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Professor Discovers How to Rein in Power of Tiny Particles with Potentially Big Effect

The heat generated by smartphones and other electronic devices could be harnessed to also power them, according to compelling research out of the University of California, Merced.

Physics Professor Michael Scheibner’s latest work in the emerging field of phononics – the study of quasi-particles that produce heat – indicates phonons can be harnessed to produce energy.

“Usually, phonons dissipate, but using an electric field, we can keep them in place where they are generated, and make them useful,” he said.

New Study Connects Smoke-Free Laws, Dentists’ Advice to Quit

Smoke-free laws may help encourage dentists to recommend that their patients kick the smoking habit, according to new research co-authored by UC Merced Professor Mariaelena Gonzalez.

The paper, published in the American Journal of Public Health, suggests the societal change manifested by smoke-free laws can contribute to an atmosphere in which dentists pay more attention to patients’ smoking habits.

Commencement Speakers Bring Varied Experience to Campus’s Largest Commencement

The University of California, Merced, has selected CEO of Enduring Hydro LLC and former U.S. Undersecretary for Energy Kristina Johnson and Merced County Superior Court Judge Paul C. Lo to deliver keynote addresses at its ninth commencement, May 17 and 18.

With more than 1,400 students eligible to graduate, UC Merced marks another milestone with its largest graduating class in history, surpassing the 898-member graduating class a year ago.

The campus will again hold two school-based ceremonies to accommodate students and their families.

Natural Reserve Earns Regents’ Approval

The protected land adjoining the northeast corner of campus is officially part of the UC Natural Reserve System now that the UC Board of Regents gave the proposed reserve final approval today at its January meeting.  

The Merced Vernal Pools and Grasslands Reserve is the 39th reserve in the statewide system, adding more than 6,500 acres to the more than 750,000 acres already being conserved and studied. UC Merced’s reserve, though, is the first one in the San Joaquin Valley, and the first one in the heart of the greater Central Valley.

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