Turlock High School graduate Joshua Turner credits his high school teachers for his success in the physics field. Turner holds a doctorate degree in physics and recently had a paper published in the Physical Review Journal.
“It’s one of the hardest journals to get into, I feel like we made 1,000 revisions before we sent it in. One of their requirements is that you are making an actual contribution to science,” Turner said.
Turner and his team work on coherent x-ray techniques for creating images of structures so small that they are not visible with traditional microscopes. Turner’s technique uses x-rays, computers and mathematical equations, rather than lenses, to generate images of the magnetic field around materials. His work could have an impact on the future of data storage, digital memories, and more energy efficient computers.
Turner graduated from Turlock High School in 1997. He said that during his time at THS he became interested in math and physics, and he credits a lot of his success to a good high school education. He said that particularly his physics teacher, Dennis Cornwall, and his calculus teacher Ken Donaldson, helped him realize what he wanted to study in college.
“I feel like I was inspired early on and it helped me to set goals and go after them,” Turner said.
Turner’s history teacher, Wayne Hinds, helped him understand what it took to succeed in an academic setting. He said that Hind’s class was challenging, and he expected the most from his students. His English teacher, Randy Huth, always had creative lessons and made learning interesting and fun.
“They really helped me to be a better student,” Turner said.
His early foundation paid off, and Turner attended the University of Santa Barbara for his undergraduate work. He graduated with a BA in physics and a BS in mathematics. He received his master’s in physics at Boston College. He received his Ph.D. from University of Oregon, but did his actual doctoral research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He now works as a staff scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Turner plans to continue his work at SLAC, and said that he appreciates all that his Turlock High School teachers did to help him along the way.
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