Upcoming Events

Over the next few months, the department is hosting or will be involved with a number of exciting events and conferences.

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GradSAC News

by Eric Sorte - GSAC Chairman

The Graduate Student Advisory Counsel (GSAC) has been making some changes recently to create a more interactive and cohesive environment for graduate students in the department. First, Graduate Student Seminars have been reinstated. Seminars are held the first Wednesday of each month at 3pm in JFB 102. These seminars are given by graduate students to an audience of fellow graduate students. So far, we’ve had a great deal of interest in giving talks, and each seminar has been very well attended. The graduate students have heard talks from William Baker, Nick Borys, and Zayd Ma to date, and there is substantial interest from the graduate student body in giving talks in the coming months. These seminars have been a great success. Additional monthly activities and gatherings have been largely successful as well and are ongoing, helping new and current graduate students to mix and interact. If you are a current graduate student in the department interested in giving a talk, please contact myself or Chair-Elect Zayd Ma. It is a great way to practice for an APS talk or qualifying exam, or simply to let us know what you are working on.

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International Year of Astronomy Draws To A Close

The Department of Physics & Astronomy hosted the final showing of the IYA 2009 Film Festival on December 12, 2009, marking the end of the University of Utah’s International Year of Astronomy (IYA) celebration. The IYA marks the 400th anniversary of Galileo Galilei’s first recorded astronomical observations and the publication of Johannes Kepler’s Astronomia nova.

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Past Events

Since the beginning of Fall semester, the Department of Physics & Astronomy has been involved in many activities and events that have increased its visibility in the community, and helped strengthen internal relations as well.

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W.L. Eccles Observatory Sees First Light

First images being viewed by Willard L. Eccles Observatory at Frisco Peak.

The new Willard L. Eccles Observatory’s 32” reflecting telescope took its first pictures the night of Oct. 15, 2009. The new observatory, with telescope built by DFM Engineering, is located at an elevation of about 9,600 feet on Frisco Peak, near Milford, Utah. The university announced plans for the telescope in 2006, and Associate Professor Wayne Springer says he is “relieved, excited and exuberant” that it has started observing the sky.

Read more: W.L. Eccles Observatory Sees First Light