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Department of Physics


Picnic Day 2012
The always-popular Picnic Day Physics Show
Professor Albrecht
Professor Albrecht at TEDxUCDavis

On Picnic Day 2013 we will have an alumni reception, a series of public lectures and the always-popular Physics Show.  Keep an eye out for other physics department events as well, such as public lectures.  We have one scheduled already:  Sean Carroll will speak in the evening of Wednesday May 22nd at the UC Davis Conference Center.  Sean is a very entertaining and compelling public speaker and the author of two books, "From Eternity to Here:  The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time" and "The Particle at the End of the Universe:  How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World."  More details will be available on our department web pages closer to the date.  Dr. Carroll's presentation will be in the middle of the week of the "Cosmic Frontiers Conferences" at UC Davis that will bring cosmologists from around the world to discuss the latest ideas and latest data, most notably from the Planck satellite launched in 2009 whose first cosmological results will be out in March.

In the previous year we had well-attended and fascinating public lectures from Professor Lisa Randall, hosted by HEFTI, and Department Chair Andreas Albrecht at TEDxUCDavis.  Albrecht's 12-minute TEDx talk is available here and well worth checking out.  Our Picnic Day 2012 public lectures were, "The Higgs Boson: A Tale of Two Cities," "The Multiverse," "Dark Energy and Dark Matter" and "Infinity in Mathematics and Physics."  We also sponsored, with others at the University, "A Conversation on Creativity."  This interdisciplinary event featured Physics Nobel Laureate Martin Perl and his son The New Republic's art critic Jed Perl discussing the creative process in the sciences and the arts.

Chancellor Katehi Bonds with Physics
The Chancellor bonding with Physics

We had a special visit from Chancellor Katehi who wanted to tour Professor Mani Tripathi's "Facility for Interconnect Technologies,"  for three-dimensional integration of electronics.  Professor Tripathi told us, "The Chancellor is deeply interested in the subject of 3-D integration, having worked in this field herself, and appreciated the work we are doing for the upgrade of the CMS detector [one of the two big detectors at CERN used for this past summer's Higgs discovery]. She even sat down and learned to operate some of our bonding equipment."

Turkey Trot 2012
Team Physics before the Running of the Turkeys

The physics department is not only engaged in physics, but also in fighting hunger in Yolo County.  With participation from students, staff and faculty we field a team of nineteen for the fourth annual Running of the Turkeys, a 5k run on Thanksgiving morning to benefit the Food Bank of Yolo County (FBYC).  We took 2nd place in the largest team entry category!  Altogether we raised almost $1,000 for the FBYC (via donations and entry fees) and had a fabulous time doing it.

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