Category Archives: Physics

March Meeting 2017 – Presenting at the Meeting – Guest blog by Zane

Being an undergraduate presenter in a room full of research faculty Guest Blog by Zane Thornburg ’18 For this year’s APS March Meeting, I decided that it would be a great idea to give an oral presentation on my summer … Continue reading

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Frustration & Perpetual Motion

Momentum conservation (or Newton’s third law) ensures two-way or bidirectional coupling for typical media like guitar strings and spring mattresses. One-way or unidirectional coupling enables the propagation of solitary waves or solitons with diverse behaviors in otherwise dissipative media, but … Continue reading

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Wooster Physics at the University of Oregon

Last week I had a wonderful trip to the University of Oregon in Eugene to give a colloquium for the Department of Physics.  This was my first visit to the university, and actually my first visit to Oregon at all! … Continue reading

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PhysCon 2016: A Wooster Student in San Francisco –Guest Blog by Zane Thornburg

When I began studying physics, I had no idea that scientists travel so much. In the fall of 2016, I attended the Quadrennial Physics Congress, PhysCon. Before I get to talking about the conference itself, I think it is worth … Continue reading

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Harvesting Wind Energy for Signal Detection

Wind is free and ubiquitous and can be harnessed in multiple ways. We recently published an article in the Physical Review demonstrating mechanical stochastic resonance in a tabletop experiment that harvests wind energy to amplify weak periodic signals detected via the movement … Continue reading

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Wooster Physics in Vienna, Austria!

After several years of being department chair, I am very much enjoying being on research leave this year.  A research leave is an opportunity for Wooster faculty to take a semester or a year just to focus on our research, without … Continue reading

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Raptor Interplanetary Transport Engine

Why has SpaceX chosen methane to fuel its Raptor rocket engine? Robert Goddard’s first rockets used liquid oxygen O2 or LOX and gasoline. The Saturn V moon rocket first stage used LOX and refined kerosene. The Saturn V second stage used … Continue reading

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Maggie Lankford `16: National Finalist for Top Award in Undergraduate Physics Research!

I’m excited to report that Maggie Lankford, who graduated summa cum laude this year as a Wooster physics major, has been selected as a finalist for the American Physical Society’s LeRoy Apker Award– known as the preeminent honor for undergraduate physics research in … Continue reading

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Found in a Box

I recently ascended to Czar of Physics. (Oops — I mistyped Chair and it autocompleted to Czar!) It’s not my first year as Czar, but this time, during the handover from the previous Czar, I inherited a small cardboard box. Inside I found … Continue reading

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Singing in the Wind

Wires suspended above our streets are a late 19th century technology stubbornly persisting into the 21st century. They can hum in a breeze. A wire disturbs the air flow by shedding eddies alternately up and down, sometimes fast enough to be heard as … Continue reading

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