Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

UCO Professor Does His Part for U.S. Space Exploration

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

UCO Professor Does His Part for U.S. Space Exploration

Article excerpt

EDMOND (JR) -- University of Central Oklahoma physics and engineering professor Baha Jessemnejad is doing his part to help U.S. space explorers go where they have never gone before.

Jassemnejad participated in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Faculty Fellowship Program at the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Jassemnejad's NASA assignment was to design an experiment to be performed using optical tweezers for interrogation and manipulation of nano-devices. These tweezers, formed from a laser beam, are capable of holding the tiniest of particles so that they can be put together to build the tiniest of machines and materials.

"When I first saw my assignment I said, `Oh my goodness, I don't know how to do that!'" Jassemnejad said.

He described the laser tweezers as something similar to the fictional Star Trek "tractor beam."

"The laser light can trap atoms without actual physical contact," he said. "Then we can manipulate atoms and put them in any order we want to create new materials and devices."

Not only did Jassemnejad figure out an experiment to test the laser tweezers, he created a new invention, as well.

While at NASA, Jassemnejad created a way to manipulate the laser tweezers by remote control through a means that has not been possible in the past.

According to his NASA Disclosure of Invention and New Technology, Jassemnejad was able to generate two sets of laser tweezers, one of which can be remotely controlled as a "probe" beam.

"It was very exciting when I discovered that my idea worked, " Jassemnejad said. "This is a very challenging field based on a very small aspect, and I am hoping this invention will help in our research."

At NASA, Jassemnejad was able to trap and work with particles of about 900 "nanometers" in size, which is equal to about one- thousandth the thickness of a human hair. …

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