Category Archives: Prof. Amanuel

Prof. Amanuel and students present at APS March Meeting

Prof. Amanuel presented three papers at the American Physical Society March 2014 meeting in Denver, Colo. “Looking for Small Changes in Heat Capacity Using Differential Scanning Calorimeter” was co-authored with physics major Will Linthicum ’14. “Phase Transition of Physically Confined 2-Decanol” was co-authored by Hillary Bauer ’12 (physics), Jargalsaikhan Dulmaa ’13 (electrical and computer engineering) Harrisonn Griffin ’16 (physics), Amer S. Khraisat ’13 (ECE) and Alexandrea Safiq ’14 (environmental studies). Amanuel and Palma Catravas, associate professor of ECE, collaborated on “IR Spectroscopy of Gasses Evolved During Roasting Coffee Beans.” This paper is co-authored by Nick Brenn ’14 (ECE), Xavier Capaldi ’16 (physics), Victoria Chee ’13 (ID biology and Asian studies/Leadership in Medicine), Alexander Clain ’15 (physics), Salman Syed ’14 (chemistry and philosophy/LIM) and Shanice Wilson ’15 (mechanical engineering).

Prof. Amanuel Awarded NSF Major Research Instrumentation Grant

Principal Investigator Samuel Amanuel (Assistant Professor, Physics & Astronomy), with Co-PIs Palmyra Catravas (Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering), Brian Cohen (Lecturer, Biology), Rebecca Cortez (Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering), and Michael Hagerman (Associate Professor/Chair, Chemistry) — have been awarded $308,323 to acquire an inverted microscope for a shared instrumentation suite (IRIS). The microscope will be integrated with an existing AFM to enable research across five different departments. While the five PIs and the two Senior Personnel (Joanne Kelbeck, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Seyfollah Maleki, Professor of Physics & Astronomy) will be the major users of the new integrated system, the new system will enable research across the campus and will be accessible to the whole Union community.

A summary of the grant is available at this site.

Physics and Astronomy Summer Research 2010

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:

Summer Research Students and Faculty 2010

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.

For more information on summer research at Union, see the Undergraduate Research Page, or come to the Summer Student Seminar Series.

Profs. Amanuel and Orzel Present at March Meeting

Assistant Professor Samuel Amanuel and Associate Professor Chad Orzel traveled to the 2010 March Meeting of the American Physical Society in Portland, OR. The March Meeting is the largest physics conference in the world, with over 7,500 papers presented over the course of the week.

Prof. Amanuel presented two papers on his research on phase transitions in confined materials: a talk titled “Melting and Freezing of Decanol inside Nanoporous Silica,” and a poster titled “First Order Phase Transition of Primary and Secondary Decanol Inside Nanoporous Silica.” Both papers were on research conducted in his laboratory at Union, with first-year students Amer Khraisat and Jargalsaikhan Dulmaa.

Prof. Orzel gave an invited talk titled “Lasers in the Undergraduate Laboratory: Precision Measurement for the Masses” as part of a special session organized for LaserFest, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first working laser in 1960. (The idea of the laser had earlier been developed by several scientists, including Union Physics alumnus Gordon Gould ’41.) He discussed a number of laser experiments done in physics classes at Union, and how they illustrate techniques used in ultra-precise measurements.

Prof. Amanuel Presents at Thermal Analysis Conference

Samuel Amanuel, assistant professor of physics, recently presented a paper on “Reconciliation of the Apparent Delta H During the Phase Transition of Physically Confined System” at the North American Thermal Analysis Society Annual Conference in Lubbock Texas. The analysis and calculations showed that the behavior of molecules within 2.14 nano meters from a surface is different than molecules far away from a surface. The work involved summer research by Physics majors Hillary Bauer ’11, Peter Bonventre ’11 and Dana Lasher ’08.

Prof. Amanuel, Anna Gaudette ‘09 Publish Paper

Prof. Samuel Amanuel and Anna Gaudette ’09 co-authored a paper with Prof. Sandy Sternstein of RPI in the December issue of the JOURNAL OF POLYMER SCIENCE PART B-POLYMER PHYSICS. The paper, titled “Enthalpic Relaxation of Silica-Polyvinyl Acetate Nanocomposites” was based on work done by Gaudette in Prof. Amanuel’s lab at Union. They studied the effect on of adding nanoparticles on the glass transition in a rubber compound.

The paper shows that nano particles substantially reduce physical aging in polymers, which has immediate application in industry such as determining shelf life, and predicting and enhancing long-term reliability of polymer products. The paper also provides crucial evidence to understand the underlying mechanism of reinforcement in polymer composites and polymer nanocomposites.

Society of Physics Students Visits Elementary School

Four members of the Union Chapter of the Society of Physics Students visited Schenectady’s Katharine Burr Blodgett Elementary School on November 6, to perform physics demonstrations for an audience of fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students. The four students, Tom Perry ’09, Shivani Pathak ’10, Hilary Bauer ’11, and Dan Otto ’11, spent about an hour at the school, demonstrating the behavior of liquid nitrogen by freezing a variety of objects, and producing sparks with a van de Graff generator.

The visit was arranged through the Union College Kenney Community Center’s SAIL (Studying Arithmetic in Literature) program.

For more information (and pictures of the event) see the Union College Chronicle

Students Present at Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference

Physics students Anna Gaudette ’09 and Hillary Bauer ’11 presented their work at the Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference at the University of Toronto recently. Both Anna and Hilary worked with Prof. Amanuel, who accompanied them to the meeting.

Gaudette presented on studies of mechanical reinforcements of polymer nanocomposites. Bauer’s work focused on the phase transition of physically restricted molecules in the nano scale. The conference drew 272 delegates from 39 institutions across Canada and the United States.

(For pictures, visit the Union College Chronicle)

Amanuel Presents Paper at March Meeting

Samuel Amanuel from the Department of Physics and Astronomy (in collaboration with Sanford Sternstein of RPI) presented their paper on “Enthalpic Relaxation of Silica-Polyvinyl Acetate Nanocomposites” at the American Physical Society meeting in New Orleans, March 10-14, 2008. Their thermal measurements on glassy polyvinyl acetate revealed that nano silica particles reduced the extent of relaxations in the polymer. This could imply that nano particle can alter the ageing mechanism of polymers and improve their shelf life.

The annual March Meeting of the APS is the largest physics conference of the year. This year’s meeting was held in New Orleans, LA, with more than 7,000 paper presented by speakers from all over the world.