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 Varughese ’11 worked with Prof. Jay Newman this summer, using dynamic light scattering to study the way that insulin molecules clump together over time. In addition to providing information about insulin itself, the processes by which insulin molecules aggregate are similar to those of β-amyloid, which has been implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.
Halley Darling ’13, shown explaining her summer research poster to Prof. Mike Vineyard, worked with Professor Koopmann using the Arecibo telescope to study hydrogen gas in a nearby group of galaxies. Their observations will help astronomers understand the evolution of galaxies and star formation within galaxies.
Mark Sullivan ’13 worked with Anna Sise ’12 (who is on term abroad this Fall) and Prof. Reich doing computer simulations of atoms in lattices. The systems they studied are related to the physics of phase transitions in magnetic materials.
Pavel Aprelev ’13 spent four weeks working in Professor Orzel’s lab for the laser cooling and trapping of krypton. Pavel worked on improving the laser frequency stabilization system that allows the lasers to be tuned to exactly the right frequency for trapping metastable krypton atoms.
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.
Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Rebecca Koopmann ’89 recently presented a paper at the “Galaxy Wars: Stellar Populations and Star Formation in Interacting Galaxies” Conference held at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn. “ALFALFA HI Content and Star Formation in Virgo Cluster Early-Type Dwarfs” describes Koopmann’s research on the hydrogen gas contents of nearby galaxies as revealed by the ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) survey using the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico. Koopmann also hosted an NSF-sponsored Undergraduate ALFALFA Team group meeting at Union for faculty and students in July. The meeting drew participants from Siena and Skidmore colleges to campus, while participants from Cornell University, Georgia Southern University, Humboldt State University and Lafayette College joined via teleconference. Students from each institution presented summaries of ALFALFA research progress during the summer. SreyNoch Chin ’12 presented Union’s progress report.
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