Rocket Car Races, Spring 2012
4th Annual Robots Expo!
Rocket Car Races!
On April 16, 2009, the Society of Physics Students hosted the first ever CSUSM Rocket Car Races
Click to see video of rocket car testing.
Robots! On Dec. 12, the physics 402 students demonstrated their robots:
December 3, 2012
"The Physics and the Future of Fusion Energy Research"
Chris Holland, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Center for Energy Research, UCSD
November 12, 2012
"Remembering Forgotten Peoples: Working to Eradiacate Transmitted Helminthiasis"
Raffi Aroian, Ph.D., Professor, Cell & Developmental Biology, UCSD
October 22, 2012
"400 Years of Astronomy - A Brief History of the Telescope"
Scott Kardel, Palomar Observatory
October 8, 2012
"The Ground Upon Which We Walk - Perspectives from a Mining Engineer"
Ian Firth, Engineer, Hanson Aggregates West Region
September 24, 2012
"Accidental Science - A New Genre of Herbicides & Antibiotics"
Christopher M. Smith, Ph.D., Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, UCSD
September 17, 2012
First Annual CSUSM Undergraduate Summer Research Symposium
Cyprian Czarnocki (Physics), Melinda Lopez (Math) & Keau Wong (Biology)
April 30, 2009
A Robotic Device for the Study of Locomotor Function Following Spinal Cord Injury
Jeff Nessler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology, CSUSM
April 14, 2009
Fighting Infectious Diseases using Physics & Computers
J. Andrew McCammon, PhD., Professor, HHMI Investigator, and Senior Investigator, CTBP & the Department of Pharmacology, UCSD
We Will Rock(et) You!
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand the physics of rocketry! Learn the concepts behind rocketry and energy by launching hobby rockets and calculating the maximum altitudes to discover the energies of the rocket engines. You won't want to miss the rocket car race!
Date: April 1, 2009
Location: Chavez Plaza
Time: 4 - 5 PM Only
March 26, 2009
A Physicist's Look at Brain Tumors
Prof Len Sander, Department of Physics, University of Michigan
March 19, 2009
Biological Networks: How Genes and Proteins Interact
Wei Wang, Ph.D., Asst. Professor & Senior Investigator, CTBP & the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, UCSD
March 10, 2009
Physics for Animation Artists
Alej Garcia, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Physics, San Jose State University
March 5, 2009
Serving up Medicinal SQuID: 20th Century Physics for 21st Century Hospitals
Stephen Tsui, Ph.D., Visiting Professor, Department of Physics, CSUSM
February 19, 2009
The Quest to Understand Protein Folding
Peter Wolynes, Ph.D., Professor & Senior Investigator, CTBP & the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, UCSD
February 12, 2009
Pistonless Rocket Fuel Pump for Safe and Reliable Space Access
Steve Harrington, Ph.D., President, Flometrics Inc.
January 29, 2009
The Physics of Proteins: Research at the Interface of Physics and the Life Sciences
Jose Onuchic, Ph.D., Professor & Co-Director, CTBP & the Department of Physics, UCSD
November 13, 2008
Information Maximization in the Retina
Yuan Sophie Liu, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Scholar (Prof Tatyana Sharpee's Research Group), CTBP & The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
The eye is different from a camera in many ways, and one of them is information maximization. In this talk, a general description of retina structure and the concept of information will be introduced. Then we will focus on the current research on how retinal ganglion cells transmit information from the outside world into brain.
November 6, 2008
Nanostructure materials: synthesis, characterization, and applications
Dr. Daqing Zhang, Department of Physics, CSU Fresno
The scientific and technological community has discovered and developed in the past two decades that nanostructure materials can yield unique properties that are not manifested in macroscopic systems. It is being touted as the next significant advancement in science and technology throughout almost all fields. Nanostructure materials have broad applications cover from chemical/biological sensors, hydrogen storages, to nanorobotics, to name a few. In this presentation, the background about nanotechnology will be introduced. Semiconducting nanostructures relative to my current research will be presented in some detail including techniques to synthesize such one dimensional nanowires; models to explain cylindrical and complex wires growth mechanism; experimental methods to examine the as-synthesized nanowires morphological, physical, chemical, mechanical, and photonic properties; and potentials to explore nanowires applications in different areas.
October 16, 2008
Conformational Motions of Proteins & RNA
Alex Schug, PhD., Post-Doctoral Scholar (Prof Jose Onuchic's Group), CTBP & the Department of Physics, UCSD
October 9, 2008
The Secret Life of Bacteria
Eshel Ben-Jacob, Ph.D., CTBP and UCSD
Check out Ben-Jacob's images of bacteria
October 2, 2008
How to Store More MP3's on Your Player: Resistive Switching and the Quest for Nonvolatile Memory
Stephen Tsui, Ph.D., Dept. of Physics, CSUSM
Nonvolatile memory devices are big business. USB key drives, cell phones, cameras, and MP3 players all utilize Flash technology to store information, but as our hunger for larger storage capacities increases, the viability of Flash to sustain these future device needs decreases. Although new engineering will ultimately maximize what Flash can do, it is new physics and chemistry that will ultimately lead to the personal storage drives of tomorrow. There is currently a global effort to discover systems that exhibit a nonvolatile switching behavior, i.e. flip between fixed states that can be used as 1's and 0's. One candidate system occurs at the interface between an oxide thin film and a deposited metal electrode. Upon the application of a suitable electric pulse, the interfacial resistance can reversibly be switched between high and low. In this seminar, we will discuss what the memory industry is looking for, how several research groups are approaching the problem, and why we can observe such a peculiar behavior in this interfacial system.
This work was supported by the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston.
September 25, 2008
Modelling of Electrostatics and Diffusion Processes in Biological Systems,
Ben-Zhou Lu, PhD., Post-Doctoral Scholar (Prof Andy McCammon's Group), CTBP, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCSD
The Continuum Model is a computational method that is being used by a growing number of researchers to simulate multiscale processes within biological systems. This method is based upon an average description of the macroscopic statistics of (some) individual atomic or molecular properties of a defined molecular or subcellular system. Therefore, this approach can considerably reduce the degrees of freedom and efficiently simulate molecular solvation effects and diffusion-reaction kinetics, while alleviating the need for expensive sampling. I will discuss our recent developments in Poisson-Boltzman methodologies (a mathematical description of molecular electrostatic interactions in ionic environments), specifically the finite element method and fast multipole boundary integral method, as well as the fully-continium models of diffusion (e.g., Smoluchowski; Poisson-Nerst-Planck). Some applications and results/predictions using this methods will also be discussed. This talk is especially relevant who wish to better understand how fundamental mathematics, physics and chemistry are playing larger and important roles in our quest to better understand biological phenomena.
September 24, 2008
Society of Physics Students meeting
Noon to 1 in Science Hall 2 room 245
CSUSM students are starting an SPS chapter on campus. SPS is a national organization that stands for the Society of Physics Students. However it is not only for physics students. It is an Academic Organization that caters to all of the sciences including but not limited to Computer Science, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Math. While being an Academic Organization, it is also tied to Sigma Pi Sigma which is a national honor society. If you are interested in joining or receiving information about the CSUSM chapter, contact Jared Rodio. The first meeting is Wednesday, September 24th, from 12 to 1 in Science Hall 2 room 245. Topics include a first project and constitution.
September 18, 2008
Working on Mars: An inside view of surface operations support for the Mars Rovers and Phoenix Lander
Nicholas Ruoff, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
CSUSM Alumnus Nick Ruoff works at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Mars Rover and Phoenix Lander team. Nick will describe the Mars missions, his role in image processing, and the experience of working at JPL. He will also be showing some previously unreleased images from Mars. At CSUSM, Nick majored in Computer Science and minored in Physics.
August 28, 2008
Pulling Single Molecules Apart by Laser Tweezers, Atomic Force Microscopes and Nanopores: Theory and Experiment
Olga Dudko, Ph.D., Asst Professor, CTBP & the Dept. of Physics, UCSD
Mechanical forces are generated during nearly every facet of the living cell cycle. Recent advances in experimental techniques enable experimentalists to exert forces on individual molecules and observe their response in real time. These experiments have spectacular resolution of piconewton forces and sub-nanometer extensions, and thus have the potential to provide unprecedented insights into structure, dynamics, interactions and mechanical properties of individual molecules. However, interpretation of the experimental observables in terms of the underlying molecular interactions and structures is an extremely challenging task because the applied force drives the system out of equilibrium. I will present a theory for extracting microscopic information from single-molecule pulling experiments. The use of the theory will be illustrated by analyzing the nanopore unzipping of individual DNA hairpins and the unfolding of single protein molecules with an atomic force microscope.
April 24, 2008
Amplification, Threshold, and Combinatorial Control: The Device Physics of Bacterial Gene Regulation
Terence Hwa, PhD., Professor, Department of Physics & CTBP, UCSD
Biological organisms possess an enormous repertoire of genetic responses to ever-changing combinations of cellular and environmental signals. Unlike digital electronic circuits however, signal processing in cells is carried out by a limited number of asynchronous devices in fluctuating aqueous environments. In this talk, I will discuss the control of genetic responses in bacteria. Theoretical analysis of the known mechanisms of transcriptional control suggests that the cell's transcriptional system constitutes a rudimentary type of computing machine, belonging to the class of "Boltzmann machine". These machines are expected to be programmable, in the sense that different combinatorial control functions of the same inputs may be specified by specifying a short stretch of DNA sequence (the promoter). Further analysis of post-transcriptional control suggests mechanisms for signal amplification, threshold response, and noise attenuation. I will present experimental characterization of some of these bio-computational "devices", and illustrate how the promoter sequences may be "trained" by directed evolution experiments. Quantitative characterization and controlled manipulation of these devices may bring about predictive understanding of biological control systems, and reveal interesting, novel strategies of distributed computing.
March 27, 2008
Computations in the Visual Cortex
Minjoon Kouh, PhD., Post-Doctoral Scholar (Prof Tatyana Sharpee's Research Group), CTBP & The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
February 28, 2008
Molecular Machines in RNA and Protein Synthesis
Stefan Klumpp, PhD., Post-Doctoral Scholar (Prof Terry Hwa's Research Group), CTBP & the Department of Physics, UCSD
January 31, 2008
MicroRNAs: Microprocessors that Fine-Tune Tissue Development
Peter McHale, PhD., Post-Doctoral Scholar, Prof Herbie Levine's Research Group - Biological Dynamics of Cellular Systems, CTBP & the Department of Physics, UCSD
November 8, 2007
Which way to go? Modeling Cell Movement
Wouter-Jan Rappel, Ph.D. Senior Scientist, CTBP & the Department of Physics, UCSD
Directed cell movement, or chemotaxis, plays an important role in many key biological processes, including wound healing, fetal development and cancer metastasis. In this talk, I will give an overview of our efforts to use tools from physics to help us understand how cells direct their motion.
Novermber 1, 2007
Celebration for the New Applied Physics Degree
We partied with dry ice punch, liquid nitrogen ice cream, rockets of two types, hovercrafts, and solar viewing.
Pictures are here.
October 18, 2007
Nervous Systems as Seen by Physicists
Henry Abarbanel, Ph.D. Department of Physics & Institute for Nonlinear Science, UCSD
Biological nervous systems are nonlinear collections of neruons with links made of dynamical synapses that collectively perform important functions for animals. Physicists can contribute to their study in an essential quantitative manner. After describing how nervous systems work and how physicists can productively contibute to their study, I will describe one really interesting system: the development and maintenance of birdsong.
September 20, 2007
Dynamics and Energetics of the Large-Scale Conformational Transitions of Proteins Suggest a New View of Allostery
Karunesh Arora, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Scholar, Department of Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute
September 13, 2007
Grad school in the sciences: What's it like and how do you get there?
A discussion with UCSD science grad students
August 30, 2007
Computer Simulations of Proteins and Nucleic Acids using Implicit Solvent Models
David Case, Ph.D. Department of Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute
April 25, 2007
Using the Physics of Electric Charges to Understand Diseases
Kristin Purdy, Ph.D., Adj. Prof., Department of Physics, CSUSM
April 18, 2007
Connecting Physical Models to Biological Phenomena
Charles L. Brooks, III, Ph.D., Prof., Department of Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute
March 21, 2007
A Critique of Pure Vision
Terrence J. Sejnowski, Ph.D., Prof., Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Sciences
February 21, 2007
Engineering in Biology: designer circuits, re-wired pathways and dN/dt
Matt Scott, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow (Prof Terry Hwa's Research Group - Statistical Biophysics), UCSD
January 31, 2007
Astrocytes: Eavesdropping on Neuronal Conversations,
Suhita Nadkarni, Ph.D., Post-Dostoral Fellow (Prof Herbie Levine's Research Group - Biological Dynamics of Cellular Systems), UCSD
November 29, 2006
Quantitative Analysis of Genomic Data
Wei Wang, Ph.D., Asst. Prof., Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, UCSD
October 27, 2006
Using Physics to Understand Biology
Jose Onuchic, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Physics & the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics, UCSD