In January, Jim Gates was in Taiwan escorting 160 young students at the International World Year of Physics Young Ambassadors Meeting. Chuan Liu also returned from Taiwan, where he completed three years as President of Taiwan Central University. Dan Lathrop was recently in Moscow, where it was -25C (-13F), presenting results of his work in nonlinear dynamics research. Not to be outdone temperature-wise, a number of us were in Antarctica. This past December Eun-Suk Seo was in McMurdo on the coast of Antarctica launching the CREAM experiment and both Kara Hoffman and I made visits to the South Pole (Kara in January and me in February).
For me, the trip was an incredible experience. Our research group is involved in the Ice Cube collaboration
( http://www.icecube.umd.edu ) --- an observatory being built and installed in the ice below the South Pole. This was my first trip to the Pole and I took advantage of it. Since US travelers to Antarctica leave from Christchurch, New Zealand, my wife and I took the opportunity to see the country and though we were only there for eight days, we had a great time. I also got some great pictures which can be seen below:
The South Pole was a completely unique experience. It was the end of a very successful season for IceCube as we installed eight new strings of optical modules bringing our total to nine and it was great to work on the commissioning of these strings. It was sunny (all the time – 24hrs a day), but cold, -45C (-49F). Even in these temperatures I managed to spend a good deal of time working outside. To view photos from my trips to the South Pole, visit:
While the trips were productive and fun, it definitely feels great to be back in (relatively) warm College Park .
Jordan A. Goodman
Professor and Chair