Ephs at the APS March Meeting

The 2023 March Meeting of the American Physical Society brought together thousands of physicists from around the world — with quite a few Ephs among them! From left to right: Hyeongjin Kim ‘21, Daniel Sussman ’07, Amy Graves ‘79, Ben Augenbraun ‘15 (also the newest member of Williams’s Chemistry Department!),… Continue reading »

Q & A about job interviews and career planning

Come join a conversation with Aaron Kammerer `98, Director of Dev Ops at iRobot, about job interviews, career planning, and working in the technical industry.  Pizza will be served.   TPL 114 February 27th, 5:30 pm   Interested?  Fill out the form at or scan… Continue reading »

Prof. Kealhofer named 2020 Cottrell Scholar!

Professor Catherine Kealhofer has been selected by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement as one of 25 new Cottrell Scholars for 2020. This three-year, $100,000 award will enable her to further her lab’s research on non-equilibrium phonon dynamics in two-dimensional materials and to integrate primary literature into the first-year… Continue reading »

Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

Nine physics majors received their Williams diplomas on June 3, 2018. All of the physics departments in the United States, including those at large universities, awarded an average of 9.7 bachelor’s degrees per department; for four-year institutions the average was 6.1 (see here).  Our relatively large number… Continue reading »

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

Fourteen physics majors and three astrophysics majors received their Williams diplomas on June 4, 2017. All of the physics departments in the United States, including those at large universities, awarded an average of 10.8 bachelor’s degrees per department in 2015,* the most recent year for which data is… Continue reading »

Ben Augenbraun ’15 wins Apker Award

  The American Physical Society selected Ben Augenbraun ’15 as winner of the 2015 LeRoy Apker Award. This national award is the highest honor for physics research by an undergraduate student in the United States. Only two winners are chosen each year. Ben worked with Prof. Tiku Majumder at Williams… Continue reading »

Prof. Daniel Aalberts awarded NIH Grant (2014)

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Williams College physics professor Daniel Aalberts a three-year, $255,304 grant to study how to obtain sufficient yields of proteins. “Understanding the 3D structure of the protein a gene encodes can help biologists understand its function,” explains Aalberts, whose research focuses on the physics… Continue reading »

Ringing bell in vacuum

Purpose To illustrate some basic properties of sound waves; namely, that they don’t propagate in a vacuum.   Parts Glass vacuum cover with bell assembly(shelf D4 or D1) Vacuum pump base plate (shelf D1) Vacuum pump (between shelves C and D) Power source?  (shelf ?)… Continue reading »

Abstract: Robert Cooper ’06

“Stay on Target!  The origins of persistence in amoeboid society” Directed motion enables neutrophils (white blood cells) to hunt invaders, neural axons to find their targets, and embryonic cells to properly develop into a complete organism. Amoeboid motility has an underlying directional persistence – even in the absence of external signals – which helps… Continue reading »

Abstract: Paul Cadden-Zimansky

Pencil + Tape = Topological Quantum Computation?  — The New Two-Dimensional Universe of Graphene From its isolation in 2004 to the 2010 Nobel Prize, the impressive material properties of graphene have been widely touted: it’s a single atom thick, stronger than steel, a better conductor than… Continue reading »

Abstract: Jeff Bary

“The Importance of Being Duplicitous:  Why Binarity Matters”  In spite of the depiction of Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine as orbiting two suns, astronomers have long assumed that such systems would be difficult if not impossible to form and remain stable.  As a result, early radial velocity… Continue reading »

Abstract: Dr.Nathan Hodas ’04

Using Social Network Data to Understand Human Behavior As a growing fraction of our lives is conducted online, we create ever richer trails of digital breadcrumbs for learning about statistical human behavior.  By analyzing different online social networks and citation patterns in papers using the techniques of statistical physics, we… Continue reading »

Abstract: Allen Downey

Complexity, Computation and Science in the 21st Century In 1969 Thomas Schelling published a model of racial segregation based on simple agents moving around a 2-dimensional grid.  This work was one of the first examples of what we now call Complexity Science, an interdisciplinary field that includes elements of physics, mathematics,… Continue reading »

NES APS/AAPT Fall Program

Friday, November 9 Noon – 1:00 PM:  Meet and greet, Science Court.  Light sandwiches and refreshments will be provided. 1:00 – 5:30 PM:   APS-AAPT Invited Talks: Wege Auditorium (TCL123) 1:00  – 3:00 PM:  Quantum Information Paola Cappellaro (MIT):  “Building blocks for a scalable quantum… Continue reading »

Abstract: David Hammer

What do the Students Need?   The instruction we offer students, at any level, presumably reflects what we believe will help them understand physics.  But we don’t often subject our beliefs to scrutiny.  Most physics instructors work from common sense assumptions about what students need—clear explanations,… Continue reading »

Abstract: David Butts ’06

Inertial Navigation with Cold Atom Interferometry Abstract: Atom interferometric sensors exploit the wave nature of matter to make highly accurate measurements of inertial forces.  Following major developments in the laser cooling of atoms and in atom interferometry, existing laboratory sensors compete with or surpass the accuracy of state of the… Continue reading »

Abstract: Debra Rolison

Integrating the multifunction necessary for electrochemical power into energy- and size-scalable ultraporous nanoarchitectures  Debra R. Rolison 1Surface Chemistry Branch, Code 6170, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375 Designing high-performance energy-storage devices that combine nanometric feature size with well-wired transport paths and that bridge to the macroscale… Continue reading »

Abstract: Eric Dufresne

Electrostatics Meets Entropy                      Physics and Astronomy Colloquium  Friday, November 4, 2011                        2:30 pm Thompson Physical Laboratory 205… Continue reading »