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Research Opportunities: Past Research

2012 summer research

14 students worked with 6 professors on Physics and Astronomy projects. 3 other students worked on inter-disciplinary projects with Computer Science, Economics, Physics and Psychology professors.

Student summer research fellows at Calvin participate in the annual summer research poster fair, held in October. They also prepare a synopsis (a one page summary) of their research experience, providing relevant background as well as a statement of the problem, describing the research methods, giving any results to date and indicating how the research benefitted them personally.

Astronomy projects
Atomic physics and optics projects
Biophysics projects
Interdisciplinary projects

Astronomy projects

Sam Van Kooten and Hannah Pagel studied asteroid collisions with Professor Larry Molnar.

 

 

 

Hannah Pagel and Sam Van Kooten
- Family Membership of Koronis Zone Asteroids
(poster / synopsis / Chimes article>>)

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Rick McWhirter and
Dan Van Noord, working with Professors Larry Molnar and Steve Steenwyk, concentrated on finding and modeling contact binary stars.


Richard McWhirter
-Period Variations in Contact Binary Stars: the Cases of V859 Cygni and V0738+2950
(poster / synopsis)

Daniel Van Noord
-Discovery of Two Record Setting Fast Binary Stars
(poster / synopsis)

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Atomic physics and optics projects

Keming (Eddy) Chen, Nathan Harkema and Christian Woolley, with graduate Katie Shomsky, participated in an ongoing theoretical physics project: computer modeling of double ionization of atoms by visible and infrared lasers with Professor Stan Haan.

Keming Chen, Nathan Harkema, Christian Woolley
-Recollision Excitation in the Quantum Descriptions of Double Ionization
(poster / Chen synopsis / Harkema synopsis / Woolley synopsis)

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Shaun Alsum, Margeaux Carter, Andrew Hess and Jacob Lampen collaborated with Professor Matt Walhout, working with dielectric- barrier discharges and atom-trapping experiments.

Shaun Alsum
-Interactions between Plasma Filaments in Dielectric-barrier Discharges
(poster / synopsis)

Margeaux Carter
-Dielectric-Barrier Discharges on a Hexagonal Grid
(poster / synopsis)

Andrew Hess
-Producing and Detecting a Beam of Metastable Krypton Atoms
(poster / synopsis)

Jacob Lampen
-Patterns in lattice-driven discharges with anisotropic filament interactions
(poster / synopsis)

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Biophysics project

Kyle Bussis and Erica Chan, with Professor Paul Harper, studied lipid-sugar phase behavior.

 

 


Kyle Bussis

-Disaccharide Inclusion and Exclusion in Lipid-Water Phases
(poster / synopsis)

Erica Chan
-Monosacchardie Inclusion and Exclusion in Lipid-Water Phases
(poster / synopsis)

Interdisciplinary projects

Stephen Healy worked with Professors Loren Haarsma (Physics & Astronomy) and Becky Haney (Economics) to develop and expand a computer model of a self-organized, complex and interdependent economy.

Stephen Healy
-Economic Growth, Wealth Inequality, Specialization and Trade in an Interdependent Society
(poster / synopsis)

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Josiah Sinclair and Jonathan Wong worked with Professors Loren Haarsma, Physics and Astronomy, and Paul Moes, Psychology, studying mouse tissue slices and neuronal fibers connected with a congenital defect in humans which can cause autism, lowered IQ, and other brain disorders.

Josiah Sinclair
- Electrophysiological evidence for normal proportions of inhibitory (GABA) intrahemispheric connections following abnormal development of Corpus Callosum axons
(poster / synopsis)

Jonathan Wong
- Probst Bundle Connectivity and AMPA Receptor Kinetics
(poster / synopsis)

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Peter VandeHaar modified and worked with a computer simulation of the evolution of protein complexes in simple organisms, supervised by Professors Loren Haarsma, Physics and Astronomy, and Serita Nelesen, Computer Science.

Peter VandeHaar
-Pykaryote: A computer model of the evolution of complexity in digital organisms
(poster / synopsis)

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Secondary

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Past Physics research

Science Division summer research posters