Alaina's Latest Articles



Physics Today
National Geographic News Watch
Science Magazine
Scientific American
APS News
Optics & Photonics
Physics Central - Physics Buzz Blog
Cosmos Magazine
Smithsonian
IEEE Spectrum
New Scientist
Arizona Alumni Magazine
Nature.com
World Economic Forum
Al Arabiya News

Information for Editors

Alaina G. Levine is widely published and welcomes inquiries from editors regarding reprints and syndication of her work. If you are an editor of a newspaper, magazine, website, or newsletter and are interested in publishing her articles and would like information about reprints, please contact her directly at alaina@alainalevine.com.

Alaina's Writing Clients Include:
  • Science and Technology Policy Institute/Institute for Defense Analyses
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME)
  • The University of Arizona Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (edited a book celebrating the 100th anniversary of the department)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science Science &Technology Policy Fellowship Program (in celebration of their 40th anniversary, wrote 40 articles profiling 40 alums)
  • American Physical Society- Historic Sites Initiative, Laserfest


Physics Today

Informational interviews I: Why should I bother?
Published September 28, 2015

One kind of job interview is not about landing you a position; it’s about advancing your career and finding new collaborators.

Read More

Why you should write thank-you notes
Published July 21, 2015

Thank-you notes should not be avoided or postponed. If someone helps you, whether by spending a few minutes discussing their industry and employment trends, introducing you to someone via email or LinkedIn, recommending you for a job or an award, or formally interviewing you for a position, you need to send them a note of appreciation.

Read More

Your questions about job interviews answered, part 2
Published May 2015

On 4 February 2015 the American Institute of Physics Career Network and its institutional partners* hosted a webinar entitled “The interview: What to do before, during, and after to get the job”, featuring me as the speaker.

Read More

Your questions answered about job interviews, part 1
Published March 2015

On 4 February 2015 the American Institute of Physics Career Network and its institutional partners* hosted a webinar entitled “The interview: What to do before, during, and after to get the job”, featuring me as the speaker.

Read More

How to obtain and write references
Published January 2015

When I was 20, I requested a reference from someone whose pleasant manner and apparent interest in my future led me to believe that she was my ally. When I didn’t get the post, my spidey sense told me that something strange, something unrelated to my skill set, had caused my failure.

Read More

Brewing scientific knowledge at Carlsberg
Published November 2014

Legend has it that J. C. Jacobsen, founder of Carlsberg Breweries and their innovation and research arm, the Carlsberg Laboratory, experimented with fermented yeast while visiting Germany and was eager to further explore its properties and potential at his brewery back in Copenhagen.

Read More

Frequently asked questions about networking
Published November 2014

On 1 October 2014, the American Institute of Physics Career Network and its partners (AAPM, AAPT, APS Physics, AVS, the IEEE Computer Society, Physics Today, and SPS) hosted a webinar entitled “Network Yourself to a Great Career,” featuring myself as the speaker.

Read More

A letter to newbie nerds
Published September 2014

So it's your first day as a STEM major. You’ve already learned where your classrooms are located, how to access the campus Wi-Fi hot spots, and the schedule of all the upcoming cosplay opps on campus. You’ve hit the big time: You are officially a college nerd.

Read More

Beware zombies, haters, pigs, and jerks
Published August 2014

As a scientist or engineer, you are sure to encounter diverse personality types, leadership styles, and communication preferences. There is always something to be learned from collaborating with people who are experts in their arenas.

Read More

Interviewing: The audition that never ends
Published June 2014

No doubt you've read articles about acing interviews, and you've been told how to prepare, what to wear, what to say, how to follow up, and how to convert that interview into an offer.

Read More

Shining a light on Tucson’s Optics Valley
Published June 2014

Robert Breault is 74 years old, a graduate of the University of Arizona (UA) College of Optical Sciences (OSC), and a successful entrepreneur. He estimates that his company, Breault Research Organization (BRO), a multimillion-dollar optical software and engineering services firm based in Tucson, was the first spin-off from the college in 1979.

Read More

Mistakes: Don’t make a career out of them
Published February 2014

We all make mistakes. We call someone by the wrong name or title. We misspell our university on a resume. We use the incorrect word to describe an experience.

Read More

Land that first job—now!
Published January 2014

It’s the Year of the Horse. Time to saddle up to prepare for your first job. And because the tactics for job seeking are universal, the following tips will help you whether you are looking for your first or thirty-first job.

Read More

Free play for fun and profit
Published November 2013

Before I had a career, before I had a plan of what I would do with my life, I had Free Play, the hour or so during pre-school and kindergarten when the teacher allowed us to choose any toy we wanted to play with.

Read More

Seduce me with your sexy resumé
Published October 2013

Your resumé markets you to potential employers and collaborators. It should articulate your unique value and problem-solving abilities so convincingly that the reader cannot help but invite you for an interview.

Read More

Career success from volunteer success
Published August 2013

Your resumé markets you to potential employers and collaborators. It should articulate your unique value and problem-solving abilities so convincingly that the reader cannot help but invite you for an interview.

Read More

Understanding hidden career opportunities
Published July 2013

I recently participated in a lively discussion on LinkedIn about the hidden job market, a subject I have touched on, but not yet detailed, in a previous column about social media.

Read More

Job search strategies: It's not about you
Published June 2013

Fact: The universe does not revolve around you, and neither does your job search. Shocking! But it's true.

Read More

No cats allowed: How to use social media to advance your career
Published May 2013

Every week through Facebook, I receive at least 10 pictures of cats wearing glasses and holding test tubes.

Read More

Physical scientists can do anything: Here's how you start your career planning
Published March 2013

I once had an adviser outline available career options for someone, like me, with a bachelors in mathematics.

Read More

Networking: It's more than sharing meatballs
Published March 2013

Networking is the most powerful tool you have in your career-planning kit. It is the secret to finding hidden opportunities; it establishes and solidifies your value in the minds of decision-makers; it opens doors to hitherto unknown people, alliances, and information.

Read More

National Geographic News Watch

Quantum Correlations: Interview With Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt at ESOF on Success, Europe, Women in STEM, War and ET
Published September 2, 2014

On 21-26 June 2014, 4500 delegates from 75 nations assembled in Copenhagen, Denmark for an amazing event- the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF). This all-purpose conference seeks to engage the STEM-hungry public about as many areas of science and engineering as possible, with talks, workshops and even a special outreach festival called…

Read More

A Stinky Concern: Your Stress Sweat Makes You Seem Incompetent
Published October 21, 2013

While many were fawning over the Nobel Prizes in the last few weeks, I became excited over a seemingly innocent paper published by PLOS One that, in fact, stinks big time. In the first comprehensive scientific study of stress sweat, Dr. Pamela Dalton, an experimental psychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses…

Read More

Quantum Correlations: A Science of Scaling in Cities: A City as a Social Reactor
Published July 2, 2013

It was less than a year ago that I sat in the back of a conference room at the storied Santa Fe Institute (SFI) listening to lectures on garbage, slums and cell phones. I was the only reporter invited to a workshop that converged scholars from realms as diverse as…

Read More

Quantum Correlations: Chasing Ice Review: Prepare for “Glacier-Less National Park”
Published December 15, 2012

Like Ice? Recognize its importance to the health of the planet and the very existence of humankind? Then prepare to be horrified and generally freaked-out by a new documentary that shows in shocking detail how fast our glaciers are retreating, melting and disappearing. It’s history in the making, says James Balog,…

Read More

Breaking News- There’s a lot LESS life on Earth than we thought (intelligent and otherwise)
Published August 27, 2012

In my continuing mission to better understand what’s going on “down there”, specifically in the sediments under the sea in the planet’s basement, an exciting finding has caught my eye. According to a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America…

Read More

Breaking News – We found the Higgs, Unless You’re a Scientist
Published July 4, 2012

Lindau, Germany- At 11am 4 July 2012, Rolf Heuer, Director General of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, announced that results from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) show that “We have discovered a new particle. It is a boson….We have found the last missing corner stone of the standard model.…

Read More

Nerd Heaven Has a Name – Lindau
Published July 2, 2012

If there is a nerd heaven on Earth, it’s in Lindau, Germany. That’s where I am this week, honored to participate in the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, with 27 Nobel Laureates in physics and 596 young researchers from all over the world. This annual week-long love affair with science, takes…

Read More

Quantum Correlations: Unless You’re Vulcan, Say Toodle-oo to Venus
Published June 5, 2012

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, so I am getting ready to say goodbye to my home world. I will miss it. Sure I will see it again with my telescope, but there’s nothing like witnessing its pass in front of the Sun. This transit won’t happen again…

Read More

Quantum Correlations: Down There: Life Under the Sediments Under the Sea
Published April 23, 2012

There’s buried treasure beneath the sea. James Cameron isn’t looking for it, it’s not the Heart of the Ocean, and it’s not near those fabulous deep sea vents we’ve come to adore. Rather, the prize of which I write is literally under the ocean – it’s the creatures that inhabit the…

Read More

Quantum Connections: Stalactites, Flagella, and Ponytail Physics: A Ray of Light on Natural Pattern Formation
Published April 8, 2012

I have always been interested in how seemingly unrelated areas of science interface. Whether it is the connections between physics and cancer, optics and oceans, or agriculture and space sciences, finding, exploring, and reporting on these junctions and the pioneers who dabble in these disciplines is a real and regular delight of mine. And there’s…

Read More



Science Magazine

Transitioning fields between a Ph.D. and postdoc
Published August 28, 2015

It takes guts to pursue a career in science and even more to switch fields midstream. Executing a disciplinary change between the Ph.D. and postdoc appointment requires thoughtful analysis, research, and due diligence.

Read More

Biosystems Nanotechnology: Big Opportunities in the Science of the Small
Published November 14, 2014

The science of the very small is big business these days, as nanotechnology becomes a huge part of multiple sectors.

Read More

An Explosion Of Bioinformatics Careers
Published June 13, 2014

Big data is pouring out of life sciences research, creating ample opportunities for scientists with computer science expertise.

Read More

Leveraging Committee Assignments For Advancement
Published February 07, 2014

Serving on faculty committees can shine a spotlight on a professor’s abilities and open the door to new career opportunities.

Read More

Postdoc Advancement: Marketing Your Value
Published August 22, 2013

Finding opportunities to demonstrate your know-how to potential employers is key for career advancement.

Read More

Blurring the Lines Between Academic and Industrial Cancer Research
Published March 29, 2013

Career opportunities for scientists are evolving as cancer research becomes increasingly collaborative.

Read More

Opportunity Knocks: But Which Door Should You Open?
Published March 08, 2013

Game-changing career opportunities for postdocs are everywhere. Hear advice from the experts about how to choose your direction.

Read More

Finding Balance: The Professor/Entrepreneur
Published September 14, 2012

For academics who recognize that their discovery or innovation can be commercialized, it is key to find avenues to balance professorial and entrepreneurial activities.

Read More

The Creative Fundraiser: The Many Roles for the Postdoc in Search of Support
Published March 09, 2012

More and more postdocs (and even grad students) are demonstrating their ingenuity in where and how they seek and secure the necessary research resources.

Read More

Wanted: B.S. and M.S. Scientists in Life Sciences Industries
Published January 13, 2012

B.S.- and M.S.-level professionals are finding more and more opportunities in industry and are often considered strategically important to a company’s growth.

Read More

Academic Opportunities in European Science
Published October 21, 2011

European Union member states have plans in place to make Europe an attractive destination for early and mid-career academic professionals.

Read More

Internationalizing Japan's Scientific Landscape
Published September 02, 2011

Slowly but surely it appears that the Land of the Rising Sun is emerging from its self-imposed technological isolation.

Read More

Recovering From Postdoc Mistakes
Published March 18, 2011

There are clever means and methods to remedy even the most serious of postdoc slip-ups.

Read More

Advancing Science in Spain: Not Simply a Quixotic Quest
Published June 11, 2010

The tapas of Barcelona, the Prado of Madrid, and the architecture of Sevilla are all international draws to the nation of Spain, but its scientific heritage has not always been so noteworthy.

Read More

From Cells to Selling Science
Published May 08, 2009

Scientific training helps public relations professionals tell scientific stories for their clients.

Read More

In Vino Oportunitas
Published March 27, 2009

Jeff Mangahas left scientific work to become an award-winning winemaker at Hartford Family Winery.

Read More

Finance's Quant(um) Mechanics
Published November 21, 2008

One of the earliest "alternative" science careers, quantitative finance is now deeply embedded in the world's finance industry.

Read More

A Toilet Technologist
Published October 24, 2008

Jim McHale is a Ph.D. chemist with a postdoc from Princeton University who found a rewarding career designing toilets.

Read More

Recruitment and Retention of Minority Students Makes for an Innovative Degree Program
Published November 22, 2002

"Most science students, like many others in academia, still view the master's degree in science as a consolation prize for students who could not complete a Ph.D."

Read More



Scientific American

Conventional Forensic Theory on Order of Bugs That Feast on Corpses Upended
Published September 13, 2012

Beetles might precede blowflies (not vice versa, as forensic entomology has long suggested), a finding that could change time of death and other calculations made by crime-scene investigators.

Read More

CSI: Mother Nature--Forensic Meteorology a New Growth Industry as Weather-Related Damage Intensifies
Published September 12, 2011

Called on to reconstruct weather conditions that occurred at a specific time and location in question, the number of cases for storm sleuths to solve is on the rise.

Read More

Life 2.0? First let's figure out Life 1.0
Published February 19, 2011

Pornography, Life 2.0 and the citizens of a quaint New Mexico town were just some of the subjects invoked during "The Great Debate: What is Life?".

Read More



APS News

Alaina writes a series of articles for APS News, the national publication of the American Physical Society. The pieces focus on physicists who have chosen to pursue non-academic careers. Read the "Profiles in Versatility" articles here:

Philanthropy Led by a Physicist
Published June 2015

In an economic and scientific funding universe that seems about to collapse on itself, there are some wormholes that might lead to novel sources for research capital. Over the last two years, the Science Philanthropy Alliance (SPA), a partnership of six of the world’s leading scientific foundations, has emerged as a potential supernova with a distinct mission: It seeks to increase philanthropic annual giving for science by $1 billion within 5 years.

Read More

First responders: Getting the bad guys and fighting fires … as physicists
Published May 2015

As an officer with the University of Arizona Police Department (UAPD), Andrew Lincowski spends most of his days ensuring campus safety by patrolling the streets, responding to calls, and visiting students in their dorms. But in between shifts, he pursues another passion — he is an undergraduate in physics and astronomy and plans to go to graduate school and become a theoretical astrophysicist.

Read More

New Director of ARPA-E on Transformative Technology
Published April 2015

On December 8, 2014, Ellen Williams was confirmed as the director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E). A chemist by education, with a Ph.D. in the subject from Caltech, she previously served as the senior advisor to the Secretary of Energy and as the chief scientist for BP.

Read More

A Sweet Sound: Physicists Reconstruct Primitive Recordings
Published March 2015

In the early 2000s, Carl Haber was quietly pursuing precision measurement projects at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. An experimental particle physicist, he was spending most of his time designing and building optical devices to measure the telltale trajectories of particles as part of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

Read More

A Physicist Discusses His Congressional Service
Published February 2015

In fall 2014, Rush Holt, one of only two physicists in Congress, announced he would not seek re-election. Formerly an assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Holt has represented New Jersey’s 12th district as a Democrat since 1999. He will become the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in mid-February, 2015.

Read More

Indiana Jones with a Physics Degree
Published January 2015

As an undergraduate, I pursued a double degree in mathematics and anthropology. Both subjects enthralled me — I loved the elegance and logic of math as well as the mystery and adventure of anthropology, especially archaeology.

Read More

Right Brain, Left Brain: Physicists as Artists
Published November 2014

The next time you saunter through a museum or gaze casually at a piece of art, ask yourself: Did a physicist make this? It seems lately that one can’t peruse a science magazine or website without finding articles about scientists who have turned their love of nature into beautiful works of art.

Read More

Biometrics as a Pathway to Human Rights
Published August/September 2014

For as long as he can remember, Joseph Atick knew what he desired to do with his life. “I wanted to harness nature in the service of mankind,” he says. Physics and mathematics provided an elegant solution, because “there is something about the rigor of math that connects you with reality, and I wasn’t interested in being separate from reality. In physics, there is no room for fudging. It’s as platonic as it can be.”

Read More

Interview with France A. Córdova, new Director of NSF
Published July 2014

On 31 March 2014, Dr. France A. Córdova was sworn in as Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF). She is an astrophysicist by training with a doctorate in the subject from Caltech, although she started her educational career as an English major at Stanford.

Read More

Still Life with Physicists: Sculpting Science into an Art Conservation Career
Published June 2014

A painter’s canvas, like a career, can have many layers. And as one examines those strata, one begins to get a glimpse into the secret history of that painting.

Read More

Physicist-Filmmakers Catch Particle Fever
Published May 2014

Mark Levinson and David Kaplan both have doctorates in physics, but chose very different career paths. Levinson became a scriptwriter and filmmaker and Kaplan remained an academic physicist. But the two came together over the last few years to create the film Particle Fever, which chronicles the story of the search for the Higgs boson, with unique insight into CERN’s two major experiments, ATLAS and CMS.

Read More

Physicists in International Aid: Developing Careers that Serve Humanity
Published April 2014

In a class on alternative energy taught by physicist Augusta Abrahamse, students participate in a solar car race at Universidad Privada Boliviana in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Read More

An Arresting Career Brings Technology to Law Enforcement
Published March 2014

These days, if you want to take a bite out of crime, you are going to be aided by various technologies, ranging from simple databases to tasers to DNA fingerprinting. And yet most police departments do not have staff with science or engineering backgrounds.

Read More

Physicists in Sports Deserve a Gold Medal
Published February 2014

With the Olympics starting this month in Russia, one can’t help but think of the significant role physics plays in orchestrating this enormous affair.

Read More

Part Two of a two-part Interview: Elon Musk on Mass, Mars, and MBAs
Published November 2013

Elon Musk, the founder of companies such as PayPal, Space X and Tesla Motors, studied physics and economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Part 1 of Alaina G. Levine's exclusive interview with Musk appeared in the October APS News.

Read More

Part 1 of two-part Interview: Entrepreneur Elon Musk Talks About his Background in Physics
Published October 2013

Elon Musk, the founder or co-founder of companies such as PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors, studied physics and economics at the University of Pennsylvania. In part one of an exclusive two-part interview with Alaina G. Levine, Musk discusses how he bases his thought processes on first principles, the benefits he gets from having studied physics and why he's proud to call himself a nerd.

Read More

A Stint in Italy’s Parliament Teaches Many Lessons
Published July 2013

As Cardinals began to gather in Vatican City to elect a new Pope earlier this year, another type of conclave was occurring only a few kilometers away. In the Italian Parliament in the heart of Rome, Giovanni Bachelet was saying arrivederci to his colleagues.

Read More

Geophysicist Rocks at Helm of International Tsunami Information Center
Published May 2013

The day after Christmas 2004 began in a typical non-eventful manner for most of the planet. But in the early morning hours in Indonesia, an earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1-9.3 struck off the west coast of Sumatra.

Read More

Leading the Search to Find ET is No Gamble to this Physicist
Published January 2013

Gerry Harp hates the film “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” The physicist, who took over the reins of the SETI Institute in July 2012 from its longtime leader Jill Tarter, thinks the movie about aliens attacking Earth doesn’t do much to enhance the reputation of the beings he is hoping his team will find.

Read More

CSI: Physics-The Case of the Fabulous Career in Forensics
Published October 2012

Steve Compton doesn’t interrogate suspects nor does he analyze chalk outlines of dead bodies. But he is a detective and does crack cases.

Read More

Learning from Lindau: A Physics Meeting Like No Other
Published August/September 2012

In early July, more than a score of physics and chemistry Nobel Laureates and nearly 600 students from all over the world gathered in the little lake town of Lindau, Germany for the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.

Read More

To Infinity and Beyond with Physics
Published June 2012

The Incredible Tony DeRose spends his days thinking about computer rendering and algorithms and his nights dreaming about cars, monsters and toys.

Read More

Ode to an Astrophysicist: Fang Lizhi, 1936-2012
Published May 2012

On April 6, 2012, Fang Lizhi, a prominent astrophysicist and Chinese dissident, passed away in Tucson, AZ. He was 76.

Read More

Come Fly The Friendly Skies With You-Know-Who
Published April 2012

The middle seat sucks and the food is lousy or nonexistent. But why should you complain? You are flying in a gigantic tube made of tons of steel and aluminum at speeds around 500 miles per hour more than 30,000 feet above Earth.

Read More

A Smooth and Silky Career
Published January 2012

The seemingly pedestrian razor blade you utilize every day is really something quite extraordinary. Its components are crafted from advanced composite materials and thin films.

Read More

Mmm, Mmm, Physics! The Man with the Plan for Cans
Published December 2011

Alexander Skutlartz did not expect to work in the soup business. He did not plan to make his mark with mushrooms or to develop an x-ray innovation for metal cans.

Read More

Physicists Take the Plunge as Entrepreneurs
Published November 2011

A cabal of cacophonic college kids inspired Shahriar Afshar to become an entrepreneur. It was 2004, and the physicist was serving as a visiting professor at a college, temporarily residing in the dorms.

Read More

Designing Games in Sin City Pays Off
Published April 2011

Lady Luck doesn’t always smile on physicists, but for Olaf Vancura, she not only grinned, she handed him the jackpot.

Read More

President Will Mount Vigorous Defense of Science Funding, Says Advisor Holdren
Published March 2011

Physicist John Holdren became Science Advisor to President Barack Obama in 2009. He serves as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

Read More

At Play, Day and Night in the Museum
Published January 2011

Paul Doherty was very direct on the phone. “I have the best job in the world. Wait until you hear what I get to do in physics.”

Read More

Physicist Loses Congressional Race in Arizona
Published December 2010

If it really does take a rocket scientist to fix our problems in the federal government, Arizona voters may not agree. In the race in Arizona’s 7th Congressional District between incumbent Democrat Raúl M. Grijalva, and Republican Ruth McClung, the unofficial tally was clearly in favor of Grijalva.

Read More

In Command, on the Front Lines of Radiation Research
Published December 2010

If you are traveling through the airport and happen to be standing next to Colonel Mark Melanson while he is in uniform, you will know right away that he is in the Army; however, that would hardly begin to tell the whole story.

Read More

Run For Office: Just Follow the Law and Leave the Spherical Cow Jokes Behind
Published October 2010

Politics, says Ruth McClung, physicist and Republican candidate for the House of Representatives in Tucson, Arizona (7th district), is like “A Tale of Two Cities”: it is the best of times and the worst of times.

Read More

Brewing a Life of Worts and Ale
Published August/September 2010

I guess physics can be boring sometimes. How many times can you measure the expansion of the Universe? And what’s the deal with lasers?

Read More

It's a Bumpy Ride to Private Management for Los Alamos, Livermore
Published June 2010

When the management of the historic Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) was transferred from the University of California to two private companies, many officials hailed the move as the turning over of a new leaf for the labs.

Read More

The Futurama of Physics with David X. Cohen
Published May 2010

In the episode “Bender’s Big Score” of Futurama, the animated television comedy, the character Professor Farnsworth contemplates paradox-free time travel.

Read More

NIH Recruits Physicists to Battle Cancer
Published March 2010

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is investing millions of dollars in a collaborative network of 12 Physical Science-Oncology Centers that will provide new in- sight into the war on cancer.

Read More

NIH Recruits Physicists to Battle Cancer
Published March 2010

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is investing millions of dollars in a collaborative network of 12 Physical Science-Oncology Centers that will provide new in- sight into the war on cancer.

Read More

The Greening of the Physicist
Published February 2010

As a physicist employed by the R and D division of United Solar Ovonics (USO), Jessica Owens’ job is to help develop new production materials for solar cells.

Read More

The Auto Industry’s a Deal for Physicists
Published January 2010

Bita Ghaffari went into the auto industry following her postdoc because she wanted to make an impact. “What I do,” says the Technical Expert at Ford Motor Company’s Research and Advanced Engineering (R & A) division, “is a small part of larger projects that can ultimately affect a lot of people.”

Read More

Consulting Firms Make Use of Physics Skills
Published November 2009

Philip Farese was in the middle of bucolic Princeton contemplating CMB, the field of cosmology, and his career when he came to the realization: “I wasn’t god’s gift to science.”

Read More

Missile Man: Raytheon President influenced by Physics, Feynman, and Senators in Geeky Glasses
Published August/September 2009

Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) is the world’s leading producer of weapon systems for the United States military and the allied forces of more than 50 countries, according to company communications.

Read More

The Dark Matter on Earth and the Physicists Who Find It
Published June 2009

Forget high energy physics. If you really want to work on big problems in science, try a career in the oil and gas industry.

Read More

Helping Patients Leads to Satisfying Biotech Career
Published April 2009

One of the world’s largest biotechnology companies is a physics fan. Amgen, headquartered in Thousand Oaks, CA, develops medicines that treat various ailments such as kidney disease and congestive heart failure based on advances in recombinant DNA and molecular biology.

Read More

Finding Sanctuary in Faith and Physics
Published February 2009

A Priest and a Rabbi walk into a physics lab. It could be the start of a joke, but in this case it’s the premise of the lives of Michal Heller, a Catholic priest, and Ronald B. Kopelman, a rabbi, both of whom also happen to be physicists.

Read More

A Physics Star Among the Stars
Published December 2008

Tammy Jernigan was in space when she faced a curious conundrum concerning a floating ball of fluid.

Read More

He's Havin' a Ball at Ball
Published October 2008

Carl Gelderloos never stops smiling. Is this Boulder-based PhD physicist in the middle of a perpetual Rocky Mountain high?

Read More

After the Particles, it’s Power to the People for Physicist-turned-Politico Bill Foster
Published June 2008

Congressman Bill Foster wants YOU for the US Government.

Read More

Quants and the Conquest of The Street Called Wall
Published May 2008

In the song, Mo Money, Mo Problems, rapper The Notorious B.I.G. postulated that “the more money we come across, the more problems we see.” And though this is certainly a concern for all of us, it is even more so for physicists who work on Wall Street.

Read More

Physics Major Facilitates Success in Speechwriting (and the Funny Business)
Published February 2008

There is professional lore that claims a person changes careers on average seven times in their lives. Michael Long may demonstrate an element of truth to this.

Read More

From Physicist to War Correspondent: Mr. Glanz Goes to Baghdad
Published December 2007

Stop the presses. The new Baghdad Bureau Chief of The New York Times is a physicist.

Read More

From Researching the Universe to Running the University: The Physicist as President
Published November 2007

Rare are the physicists who will swap their passion for solving the most fundamental of scientific problems for any other occupation, let alone one in higher education administration.

Read More

Science Fiction Storytelling, Star Trek Style and Beyond
Published July 2007

If you conduct a Google search for “Andre Bormanis”, the first thing you’ll find is that he is one of the privileged few to have their biography listed on startrek.com, the official website of all that was and is Star Trek (ST).

Read More

A Leading Lederman in Industry
Published June 2007

Looking back on a successful and intellectually-stimulating career in research management and technology development spanning more than 30 years, Frank Lederman, former chief technology officer and vice president of Alcoa, doesn’t question his decision to choose industry over academia.

Read More

His Expert Opinion: Patents and Physics Make Great Partners
Published April 2007

Robert J. Rose has a passion for patents. As Managing Partner of Sheldon Mak Rose & Anderson, a boutique intellectual property (IP) law firm in Pasadena, California, this physics-educated professional has the opportunity to pursue his passion on a daily basis.

Read More



Optics & Photonics

Strategic Planning for Emerging Scientists
Published February 11, 2011

Launching a successful career requires the savvy ability to be able to visualize and achieve milestones that lead to a final objective. It is not clairvoyance—it is a skill that is sharpened over time, and one that starts with building a strategic career plan.

Read More

Professional Etiquette for Scientists
Published February 2, 2011

Sometimes we are inclined to argue that our skills, talents and reputation alone will secure us advancement opportunities in the fields of science and engineering. But here’s a truth that your scientific advisor may not have mentioned: Manners matter too.

Read More

Team Dynamics: Understanding Your Role
Published January 20, 2011

For every experience you have in your career, there will be one constant: You will always serve on teams. It doesn’t matter the task, the problem, the goal or the organization."

Read More



Physics Central - Physics Buzz Blog

Looking for Hydrocarbons - "Physics Answers These Questions"
Published May 17, 2011

At the APS April Meeting, Clark and two of his colleagues in O & G research discussed the latest technologies designed to locate hydrocarbons and access the liquid gold.

Read More

Physics on the Disneyland Express: There are lots of large worlds after all
Published May 13, 2011

My continuing mission is to bump into and engage scientists everywhere I happen to go. The airplane, believe it or not, has produced many such encounters. For some reason, I just happen to always sit next to someone in science or engineering.

Read More

Writing Science Fiction: Trying to Avoid “The Button” (Physics in Hollywood, Part 2)
Published May 10, 2011

In the future, which may include mean aliens destroying our planet and us migrating to another world, or wacko aliens eating our brains and completely obliterating our existence, or warm and fuzzy aliens who want to “friend” us on Facebook, there will be problems. Mo’ aliens, mo’ problems, as they say.

Read More

Q and A with Q, et al re: Physics of Hollywood, Part 1
Published May 5, 2011

One of the unique benefits of holding the APS April Meeting in Anaheim, California, is that the city is just down the road from LA. A tertiary, confidential, semi-reliant “informant” specifically told me that he/she estimated that the likes of Tom Cruise, Samuel L. Jackson and Madonna had all expressed a grand desire to attend the conference, but unfortunately their schedules did not permit them to do so.

Read More

Van Der Waals Wildcats Away!
Published January 28, 2011

I make it no secret that my alma mater and former employer is the University of Arizona (UA). I spent many years there amongst the strange attractors in the Physics and other science and engineering departments, soaking up as much fascinating why-the-world-works-the-way-it-does knowledge as possible.

Read More

Know when to say when on the Golden Gate Bridge
Published January 27, 2011

Next year is the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. So it was fitting that while in San Francisco this week I took a look at this modern marvel, but more importantly, learned a little about the physics associated with keeping it intact.

Read More

I SPIE a Hot Guy
Published January 26, 2011

Lenses, lasers and mirrors. Everyone knows that these everyday items form the basis of one of the most interesting and complicated “scingineering” arenas of modern times: Photonics.

Read More

From the American Astronomical Society Meeting: Mind Your Bulge
Published January 13, 2011

There is no way one could be lost in space at the 217th American Astronomical Society (AAS) Meeting this week, held in Seattle, WA. Although thousands of people attended, there was still plenty of opportunity to cull through the particulates and learn about the hottest cosmological discoveries on Earth.

Read More

AGU, Part 2: Geophysics is Loud and Icy
Published December 17, 2010

The AGU Meeting in San Francisco this week was attended by an estimated 16,000 people. The crowds were massive and the lines for Starbucks were long. But perhaps nowhere was the excitement over all things geophysics-remotely-related more apparent during the evening business meetings focusing on each section of the Society.

Read More

Putting the G in AGU, Part 1
Published December 15, 2010

There may be a ring around the Earth, according to a consultant whose poster was presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Annual Fall Meeting this week in San Francisco. And that ring might be affecting climate change.

Read More

The Law of Attraction: I will meet physicists
Published July 9, 2010

You'd think in a conference the size of the Euroscience Open Forum, with thousands of scientists, students, and journalists from all over the world, that I might run into a physicist or two.

Read More

City of Brotherly Love. City of Lights. City of Angels. City of Science.
Published July 6, 2010

This week, Torino, Italy, is hosting the largest science conference in Europe, the Euroscience Open Forum (2-7 July 2010). This is no surprise - the city has a major scientific history. Primo Levi was from here. The MP3 was invented in 1988 by Leonardo Chiariglione, a regional engineer.

Read More

Nico Turns 90 (and I was there!)
Published March 13, 2010

Talk about being in the right place at the right time – on Friday, March 12, 2010, I had the privilege and good fortune to be able to attend a conference and birthday party in celebration of one of the greatest physicists of the 20th and 21st centuries – Nicolaas Bloembergen.

Read More

Warning: loss of digits can be expected
Published March 12, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to the physics demo. I thought I lost my finger. There was blood everywhere. I was in excruciating pain.

Read More

New Unit of Energy from a "Godfather"
Published March 9, 2010

Watch out, Joule: there’s a new unit of energy measurement on the block that is oh so green.

Read More

I Heart Particle Accelerators!
Published March 4, 2010

There’s great news, nay stupendous news, that should be tweeted and facebooked immediately. Turns out, physics can actually benefit society.

Read More

Much Ado about Dolphins, even if they don't wear physics t-shirts
Published March 2, 2010

Given the fact that there were hundreds of sessions at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego last month, it should come as no surprise that I am still reporting on my experiences there. It was a seemingly endless science smörgåsbord. Hurra!

Read More

Interview with an Intelligent Lifeform: Jill Tarter, Director of SETI
Published February 25, 2010

There was clearly intelligent life at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego, held February 18-22. In particular, I had the good fortune to sit down with Jill Tarter, Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI Research and Director, Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute.

Read More

Science- The Gathering
Published February 23, 2010

To my left was the ocean – dark and deep. It called to me, a mysterious enigma, with treasures and puzzles of flora, fauna and rock that still remain to be discovered and solved by who knows who.

Read More

Fingers and Franks in the LN2
Published February 17, 2010

It’s a fairly easy equation: fingers + liquid nitrogen = screams + injury + scars. So whenever I did liquid nitrogen physics demos for little children, or silly adults with finger-death wishes, I would always begin my show with a warning – do not try this at home.

Read More

Physicists (and Physics Aficionados) are Human Too
Published February 9, 2010

Physicists are playful people. They like a good joke and a rib, although some may not admit it. When I worked for the University of Arizona Physics Department, some of the loudest laughter in the building could be found coming from professors’ offices.

Read More

Study Physics - It's the Whole Enchilada
Published February 3, 2010

If you're gonna study something, you might as well study physics. At least that's what I used to tell my students when I taught at the University of Arizona. Physics is the heart of all, physics is the whole enchilada, physics is totality, physics is everything, physics is existence.

Read More

Interview with Brian Greene, renowned physicist, author, and string theorist
Published April 16, 2009

While in the Phoenix area attending the Origins Symposium, I had the opportunity to sit down with Brian Greene, Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Columbia University, author, lecturer, and of course, string theorist extraordinaire.

Read More

The Origins Symposium
Published April 13, 2009

While the nation is embroiled in economic woe and stimulus skepticism, famed physicist and author Lawrence Krauss launched a new type of stimulus plan in the desert of Arizona last weekend that has guaranteed results.

Read More

The Bethe that Got Away (Part II)
Published May 15, 2007

A number of years ago, I was working a gig as the assistant to an editor of a major journal. My job was simple: process the papers as they were submitted and follow up with the referees.

Read More

The Bethe that Got Away (Part I)
Published May 14, 2007

Some people collect stamps or model trains. I collect the autographs of Nobel-prize winning scientists. I don’t have many, but my collection is growing.

Read More



COSMOS Magazine

A World Within
Published June, 2012

The rainforest smell is so fragrant I can’t help but take big, heaping sniffs to appreciate its scent. But it’s also hot and humid and before long sweat is pouring down my face and my mascara has outlined trails of black ink on my cheek.

Read More



Smithsonian

An Astronomer’s Solution to Global Warming
Published February 3, 2012

The technology developed for telescopes, it turns out, can harness solar power.

Read More



IEEE Spectrum

Rick Mahurin Applies Technical Wizardry to Auto Racing
Published March 27, 2013

Last August, a sleek blue-and-green Porsche sped at more than 200 kilometers per hour as it headed into “the kink,” a sinuous section of the Road America racetrack in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The car, a US $650 000 911 GT3 RSR, was just minutes from its final pit stop in this four-hour race, one of the American Le Mans Series, when it went careening off the course.

Read More

Dream Jobs 2012: Designing Automation for Acrobats
Published January 31, 2012

Phillip Toussaint‘s computer code moves the scenery, props, and other gear that make magic for Cirque du Soleil and other extravaganzas.

Read More



New Scientist Magazine

A Matter of Chemistry
Published September 17, 2011

Chemists are in demand in many industries but getting your foot in the door can be difficult.

Read More



Arizona Alumni Magazine

Fighting for Megafish: Zeb Hogan ’96

Everyone wants to be a “big fish” in his field. For Zeb Hogan, big fish are his field. Megafish, to be precise: the largest freshwater fish on the planet. Sometimes reaching 200 pounds and six feet in length, megafish inhabit streams, rivers, and lakes on six continents.

Read More

A Director with an Eye for Endings

It is no surprise that UA media arts alumnus Chris Eyre had his own career ending in sight even before he started his intensive training at the UA. When he was only a freshman, he was asked by a stranger about his profession. His answer was quick and to the point: “I’m a director,” he responded, although he hadn’t yet directed any films.

Read More

Jon Gandomi ’04: Supporting America’s Interests Abroad

Jon Gandomi, a 2004 graduate with a degree in international affairs with honors, works at the intersection of war and peace. As a field representative in the U.S. Embassy in Kampala, Uganda, he coordinates with U.S. Special Forces in the region in their efforts to find and arrest warlord Joseph Kony, the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army or LRA.

Read More

Creative Problem-Solving

The UA Raymond J. Oglethorpe Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of surgery is a pioneer in the field of computer-assisted surgical training. Rozenblit’s patent-pending system helps students develop hand-eye coordination skills for complex surgical procedures with computer guided training methods for minimally invasive surgery.

Read More

Writing Team of Hickey and McCoy

When Pamela Hickey ’75 and Dennys McCoy ’75 met at Tucson’s Catalina High School, they quickly found that they had more in common than their lunch hour. “We were the only people we knew who knew the credits of writers for comedy shows,” says McCoy.

Read More

Pamela Ross embraces patient care and holistic therapies

Pamela Ross loves medicine and can’t imagine being anything other than a doctor and a healer. As a board-certified doctor of adult and pediatric emergency medicine, she spent 17 years in the University of Virginia Health System in various roles, from treating patients in the ER to serving as a hospital administrator.

Read More

UA Goal: A Global Water-Research Hub
Published Fall 2011

When does Shane Snyder have time to breathe? A pioneer in detecting contaminants in water, the professor of chemical and environmental engineering turned Harvard down to join the UA last year.

Read More

Earthquake Engineer: UA Team Performs Earthquake Reconnaissance in Haiti and New Zealand
Published Spring/Summer 2011

Three little girls in tattered T-shirts approached - they spoke no English and smiled brightly. Their curiosity in the engineer's efforts among the rubble was clear and energetic - what was he doing? Why was he using that strange equipment?

Read More

To Boldly Go Where No Tomato Has Gone Before: Growing Plants on the Moon
Published Fall 2010

Scientists and engineers at the University of Arizona are taking one small step for man, one giant leap for lettuce.

Read More

Nobel Prize Winner Celebrates 90th Birthday
Published Fall 2010

Nicolaas Bloembergen, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1981 for his "contribution to the development of laser spectroscopy," has been on the UA faculty since 2001.

Read More

A Marvelous Mischief-Maker with Astronomical Aspirations
Published Fall 2009

When Kevin Marvel '90 was an undergraduate, he helped orchestrate a campus-wide prank involving a team of 15 students and 950 erasers.

Read More



Nature.com

Spotlight on California
Published June 10, 2015

California Love: Why the West is best for start-ups California is a hub of start-up activity, where industry, government and academia do what they can to help life scientists turn their research into a business.

Read More

Spotlight on Biotech/Pharma
Published June 10, 2015

THROUGHOUT HISTORY, the wealth and power of Big Pharma has ebbed and flowed to match its popularity. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that the global pharmaceuticals market will be worth US$400 billion within three years. The 10 largest drugs companies control more than a third of this market, several making sales of more than US$10 billion a year.

Read More



World Economic Forum

How the Data Revolution Will Change the World
September 9, 2014

The television show Star Trek gave us much to look forward to: teleporting, food “replicators” and that other far-fetched creation – the data scientist.

Read More



Al Arabiya News

A Spock in Every Boardroom
September 14, 2014

The idea that people in leadership roles should specialize in the organization, visualization and translation of vast swathes of data is no longer limited to sci-fi buffs.

Read More