2019 UCR Summer Physics Teacher Academy

SPTA 2019 is hosted by the UCR Department of Physics & Astronomy and California Science Project. Lectures are in the University of California, Riverside, Physics Building, Reading Room 3035.

Schedule of Presentations

Monday, June 24

8:00am Coffee & Networking
8:30am Opening Chair's Welcome Prof. Ken Barish
9:00am Teaching Physics Introduction to the CA NGSS and Physics of the Universe Dr. Maria Simani
10:30am Research Lecture Dark Matter Prof. Hai-Bo Yu
11:00am Break
11:20am Research Lecture Galaxies Prof. Laura Sales
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Teaching Physics Low Cost, Impactful K-12 Physics Demos Prof. Nathan Gabor
3:00pm Research Lecture Biophysics Prof. Tom Kuhlman

Tuesday, June 25

8:00am Coffee & Networking
8:30am Teaching Physics Introduction to PhETs (online demos) Prof. Michael Anderson
10:30am Research Lecture Black Holes Prof. Simeon Bird
11:20am Research Lecture Entanglement Prof. Mike Mulligan
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Physics Refresher Work/Energy Prof. Brian Siana
3:00pm Teaching Physics Developing and using scientific models to explain phenomena Dr. Maria Simani
Wednesday, June 26
8:00am Coffee & Networking
8:30am Physics Refresher Optics Prof. Joshua Lui
10:30am Break
10:50am UCR Student Panel Preparing for College Prof. Flip Tanedo (Moderator)
Lexi Costantino
Sergio Garcia
Breanna Lucero
Renata Koontz
noon Lunch
1:00pm Lab Research Experience
Lab Tour Prof. Igor Barsukov Lab
Lab Tour Prof. Joshua Lui Lab
Lab Tour Prof. Nathan Gabor Lab
Lab Tour Prof. Yongtao Cui Lab
Lab Tour Prof. Allen Mills Lab
Lab Tour Prof. Peng Wei Lab
Thursday, June 27
8:00am Coffee & Networking
8:30am Physics Refresher Electromagnetism Prof. Allen Mills
10:30am Break
10:50am Research Lecture Controlling quantum systems Prof. Boerge Hemmerling
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Discussion + Panel Women in Physics Book Club
The Only Woman in the Room, E. Pollack
Prof. Flip Tanedo
Lexi Costantino
3:00pm Teaching Physics Instructional shifts for the CA NGSS Dr. Maria Simani
Friday, June 28
8:00am Coffee & Networking
8:30am Physics Refresher Force and Motion Prof. Michael Anderson
10:00am Research Lecture Th Origin of the Universe Prof. Anson D'Aloisio
10:50am Teaching Physics Why study physics? Prof. Harry Tom
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm Teaching Physics Physics demo exchange Dr. Maria Simani and
all participants

Women in Physics Book Club

This year we will be piloting a new event for the summer physics teacher academy, a women in physics book club. We will host a discussion between the academy attendees and members of our department to:

  1. Learn from the teachers how our department can best serve the women and minority students from your classrooms as they transition to university physics.
  2. Let women in our department candidly share the types of unexpected challenges they faced in their physics education so that the teachers may best prepare their students ahead of college.
We will provide each SPTA attendees a copy of our book selection, Eileen Pollacks The Only Woman In the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys' Club. Attendees are expected to read the book ahead of time to be able to fully participate in the dicsussion and the panel discussion with UCR faculty and students.

The event is partially supported by an American Physical Society Committee on the Status of Women in Physics grant awarded to gradaute student Lexi Costantino.

Lab Tour Information

Barsukov Lab

Prof. Igor Barsukov's Lab focuses on experimental condensed matter physics and spintronics in particular. We design magnetic nanoscale devices and study spin dynamics and spin transport using microwave/terahertz spectroscopy. The goal of this research is to better understand the interplay of magnons and phonons and to develop energy-efficient spintronics applications. (Room 0178 MSE Building, Phone: 951-827-5389)

Lui Lab

The Lui group focuses on laser spectroscopy and Ultrafast science of Innovative materials.  In particular, we are interested in the electron, phonon and spin dynamics in novel two-dimensional systems, such as graphene, boron nitride and transition-metal dichalcogenides, as well as heterogeneous structures formed from these atomically thin materials.  Our experimental techniques include Raman, infrared, terahertz, and ultrafast pump-probe spectroscopy and imaging.  Our research also involves state-of-the-art nanoscale device fabrication and new methods of material fabrication, characterization and manipulation. (Room 0172 MSE Building, Phone: 347-839-5818)

Gabor Lab

Our group is interested in the discovery of new quantum phenomena in atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) electronic materials including graphene, hexagonal boron nitride, and layered transition metal chalcogenides. These materials, many of which can be separated into few or single atomic layers, exhibit quasi-low dimensionality that may lead to strongly correlated electron behavior. Among correlated electronic materials, true 2D materials provide the distinct advantage that they are one atom thick, thus allowing the utilization of techniques generally applied to small atomic ensembles, such as laser-cooling and optical cavity coupling. By incorporating these materials into nanoscale electronic devices, we envision a distinct field of research that explores atomically thin condensed matter systems using precision techniques and concepts employed in atomic, molecular, and optical physics. (Room 0314, MSE Building, 951-827-5338)

Cui Lab

Our research group study quantum materials that exhibit fascinating electrical and magnetic properties, with the focus on probing and manipulating such properties on the nanoscale. We apply a variety of state-of-art experimental tools such as scanning probe microscopy, quantum transport, and nanofabrication. Among these, microwave techniques provide a powerful means to interact with materials and characterize their electro-magnetic response. By combining these methods, we aim to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the underlying physics in these materials and apply them to realize new device concepts and functionalities. (Room 055, MSE Building, Phone 951-827-5395)

Mills Lab

The research in the positron laboratory is mainly focused on dense positronium physics, with the long term goal of creating a Bose-Einstein condensation of Ps, and thence an annihilation gamma ray laser. This is an ambitious project, fraught with experimental difficulties, and has already necessitated the development of new experimental techniques. Positronium is a hydrogen-like meta-stable atom composed of an electron and its antiparticle, the positron. These atoms are very similar to hydrogen atoms in their gross structure but, being composed of a particle and its antiparticle, which may annihilate with one another, are inherently unstable. (Room 1153, Physics Building, Phone: 951-827-6469)

Wei Lab

Our research emphasizes on emerging quantum coherent phenomena in low-dimensional materials. We aim to enhance the life-time of the quantum states, including orbital, spin etc., of charge carriers e.g. electrons in solid state systems so that quantum coherence becomes robust and free from material imperfections. In particular, we thrive to create novel topologically protected quasiparticles by combining electron correlation, topological order and dimensionality under atomic level at the ultra-clean interface of material heterostructures. Understanding and controlling such topological quantum particles is our goal. Our lab features two molecular beam epitaxy systems (MBE) that allow us to synthesize sophisticated heterostructures among materials having drastically dislike properties. One of the MBE, a hybrid system, together with a custom designed glove box have the capability of producing nano-scale devices in-situ assisted by ultra-high vacuum suitcases. We study the quantum phenomena at mK temperature and high magnetic field.


First Name Last Name School Name District Name
Michelle Adams Eleanor Roosevelt High School Corona-Norco USD
Noah Bray-Ali Venice High School LAUSD
veronica galang Belmont high school LAUSD
Lee Graves Santiago High School Corona-Norco USD
Marian Head Madison High School San Diego USD
Layne Heiny Paloma Valley HS Perris Union HS District
Travis Hong Torrance High School Torrance Unified School District
Amber Iest Patriot High School Jurupa USD
Cuong Luu Sierra Vista High School Baldwin Park USD
Marianne Maki Reseda Community Charter High School LAUSD
Matthew Martin Yucca Valley High School Morongo Unified School District
Scot Mathis Indian Springs High School San Bernardino City USD
Will Molenkamp WISH Academy High School LAUSD - Public Charter
Willard Neely University High School Charter LAUSD
Asher Nevell Bernstein high STEM academy LAUSD
Judy Karina Perez Soto James Garfield High School LAUSD
Kevin Slattery Temple City High School Temple City USD
Michael Smith Redlands eAcademy Redlands Unified School District
Lana Taylor Riverside STEM Riverside USD
Fernando Torres Aspire Ollin University Preparatory Academy Aspire Public Schools
Patrick Woods Don Lugo HS Chino Valley USD
Miguel Zapata Herbert Hoover High School Fresno USD
Noah Conaway Paloma Valley High School Perris Union HS District
Lizeth Romo UC Riverside UCR

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Contact Information

Please e-mail Professor Yu () or Dr. Maria Simani () for more information.

This website was designed by and is maintained by Professor Flip Tanedo ().

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