Letter of recommendation from Albert Einstein for Konrad Wachsmann, 2 October 1939

The Time-Consuming Privilege of Writing a Thoughtful Letter of Recommendation for a Student

Inspiration It will soon be application season (at least for students considering going to grad school in physics) for graduating seniors. As a consequence, I’ve decided to borrow some useful guidelines from my colleagues regarding letters of recommendation/reference: Ed Brown’s Letters of Recommendation Pawel Danielewicz’s Recommendation Letters Brian O’Shea’s Recommendation letters Shriram Krishnamurthi’s Advice to ...

Producing Scientific Diagrams Which Reveal the Relevant Scale @EdwardTufte

Learning how to produce informative and detailed graphical representations of the equipment used for experiments is a critical skill that takes practice and requires detailed knowledge of what is truly important about each component of the apparatus. For the Single Atom Microscope (SAM) project, we designed and assembled a prototype gas handling system (GHS) which ...

Farewell Andy & Courtney! (2017 MSU REU Poster Session)

  Andy and Courtney have completed their REUs with the group this summer and presented their results at the REU poster session. Andy developed a machine vision system for characterizing the HV electrodes used for the Ra EDM experiment. This optical method is high resolution (10 microns), high precision (repeatable), real time (can be performed ...

FRIB Day 1 Science Workshop: Fundamental Symmetries

Today I will present a talk with Jon Engel on FRIB Day 1 Science Opportunities for Fundamental Symmetries. This talk is part of a workshop that is a satellite meeting of the 2017 (US) Low Energy (Nuclear Physics) Community Meeting which is being hosted by Physics Division at Argonne National Lab. The main thrust of the talk ...

Calibrated Spatial Profile Measurements of Extended Light Sources

The purpose of SAM is to image individual atoms that fluoresce upon excitation with a light source that we choose based upon the properties of those atoms. In the past, we’ve made the simplifying assumption that the spatial profile of a light source is uniform, but, for real extended light sources, this is not true. ...

Claude Shannon’s 1952 Lecture on Creative Thinking

A lecture by Claude Shannon on Creative Thinking is buried deep inside of his Miscellaneous Writings edited by N. J. A. Sloane & Aaron D. Wyner in 1990. It has been rediscovered in some sense by the authors Jimmy Soni & Rob Goodman who have just recently published a biography of Shannon. One of the ...

R.W. Hamming On Creativity

In 1995, R. W. Hamming taught a course at the Naval Postgraduate School titled “The Art of Doing Science and Engineering.” The textbook is here and the lectures are here. My notes on his “Creativity” lecture are below: Creative solutions to problems are like how women’s fashion evolves from year to year based on Vogue magazine: ...

Kristen’s Guide to Success in Spinlab

Spinlab group alumna Kristen Parzuchowski (MSU ’17, now 1st year graduate student at UC-Boulder now) has written an informal “guide to success in Spinlab.” This document has started to take on a life of its own and has been requested several times since she passed it along to the group. She has kindly given me ...

The First Annual Spinlab Group Picnic

Motivated by the Andy’s desire to try Spam Musubi, Adam organized the group’s first Group Picnic at Lake Lansing Park North. According to Courtney, the only Real Spam Musubi is one that is cooked in a car. Since we had no care volunteers, there was no RSM. We did have BBQ ribs, steak tacos, cumin lamb kebobs, ...

The Great Fry Test of 2017

Optics vendors such as Thorlabs and Newport have figured out that graduate students fed with snacks spend more time aligning lasers than hangry (hungry+angry) students, which has the added benefit of them needing more optics and/or snacks. As a consequence, these companies send out a boxes of snacks with every order. Since Spinlab is past ...

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