Physics News

Shawn Hilbert '04 Accepts Tenure-Track Faculty Position at Texas Lutheran University, April 2009
Shawn Hilbert '04, has just accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Physics at Texas Lutheran University, a liberal arts college of 1400 students in southeast Texas. Dr. Hilbert successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation in Physics at the University of Nebraska in April of this year. He graduated from LVC with a major in physics in May 2004. Dr. Hilbert did research in the quantum optics group at Nebraska, and has always had an interest in working with undergraduates. While at Lebanon Valley, Dr. Hilbert did research in quantum information theory with Professor Scott Walck, resulting in a joinly authored paper. In his research at Nebraska, Dr. Hilbert has authored or coauthored two articles in scholarly journals and has two other articles submitted for publication. The picture at right shows him in his lab at the University of Nebraska's Department of Physics and Astronomy. Dr. Hilbert will begin his responsibilities as a faculty member at TLU this fall. Congratulations Professor Hilbert!

Professors Scott Walck and David Lyons Publish Quantum Information Article, March 2009
Professor Scott Walck of Lebanon Valley's Physics Department and Professor David Lyons of the Mathematical Sciences Department have published an article in the journal Physics Review A on recent results in quantum information.

In quantum mechanics, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and quantum entanglement sees to it that consideration of the affairs of a number of individual particles almost never tells the story about the collection as a whole. Nevertheless, the state of affairs of a collection of particles (the whole) is determined by the states of larger subcollections (the parts) for all but a small class of extremely entangled states, the identity of which has been unknown until now. In this paper, Professors Walck and Lyons show that the extremely entangled states of a collection of quantum bits (simple particles that can only be found in one of two states, say up or down), are none other than Schrodinger Cat states, special types of highly correlated states in which all quantum bits are up (cat alive) or all quantum bits are down (cat dead). Thus, the Schrodinger Cat states possess a higher degree of correlation than other quantum states, and appear to play a privileged role in the theory of quantum entanglement.

Professors Walck and Lyons work with LVC students each summer on research in the field of quantum information science.

Professor Mark Walker Lectures on German Atomic Bomb Project, February 2009
Professor Mark Walker of Union College lectured on "Nazi Physics and Hitler's Bomb". The topic overlaps with the research of Professor Michael Day and Nathan Hansell '02, a degree candidate in LVC's Master of Science Education program. Nate's Masters thesis, "Teaching Module for the German Atomic Bomb Project for High School and College Teachers," was influenced significantly by Walker's work. The picture shows (from left) Professor Day, Professor Walker, and Nathan Hansell '02. Mark Walker is the John Bigelow Professor of History at Union College in New York. He specializes in the history of German physics and is considered by many to be the leading historian on the German atomic bomb project. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1987, and has published numerous articles as well as six books including his "Nazi Science: Myth, Truth, and the German Atom Bomb." He has lectured throughout the United States and Europe as well as China and Japan, and appeared in a 2005 NOVA documentary on the German atomic bomb project.