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Low Temp Lab    Prof. Mike Ray

The Coolest Place in Sactown!
When Prof. Michael Ray started in the fall of 2015, we knew that he was set on turning Sac State into the coolest place in Sacramento. It has to be if you're interested in studying the properties of solid helium! Solid helium requires temperatures near absolute zero combined with high pressures (~25 atm), so Ray and his team of students are working hard to get their system running while developing new sensors to accurately measure pressures in this extreme environment. 

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Prof. DeGraffenreid with AAPT Past President Mary Mogge

AAPT Comes to Sacramento
This past July, the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) returned to Sacramento for the first time since we hosted their Summer Meeting in 2004. Nearly twelve hundred high school and college educators attended the meeting and sat in on a wide range of topical sessions, heard outstanding plenary speakers, and participated in forty two teaching workshops (which were held on campus).

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Psst.... We're about to hire again!
After a year off, we are about to start another tenure-track faculty search. After hiring three experimentalists in our past four hires, we've decided that we are due to get another theorist on board. We expect to formally announce the vacancy in mid-September for an August 2017 start. 

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Student Leah Weston meeting SETI founder Frank Drake. /></span></p> <p><span class=

Student Projects
What do Sacramento, Mountain View, Ogden, Davis, and Geneva have in common? They were all home to Sac State Physics Majors this summer working on a variety of projects! This summer our majors worked on projects at ATLAS, SETI, LUX, as well as projects with faculty on campus (even a Math Professor). 

Our students are working on projects that span from among the lowest of temperatures, to TeV collisions. From helping understand how students learn, to learning if we're alone in the universe. To learn more about these projects, follow the link below....

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Alumni Update
A degree in physics can open up a wide range of career opportunities, but one that comes to the mind of most folks is in academia. In the past decade several alumni have settled into positions at colleges and universities around the country:

  • Mark Kerfoot (2008)
    Fresno City College
  • Benjamin Topham (2006)
    Longwood University
  • Jason Ybarra (2004)
    Bridgewater College
  • Peter Frinchaboy (2000)
    Texas Christian University


In the department link

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Department of Physics and Astronomy
Sequoia Hall 230
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6041
(916) 278-6518

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Focus on Physics is produced by the Department of Physics and Astronomy to showcase our activities and highlight the many ways alumni, donors and friends make a difference to our students.

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