Five New Members Inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics Honor Society)

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Sigma Pi Sigma Spring 2014

On April 8, 2014 five new members were inducted in Sigma Pi Sigma, the Physics Honor Society. To be inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma, students need to attain high standards of general scholarship and outstanding achievements in physics. Criteria for induction in the Wheaton Sigma Pi Sigma Chapter include not only numerical standards for grade and class rank, but also a record of active participation in, and service to the department, through research and teaching assistant positions, as well as being active in the Society of Physics Students. 

This year's inductees, Alex Armstrong, David Martin, Michael Morken and James Tarka, all demonstrated this high level of commitment to physics by their involvement in summer research, high standards of scholarship, and excellent performance as teaching assistants in the department. In addition, also Dr. Robert Bishop was inducted as a member of Sigma Pi Sigma.

Wheaton College is home to one of the oldest chapters of Sigma Pi Sigma. Only ten years after the first chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma was founded in 1921 at Davidson College, the Wheaton College Chapter was chartered as the Upsilon (20th) Chapter. Since the beginning in 1931, 324 people have been inducted into the Wheaton College chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma. This represents many generations of experience and wisdom that can be brought to bear on matters of physics and common interest to all members.

Open Positions for Guest Instructors (Fall 2014)

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The Physics Department at Wheaton College seeks instructors to teach introductory level lab sections for the Fall 2014 semester. Instructors are sought for both the algebra-based and calculus-based courses covering primarily Newtonian mechanics. A Masters or PhD  degree in physics or a closely related field is required. Previous physics teaching experience is desirable. Job duties include being present at all lab sessions, interacting with students during lab on a one-on-one level, occasionally delivering a mini-lecture, overseeing an undergraduate student teaching assistant, and attending lab practice sessions once a week with other instructors and student teaching assistants.
Wheaton College is an evangelical Christian liberal arts college whose faculty and staff affirm a Statement of Faith and adhere to lifestyle expectations. The College complies with federal and state guidelines of nondiscrimination in employment. Women and minority applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.  A letter of interest and a CV should be sent to Dr. Darren Craig, Chair of Physics, 501 College Ave., Wheaton, IL  60187 or emailed to Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled.

Science Symposium 2014 - Nuclear Energy: Realizing the Promise

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Science Symposium - Power Plant

The Physics Department presents the annual Science Symposium entitled “Nuclear Energy: Realizing the Promise.” The symposium will be held March 26-27, 2014 in the Meyer Science Center on the campus of Wheaton College.

Global energy consumption is expected to increase in the 21st century due to increasing population and demand from industrialized and developing countries. Yet, most of the world’s energy is derived from fossil fuels which are non-renewable and contribute to global warming. Nuclear energy, like other energy sources, has a number of advantages and disadvantages but will likely be a part of the overall energy solution. Current research is addressing issues such as nuclear safety and radioactive waste and advanced reactor designs may offer significant promise for dealing with these concerns. In this year’s symposium, nuclear engineering experts will examine the future of nuclear energy and explore what might be done to bring innovative nuclear technologies from promise to reality.

For more information, go to the symposium website.

SPS Named Distinguished Chapter

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SPS award

The Wheaton College Chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) has received national recognition, and has been named a "Distinguished SPS Chapter for 2012-2013." Based on the chapter report over 2012-13, which the Wheaton SPS submitted in May 2013, the national SPS organization was amazed by the amount of activity and the student leadership. They also commended the Wheaton SPS for its involvement in the local community, outreach to local schools, the participation of its members in national scientific conferences and the active Sigma Pi Sigma chapter.

The Wheaton Chapter of SPS is a student-led group which has as goals to foster community for physics students, to advance the knowledge of physics and the connection with the Christian faith among its members, to share the love of physics with others through demonstration shows at local schools, and to introduce students to the professional community. Membership is open for any Wheaton student with an interest in physics. Currently there are about 20 active members in the Wheaton SPS.


Riley Mulhern (Geophysics '14) Completes Internship in Nicaragua

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Riley Mulhern - HNGR Intern 2013

Riley Mulhern (Geophysics '14) worked for six months with the organization Nuevas Esperanzas on the northern slopes of the Telica volcano in Nicaragua to identify water resources for volcano communities. Nuevas Esperanzas provides practical and technical assistance to communities in Nicaragua as they seek to establish sustainable livelihoods which lift them out of poverty and encourages transformational development at all levels of society. Riley's internship was part of the Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) program, an interdisciplinary program at Wheaton College, open for students from all majors, which aims to promote in students a commitment to confronting human needs through their lifestyle and vocational decisions.

To learn more about Riley's experience, visit the website of Nuevas Esperanzas >>.