the popular labels of todays youth as Generation
X and Y, we can now add Generation S Sedentary.
A study led by Sue Y.S. Kimm 60,
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, which
tracked 2,379 girls (1,213 African American and
1,166 white) from ages 9 or 10 to 18 or 19, documented
an alarming decline in leisure-time physical activity
biking, playing sports, taking dance lessons
or just walking, for example. At age 9 or 10,
most girls reported doing some physical activity
outside of school. By ages 16 and 17, 56 percent
of African American girls and 31 percent of white
girls said they did no physical activity.
By ages 18 and 19, the sedentary population increased
to more than 70 and 29 percent of African American
and white girls, respectively.
study, "Decline in Physical Activity in Black
Girls and White Girls During Adolescence,"
was published in the Sept. 5 issue of the New
England Journal of Medicine (volume 347, issue
10, pages 709-715). It has been widely reported
on in newspapers and broadcast media.
Noel, assistant professor of physics, received
a Faculty Early Career Development Grant of $400,629
from the National Science Foundation, the most
prestigious award NSF offers to new faculty members.
The NSF Career Program is designed to recognize
"the teacher-scholars who are likely to become
the academic leaders of the 21st century."
award will support a five-year plan that combines
research with education and outreach. His research
project focuses on Rydberg atom crystals, a new
type of "designer solid" that is produced
by reducing a vapor to ultracold temperatures.
The project will provide research opportunities
for graduate and undergraduate students and, with
the help of undergraduate science majors, Noel
will also develop a conceptual physics course
that will introduce nonmajors to important ideas
in contemporary physics. In addition, Noel plans
to reach an even broader cross-section of secondary
and elementary students through a "show"
designed to demonstrate physics concepts at local
career and research were featured in the January
2002 issue of Bryn Mawr S&T ("Trapping
Atoms to Observe Their Interactions").
Big (and Light)
Professor of Physics Elizabeth McCormack
has received a grant from the NASA Institute for
Advance Concepts to explore, with an international
team of physicists and astronomers, the feasibility
of creating laser-trapped mirrors (LTMs) in space.
The result could be the development of very large,
ultralightweight mirrors for astronomical research.
LTM concept was first proposed in 1979 by one
of the team members, Antoine Labeyrie, College
de France and
Observatoire de Haute Provence. Recent progress
in laser technology and new capabilities for trapping
atoms and particles promise to make the LTM concept
a practical reality.
an LTM involves emitting laser beams in opposite
directions, which strike two deflectors. The reflected
light produces a series of parabolic fringe surfaces.
Dielectric particles in space are attracted toward
bright fringes and metallic particles toward dark
fringes. The particles can be swept to the central
fringe by tuning the laser wavelength, thereby
creating a reflective surface in the shape of
a mirror. An LTM as large as 35 meters would have
a mass of just 100 grams and be only a few microns
LTM is still a long way off. In the meantime,
McCormacks team will focus on modeling the
behavior of the trapped particles and exploring
ideas about how to stabilize LTMs in a space environment.
proceedings of the Bryn Mawr College national
symposium, "Women in Science Opportunities
in a Changing Landscape," held on Oct. 26-27,
2001, are now available online. More than 120
participants in the two-day symposium discussed
opportunities and barriers for women in science,
technology, engineering and mathematics fields,
and recommended actions to drive the advancement
of women in these fields.
proceedings include the opening panel discussion
moderated by Catherine Didion, executive director
of the Association of Women in Science, the keynote
address by William Wulf, president of the National
Academy of Engineering, summaries of education
and workplace workshop discussions and recommendations,
and the closing address by Congresswoman Connie
review or download the proceedings, go to http://www.brynmawr.edu/wis.
The symposium was also featured in the January
2002 issue of Bryn Mawr S&T ("Women
in Science: Examining Opportunities and Barriers").