Episode 170: What Would Happen if we didn’t have Magnets?

Meet the Expert: Dr. Dario Arena, Associate Professor of Physics at USF

Dr. Dario Arena

Dr. Arena earned a Ph.D. in physics from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in 2000.He was a postdoc at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. Subsequently, he was awarded a National Research Council Research Fellowship in 2001 at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., although he was stationed at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Upton, NY on Long Island. From 2003 – 2015, he was a Physicist at the NSLS and its successor facility NSLS-II. In 2015, Dr.Arena moved to the Department of Physics at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa,FL.

At BNL, Dr. Arena developed a specialization in soft x-ray spectroscopy, nanomagnetism and magnetic thin films, multifunctional and multiferroic oxides (thin films and bulk crystals), and ultrafast processes (magnetization dynamics and THz processes). At USF, his laboratory focuses on sputter-deposited multifunctional thin films and advanced characterization techniques (ferromagnetic resonance, time-resolved studies, as well as x-ray and neutron-based techniques) of thin films and other magnetic nanostructures .


Dr. Arena - 1    Dr. Arena with one of his students Dr. Arena working with magnets

These pictures are of Dr. Arena working on his different projects with students/colleagues


Want to understand how magnets work? Check out this information on How Things Work




Challenge: Use a refrigerator magnet and test its strength by seeing what you can pick up  and/or make your own magnet. 

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Electricity and Magnetism book


Highlighted book for this episode! 

Electricity and Magnetism (A True Book: Physical Science) by Cody Crane

A True Book: Physical Science allows readers to find answers to puzzling questions as well as discover how people have used physical science to make countless innovations throughout history. This series includes an age appropriate (grades 3-5) introduction to curriculum-relevant subjects and a robust resource section that encourages independent study.Many readers will know that electricity powers lights and other devices, and that magnets can hold two objects together. But how do these important forces work, and how are electricity and magnetism related?



Book List: 

The Attractive Truth about Magnetism by Jennifer Swanson (Author), Bernice Lum (Illustrator)

All About Magnetism Part of: All About Science (3 books) | by Angela Royston

Making Music With Magnets by Kristina Mercedes Urquhart

What Makes a Magnet? Part of: Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2 (93 books) | by Dr. Franklyn M. Branley and True Kelley


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