Department News 2018-2019


Happy Retirement Dr. Ralph E. Oberly

Happy Retirement Dr. Ralph E. Oberly Dr. Oberly has been a cornerstone in the Physics Department for nearly five decades, starting in 1970. His devotion, dedication, and passion for helping Marshall University students succeed over the years has been unwavering. He has served as a respected role model for many young and experienced faculty. His presence in the classroom and in the department will be missed by both students and faculty alike. The Physics Department came together to get Ralph his official academic regalia from the Ohio State University, which was an admired item by Ralph for many years. We wish Ralph the best in his retirement and look forward to seeing him as emeritus faculty at future graduations!


Physics Convocation Day, Research Presentations, and Awards – 4/26/2019

The Physics Department has had a flurry of activity these last weeks of classes and finals week. On May 6th capstone presentations from Emily Sutherland, Rae Stanley, and Noah Wigton were delivered. On April 26th the department held its Research and Convocation Day. On this day, the department and visitors heard research talks from undergraduate and graduate physics students who have been conducting research in the labs of faculty members. Thank you to the following undergraduate and graduate students and visiting scholars for presenting who made it an outstanding event: Rae Stanley, Maria White, Emily Sutherland, Noah Wigton, Maria White, Ryan Howell, David Facemyer, Dillon Buskirk, Ryan Vincent, and Dr. Arka Chattopadhyay. Academic awards that were earned by the students were also conferred on this day. Emily Sutherland and Maria White earned the Outstanding Undergraduate Award and Michael Moon was recognized for his earning of the Academic Achievement Award. Maria White and Michael Moon also received the Alva and Dixon Callihan/John Marshall scholarship. Jon Keaton, Jayden Leonard, and Rae Stanley received the Dixon Callihan, Donald C. Martin, & Ralph Hron Memorial Scholarship. Additionally, Dallas Summers was awarded the Dr. Thomas J. and Mary A. Manakkil Memorial Scholarship. Congratulations to all the award winners


TAG students from Cabell County – 4-30-2019

The Physics Department was happy to host nearly two dozen 4th grade TAG (Talented And Gifted) students from Cabell County. The students got to see many things from holography, pendulum waves, conservation of angular momentum, to ‘seeing’ sound with fire, and much more. They all received official Marshall Physics bags for their lunches and had a blast with Drs. Ralph Oberly and Sean P. McBride.


Cabell Midland HS S.T.E.A.M. FAMILY FUN KNIGHT – 4/23/2019

On Tuesday April 23rd, the Physics Department visited Cabell Midland High School for their S.T.E.A.M. FAMILY FUN KNIGHT! Dr. Saken brought the portable planetarium, Dr. Sean P. McBride brought a portable atomic force microscope, and Dr. Sachiko McBride brought lots of fun physics demos. A fan favorite was Dr. Sachiko McBride’s demo illustrating Snell’s Law which dictates how light bends at the interface between objects having different optical densities.


Bluefield HS Motor Workshop – 4/23/2019

On 4/23/2019 students from Bluefield HS had the opportunity to build DC motors in a workshop hosted by the Physics Department! Students got to learn how magnetic fields and currents interact to produce magnetic forces on current loops. Students got to take their motors home with them and the winners with the fastest motor received official Marshall University Physics Department T-shirts. Students, please contact Dr. Sean P. McBride (mcbrides@marshall.edu) if you have questions about what you did today or want to learn more about what a degree in Physics can offer you. Dr. McBride thanks the Physics Department for continued support for such workshops and would also like to thank Makayla Bailey, a veteran assistant for helping the students today in the motor workshop.


3rd Annual Community Science Blitz 4/13/2019!

The Physics Department, along with many other departments in the College of Science at Marshall University, teamed up with West Virginia Science Adventures to participate in the 3rd Annual Community Science Blitz from 1 to 5 pm Saturday, April 13th. West Virginia Science Adventures is led by Dr. Suzanne Strait who was the main organizer for the event which occurred at the Science Building on Marshall University’s Huntington campus. The event was free and open to all ages. It started with an Easter egg hunt on Buskirk Field, followed by 25 stations of science fun for the entire family in the Science Building. The Physics Department showcased its portable planetarium run by Dr. Jon Saken as well as the department’s DIY hovercraft built by Dr. Sean P. McBride. Both kids and parents enjoyed hovering through the halls of the Science Building as well as seeing the stars in the planetarium. The Physics Department also had a station set-up for kids to launch homemade paper rockets run by students in MU Space. Many other activities were hosted in the College of Science. Many volunteers, including some from the Society of Physics Students, were present to help make sure the kids had an awesome day with the events hosted by physics! Drs. Sean and Sachiko McBride want to send out a special thank you to all the hovercraft pushers that helped make a memorable day for about 350 kids of all ages! Thank you to the following hovercraft pushers and helpers: Ryan Vincent, Jon Keaton, Evan Allen, Jacob Heskett, Logan Freeman, Bryson Haught, Ben Clark, Ellie White, Tabby Collins, and Josh Boiling, you all did an awesome job!


Green and White Day – 4/9/2019!

The Physics Department always has cool demos for you to experience and play with at Green and White Day! Come join us at the next Green and White Day! Today, the Physics department for the first time brought its newly acquired portable Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) to peer into the nano-world imaging 150 nm silica spheres and Dr. Sachiko McBride unveiled her new Snell’s Law optics demo, both were well received by students. Along with cool demos, we have lots of information on career paths in physics, starting salaries in the job market, and further graduate education in physics. Come check us out and ask some questions! Students, please contact Dr. Sean P. McBride (mcbrides@marshall.edu) if you have questions about what you did or saw today or want to learn more about what a degree in Physics can offer you. See you at the next green and white day!


Distinguished Traveling Lecturer – 4/3/2019 and 4/4/2019!

Professor Orozco’s visit to Marshall on April 3-4 was largely a success. Dr. Orozco was generous with his time and knowledge by presenting two public lectures and two departmental colloquia and also meeting informally with students and faculty. Dr. Orozco is part of the Distinguished Traveling Speaker Program of the Division of Laser Science (DLS) of the American Physical Society. The purpose of the program is to bring distinguished scientists to primarily undergraduate colleges and universities in order to convey the excitement of Laser Science to undergraduate students. While at Marshall, Dr. Orozco also met President Gilbert, Provost Taylor and CoS Dean Somerville. Thomas Wilson, Professor of Physics at Marshall applied for the award that allowed the Department of Physics to host the renowned authority on Quantum Optics, Dr. Luis Orozco, Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland. Dr. Wilson, Dr. Maria Hamilton, and Dr. André Wehner all took part in the organization and planning of Dr. Orozco’s visit.


Logan HS Motor Workshop – 4/03/2019

On 4/3/2019 students from Logan HS students had the opportunity to build DC motors in a workshop hosted by the Physics Department! Students got to learn how magnetic fields and currents interact to produce magnetic forces on current loops. Students got to take their motors home with them and the winners with the fastest motor received official Marshall University Physics Department T-shirts. Students, please contact Dr. Sean P. McBride (mcbrides@marshall.edu) if you have questions about what you did today or want to learn more about what a degree in Physics can offer you. Dr. McBride thanks the Physics Department for continued support for such workshops and would also like to thank the wonderful assistants that volunteered to help with the workshop today: Tabby Collins (undergraduate, English) and Ryan Vincent (graduate student, Physics).


WV Science Olympiad – 3/16/2019

The College of Science held West Virginia’s 5th annual State Tournament of the Science Olympiad on March 16th, 2019. The event was led by WV State Director, Dr. Sachiko McBride (Physics), co-directors: Dr. Sean McBride (Physics), Dr. Jen Mosher (Biology), Dr. Elizabeth Niese (Mathematics), Dr. Rosalynn Quiñones-FernDández (Chemistry), Dr. Jon Saken (Physics), Matt Mundell (Computer & Information Technology), and the Dean of College of Science, Dr. Chuck Somerville. Dr. Thomas Wilson from Physics also assisted by being event supervisors for the sound of music challenge.

Nine teams from six high schools participated in 14 STEM events during the event day. This year Cabell Midland High School Team B won the overall competition. They will travel to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY to participate in the National Tournament between May 31st to June 1st.

Event’s pictures are posted on the WV SO FaceBook page.

 


Summers County HS Motor Workshop – 3/13/2019

We got to see some great teamwork yesterday by Summers County HS students when building DC motors in a workshop hosted by the Physics Department! Students got to learn how magnetic fields and currents interact to produce magnetic forces on current loops. Students got to take their motors home with them and the winners with the fastest motor received official Marshall University Physics Department T-shirts. Students, please contact Dr. McBride (mcbrides@marshall.edu) if you have questions about what you did today or want to learn more about what a degree in Physics can offer you. Dr. McBride thanks the Physics Department for continued support for such workshops and would also like to thank the wonderful assistants that volunteered to help with the workshop today: Makayla Bailey (undergraduate, Biological Science) and Ryan Vincent (graduate student, Physics).


Reaching for the Stars…The WV STEM and the Arts Film Festival

Many Marshall University colleges and departments were represented at the “Reaching for the Stars…The West Virginia STEM and the Arts Film Festival” on March 1st and 2nd at Marshall University. One third of the Physics Department faculty came out to help recruit and enlighten the minds of the younger generation. It is estimated on Friday alone that 800 students were in attendance over the course of the day. Dr. Jon Saken ran the Physics Department’s portable planetarium, Dr. Maria Hamilton provided demonstrations related to gravity waves and how they are produced, Dr. Sachiko McBride brought many hands-on engaging physics demonstrations that kids could play with and get excited for science, and Dr. Sean P. McBride debuted the Physics Department’s new portable CoreAFM Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) by Nanosurf. The newly acquired AFM will be used in research, recruitment, and teaching.


West Virginia Science & Research

Dr. Maria Babiuc Hamilton was interviewed and featured on the cover of the Winter 2019 issue of Neuron, the West Virginia journal of science and research. Dr. Hamilton describes her collaborative research in simulations of gravitational waves, as well as what motivated her to pursue a career in physics. The article also highlights her paper with student Dillon Buskirk titled, “A complete analytic gravitational wave model for undergraduates” recently published in the European Journal of Physics. To read the whole article, visit here.


2019 March APS Meeting Boston, MA

Our physics students Emily Sutherland, Ryan Vincent, and David Facemyer did a great job of presenting their research at the 2019 March APS Meeting in Boston, MA. The APS meeting is an enormous meeting in the field of condensed matter physics. It is hosted by the American Physical Society. Physicists, scientists, and students from around the world presented groundbreaking research from industry, academia, and major labs. Well over 11, 000 scientists descended on Boston during March 4-8th. We did have a few complications on the way there thanks to the weather, but in the end is was a highly beneficial trip for both faculty and students. After the conference, the students got a chance to walk the grounds of MIT and Harvard, as well as briefly scope out some of the science labs on both campuses.

 


A Week of Physics “Phun” at Marshall University

The Department of Physics at Marshall University has gained national attention by having an article featured in the 2019 Winter edition of the SPS Observer in relation to their efforts for Physics Week in 2018. The SPS Observer is the quarterly magazine of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) published by SPS and the American Institute of Physics (AIP).

 


Green and White Day – 02/18/2019

Green and White Day 2-18-2019 Thank you Dr. Sachiko McBride, Dr. Howard Richards, and Marco for helping students with physics demos today! Come join us at the next Green and White Day in 2019, April 9th, and you too can experience Physics with Marco! The Physics Department always has cool demos for you to experience and play with at Green and White Day! Along with cool demos, we have lots of information on career paths in physics, starting salaries in the job market, and further graduate education in physics. Come check us out and ask some questions!

 


Herbert Hoover High School – 02/15/2019

Herbert Hoover High School Honor Students had fun visiting the Physics Department on February 15 2019. Dr. Jon Saken, who with the help of David Sheehan, had everything set-up for the students. Students got to play with experiments that revolved around classical mechanics, optics, fluids, and much more. The students had fun!

 


The Boy Scouts of America – 02/09/2019

Thanks to Dr. Tom Wilson of the Physics Department for working with the Boy Scouts of America on Saturday February 9th to help them earn their merit badges in electricity. The Scouts got to build miniature DC Beakman Motors. Fun was had by all!

 


Christian Home Educators Fellowship Students – 02/01/2019

Christian Home Educators Fellowship (CHEF) students had fun visiting the Physics Department on February 1 2019. Dr. Jon Saken and Dr. Ralph Oberly, who with the help of David Sheehan, had many exciting demo set up for the students. Students got to play with experiments that revolved around classical mechanics, optics, fluids, and much more. The students had a great time!

 


Green and White Day – 12/01/2018

Come join us at the next Green and White Day in 2019 and you can experience conservation of angular momentum like Marco! The Physics Department always has cool demos for you to experience and play with at Green and White Day! Come check us out! Below we see Dr. Sean P. McBride showing students and Dean of the College of Science the concept of Conservation of Angular Momentum (why a figure skater spins faster when they pull their arms in). We also see Dr. Sachiko McBride explaining the physics of Electrostatics. Come see us at the next Green day White Day and/or email Dr. Sean P . McBride to discuss career opportunities in Physics!

 


Green and White Day – 11/12/2018

Come join us at the next Green and White Day on 12-1-2018 and maybe you can generate electricity like Marco! The Physics Department always has cool demos for you to experience and play with at Green and White Day! Come check us out! Below we see Dr. Sean P. McBride showing students and Sherri Smith (Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of Undergraduate Studies) the concept of Conservation of Angular Momentum (why a figure skater spins faster when they pull their arms in) and concepts of Faraday’s law involving eddy currents. We also see Dr. Sachiko McBride explaining the physics of why a balloon does not pop when pressed hard against the shown bed of sharp nails. Come see us at the next Green day White Day and/or email Dr. Sean P . McBride to discuss career opportunities in Physics!

 


Westside High School – Motor Workshop 11/7/2018!

In a motor workshop led by Dr. Sean P . McBride in Physics, students from Westside High School got to build Beckman Motors and learned how electric currents and magnetic fields interact to produce magnetic forces on current carrying wires. The students got to take home their motors and the winners with the fastest motor received an official Physics Department T-shirt. Everyone enjoyed themselves. This was a really great group of students (motivated, engaged, excited, determined, and competitive). Students, please contact Dr. McBride if you have questions about what you did today or want to learn more about what a degree in Physics can offer you. Dr. McBride thanks two wonderful assistants, Nicole Lane (Forensic Chemistry) and Makayla Bailey (Biological Science), that volunteered to help with the workshop today.

 


Halloween Science Bash 2019 – 10/27/2018!

The Physics Department teamed up with West Virginia Science Adventures and Marshall University’s College of Science to participate in the 2nd Annual Community Halloween Science Bash from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Science Building on Marshall University’s Huntington campus. The Physics Department showcased its portable planetarium as well as its truly scary haunted Halloween hovercraft built by Dr. Sean P. McBride. Dr. Sachiko McBride, Dr. Jon Saken, undergraduate physics student Katie Clendenen, graduate student Ryan Vincent from the Physics department, along with helpers from WV Science Adventures, helped make it an awesome day for all the kids involved who got to ride the hovercraft or see the planetarium. Both kids and parents enjoyed hovering through the halls of the Science Building. The event was free and open to all ages. In total there was 25 stations of science fun for the entire family. There was also trick-or-treating that began at 4:30 p.m. and a best science-themed costume contest. We hope to see you at the next one in 2019!

 


High School Physics Day – 10/19/2018!

The Second Annual High School Physics Day, October 19th 2018, 10am – 1:30 pm was a large success Thank you to all the people that helped make it an amazing day for all the students from local high schools! On this day fun series of exciting physics demos were provided to all interested teachers and science oriented students in physics, math, chemistry, and biology. A pizza lunch was provided, topped off with a quick game and prizes! During the casual lunch students and teachers will have the opportunity to talk with physics faculty about classes, research, or any other topic. Students and teachers were also able tour teaching lab space in the Physics Department. Teachers and students got to explore the cosmos in the department’s portable planetarium (Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Building lobby, first floor) and investigate the nano-world using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) in Science Building 106.They also got some liquid nitrogen ice cream. If HSPD is an event you think a class or classes from your school would like to attend next year in October 2019, please email Dr. Sean P. McBride at mcbrides@marshall.edu. RSVPs with estimated head count will be needed for accurate food purchases and appropriate size room accommodations. We look forward to seeing you at HSPD in October 2019! Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Sean P. McBride (mcbrides@marshall.edu) if you have any questions or concerns.

 


Second Annual Research Orientation Day- 10/17/2018!

On Wednesday, October 17th 2018 the Physics Department held its second annual Research Orientation Day. The presentations from 3:00 – 5:30 pm given by alumni, Sarah Barber, and Faculty were specifically designed to get students interested in research early. Each faculty talked about their research interests so that majors could get an idea of what faculty with whom they would want to do research with. The BBQ following the talks started at 6:30pm. This was accompanied by an Awards ceremony and Sigma Pi Sigma inductions (a national physics honor society). Students could have some fun and got to spend some out-of-classroom-time with their professors.

 


World Renowned Sports Physicist Dr. John Eric Goff – 10-15-2018

The Physics Department in Marshall University’s College of Science recently hosted world renowned sports physicist Dr. John Eric Goff on Monday Oct. 15. He spoke twice, providing a Colloquium talk on “Friction Challenges from the Sports World” at and give a presentation for the general public on a “Summer of Great Sports Science”. Goff’s visit kicks of Physics Week at Marshall. Along with meeting physics professors Nguyen, Hamilton, S.P. McBride, S. T. McBride, Fan, and Wilson, Dr. Goff had the chance to meet Drs. Mark Timmons and Suzanne Konz, Faculty from the School of Kinesiology, Chris Grassie – Head Coach – Men’s Soccer, Mitch Jacobs – Head Women’s Volleyball Coach, and Matthew Adams – Assistant Women’s Track Coach.

The video link of Dr. Goff’s is here.

 


Green and White Day – 10-12-2018

The Physics Department always has cool demos for you to experience and play with at Green and White Day! Come check us out! Below we see Dr. Sean P. McBride showing students and President Gilbert the concept of Conservation of Angular Momentum (why a figure skater spins faster when they pull their arms in). We also see Dr. Sachiko McBride explaining the concept of why the shown balloon does not pop even when pressed hard against the shown bed of nails. Come see us or email Dr. Sean P. McBride to discuss career opportunities in Physics!

 


Bluefield High School – Motor Workshop 10/10/2018!

In a motor workshop led by Dr. Sean P. McBride, students from Bluefield High School got to build Beckman Motors and learned how electric currents, magnetic moments, and applied magnetic fields interact to produce a torque in a motor. The students got to take home their motors home and the winners with the fastest motors received an official Physics Department T-shirt. Everyone enjoyed themselves. The aim for the motor madness workshop was such that the experience would encouraged and strengthen the students interest and curiosity in science and in particular physics (and have fun in the process with a little friendly competition). Students, please contact Dr. McBride (mcbrides@marshall.edu) if you have questions about what you did today or want to learn more about what a degree in Physics can offer you. Dr. McBride Thanks Tabby Collins (Biology), Jon Keaton (Physics), and Ryan Vincent (Physics) for assisting.

 


Huntington College Fair 10/01/2018

The Physics Department enjoyed participating in the Huntington College Fair October 1st 2018. This year Dr. Sean P McBride and Dr. Sachiko McBride brought an apparatus that demonstrated pressure and one that demonstrated Faraday’s Law of Induction and its role in electromagnetic breaking. Over the course of 3 short hours, well over 100 students were engaged and a significant information about the department was shared with the upcoming generation of college bound students.

 


SPS Event – Dodgeball Game 08/16/2018

The Society of Physics Students had a great time with new students to Marshall with a dodgeball game on August 16, 2018! The event took place on INTO field (labeled East Hall Lawn on campus maps). Students were invited to arrive whenever, play dodgeball, take advantage of the free lemonade and soda, then leave whenever. All were welcomed, regardless of class standing or major, and the winner of each game received a free Marshall Physics t-shirt! Thank you for Nichole Jervis, Administrative Secretary, for all her help during the event!