This archived article was written by: Maria Ure
It’s no wonder why Jared Daily came to teach at CEU after hearing of his first day on the job at a major physics company, Moxtek. Daily blew up a $5,000 power supply simply by plugging it in wrong. But even though $5,000 is quite a sum to most people, it’s apparently nothing to physicists and researchers because life went on as usual that day, and nothing was ever done to Daily. In fact one of his advisors always said to “Keep turning it up until it breaks, and then turn it down just a little bit.”
This is a philosophy that Daily has come to live by, at least to a certain extent. He hopes to be able to push students to the limit where they can actually apply the concepts learned and discover something new.
He says that creativity is a major part of science and physics, and “if you are a good scientist, you make it interesting.” Students in his class will definitely be doing some interesting experiments, some of which include something known as a Triple Point, in which a container will be created that will hold dry ice, otherwise known as carbon dioxide, in solid, liquid, and gas form. Another will include creating an infrared digital camera. Daily says that he likes to take concepts or items that students are confident in their understanding, and then help them to really understand it, as well as other experiments that are “just plain fun.”
Daily was raised in a small (population of 100,000) Californian ranching town called Livermore, which also happens to be one of the physics capitols of the world. Even though he grew up with a father working at NASA as a physicist during the Apollo projects, and the rest of the community involved in physics one way or the other, Daily had no real major interest in physics until much later.
In fact he didn’t like school and put very little effort into his grades and education until his second attempt at college at Brigham Young University in 1997. He received his bachelor’s degree in physics and then went on and received his master’s degree in atomic physics in April while studying calcium using a $150,000 laser (powerful enough to put a whole in metal,) to suspend atoms in free space after cooling them to just above absolute zero temperatures.
This experiment is known as an Optical Dipole Trap. Daily was working on his Ph.D. and has completed all of the required classes, leaving only the added research to be completed before obtaining his degree. He no longer has that desire because he feels all you can do is teach at universities, or do more research, neither of which interest him. “I’m happy with what I have,” he says and prefers the “laid back atmosphere of the community college.”
During his college years, he married and now has two boys and two girls. He also learned how to be a student, and said that the first four years of college he just “learned how to learn.” These experiences influenced his decision to come to Price and teach. “Discovery is the key,” he says, the majority of teaching is “teaching someone to learn how to learn.” Physics and teaching aren’t the only items on the list for Daily, he would also like to manage or operate an interactive museum one day with a variety of experiments from both past and present, experiments that people can “look at, play around with, and learn from.”
Another important part of Daily’s life besides his family is volleyball, which he plays a couple of times a week, and would love to coach. He also brags about being able to out jump four of the guys in his 1010 class.
Daily loves Price and would love to stay if there is a permanent position. And as long as there’s not another incident like that at Moxtek, he may have a chance.