Episode 006: Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek

On this episode of “Mustang Physics,” 2004 Physics Nobel Laureate and MIT Professor of Physics Frank Wilczek tells us about his deep affection for mathematics and for the mathematical beauty of nature, about the work that earned him a Nobel Prize, and what it’s like to “get the call from Sweden.” I am joined this time by co-host Holly Howard, SMU undergraduate and newly minted physics major. We talk about why physics is interesting, language is fluid, “chemistry is death,” and how to survive the academic transition from high school to college. “Mustang Physics” is your gateway into the world of physics and the lives and thoughts of physicists.

Listen now! Mustang Physics, May 2011 audio

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From left to right: Frank Wilczek, Steve Sekula and Holly Howard

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Professor Frank Wilczek

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Professor Stephen Sekula

 

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SMU undergraduate Holly Howard
(Photo courtesy of Holly Howard)

Hosts: Professor Stephen Sekula and SMU undergraduate Holly Howard.

Frank Wilczek is the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in the strong interaction, one of the four known fundamental forces of Nature. Professor Wilczek delivered this year’s Lightner-Sams Lecture at SMU, an event made possible by the generous support of the Lightner-Sams Foundation.

 

SHOW NOTES

  • Information from the show
  • Send us an audio postcard!
    • We at Mustang Physics would like to hear from SMU physics alumni, friends of the department, or listeners with an interest in the frontiers of physics. Record 2-3 minutes of audio (introduce yourself and speak about how you are connected to the ideas or methods of physics). To arrange delivery of the audio, please contact Prof. Stephen Sekula (my contact information is available from http://www.physics.smu.edu/web/people/).
  • Credits:
    • Produced by Kathleen Tibbetts
    • Theme music written by Jason South and performed by Jason South and Stephen Sekula.
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Episode 005: Sonifying Subatomic Physics

On this episode of “Mustang Physics,” Matt Bellis (Stanford University) discusses his spontaneous collaboration with both physicists and non-physicists that has turned particle collision data into music with the goal of giving new communities an experience with physics data. “Mustang Physics” is your gateway into the world of physics and the lives and thoughts of physicists.

Listen now! Mustang Physics, April 2011 audio

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From left to right: Steve Sekula and Matt Bellis

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Professor Stephen Sekula 

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Matt Bellis (Stanford University)
(Photo by Florencia Prada)

Host: Professor Stephen Sekula

Matt Bellis is a post-doctoral researcher at Stanford University. He works on the BaBar Experiment at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. He presented the SMU Physics Department Seminar on March 7, 2011, where he discussed his work on the search for fundamental symmetry violations that might explain our asymmetric cosmos. He spoke with me about his effort to use particle physics data to produce music. This effort would allow whole new communities to experience and use particle physics data.

 

SHOW NOTES

  • Information from the show
  • Send us an audio postcard!
    • We at Mustang Physics would like to hear from SMU physics alumni, friends of the department, or listeners with an interest in the frontiers of physics. Record 2-3 minutes of audio (introduce yourself and speak about how you are connected to the ideas or methods of physics). To arrange delivery of the audio, please contact Prof. Stephen Sekula (my contact information is available from http://www.physics.smu.edu/web/people/).
  • Credits:
    • Produced by Kathleen Tibbetts
    • Theme music written by Jason South and performed by Jason South and Stephen Sekula.
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Episode 004: Reforming Physics Education (Part 2)

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From left to right: Matthew Rispoli, Steve Sekula, and Michael Schatz

On this episode of “Mustang Physics,” we resume our conversation with special guest Prof. Michael Schatz (Georgia Institute of Technology), who spoke with us about physics education and efforts to alter the way physics is taught. “Mustang Physics” is your gateway into the world of physics and the lives and thoughts of physicists.

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Professor Stephen Sekula 

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SMU Undergraduate Matthew Rispoli
(Photo courtesy of Matthew Rispoli)

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Prof. Michael Schatz (Georgia Institute of Technology)
(Photo courtesy of Michael Schatz)

Hosts: Professor Stephen Sekula and SMU undergraduate Matthew Rispoli.

Listen now! Mustang Physics, February 2011 audio

Prof. Michael Schatz is a Professor of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He spoke with us on December 7, 2010, about the importance of an education in physics and efforts at Georgia Tech to change the way physics is taught at the introductory level. In this second part of a two-part series, we discuss student fears in the physics classroom and Prof. Schatz’s research and interests outside of physics education.

 

SHOW NOTES

  • Send us an audio postcard!
    • We at Mustang Physics would like to hear from SMU physics alumni, friends of the department, or listeners with an interest in the frontiers of physics. Record 2-3 minutes of audio (introduce yourself and speak about how you are connected to the ideas or methods of physics). To arrange delivery of the audio, please contact Prof. Stephen Sekula (my contact information is available from http://www.physics.smu.edu/web/people/).
  • The Georgia Tech Physics Education Research Group
  • Michael Schatz’s website: http://phweb.physics.gatech.edu/schatz/
  • Credits:
    • Produced by Kathleen Tibbetts
    • Theme music written by Jason South and performed by Jason South and Stephen Sekula.
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Episode 003: Reforming Physics Education (Part 1)

On this episode of “Mustang Physics,” we discuss secret planes and the importance of good mentors. We also welcome our special guest, Prof. Michael Schatz (Georgia Institute of Technology), who spoke with us about physics education and efforts to alter the way physics is taught. “Mustang Physics” is your gateway into the world of physics and the lives and thoughts of physicists.

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Professor Stephen Sekula 

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SMU Undergraduate Matthew Rispoli
(Photo courtesy of Matthew Rispoli)

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Prof. Michael Schatz (Georgia Institute of Technology)
(Photo courtesy of Michael Schatz)

Hosts: Professor Stephen Sekula and SMU undergraduate Matthew Rispoli.

Listen now! Mustang Physics, January 2011 audio

Prof. Michael Schatz is a Professor of Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He spoke with us on December 7, 2010, about the importance of an education in physics and efforts at Georgia Tech to change the way physics is taught at the introductory level. In this first part of a two-part series, we discuss the challenges of this new approach and the novel experiences that are given to students in the introductory physics courses at Georgia Tech.

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From left to right: Matthew Rispoli, Steve Sekula, and Michael Schatz

 

SHOW NOTES

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Episode 002: 36 milli-Hubble-barn’s a pound the world around

Hosts: Professor Stephen Sekula and SMU undergraduate Vladimir Jovanovic.

Listen now! Mustang Physics, December 2010 audio

We discuss Vladimir’s interest in the interface of psychology and computer science and welcome our special guests, Dr. Aidan Randle-Conde (Southern Methodist University) and Dr. Paul “Jack” Jackson (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory). We talk about international science, being a scientist on big experiments, going beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics, and a love of travel and music.

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Professor Stephen Sekula 

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SMU Undergraduate Vladimir Jovanovic

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Dr. Aidan Randle-Conde (Southern Methodist University)
(Photo courtesy of Aidan Randle-Conde)

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Dr. Paul Jackson (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)
(Photo courtesy of Paul Jackson)

Dr. Aidan Randle-Conde is a post-doctoral researcher at Southern Methodist University, based at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland and conducting research on the ATLAS Experiment. Dr. Paul “Jack” Jackson is a post-doctoral researcher at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory who is also based at CERN and conducts research on ATLAS. We spoke with AIdan and Jack in the CERN Cafeteria, social and intellectual hub of this great international laboratory, in August, 2010. They were candid about their journey from England, to North America for school and research, and their work now on the ATLAS Experiment at CERN. We also talked about their passions outside of research, including wanderlust and songwriting.

SHOW NOTES

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Episode 001: Through a Cosmic Lens Darkly

Hosts: Professor Stephen Sekula and SMU undergraduate Jason South.

Listen now! Mustang Physics, November 2010 audio

We discuss Jason’s work with the top quark, and welcome our special guest Professor Marusa Bradac (University of California-Davis) for a discussion of dark matter, the unseen 85% of the matter in the universe.

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Professor Stephen Sekula
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SMU Undergraduate Jason South 

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Professor Marusa Bradac (University of California-Davis)
(Photo courtesy of Marusa Bradac)

Marusa is a Professor of Physics at the University of California-Davis. She presented the Lightner Colloquium in the SMU Department of Physics in the Spring of 2010, where she spoke about her work using the gravity from thousands of galaxies (“galaxy clusters”) to detect the presence of unseen dark matter. We sat down with her and discussed her research, its future directions, and her life outside of her research.

SHOW NOTES

  • Marusa Bradac’s professional homepage: http://www.physics.ucdavis.edu/~marusa/
  • Publications related to the Bullet Cluster and dark matter
    • Douglas Clowe, Marusa Bradac, Anthony H. Gonzalez, Maxim Markevitch, Scott W. Randall, Christine Jones, and Dennis Zaritsky. A Direct Empirical Proof of the Existence of Dark Matter. Astrophys.J. 648:109-113, 2006.
    • M. Bradac, T. Treu, D. Applegate, A.H. Gonzalez, D. Clowe, W. Forman, C. Jones, P. Marshall, P. Schneider, D. Zaritsky. Focusing Cosmic Telescopes: Exploring Redshift z~5-6 Galaxies with the Bullet Cluster 1E0657-56. Astrophys.J.706:1201-1212, 2009.
  • Other public information about lensing, the Bullet Cluster, etc.
  • Credits:
    • Produced by Kathleen Tibbetts
    • Theme music written by Jason South and performed by Jason South and Stephen Sekula.
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