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outreach activities

Showing the students a schematic of a diamond anvil cell and sample area.•  The UT Austin outreach was conducted Thursday June 23, 2011 and Tuesday July 5, 2011 in collaboration with Mary Miller and her intern Sara Jeanes of the UTeach program at the University of Texas- Austin. The UTeach program focuses on preparing undergraduates at UT-Austin to teach secondary science courses such as chemistry, biology, geology, and computer science. UTeach hosts a three-week summer camp every year to expose students to these subject areas, as well as to keep them engaged during the off-season. The students that came to the mineral physics lab were participants in math, chemistry, or geology focused camps. Many students were underrepresented minorities, and some required translation. The students ranged from 6th to 7th grade and were from various schools in Austin including the Kealing Magnet Program. All students underwent a pre-lesson before coming to UT, subjects were pressure, crystal structure, or diamonds.

The theme of the mineral physics lab tour was, “diamond anvil cell and high-pressure research” One group of 19 students, six groups of 12 students, and one group of about 10 teachers, each explored the lab, passed around a diamond anvil cell (DAC), observed real and synthetic diamonds, witnessed ruby fluorescence, and learned about the relationship between pressure and area and how it is exploited via the DAC. The students learned how Raman spectroscopy and the DAC can be used to study properties of planetary materials at extreme conditions in the Earth’s deep interior as well as projects related to Energy Frontier Research under Extreme Environments (EFree) of the Department of Energy. We learned about how extreme environments can change material properties and how novel materials can be discovered under extreme environments in a DAC. Jung-Fu Lin appointed Andrea Wheat, an undergraduate researcher, to help out with the presentations in the lab. [photo: Andrea show the students a schematic of a diamond anvil cell and sample area.]

Lastly, the teachers and students were shown 200 diamonds and given broken diamonds as rewards for asking good questions or for answering questions.

•  Roald Hoffmann of Cornell University was interviewed in Feb. 2011 for a community access station in Ithaca. He spoke of the Hoffmann-Ashcroft group's work on matter under high pressure.

•  Roald Hoffmann was interviewed in Jan. 2011 for a TV program for the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. He spoke of his group's work involving high pressure.

•   Team members of the Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security (CFCES) Center of the Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) from University of Texas at Austin and Sandia National Laboratory visited Jung-Fu Lin’s Mineral Physics Laboratory in Sept. 2010. During the visit, Afu Lin explained how his group uses high-pressure diamond anvil cells to investigate material properties in extreme environments relevant to EFree missions. Dr. Lin also discussed potential collaboration projects with the CFCES members using the Mineral Physics Lab’s facilities, enhancing scientific collaborations between EFRC centers.

Roald Hoffmann gave a lecture at Northwestern University on “The Chemical Intuition at Work in Very Tight Places”. Also in October 2010, he talked about his organization of the Cornelia Street Café cabaret “Entertaining Science,” at a CUNY conference on Science and the Performing Arts. R. Hoffmann lectured at the University of California, Davis, in May 2010, in part on high pressure (EFree supported) work.

EFree Partners participated as mentors in Carnegie's summer scholars program at the Geophysical Laboratory and the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. Michael Wong and Alex Goncharov used diamond anvil cells to study the thermal conductivity of argon. Donald Plattner and Madury Somayazulu investigated the formation of clathrates in a H2O-CO2 mixture and to study the chemical interactions between water and CO2 at supercritical conditions.  Amanda Lindoo with guidance from Stephen Gramsch, Atsushi Kyono, a visiting investigator, addressed the possible role of pressure in the exsolution process, with a focus on the humite group. For more information on the program, please see

Naveen Dharmagunawardhane, a Missouri State graduate student in materials science, and Joseph Demster, an undergraduate student in physics, participated in x-ray experiments at the Advanced Photon Source synchrotron facility located in Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, Ill. The work was done under the supervision of Dr. Robert Mayanovic, professor of physics, astronomy and materials science. Their research involved investigations of novel materials needed to meet the challenges posed by future energy demands. The Missouri State University researchers are participants in the Center for Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments (EFREE), which is a national center funded by the Department of Energy.

Demster, a physics major who anticipates graduating this spring, accompanied Dr. Mayanovic to Argonne in August. In his first semester at Missouri State, Dharmagunawardhane is an international student from Sri Lanka and a graduate assistant. He went with Dr. Mayanovic in October.['Materials science students shine", Mar 16th, 2010 by Kenneth McCrory, APS News webpage (Source:]

UTeach, Jung-Fu Lin outreach

•  Jung-Fu Lin teams up with the UTeach Outreach summer program by showing the Mineral Physics Lab to elementary school students and teachers from Austin Independent School District on June 8th, 2010. UTeach started at The University of Texas at Austin in 1997 as a new way to prepare secondary science, math and computer science teachers. This year's theme is "UTeach Outreach: Diamonds, Earth's Core and Mineral Field Trip".

Topic discussed was high-pressure mineral physics research related to planetary interiors and energy frontier under extreme environments. The guests were very excited to see diamond cells reaching megabars and how much one can do with it.

• At the Geophysical Laboratory, Viktor Struzhkin continues to mentor predoctoral student Bing Li during Li’s visit to GL on April 4, 2010 - April 12, 2010. The project was high-pressure superconductivity study of YH3.

• Zhijun Lin, Ph. D. , LANSCE - Lujan Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory, gave an informal talk at GL on "Synthesis, characterization, and modeling of laminated ceramics and superhard materials", 6 April 2010.

• At HPSynC, Wenge Yang presented a poster at the monthly Advanced Photon Source user meeting on May 3-5 on “High pressure synchrotron consortium overview”.

• Yang Ding was seminar speaker at the Geophysical Laboratory on Jan.19, 2010. His talk was entitled "Terrestrial Magnetism and Geophysics Under Pressure".

• Yang Ding was seminar speaker at the Geophysical Laboratory on Jan.19, 2010. His talk was entitled "Terrestrial Magnetism and Geophysics Under Pressure".

• Wenge Yang has chaired the monthly high-pressure interest group meeting as part of HPSynC activity supported by EFree. ( The following  speakers have delivered talks in this meeting since EFree started: Steve Jacobsen, Haozhe Liu, Yejun Feng, Michael Lerche, Yang Ding, Przemek Dera.

• Wenge Yang chaired the session "Advanced Technologies for Advanced Characterizations of Minerals under High Pressure" (Mineral and Rock Physics) at the AGU fall meeting, Dec. 14-18, 2009, San Francisco.

• Wenge Yang co-authored a poster, "Ultrastability and size-dependent high pressure behavior in nanoscale, Y2O3" (L. Wang, W. Yang, Y. Ding, G. Shen and H. Mao) , at the AGU fall meeting, Dec. 14-18, 2009, San Francisco.

• Wenge Yang attend the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), DOE, symposium at Carnegie Institution and presented three posters from HPSynC: (Jan 2010)

HPSynC Science and technology highlights 2009
HPSynC Overview
Pressure-induced magnetic transition in Manganite (La0.75Ca0.25MnO3)

• Cornell's Roald Hoffmann participated in two programs about science and theatre, at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, Feb. 21 and 22, 2010. 

• Roald Hoffmann gave lectures on The Chemical Intuition at Work in Very Tight Places at the Univ. of North Texas, the University of Georgia. (Feb 2010), and the Knut Larsen Symposium of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences (Jan 2010)

• Roald Hoffmann participated in the Cornelia Street Café “Entertaining Science Series in January. The theme of the evening was “Extremes,” and participating in it were Hoffmann,  Lukas Ligeti (percussion) and Eliott Sharp (guitar). Hoffmann talked about extremophiles in Kamchatka, and on his high pressure research.

• Roald Hoffmann taught a minicourse on Bonding in Extended Structures at Cornell University. (Dec 2009)

•  In March 2010, Jung Fu Lin delivered an invited talk on “Laboratory journey to the Earth’s core”, at University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences in April 2010. Dr. Lin presented new mineral physics results on understanding Earth's inner anisotropy and sound velocities as well as crystal structure(s) in this talk.

Foundation Advisory Council members visited the Mineral Physics Lab (3/26/10).
During the Jackson School's Advisory Council meeting, Dr. Lin showed the members the lab facilities and research projects. The Advisory Council generally consists of high level, senior personnel from industry. Through their efforts and personal contributions the Jackson School's Foundation has the largest endowment for a geoscience program in the country.

Students from the Undergraduate Geological Society of the University of Texas at Austin visited the Mineral Physics Lab on February 2010. Jung Fu Lin showed the student members the lab facilities and research projects relevant to frontier research under extreme environments.• In July 2009, Jung Fu Lin visited Seoul National University, Institute for High-Energy Physics at Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing University, Harbin Institute of Technology, and Jilin University to give a number of invited talks on mineral physics of the lower mantle and core, high-pressure synchrotron techniques, and forum on energy frontier research. Tour de China/Korea in Mineral Physics Research. (7/7-7/23/09)

• Jung Fu Lin gave a talk at Seoul National University, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Korea, July 2009, on "Effects of the Spin Transitions of Iron on Mineral Physics of the Earth’s Deep Mantle".

• Jung Fu Lin gave a talk at the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr), Advanced Crystallography at High Pressure in Harbin, China, July 2009, on "A New Spin on Understanding Mineral Physics of the Earth’s Deep Mantle".

• Jung Fu Lin gave a talk at the Chinese Academy of Science, Institute of High Energy Physics, Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Beijing, July 2009, on "New Synchrotron Lights on the Physics of the Earth’s Interior Forum on Energy Frontier under Extreme Environments".

• Jung Fu Lin will serve as a member of the AGU Eos Editorial Advisory Board (12/10/09). And, he was invited by Dr. Richman, executive editor of the American Geophysical Union Eos, to serve as an editorial member of the Eos for a term of two years, through December 2011.He will help with the review of feature articles in mineral physics, other Eos submissions, and cross-disciplinary articles.

• Jung Fu Lin gave a talk at the Bureau of Economic  Geology on the topic "Mineral Physics Research under Extreme Environments" (2/12/10). 
The talk was on the study of materials properties under extreme environments at the Jackson School's BEG.

• At MSU, Joseph Demster and his mentor, EFree Partner, R.A. Mayanovic gave a poster presentation on "The local structure of zinc adsorbed on Fe3O4 nanoparticles in aqueous solutions to 500 °C", at the College of Natural and Applied Sciences Undergraduate Research/Creativity Activity Day, Missouri State University, March 19, 2010. First Prize (Physics Category). (EFree acknowledged)

• Manelich Luna and mentor, EFree Partner, R.A. Mayanovic gave a poster presentation on "In situ XAS investigations of the adsorption of nickel on Fe3O4 nanoparticles in supercritical aqeuous fluids", at the College of Natural and Applied Sciences Undergraduate Research/Creativity Activity Day, Missouri State University, March 19, 2010. Second Prize (Physics Category). (EFree acknowledged)• Talk related to EFree project was given by R. Mayanovic to secondary school education undergraduate students and titled, “X-ray spectroscopic studies of materials for future energy needs,” Missouri State University, Nov. 3, 2009.

Bob Mayanovic

• Missouri State University participation in EFree was highlighted during half time proceedings at the Missouri State University vs. Murray State University football game, Sept. 19, 2009 (image is a publicity photo from the event of Dr. Mike Nietzel, President of MSU (left), Jay Nixon, Governor of State of Missouri (right), and R. Mayanovic.

• Bob Mayanovic gave an invited talk, entitled "In situ high P-T x-ray spectroscopic studies of materials in supercritical aqueous fluids," at the Advanced Photon Source Users Science Seminar, Argonne National Laboratory, October 23, 2009.


Talks and poster sessions given by other EFree Partners

• Gwyn Williams, Jefferson Laboratory, presented a poster at the DOE meeting "Accelerators for America's Future", held in DC on 10/26/2009.

• Armstrong, M. R., "Shock and acoustic wave measurements at high static precompression in a diamond anvil cell," on 3 July 2009, APS Shock Compression of Condensed Materials. 

• Jonathan Crowhurst gave a talk on "Pulsed laser techniques applied to the DAC - acoustic and shock waves under precompression", on 24 September 2009, On-line Brillouin Spectroscopy at GSECARS, Advanced Photon Source.  

•  Roald Hoffmann at Cornelia Street Café: “Entertaining Science” Program, Nov. 1, 2009, “Shapes and energies: love and hate among the atoms.”

• Alexander Goncharov shared his thoughts on “Laser Techniques for GL”, during the Bread and Cheese seminar at GL, Nov. 2009.