The University of Utah
Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Utah

Prof. Shanti Deemyad Receives Award From Utah Research Foundation

Prof. Shanti Deemyad has received a research award from the Utah Research Foundation for her proposal "Formation of hydrocarbons at extreme pressures". The research will focus on isotope effect in abiotic process's in transformation of hydrocarbons at extreme pressures and will search for theoretically predicted transformation of Benzene to graphane (hydrogenated graphite).


James S. Ball (1934-2013)

Jim Ball

Prof. Jim Ball (Emeritus) passed away peacefully on Monday evening, July 29, 2013. Jim received his undergraduate degree from Caltech in 1956 and his Ph.D from UC Berkeley in 1960. After a postdoctoral appointment at UCSD and a professorship at UCLA , Jim joined the Physics Department at the University of Utah in 1968 as an associate professor, and was promoted to the rank of Full professor in 1972.

Jim worked in the field of theoretical particle physics with an emphasis on understanding of the strong interactions, and reconciling theoretical models of the strong interaction with experimental observations at accelerators. In recognition of this work, Jim as an A.P. Sloan Fellow in the 1960’s. Jim was also elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1995 in recognition of his pioneering work in the theory of the strong force. Jim retired from the department in 1997 and spent a good deal of his retirement with his wife Janet a beautiful mountain home he built near Torrey, Utah.

Jim was an active force in the growth of the size and scope of the Department in the 1970’s through the late-1990’s, and successfully helped to grow the national prominence of the Department through many initiatives. He served as associate department chair He worked with Prof. Gene Loh and several other faculty members on the State of Utah bid to build the DOE Superconducting Supercollider (SSC) near the Cedar/Grassy Mountains in Western Utah’s Salt Lake Desert. He led the 1987 APS Division of Particles and Fields (DPF) meeting in Salt Lake City in January 1987, and established a long term friendship with the Aspen Center for Physics and with particle theorist David Schramm (U Chicago), who used to visit the department every winter for several weeks of collaboration and skiing. Jim was an avid skier and many people spent some wonderful weekends together with him and his colleagues on the slopes of the Wasatch Front.

His obituary is available here.



Al Larsen (1938-2013)

Al Larsen

Alan Boyd Larsen, a key technician in the early days of the department's Cosmic Ray research group (Fly's Eye, HiRes Fly's Eye, and Casa-MIA-Dice-Blanca arrays), passed away July 22, 2013, the day after his birthday. He was 75 years old. The department extends its deepest sympathies to Al's family. Many of the successes of the Fly's Eye research directly derived from Al's hard work and innovation. He was known as a very kind person with a sharp wit and a positive attitude that kept things moving forward even when confronted with gigantic challenges. Al will be greatly missed.

The family will receive guests in Richfield, Utah. Funeral services will be held on Friday, July 26, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in the Annabella 1st Ward Chapel.

His obituary is available here.


Wave At Saturn Event

Dr. Tabitha Buehler & Dr. Ben Bromley

Come be a part of human history! Wave at Saturn as the NASA Cassini probe takes our photo!

There will be telescopes, lectures, and hands-on activities for the whole family!

Free event open to the public.

Location: Natural History Museum of Utah at the University of Utah
View Map

Date: Friday, July 19, 2013, 2:00 - 4:00pm (photo at 3:27pm)

From JPL's website:

"One of the most exciting Cassini events in 2013 will be the unusual opportunity on July 19 to image the whole Saturn system as it is backlit by the sun. With Saturn covering the harsh light of the sun, we will be gathering unique ring science and also catching a glimpse of our very own home planet.

The main science goal for the mosaic we are making of the Saturn system is to look at the more diffuse rings that encircle Saturn and check for change over time. A previous mosaic of the Saturn system Cassini made in 2006 revealed that the dusty E ring, which is fed by the water-ice plume of the moon Enceladus, had unexpectedly large variations in brightness and color around its orbit. We'll want to see how that looks seven Earth years and a Saturnian season later, giving us clues to the forces at work in the Saturn system. We'll do this analysis by collecting data from our visual and infrared mapping spectrometer, composite infrared mapping spectrometer and ultraviolet imaging spectrograph in addition to the imaging cameras."

Learn more here.


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