Tom Murphy Talk



On November 14th, UWiP members had the opportunity to hear a research presentation by Tom Murphy, an astrophysics professor here at UCSD who works on an ultra-precise test of General Relativity using the technique of lunar laser ranging (basically, he shoots lasers at the moon for science!). If you would like to learn more about his research, check out his website here:

Dr. Jun Lab Tour

On November 5, some of the UWIP members were able to tour Dr. Jun’s biophysics/molecular biology lab on campus. In Dr. Jun’s lab they study the how basic quantitative principles govern the fundamental biological processes during the cell cycle (if you would like to read more on Professor Suckjoon Jun’s research check out his website here: The tour was led by a fellow undergrad who described the goal of the team’s project and the various jobs assigned to people working there so those on the tour could see the kind of work researchers at various levels do. They had a general tour of the  lab’s facilities along with the descriptions of their applications in the research process so they ended up getting a very detailed picture of the daily work and hands-on challenges that the members of the lab deal with. One interesting aspect noted by members of the tour group was the variety of educational backgrounds of all those working at the lab. Not only were there molecular physicists, but also bio-engineers,  condensed matter physicists, chemists, and many other specializations from within the physics field. Overall, combined with some input form graduate students, those who took the tour were able to see the kind of work and effort required in a research job and the importance of collaboration between members in achieving the project’s goals.

First GBM of 2014



The first general body meeting of the  2014-2015 school year went off without a hitch! A presentation was shown which showcased all the amazing things which have come from UWIP in the past and what UWIP is all about. The meeting was well attended with many new faces as well as current members. In the day following the GBM, UWIP had a table set up on library walk to entice more students into joining the club with the most fun physics on campus!


Ice Cream Social










The first UWIP gathering of the year was an Ice Cream Social held in the Keeling Lounge. Sweet treats were enjoyed by UWIP members of all grade levels, including many new freshmen for what was their first interaction with the club. We enjoyed the sunset over the ocean at the end of the Social and hope to have many more fun gatherings throughout the year!

UWIP wins an award!


On the evening of May 22nd, UWIP members Ayat Amin, Emily Payne and Chelly Herman attended the 30th Annual Student Organizations, Leadership & Service Awards Reception
hosted by the Center for Student Involvement. At this ceremony, UWIP was awarded a Certificate of Utmost Appreciation- but we believe that this is just the beginning of what we plan on contributing to the Physics Department and the UCSD campus as a whole. We would also like to thank our consistent members- UWIP would not be a club without your support!

UWIP Talk with Professor Kim Griest


On May 22, UWIP hosted a talk with astrophysics Professor Kim Griest- one of our former professors- where we were exposed to his research on dark matter. Specifically, searching for primordial black hole dark matter with a Kepler satellite. Professor Griest’s entertaining presentation delved into the search for dark matter as well as his experience in transitioning his methods of finding dark matter. We were extremely excited to learn from our former professor again, and we will continue to look forward to learning more about his research in the future.

For more information about Professor Kim Griest, here is a link to his website:

Lunch with Jill Tarter

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 5.26.40 PM

On May 9 2014, the WIP and the UWIP clubs had a special guest, Jill Tarter, over for a private luncheon. Jill Cornell Tarter is an American astronomer and the outgoing director of the Center for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Research. Tarter received her undergraduate education at Cornell University, where she earned a Bachelor of Engineering Physics Degree, as well as both  a Master’s degree and PhD in astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley. Tarter has worked on a number of major scientific projects, most relating to the search for extraterrestrial life. The ladies were excited to have the opportunity to talk to Jill Tarter in such an intimate setting.

Topics brought up:

1) Long term science policy

2) Raising a family as a women scientist

3) Minority among classes

4) Bio-mechanical engineering, Big Data, Asteroid mining, Astronaut suits, Colonizing outer-space

Questions asked by students:

1) What was it like raising a family as a female women scientists.

2) How do you imagine extraterrestrial to look like

3) Tell us of a time you almost thought you found a signal.

4) If you could give us one piece of advice, which would would it be?


Space Day at the San Diego Air and Space Museum

The Air and Space Museum put on physics demonstrations for the San Diego community. Local astronaut Woody Spring was present, and answered questions from the community about becoming an astronaut and what being in space is like. UWIP attended with the UCSD Physics Department. To help students understand scale, we created a Galaxy Garden where UWIP’s own Melissa Tallis and Ayat Amin were Galaxy Gardeners. Fellow UCSD students were magnifying the power of the sun to melt pennies, while indoors they where teaching everyone about rockets and pressure. Overall, a very fun event.

Triton Day


Triton Day is a day for admitted students and their families to explore the UC San Diego campus, undergraduate colleges, academic departments, student services, student organizations and endless resources. On this day, UWIP put on demos for visiting students and parents. Demos included newton’s cradle,  3D magnetic viewer, some ferrofluid on display and more! We also had a hands-on demonstration for centripetal motion which kids were swinging around and distribution of weight as people stood on wine glasses. We also had a poster describing famous females in science and their work. Overall, a very fun day!