Micrographs from WSU’s Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center
Washington State University’s Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center deploys half a dozen different microscopes in pursuit of the small. Researchers from a wide variety of academic fields use these tools to see and visualize their work, often producing beautiful micrographs of specimens with light microscopes, scanning electron microscopes (SEM), transmission electron microscopes (TEM), fluorescence microscopes, or confocal microscopes.
The ion investigators
Video: WSU chemist applies Google software to webs of the molecular world
The technology that Google uses to analyze trillions of web pages is being brought to bear on the way molecules are shaped and organized.» More ...
Google ranking molecules
When Aurora Clark likened water molecules to webpages, and the hydrogen bonds that connect them to hyperlinks, she knew she was onto something. As she thought about it on a larger scale, billions of water molecules began resembling the World Wide Web. And where else could Clark, an associate professor of chemistry, turn to make sense of such a vast network?
Google, of course.
By adapting Google’s PageRank to determine how molecules are shaped and organized, Clark started her journey of importing concepts from computer science into her work in chemistry. First she used Google, but recently Clark has employed digital mapping principles and ideas … » More …
George R. “Bob” Pettit ’52—A profile in persistence
Every few days, Bob Pettit ’52 runs six miles. Now 83, he has done this since his late 20s, when he joined the faculty of the University of Maine and felt the mounting tensions of academic life.
“It’s a great release of stress,” he said this fall while visiting Pullman to receive the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor for WSU alumni. “And I think aerobic exercise is the secret formula for longevity.”
Pettit’s running habit also speaks to his fortitude, whether he’s diving in waters around the world in a search for natural cures to cancer, finding new ways to process tons of … » More …
Cultivating new energy
With just a whiff of irony, let’s sing a song of praise for gasoline.
A single gallon contains more than 30,000 calories. You wouldn’t want to drink it, but in straight-up energy terms, that’s enough to power a human for about two weeks.
Gasoline is convenient, portable, and for the most part, cheap. For the purposes of this story, I used it to log more than 1,000 miles around Washington State and make appointments, easily, and always on … » More …
You, too, can run a nuclear reactor
Particles moving faster than the speed of light. Elements transmuted from one to another. A million watts of power. Hands-on practice controlling a nuclear reactor.
These are some of the selling points of Chemistry 490, a specialized elective class offered by Donald Wall, director of WSU’s Nuclear Radiation Center, which houses the university’s research and teaching nuclear reactor. The course, which has been filled to capacity both times it’s been taught, gives students of all backgrounds a chance to learn enough about nuclear reactors to pass the formidable exam to become a federally licensed nuclear Reactor Operator (RO).
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