Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Rebecca Koopmann, ’89, organized the fourth annual NSF-sponsored ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) Undergraduate Team Workshop at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico January 16-20, 2011. The Arecibo Observatory is home to the 305-m diameter Arecibo telescope, the largest telescope in the world.
Halley Darling, ’13, a Physics & Astronomy major, accompanied Koopmann and a select group of 16 other undergraduate students and 12 faculty members from 14 colleges and universities across the United States. Together they conducted observing runs, toured the telescope, and worked on group activities designed to model scientific collaborations.
As part of the workshop, Darling presented a poster about her Summer 2010 research project at Union (sponsored by NASA New York Space Grant). Entitled “ALFALFA HI Observations of the NGC 5846 Group of Galaxies,” the poster described the Union team’s research on environmental effects (such as gravitational interactions) on a concentration of galaxies. Ana Mikler, ’12, and SreyNoch Chin, ’12, were coauthors on the poster.
Darling used her new skills to help Koopmann conduct a remote observing run from her Union campus lab in Science and Engineering. Two first-year students, Lucas Viani ’14 and Alexandrea Safiq ’14, were enthusiastic participants. They can be seen steering the telescope on the ALFALFA blog.
The ALFALFA project, led by astronomers Riccardo Giovanelli and Martha Haynes of Cornell, is a multiyear survey of a large area of the sky at radio wavelengths appropriate for the detection of neutral hydrogen gas in other galaxies. It is expected that more than 30,000 galaxies out to a distance of 750 million light years will be detected by the survey.
Scott LaBrake, Senior Lecturer of Physics and Astronomy and accelerator manager, and Maria Battaglia ’12 attended the 21st international Conference on the Applications of Accelerator in Research and Industry (CAARI) in Fort Worth, Texas in August. LaBrake gave an invited talk on Teaching Materials Analysis using PIXE at Union College, which detailed the use of the departments 1MV particle accelerator to study environmental pollution in atmospheric aerosols and liquid precipitation in New York State using the ion beam analysis technique of PIXE. Battaglia presented a poster detailing her research project on the Trace Elemental Composition & Concentration of Liquid Precipitation in New York Using PIXE that demonstrated seasonal variations in the elemental composition and concentration of rainwater and snow. LaBrake also submitted a paper at the conference that has been accepted for publication in a special edition of Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B along with co-authors Mike Vineyard, the Frank and Marie Louise Bailey Professor of Physics & Astronomy, Maria Battaglia ’12, Chad Harrington ’11, Colin Gleason ’11, Katie Schuff ’12, Shivani Pathak ’10, Rob Moore ’12, and Colin Turley ’13.
Michael Vineyard, the Frank and Marie Louise Bailey Professor of Physics and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, gave a talk titled “Rutherford Back-Scattering Experiment in the First-Year Seminar at Union College” at the 2011 Winter Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in Jacksonville, FL, in January. The meeting celebrated 100 years of nuclear physics that began with the discovery of the atomic nucleus in 1911 by Ernest Rutherford. Scott LaBrake, Senior Lecturer and Accelerator Manager, was co-author of the paper.
Students and faculty gathered in the department on Thursday, September 16th for the fourth annual Summer Research Student Poster Session, with 18 students presenting 16 posters on their research activities over the summer.
Watch this space for more details about the students and their projects.
The annual Summer Research Poster session will be held Thursday, September 16th in the Department, from 12:20 pm to 1:40 pm. Pizza and soda will be available in room N304 for people attending the poster session. You can check out the list of presenters and poster titles to get an idea of the range of activities.
This is the official kick-off of the fall colloquium season. Come see the fascinating things our students did on their summer vacations.
Once again, we are happy to have a large collection of students and faculty working on research this summer. Many (but not all) of them are shown here:
In this picture: Front row (left to right): Katie Schuff, Ana Mikler, Katie O’Brien, Colin Gleason, Chad Harrington. Second row: Anna Sise, Erin Osgood, Prof. LaBrake, Prof. Maleki. Third row: Prof. Orzel, Tim Kuehn, Prof. Reich, Mark Sullivan, Prof. Marr. Fourth row: Pavel Aprelev, Hannah Ryan, Rob Moore, Prof. Koopmann, SreyNoch Chin, Colin Turley, Prof. Vineyard. Back row: Adam Margulies, John Sheehan, Pengfei Zhang, Prof. Wilkin, Prof. Newman, Amer Khraisat, Prof. Amanuel.
Members of the NSF-sponsored Undergraduate ALFALFA Team met June 30, 2010, for a Summer Research Workshop. 20 participants from Union, Siena, Skidmore, and Hartwick Colleges reported progress on their research projects analyzing data from the Arecibo Legacy ALFA Survey, a survey of gas in nearby galaxies. In the afternoon, students and faculty at more distant institutions joined the group at Union for a
Summer Research Progress Telecon. Students presented brief summaries of progress at their institutions. Many of the schools are
researching the gas content of galaxies in moderately dense “group” environments and collaborating to compare and publish the results.
Union students SreyNoch Chin, ’12, Halley Darling, ’13, Ana Mikler, ’12, and Katie O’Brien, ’11, participated in the workshop and
presented their results during the telecon. Ana Mikler was the leader of an activity to demonstrate how to create contour maps of gas emission from galaxies. Each group followed her instructions to produce a contour map for one of their galaxy sources.