[Net-Gold] African-American Achievers in Modern Science
- Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 17:10:40 EST
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Subject: [Net-Gold] African-American achievers in modern science
Meet scientists who work with invisible lights, nanomachines, and robots
that sing songs.
By Keely Parrack
February is Black History Month. In celebration of the contributions that
African-Americans have made to science, we talked to three black scientists who
are making history today with their groundbreaking work.
Determination and passion are necessary for success in science, say James
McLurkin, Martin Culpepper, and Hakeem Oluseyi. As children, they had something
in common: They loved to figure out how things work. These three men also had
determination, as well as strong support from their families and from teachers
who believed in them.
They have found success by letting their passion for knowledge and their
love of discovery guide them. For these African-American scientists, making
history is all in a day's work. James McLurkin, computer scientist
Meet James McLurkin and his 112 robots. Right now they are running loose.
Hakeem Oluseyi, astrophysicist
Hakeem Oluseyi, astrophysicist and professor of physics at the University of
Alabama in Huntsville, is currently researching the soft X-ray area of the
sun's atmosphere. "This is one of the most difficult areas to work with because
of the nature of this light and its interaction with matter," he explains.
Soft X-ray light is extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light, part of the electromagnetic
light spectrum that cannot be seen by the naked eye due to its short
wavelength. Because it's at the extreme end of the light spectrum, it's very difficult
to detect even with scientific instruments. Dr. Oluseyi has developed a
special detector that he plans to send in a rocket to the sun. It will be able to
send back new information about this region of the sun's atmosphere.
Martin Culpepper, mechanical engineer
Even when he was a child, Marty Culpepper loved taking things apart. One of
his grandparents owned a junkyard and another had a garage with a sunken area
in the floor that was big enough to stand in and work on the family car above.
From the time he was 4 years old, he often could be found under a car with
his granddad, figuring out how it worked, or in the junkyard taking things
Now Dr. Culpepper is figuring out how to make machines that build tiny
things made up of moving parts as small as atoms and molecules. He calls these
"super-precise machines," as they need to be able to pick up something as small as
a molecule and position it precisely into place.
Balance of article can be read at the above URL.
Bonnie Bracey Sutton
CyberEd Resources : ICT's and Education (owner)
Games and Education (owner)
Science without Frontiers STEM Initiatives K-12 (owner)
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