-power-cat pattern created by our e-beam lithography system. This pattern will be used to fabricate KSU-power-cat micro-size blue/UV LEDs.
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