Department News

August 2014  The Physics Group in the REVS-UP (Research Experience Vitalizing Science University Program) funded by Chevron Corp. had again a great time this year. Drs. Gasparyan and Meyer organized the four-week event around the Faraday Rotation experiment. We had a number of challenges, such as our laser was broken to start with (giving us the opportunity to learn much about lasers and polarization), we wanted to increase the sensitivity of the equipment (this worked very well by using half-way mirrors to increase the effective length of our sample), and we wanted to measure the wavelength dependence of the Verdet constant - and failed, because we didn't have light sources with other wavelengths. In all, we produced four great posters. Some of the other experiments we did were: 

Measurement of the speed of light

Measurement of the temperature dependence of blackbody radiation

Millikan's Oildrop Experiment, which measures the charge of the electron

Measurement of Planck's constant using the photoelectric effect

Bragg scattering of crystal lattices

Studying and photgraphing spectra of various atoms

High precision diffraction

Measurement of the muon lifetime

The members of the Physics Group were (this was the largest group we ever had):

Geoffrey Bartz          Cesar Cabato                    Padraic Castillo                        

Raven Dean                      Tyler Ferris                    Kathryn Morales

Andrew Ramirez          Leslie Soledad          Jonathan Soto

Kian Talaei                     Aime Torres

Jerod Moore, teacher at Arvin High School

Michael Medrano and Josh Lofy, CSUB Student Assistants

Faculty Advisors: Dr. Vladimir Gasparyan, Dr. Thomas Meyer


For a view of the four posters presented at the 2014 CSUB Chevron REVS-UP poster presentations click the links below:

         - Faraday Rotation

        - Testing a Randomly Polarized Laser

        - Atomic Spectra

        - Millikan't, But We Can (aka Millkan's Oil Drop Experiment)

June 2014. 

We would like to congratulate Michael Medrano and Emmanuel Medina Lopez, who graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics. Emmanuel was accepted at the University of Oregon for graduate school in Physics. Michael will attend Cal State Northridge for graduate studies in Mechanical Engineering. We wish both of them the best for their future endeavors.


June 2014.  Honors in Washington DC

Hi all, 

I hope you are enjoying the summer break. I am in DC with a USDA fellowship.

 I have some good news.  The Editors of Computers and Electronics in Agriculture Journal awarded me with a Certificate of Reviewing Excellence. This is a great honor!!! I am really happy (it's the best journal in my field).

 "Only awarded once a year to a small hand-picked selection of reviewers, as identified by our journal Editors and Editor-in-Chiefs, this accolade is recognition of your hard work and contribution to the publication of scientific and medical research.

We thank you for your help and hope that you will continue to assist your fellow researchers, clinicians, doctors, engineers and scientists in the following years in continuing to peer-review manuscripts for ours and other journals."

This is my second award for this year. The other one was my paper "Training System Affects Sweet Cherry Harvest Efficiency"[HortScience 48(5):547-555] has been named the ASHS Extension Publication Award winner for papers published in 2013.


Yiannis Ampatzidis


April 2014. Physics and Valley Fever??? 

Dear physics student,

An article appears in the May 2014 issue of the popular science magazine Discover. The article references some work we did on valley fever. Some students, Dr. Lauer (in the Biology Department), and I downloaded satellite images taken by NASA, and did some analysis to try to figure out where in the Southern San Joaquin Valley you might expect to find the fungus which causes the disease. See below. The image quality is downgraded because I downloaded it from the online magazine, but if you are interested, you can look for the printed magazine in the reading room in the library. Prior to that, we had done some work to find statistical connections between fluctuations in weather patterns and incidence of valley fever.

I am not telling you all this to brag. (Well, OK. Maybe just a little.) But I wanted to illustrate how training in physics gives you skills which you can apply to other areas. In fact, it is not uncommon at all for physicists to do interesting things other than physics. (Nothing wrong with that!)


Have a great quarter.

All my best,

 Dr. Talamantes

June 2013. Congratulations to Jack Brault who is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. Jack gave an interesting series of lectures on superconductivity during Senior Seminar. We wish him the best for the future.

June 2013. The Academic Senate has approved two additional Emphases to our degree program in Engineering Sciences. They cover the areas of Petroleum Engineering as well as Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering. Both programs will begin offering advanced courses this coming Fall. Look elsewhere in our webpage to see the detailed descriptions of the programs. The Department already offers the Emphasis of Engineering Management, in conjunction with CSUB's School of  Business and Public Administration, which is now completing its first year.

May 2013. The Department of Physics and Engineering is happy to announce that Dr. Dayanand Saini has agreed to join Drs. Abouelnasr and Cabrales to further develop our Engineering Sciences programs, particularly in the area of Petroleum Engineering.

Dr. Saini received a Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.He is presently Research Manager - Reservoir Engineering at the Energy & Environmental Research Center of the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND. His research interests are focused on numerical and experimental investigations of gas injection enhanced oil recovery processes, carbon dioxide-oil miscibility, and geologic storage of carbon dioxide.

May 2013. Dr. Gasparyan has published two papers.

1) The first article appeared in the journal  Solid State Communications and is entitled: Localization length in the quasi one-dimensional disordered system revisited. Co-author is Emilio Cuevas from the Universidad de  Murcia in  Spain.

2) The second article appeared in  PHYSICAL REVIEW A 87 with the title: Faraday rotation in a disordered medium. Its co-author is Zh. S. Gevorkian of the Yerevan Physics Institute in Armenia.

April 2013.  The following is from a press release regarding the Grand Opening of CSUB's new Engineering Complex.

April 3, 2013 - CSU Bakersfield held a grand opening celebration this morning of their new Engineering complex with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The new buildings were funded by two grants from the US Department of Education. The 5,000 square foot complex includes laboratory and classroom space that will house more than one million dollars of the necessary equipment to be used in the three Engineering Programs currently available at CSUB: Computer Engineering, which began in fall of 2011, and Electrical Engineering and Engineering Sciences, which began fall of 2012. Although the programs are fairly new, they have already surpassed the enrollment numbers that were not expected until 2015.


"These Engineering Programs have become some of the fastest growing programs in the university now," said Julio Blanco, Dean of the School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering. "We are way ahead of the curve, and we could not offer these programs without these buildings and the equipment they house. This allows us to provide Engineers to this community that are prepared and locally trained."

In attendance at the ribbon cutting ceremony were: the Honorable Mayor of Bakersfield Harvey Hall, CSUB President Dr. Horace Mitchell, CSUB Vice President of Academic Affairs Soraya Coley, Dr. Blanco, CSUB NSME faculty and staff, Representatives from the offices of Congressman Kevin McCarthy and the Kern County Board of Supervisors, CSUB faculty and staff, CSUB students and Bakersfield community members.

February 2013. Drs. Lewis and Meyer, with the help of former departmental Administrative Support Coordinator Penny Lamkins organized this year's Regional Science Bowl Competition - for the 17th time. The event ran smoothly and the winner was Tehachapi High School, who will represent our area at the National Science Bowl Competition in Washington DC this coming May. Thanks to all the Science Departments at the CSUB, who presented interesting displays and demonstrations. Thanks also to Occidental Petroleum of  Elk Hills, Aera Energy, and the US Department of Energy for supporting and sponsoring this exciting event.

August 2012 The Physics Group in the REVS-UP program completed its work after completing a number of experiments, all of which led to to the transition from Classical to Modern Physics. Here is the list of experiments:

  • Measurement of the speed of light
  • Measurement of the temperature dependence of blackbody radiation
  • Millikan's Oildrop Experiment, which measures the charge of the electron
  • Rutherford Scattering Experiment, which led to the discovery of the atomic nucleus
  • Measurement of Planck's constant using the photoelectric effect
  • Bragg scattering of crystal lattices
  • Measurement of Planck's constant by measuring the Balmer series in hydrogen
  • Measurement of the muon lifetime
  • One Photon at a Time: A measurement of wave-particle duality of photons.

The members of the Physics Group were:

  • Mei Mei Chan
  • Travis Christolear
  • Kevis Ozel
  • Alex Pearson
  • Christian Perez
  • Luke Singleton
  • Po Tsui
  • Colin Smith, teacher at Centennial High School
  • David Lao, CSUB Student Assistant
  • Faculty Advisors: Dr. Vladimir Gasparyan
  • Dr. Thomas Meyer


For a view of the two posters presented at the 2012 CSUB Chevron REVS-UP poster presentation

The two posters won First and Third Prize at the poster competition.

July 2012. Drs. Gasparyan and Meyer organize a Physics program as part of the REVS-UP (Research Experience Vitalizing Science University Program) funded by Chevron Corp. The four-week program begins on July 9. Seven Kern County high school students and one teacher will perform a number of important experiments that led to the development of modern physics at the beginning of the 20th century.

June 2012. The University has broken ground for the new Engineering facility at CSUB. The first stage, to be completed in August 2012, consists of a 1200 sq ft lab for Material Sciences, an 800 sq ft lab for student projects and student research, and a 750 sq ft storage facility. A second stage, to be completed in March 2013, will consist of a Fluid Dynamics Lab and a Power Semiconductor Lab, as well as a technician's office and restrooms.

June 2012. Congratulations to Brittany Camirand, LuisGonzalez, David Lao, and Michael Newell for graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from CSUB. Mike Newell graduated with a double major in Physics and Mathematics and he has been accepted to graduate school in Physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

June 2012. The Department of Physics and Engineering is happy to announce that Dr. Dana M. Stevenson Abouelnasr and Dr. Luis Cabrales Arriaga have agreed to join our faculty to develop and implement the new program in Engineering Sciences.

Dr. Abouelnasr received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Master of Public Health From Emory University. She is presently the Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the American University of Sharjah (United Arab Emirates). Her research interests include the study of environmental contamination at petroleum waste sites.

Dr. Cabrales received a Ph.D. in Plant and Soil Science from Texas Tech and a MS in Chemical Engineering, also from Texas Tech. He is presently a Research Associate at the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute at Texas Tech. His research interests include the surface functionalization of materials with plasma, chemical vapor and atomic layer deeposition processes, the nanotechnology applied to textile materials and the manufacturing of nanofibers and nanomaterials.

April 2012. The Chancellor of the California State University gave final approval to the new Engineering Sciences Program at CSUB. The program will become operational in Fall 2012.

Department of Physics and Engineering

California State University, Bakersfield
9001 Stockdale Highway
Bakersfield, CA  93311-1022  

Phone:  (661) 654-2664
Fax: (661) 654-2693
Office: Science III, Room 317