Friday, April 24, 2015

Physics Majors outnumbered the JMU delegation at the 2015 National Conference on Undergraduate Research!

The 2015 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) took place at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA from April 16-18.

JMU was represented by 11 undergraduates among which seven students were Physics Majors, as follows: 
  • Christopher Castillo - "Building the most robust catalog of voids and void galaxies" (research adviser: Dr. Anca Constantin)
  • Nicole Creange - "Surface science analysis of Gallium Oxide deposited on Gallium Nitride semiconductor" (research advisers: Drs. Jason Haraldsen and Costel Constantin)
  • Charles Crook - "Understanding superexchange   correlations in magnetically doped graphene" (research adviser: Dr. Jason Haraldsen)
  • Gregory Houchins - "Simplifying magnetic dimer calculations" (research adviser: Dr. Jason Haraldsen)
  • Galen Richard - "Variational calculations for spin canting at complex oxide interfaces" (research adviser: Dr. Jason Haraldsen)
  • Daniel Votaw - "Finding optimal parameters for use of position-sensitive ionization chamber" (research advisers: Drs. Dan Bardayan (University of Notre Dame) and Adriana Banu (JMU))
  • George Wilkes - "Plate tracking for a granular Casimir effect" (research adviser: Dr. Brian Utter)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Talk at NRL

On April 16, 2016 Dr. Scarel visited the U. S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington and presented Infrared power generation: physics and applications.  The presentation described the work of Dr. Scarel with collaborators and JMU undergraduate students: Yosyp Schwab, Graham Gearhart, Brian Lang, Harkirat Mann, Kyle Britton, Justin Kaczmar, Zach Marinelli, and Aidan Gordon.  The group hopes to establish a research collaboration with the researchers at NRL, where many opportunities are available.
The figure below introduces the nano-power generator, fabricated in 2014 by Harkirat and Brian.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Biking with and for Art (Fovargue), our awesome lab manager!

  Thank You, dear Art, for everything, your help and support for over a decade, and all those beautiful memories like the ones we shared this morning biking all together! YOU WILL BE MISSED!

Saturday, April 04, 2015

JMU Physics Majors doing research in Nuclear Physics attended the 13th Annual Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Conference!

The Physics and Astronomy Department at JMU was represented by two physics majors - Wayne Morris (senior) and Evan Meekins (junior) - at the 13th Annual Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Conference that took place at Drexel University (PA), March 27-29, 2015.

Both our physics majors did a great job showcasing their undergraduate research work: Wayne Morris (research advisers Drs. Ioana and Gabriel Niculescu) had a poster presentation entitled "Dark current, gain and wavelength testing of PMTs for the gas ring imaging Cherenkov detector" while Evan Meekins (research adviser Dr. Adriana Banu) had an oral presentation entitled "94Mo(g,n) cross section measurements towards understanding the origin of p-nuclei".

Kathleen Krist (Chemistry major), doing research in the field of materials science under mentorship of our own Dr. Christopher Hughes, also had a great oral presentation at this year's CAA Undergraduate Research Conference. The title of her presentation was "The utilization of chloroform post-treatment to improve the adhesion of Au thin film onto PMMA".

Wayne Morris (senior) during a poster session at the CAA 2015 Undergraduate Research Conference at Drexel University

Evan Meekins (junior) presenting at the CAA 2015 Undergraduate Research Conference at Drexel University

JMU was represented overall by a large delegation of 9 students (2 from Physics and Astronomy, 1 from Anthropology, Media Arts & Design, 1 from Biotechnology, 1 from Chemistry, 2 from Public Policy & Administration, 1 from History, and 1 from Biology). Dr. Marta Bechtel (Biotechnology) and Dr. Adriana Banu (Physics and Astronomy) served as the two chaperones of the delegation.

JMU delegation at the CAA 2015 Undergraduate Research Conference, Drexel University

We were very honored to have with us also Dr. A. Jerry Benson - JMU's Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, who was very impressed with the performances of our Dukes:

Thanks to all of you for your stellar performance at the CAA Undergraduate Research Conference.  You were such great representatives of all the students at JMU and our university as a whole.  It was my pleasure to have a little bit of time to be with you.  Best of everything as you move toward the end of the semester.  And a special thanks to Drs. Bechtel and Banu for your caring leadership and mentoring.

A. Jerry Benson