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Rendering of Science Complex

New Science Building
After many years of planning we are very happy to announce that ground has recently been broken on the new Science Complex at Sacramento State. The 94,500-square-foot complex will occupy the space between the Guy West Bridge, the University Union, and the Hornet Bookstore (where many of us have parked our cars for years).

This building will primarily be occupied by the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Chemistry, but Physics and Astronomy's presence will be very visible. At the center of the new building is a Planetarium and Foucault Pendulum. Also on the top floor, we will have a new retractable roof observatory and observation deck.

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Sac State Students at 2016 Sigma Pi Sigma Congress

Hornets aplenty at 2016 Sigma Pi Sigma Congress
The 2016 Quadrennial Physics Congress, hosted by Sigma Pi Sigma, came to the area in November 2016. Twenty-four physics majors from Sacramento State joined nearly 1,200 other attendees from around the country at the Hyatt Regency near San Francisco Airport for the three-day long meeting.

Our students participated in workshops, tours of area labs (SLAC, Google X, etc.), and presented their research at one of the two poster sessions. They even became friends with Prof. Patrick Brady, LIGO representative and banquet speaker, who dropped several of their names during his speech.

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Squishy Physics
Prof. Mikkel Jensen and his collaborator, Dr. Eliza Morris, are well underway in developing their research lab in biophysics. In addition to building an optical tweezer system to probe the dynamics of biological systems, they have been involved in several modeling and simulation projects. Their work has involved several Sac State students and they have been collaborating with colleagues in our own Department of Biological Sciences but also at U-Mass, Boston University, and Harvard.

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Alumni Update
California's Radiologic Health Branch is entrusted with the oversight of radiation-producing machines and materials within the state as well as monitoring and oversight of contaminated sites. Three alumni currently work there and given expected retirements in the next decade, we could have many more:

  • Brigitte Ciobanu (2010)
  • Rafael "Rob" Custodio (2008)
  • Victoria Brandt (2007)

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Prof. Rodolfo Barniol Duran

Prof. Rodolfo Barniol Duran joins faculty
This fall, Rodolfo Barniol Duran will join the faculty. Originally from Ecuador, Prof. Barniol earned his BS from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas. He is an expert in understanding the complex physics of high energy astrophysical jets.

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Growing number of degrees!

Largest Class Ever!
The 2016-17 academic year has brought our largest graduating class in department history. With 18 degrees issued, it well exceeded the previous maximum of 11 (which happened three times). In fact, we are on target to have probably another 18-20 graduate next year.

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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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