NOVA Professor Studying at CERN Physics Lab in Geneva

Physics professor Dr. Walerian Majewski hopes to use the knowledge he gains at CERN to create a new physics course at Northern Virginia Community College.

Professor Dr. Walerian Majewski is currently spending his summer visiting CERN, the European laboratory for particle physics in Geneva, Switzerland.

Majewski, who teaches at the NVCC-Annandale campus, plans to use the information he learns at CERN to apply for a grant create a new introductory course of “Modern Physics” in the fall.

“I am witnessing a fascinating moment in the history of physics,” Majewski said in a news release from NVCC. “We have just completed our understanding of ordinary matter, only to realize that it makes barely 4 percent of the universe. The ultimate theory will have to include the remaining 96 percent and the Collider, after recently finding the Higgs boson, begins the search for dark matter and energy.”

According to the news release, the mission of CERN is to push forward the frontiers of knowledge, to develop new technologies, and to train scientists and engineers for tomorrow.

One of Majewski's students, Brad Bynum from Woodbridge, is currently interning at CERN. Bynum, who is a recent NOVA computer science graduate and Army veteran, beat out to the competition to secure a coveted spot in the competitive 10-week internship.

A description of the CERN program states that “undergraduate students of physics, computing and engineering” will experience “a unique opportunity to join in the day-to-day work of research teams participating in experiments at CERN.

Bynum is not the first of Majewski’s students to participate in the internship.

“Another one of my students, Mario Solano, was an intern last summer. Both Mario and Brad received support from a National Science Foundation grant awarded to Professor Rubin at George Mason University. I hope to send another student next summer because there is no more prestigious place in the world for a STEM student,” said Majewski in the news release.

He’s been a professor of physics at NVCC for more than 30 years.Since 1982, Majewski has taught Physics at Virginia schools outside of NVCC, including George Mason University in Fairfax.

Prior to his time at NVCC, the news release states that Majewski devoted his life to researching theoretical elementary particle physics. In addition to teaching physics, Majewski established an NVCC Undergraduate Physics Research Program and has led the NVCC Student Physics Seminar since 1990.

Among the accolades he has received, Majewski received an Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) in 2008 and was named a Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professor by the Virginia Community College System both 1992 and 2005. He was also selected three times as the Faculty of the Year by the NVCC Alumni Federation.

Majewski received his M.S. in Physics from the University of Warsaw, Poland, and his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the Institute of Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland. He came to the U.S. in 1979.

You can read a report of Majewski’s time at CERN on his website http://www.nvcc.edu/home/nvmajew/cern/.


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