David Murr ’92 discusses space weather with Star Tribune

Minneapolis Star Tribune

David Murr ’92, Augsburg College associate professor of physics, was quoted in a recent Star Tribune science brief on advances in solar storm detection. Murr discussed researchers’ efforts to help governments and industry develop better assessments of the risks solar storms pose to the world’s technological infrastructure. Read the brief on the Star Tribune website.

David E. Venne featured on Iowa Outdoors

Augsburg’s David E. Venne, assistant professor of physics, recently was featured in Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Outdoors” where he spoke about astronomy and his hobby, astrophotography. Hear Venne at the 4:55- and 5:48-minute marks. View the program. To see some of his photography of the cosmos, visit his Astrobin page.

$10 million gift to Augsburg College will launch new academic building

Gift from 1965 Augsburg College alumnus is largest in College’s history

BOR 05_06_11.inddAugsburg College is honored to announce that it has received an unrestricted $10 million philanthropic gift from a 1965 alumnus.

The donor’s generous contribution will support a new academic building that will house a number of the College’s academic programs including biology, business, chemistry, computer science, math, physics, psychology, and religion.

“This tremendous gift will make possible our continued commitment to academic excellence, to the hands-on learning that is one of the hallmarks of the College, and to the continued best-use of our 23-acre campus,” said Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow. “Augsburg is a 143-year-old anchor institution in the heart of Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. This gift puts Augsburg on the path of being a college for the 21st century, and one that continues to deliver academic excellence in the liberal arts and professional studies.” Continue reading

Shedding light on everyday physics experiments

sverdrupDozens—if not hundreds or even thousands—of physics experiments go on every day on the Augsburg College campus. Most of the time, however, no one hears about these experiments. No one knows if the experiments yielded favorable results that can be duplicated. No one knows if the experiments were a waste of time and resources. No one reports the results to anyone, and no one tracks the cost of the experiments.

Yet, each and every day, Augsburg College students conduct physics experiments whenever they cook or prepare food. Harvard University’s David Weitz will make visible the everyday physics taking place during food preparation at the Sverdrup Visiting Scientist lecture. Continue reading

Auggies receive career advice and inspiration at NSBE conference

nsbeconferenceAt the end of March, junior physics majors Gottlieb Uahengo, Mohamed Sheikh-Mohamed, Amir Rose, and Fred Vedasto attended the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) conference in Pittsburgh, Pa. The conference included workshops and programming for grade school, collegiate, graduate, technical professional, and international entities of the Society. Their travel was funded through the NorthStar STEM Alliance, an initiative funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) which is intended to double the number of African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Alaska Native and Pacific Islander students receiving baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Continue reading

The physics of growth

nate_physicsNate Johnson didn’t take a typical path to becoming a physics major at Augsburg College.

He didn’t take Advanced Placement high school classes in science. He didn’t arrive on campus with tons of calculus experience. Nor did he arrive on campus and immediately begin taking physics courses.

“I took a grand total of one science class in high school,” Johnson said.

But because of an interest in how things work, Johnson was drawn to the problem-solving part of physics. The move has turned out well. Continue reading

From the orchestra to the NRC

physicsSpotlight on Cynthia (Landowski) Jones, PhD ’81, Physics

It took a fractured wrist from a toga party at Augsburg and a J-term course in physics to persuade Cyndi Jones to enter the field of science. In the fall of 1977, this talented young woman came to Augsburg on a music scholarship to play the clarinet. She planned to pursue a career in classical clarinet and performance. However, in the January term between her first and second years, Cyndi took a Physics for the Life Sciences course from Mark Engebretson and explored the relationship between music, physics, and math. “I got a 4.0 in the class,” she said, “and the subject was fascinating and exciting.” Continue reading

Auggies test the skies above downtown

physicsEarlier this month, two students in professor Gary Egbert’s general physics lab went to the top of one of the tallest buildings in downtown Minneapolis to conduct a laboratory experiment. Ashley Gruhlke and Michael Schmit measured the change in atmospheric pressure with altitude from the 15th to the 54th floor of the 225 South Sixth Building. The building’s engineer, Frido Verkman, accompanied them.

Gruhlke and Schmit first took pressure readings in the basement and on the roof of Mortenson Hall, but after seeing only a slight difference, they knew they needed to go higher. They contacted Minneapolis building managers and found Verkman willing to help.   Continue reading