Special WFU Physics Seminar

TITLE: “Quantum Information Science”
SPEAKER: Jaewan Kim
Korea Institute for Advanced Study

TIME: Monday, October 16, 2017, at 3:00pm
PLACE: Olin 101

There will be a reception with refreshments at 2:30 PM in the lounge. All interested persons are cordially invited to attend.


Digital information technology is built on two pillars; mathematics and information theory for operating systems and software, and quantum physics for hardware. Now quantum physics plays important roles both for operating systems/software and hardware in quantum information science. Quantum computers can solve some problems much more efficiently than digital computers, and quantum cryptography promises absolutely secure communications. Some of the principles of quantum computing, quantum cryptography, and quantum teleportation with quantum entanglement will be explained in this talk.

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Prof. Richard WilliamsThe Physics department is pleased to announce that Reynolds Professor Emeritus Richard Williams is the inaugural winner of the annual  Physics Department Outstanding Alumni Award.  The department solicits nominations from alumni and a committee selects the winner.    Dr. Williams will accept the award at a special physics colloquium in Spring 2018.  Dr. Williams retired earlier this year after 31 years of service as a Reynolds professor.  It is fitting that Dr. Williams will be our first winner of the Alumni award; Prof. Williams was the first Speas Award recipient for distinguished work in physics (our highest undergraduate award), he mentored the first Physics PhD graduate, and was the first endowed professor within the Department. Professor Williams, an international expert in scintillators and ultrafast laser spectroscopy, has helped to significantly increase the reputation and visibility of the Physics Department.

WFU Physics Career Advising Event

TITLE: “The Business of Space: and other ways for physicists to use a degree from Wake”

SPEAKER:Michael Hewins

CEO, Hewins Ventures

and Wake Forest Alum (1972)

TIME: Thu. Sep. 14, 2017 at 12:30 PM

PLACE: Olin Lounge (Olin 106)


Pizza will be provided. All interested persons are cordially invited to attend.




Michael Hewins has over 30 years of executive management experience in the global space industry. Michael was the Chairman and CEO of AstroVision International, Inc. and the Chief Commercial Officer at AON/International Space Brokers, and has held senior positions across global strategy, finance, business development, and insurance for Willis Corroon Inspace, Johnson & Higgins, INTEC, and Arianespace. Michael joined NewSat in September 2011 as Chief Operating Officer, and through his commercial experience and leadership was instrumental in the finalization of funding commitments for Jabiru-1. In June 2013, Michael was appointed as Chief Financial Officer and provided extensive experience across NewSat’s entire business, from strategy and finance to operations and productivity. Michael received his law degree from Suffolk University and his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University. Michael left NewSat to form his own consulting firm, Hewins Venture, that focuses on aiding start-up companies acquire customers and funding.

On August 21, 2017, the Department of Physics hosted a solar eclipse viewing party to witness a partial solar eclipse as seen from Winston Salem, NC. Though maximum eclipse was obscured by cloud cover, department members were able to capture a few images utilizing 8″ schmidt-cassegrain telescopes with solar filters.

Sunspots are visible in this image taken through a telescope during the 2017 solar eclipse. (c) WFU Physics/Eric Chapman
Sunspots are visible in this image taken through a telescope during the 2017 solar eclipse.
Professor Daniel Kim-Shapiro
Prof. Daniel Kim-Shapiro

Professor Keith Bonin has stepped down as Chair of the Department of Physics after serving more than two terms. The Department is forever grateful for Dr. Bonin’s selfless commitment, visionary leadership, and responsible stewardship.

Assuming the role of Chair is Professor Daniel Kim-Shapiro. Dr. Kim-Shapiro is also director of the Translational Science Center, Harbert Family Distinguished Chair, and leads a flourishing biophysics research group.

Professor Oana Jurchescu will take on the role of Associate Chair of Physics previously held by Dr. Kim-Shapiro. Dr. Jurchescu directs a highly successful organic and flexible electronics research group.

On Saturday, July 1, 2017 we lost a valued colleague, Karen Logan.

Karen LoganKaren joined the Department of Physics in December 2013 to assume the role of Administrative Assistant, taking over for Judy Swicegood. This is an extremely important position in the Department as it is the central staff position with responsibility for running the main Departmental Office and for overseeing all aspects of Departmental affairs such as student employment, room assignments, greeting visitors, answering general inquiries via email or phone, and planning and executing Departmental functions such as weekly social gatherings, graduation and dissertation receptions, etc. We originally thought Karen would be an excellent choice for this critical position because she was working toward earning her undergraduate degree during her off hours, outside of work. We thought this desire for personal improvement would be a great predictor of her approach to work in her professional career. This ended up being the case as Karen was always trying to make things better, both inside and outside the department. She also was working as part of the Thrive projects to be more healthy, while continuing to take classes at Salem College. Karen learned both on the job, and by taking classes through Wake Forest’s Professional Development Center. She was a model citizen of the Physics Department and a good example to others. In addition, Karen was a gentle soul with an easygoing personality who always made strangers feel welcome, and who did so much to calm stressed out students, staff, and faculty when issues arose that might cause some tension. She was a very considerate person, who always brought in delicious treats to mark the many holidays such as Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Pi Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas and New Year’s holidays. These treats were usually themed, such as green-frosted cookies for St. Patrick’s Day, or black or orange frosted cupcakes for Halloween. We will long remember the many kindnesses and concerns she expressed when family members got sick or needed medical care, and we will miss her sweet demeanor and friendly smile.

A memorial service for Karen will be held July 12, 2017 at 3 p.m. in Wait Chapel on the campus of Wake Forest University.