FSEM 100K1 | Physics for Future Presidents and World Leaders


This course is designed to widen your understanding of physics and its real-world applications. In addition, it will help you to develop strong social skills and to foster a connection with fellow classmates, UMW, and the surrounding community. We will emphasize effective reading and listening skills and logical reasoning in a format that encourages and allows you to apply these skills to real-world situations. The concepts covered in this course will include energy, satellites, gravity, radioactivity, nuclear reactors, nuclear bombs, light, and quantum mechanics, which are all directly related to modern-day science and technology. Library research, along with an emphasis on writing and oral communication skills, will be used help you prepare for your time here at UMW.

Photo of Maia Magrakvelidze, Assistant Professor of Physics

Maia Magrakvelidze, Assistant Professor of Physics

I am assistant professor in Physics at the University of Mary Washington. Since I was young, I had a deep fascination of how and why the universe works the way it does. For example: Why is the sky blue? How does a boat that weighs many tons float on water? How do the impossibly tiny, seemingly invisible atoms and molecules make up the world around us? To name just a few! In later years, I learned that these questions I thought to be inexplicable could be answered through science and physics. My area of expertise and research is in theoretical and experimental atomic, molecular, and optical physics. I investigate femtosecond (extremely small amount of time) laser-matter interactions whose study is an emerging research field on the modern scientific and technological frontier. My research mainly focuses on photoionization of atoms and fullerenes (big C60 molecules that look like a soccer ball) in laser fields, with my main focus on the theoretical investigation of the photoionization time delay from different subshells of atoms, or atoms confined in C60 fullerenes. In short, this means that we remove electrons by shining the laser field on the atoms or the “soccer-ball-molecules” and observe the time intervals of the ionization process. I also model the dynamics of diatomic molecules in intense IR (Infra-Red) and XUV (Extreme-Ultra-Violet) electric fields to trace the wave packet motion on the time scale of femtoseconds.