Category: Physics

Amherst College Science Center

We Are the Cosmic Weirdos: Exploring the Role and Function of Dark Matter in the Universe

Profile picture of Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

On March 29, Presidential Scholar Chanda Prescod-Weinstein gave a talk in the Science Center called “Cosmic Probes of the Dark Sector.” Prescod-Weinstein is an Assistant Professor of Physics and Core Faculty Member in Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire. She began her talk by telling the audience that “there are no stupid questions,…

Reflecting on LIGO SURF

As one of the postdocs who mentored the LIGO SURF program put it, there are five goals to an REU, which are, in order of importance: Safety and health Have fun I learn something My mentors learn something The project A major aim of a summer research internship is to learn what it means to…

A new kind of astronomical collision!

Still image from a numerical simulation of a black hole / neutron star merger. Image credit: S.V.Chaurasia (Stockholm University), T. Dietrich (Potsdam University and Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics), N. Fischer, S. Ossokine, H. Pfeiffer (Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics), ,https://www.ligo.org/detections/NSBH2020/files/BHNS_GW200115.png. Scientists have long predicted that neutron stars and black holes could orbit…

Separating Black Holes from the Noise

Hi, everyone! I’m Cailin Plunkett, a rising junior majoring in physics and mathematics. This summer, I’m researching gravitational waves through the Caltech LIGO SURF program. Electromagnetic (EM) radiation—like infrared, visible light, UV, etc—is the type of data we are used to receiving from space. The first telescopes looked at stars and planets in the visible…

“Building Equity”: A Talk with Prof. Janice Hudgings

Janice Hudgings

In the early weeks of Fall 2016, Prof. Janice Hudgings of Pomona College tasked the sophomores in her Modern Physics course with identifying the scientists whose work was presented in the course textbook. The results: of the credited scientists, 99% were male, and 98% were white. These statistics are only the beginning. Since the late…

Spectra’s STEM Internship Survival Guide – Academia & Research

How do I pick a supervisor?

Considering applying for STEM internships? Interested in experiences inside or outside of academia? Unsure how to get funding for these exciting opportunities (as a U.S. citizen, international, or undocumented student)? It can be hard to find summer opportunities while studying for midterms and completing coursework. Fortunately, Spectra (Amherst College’s very own Physics, Biophysics, and Astronomy…