The sun demands our respect. It shows itself without hesitation throughout the African continent. In fact, the physical nature of Black men and women over the centuries adjusted to the beating of the sun in a variety of ways. The sun is now causing concerns all over the world as a result of the Global Warming situation. Those are issues for a future day. Today, I've decided to share information here on the Electronic Village about a brother that is doing some remarkable things by his study of the sun.
Dr. 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.
Oluseyi is also collaborating with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratoryin Berkeley, Calif., on a project called the Supernova Acceleration Probe (SNAP) mission. They plan to launch a space-based telescope in 2010. It will be able to observe thousands of supernovae a year. Supernovae are dying stars that collapse in on themselves and then explode, sending huge amounts of their material into space. He hopes this new data will shed light on the existence and makeup of "dark matter" (invisible matter).
As a child living with his single mom, "I moved every year growing up," Oluseyi says. "We didn't live in the best neighborhoods, so I'd stay inside, reading a lot." He also watched science shows on PBS. "I always thought scientists were really cool," he says. "Albert Einstein was my original inspiration. I read about Einstein and relativity, and the weirdness of it all captured my attention from [ages] 10 to 16." In high school, Oluseyi won a prize at the state science fair for his computer program that did relativity calculations.
He attended Tougaloo College, a black college in Mississippi, where he was one of only two students to major in physics. "It never occurred to me that I'd never seen a black physicist," Oluseyi says. He just always believed he could do it. He received B.S. degrees in Physics & Mathematics from Tougaloo College (1991). He received a M.S. degree in physics from Stanford University in 1995 and completed his Ph.D. in Physics at Stanford University in 1999. His award winning dissertation was entitled, Development of a Global Model of the Solar Atmosphere with an Emphasis on the Solar Transition Region.
Oluseyi's advice to young people is: "Pursue your dreams without hesitation and always believe in yourself." He has been able to live his dream and now holds eight patents in the technology field.
I hope to encourage Dr. Oluseyi to get involved with the students that I work with as part of the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation. And I'm grateful to Keely Parrack and Manic Monday meme for encouraging me to think about today's word of the day ---> Sun!