Five UD senior physics majors presented talks on their research at the Spring Meeting of the Texas Section of the American Physical Society Meeting at Tarleton State University, April 4-6, 2013. A sixth senior presented her research results at the South Central Undergraduate Women in Physics 2013 Conference held at UT, Austin January 18–20, 2013. A seventh presented her research at the Southwest Theoretical Chemistry Conference at TX A&M on October 26-28, 2012, and the eight senior presented her research at the North Texas Life Science Research Symposium, November 3, 2012, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Ft. Worth, TX. Nice job seniors!
Adam Collard, University of Dallas, Yancen Li and Joel Therrien, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Abstract: Single atom thickness carbon nitride sheets have been predicted as good high speed semiconductors. However, it is diﬃcult to synthesize large continuous single layer sheets. Although large amorphous multilayer sheets can be produced easily, single layer sheets require a precise deposition method and solution. We synthesized the carbon nitride at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in the Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing. Synthesis starts by depositing solutions on silicon wafers using various deposition methods. Wafers are then baked in an ultrahigh purity argon environment where ammonia is removed thereby transforming the chemical deposit of Dicyandiamide into carbon nitride. After baking samples they are tested with Raman Spectroscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy. Single atom thickness samples are then patterned using negative photoresist lithography and coated with aluminum. Excess aluminum is removed and the samples are probed to test band gap and resistivity. Diﬃculties were encountered in ﬁnding a good solvent, proper concentration, and deposition method that worked. The synthesis techniques, solution types, baking speciﬁcations, characterization techniques, and results will be presented.
Matt Heuser, Richard Olenick, Arthur Sweeney, James Meier, Jeff Scheiderjan, University of Dallas STEXTS Team
Abstract: Crucial in the data pipeline for transit searches are dependable algorithms which hunt for transits in accumulated light curves. We used C++ versions of EEBLS (Edge Enhanced Box Least Squares) and QATS (Quasi Automated Transit Search) algorithms to search for possible transits in the STExT group database of light curves of approximately 2500 stars. The outputs of these two programs were compared and a list of potential binary candidates was determined. We will compare the algorithms and discuss possible candidates for transits.
James John Meier, Richard Olenick, Arthur Sweeney, Jeffrey Schniederjan, Matthew Heuser, University of Dallas, STEXTS TEAM
Abstract: We report the results of time-resolved CCD photometry of two new binaries and V1097 in the constellation Hercules. Our observations were carried out using a six-inch, wide angle lens astrograph with a set focal length of 200 mm, three-degree ﬁeld of view and f/1.5 stopped down to an f/2.8 in Pitkin, Colorado in the R band for 35 nights during the early summer of 2012. We exposed each image for one minute and took 300 images per night, obtaining 10,500 images in total. Using Peranso software, Lomb-Scargle period analysis was carried out for the binaries. We will present the O-C calculations for the two new binaries, GSC 2087- 0364, GSC 2083-1870 as well as for V1097 Her.
Modeling of Three New Binaries in Hercules
Jeffrey Schniederjan, Richard Olenick, Arthur Sweeney, James Meier and Matthew Heuser, University of Dallas, STEXTS TEAM
Abstract: We report the results of modeling of three new binaries in Hercules discovered through time-resolved photometry by the Small Telescope Exoplanet Transit Search (STExTS) project. Observations were made with a 200 mm astrograph f/1.5 stopped down to an f/2.8 in the R band over a period of seven weeks in summer 2012 in Pitkin, CO. A total of 10,500 calibrated images and PHOEBE were used to model the light curves of the newly discovered binaries GSC 2087-1870, GSC 2083-1875, and GSC 2087-0364. The binaries' parameter and classiﬁcations will be presented.
L. Sidwell, B. Combs, S.F. Hicks, University of Dallas, J.R. Vanhoy, United States Naval Academy, E.E. Peters, B.C. Crider, A. Kumar, M.T. McEllistrem, F.M. Prados-Estevez, S.W. Yates, University of Kentucky
Abstact: Elastic and inelastic neutron scattering differential cross sections from 23Na, useful in certain ﬁssion reactor applications, were measured using the neutron
scattering and detection facilities at the University of Kentucky (UK) in June of
2012. A pulsed proton beam was accelerated using the 7-MV Van de Graaf accelerator, and
neutrons were produced using the 3H(p,n)3He source reaction, which occurred when the proton beam was incident on a tritium
cell at the end of the beam line. The neutrons were scattered off a 23Na sample and detected by a C6D6 liquid scintillation detector using pulse shape discrimination and time-of-ﬂight
methods. Angular distributions of scattered neutrons were measured for incident neutron
energies of 3.20 and 3.40 MeV. These incident neutron energies were chosen because
they are of interest for reactor applications and because few previous measurements
exist in this region. As the result of data analysis performed at the University of
Dallas, the elastic and inelastic neutron scattering differential cross sections on
23Na were determined for the 3.20 and 3.40 MeV incident neutron energy measurements.
Results from this analysis and comparisons to evaluated nuclear data predictions for
these cross sections will be presented.
1This work was supported by the Department of Energy, through the NEUP Program, and by the Cowan Physics Fund at the University of Dallas.
UD senior physics major Brett Combs presented the results of her summer 2012 research at the South Central Undergraduate Women in Physics 2013 Conference held at UT, Austin January 18–20, 2013. Brett studied neutron scattering from Na-23 as her senior thesis research.
Two UD physics majors give talks over their summer research during the Fall 2012 semester.
Here are their abstracts:
Dispersion-Corrected Rung-3.5 Density Functionals
Presented at the Southwest Theoretical Chemistry Conference at TX A&M on October 26-28, 2012
Poison Pill: Using a Blocked Mutant to Study Microtubule Dynamics
Abstract: Microtubules are dynamic cytoskeletal polymers that have critical roles in intracellular organization and chromosome segregation. Microtubules display 'dynamic instability', switching apparently randomly between phases of growing and shrinking. Despite years of study, the molecular details underlying catastrophe-the switch from growing to shrinking-remain largely unknown. One cause of this persistent lack of understanding is the inability to use site-directed αβ-tubulin as a way to modulate and understand dynamic instability. The Rice lab has developed an αβ-tubulin mutant which blocks at the growing microtubule end and will open up a field of observation inaccessible to wild-type tubulin concentration changes alone. By using DICT microscopy and flow chambers promoting microtubule growth, I observed that microtubules had shorter average lifetimes and unaffected growth velocities in the presence of blocked mutant compared to the wild-type controls. Through my experiments, we have identified a regime of microtubule dynamics that we could not access by simply changing the concentration of αβ-tubulin. Further investigation includes developing a computational model of this experiment.
Presented at the North Texas Life Science Research Symposium, November 3, 2012, University
of North Texas Health Science Center, Ft. Worth, TX.
S. F. Hicks1, L. J. Kersting1, P. J. McDonough1, C. J. Lueck1, A. J. Sigillito1, J. R. Vanhoy4, E. E. Peters3, B. C. Crider2, A. Kumar2, M. T. McEllistrem2, A. Chakraborty2, F. M. Prados-Estevz2, S. W. Yates2,3
(1)Department of Physics, University of Dallas, Irving TX 75062, United States
(2)Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40506, United States
(3)Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40506, United States
(4)Department of Physics, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis MD 21402, United States
Abstract: Nuclear data important for the design and development of the next generation of light-water reactors and future fast reactors include elastic and inelastic neutron scattering cross sections on important structural materials, such as Fe, and on coolant materials, such as Na. These reaction probabilities are needed since neutron reactions impact fuel performance during irradiations and the overall efficiency of reactors. While neutron scattering cross sections from these materials are available for certain incident neutron energies, the fast neutron region, particularly above 2 MeV, has large gaps for which no measurements exist, or the existing uncertainties are large. Measurements have been made at the University of Kentucky Accelerator Laboratory to measure neutron scattering cross sections on both natFe and 23Na in the region where these gaps occur and to reduce the uncertainties on scattering from the ground state and first excited state of these nuclei. Results from measurements on natFe at incident neutron energies between 2 and 4 MeV will be presented and comparisons will be made to model calculations available from data evaluators.
Presented at the 22nd International conference on the Use of Small Accelerators for Teaching and Research, August 5-10, 2012, Ft. Worth, TX.
An observational campaign involving undergraduates was made of the open cluster Dolidze-Dzimseleshvili 9 with an f/1.5 152 mm astrograph for 37 nights in 2011. Lightcurves were obtained for approximately 1900 stars that were extracted and catalogued from the images. A software processing pipeline and SQL were created to provide methods for similar research at other universities. We report on the binaries, variable stars, and transit candidates found.
Presented at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science, July 1-6, 2012, Pontificia Università Lateranense, Rome.
May 8, 2012
The “Elastic/Inelastic Measurement Project” is supported under the Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP) of the Department of Energy (DOE). The work is part of a total grant of over $880k for a collaborative research effort between the University of Kentucky (Profs. Marcus T. McEllistrem and Steven W. Yates, the University of Dallas (Prof. Sally F. Hicks), the United States Naval Academy (Prof. Jeffrey R. Vanhoy), and Idaho National Laboratory (Dr. Tony S. Hill) . The proposed neutron scattering cross sections are important for the advanced nuclear fuels program of the DOE, which sponsors research and development of innovative next-generation light water nuclear reactors and future fast reactors. This award provides financial support for UD students to participate in the research, both for experiments at the University of KY and for data analysis at UD.
The Small Telescope Extrasolar Transit Searches (STExTS) project is a small aperture, wide-angle search for planetary transits and variable stars. Observations of the open cluster Dolidze-Dzimseleshvili 9 were made with an f/2.8 152 mm astrograph for 37 nights in 2011. Lightcurves were obtained for approximately 1900 stars that were extracted and catalogued from the images. We report on preliminary results and characteristics of new binary stars discovered.
Small Telescope Exoplanet Transit Search (STExTS) Transit Candidates in the Open Cluster
Blaise DuFrain, Richard Olenick, Arthur Sweeney, Andrew Bechter, Eric Bechter
The STExTs project searched for transit candidates in the open cluster Dolidze-Dzimselshvili 9 in Hercules for 37 nights using a f/2.8 152 mm astrograph. Approximately 11,000 images were obtained, processed, and analyzed for signatures of transits. We will present preliminary candidates and orbital periods.
(University of Dallas)
In digital astronomical image processing, distortion limits the quality of photometric data. Often, this precludes accurate and precise analysis of stars or planetary features imaged close to one another. This is a problem in particular for period analysis of binary stars and searching for planetary transits, due to the merging of nearby stars into the area of interest. I proposed a method which utilizes a pair of filters and pixel math to increase resolution, thereby improving astronomical image features and enabling more precise analysis thereof. Comparison of processed and unprocessed data was done by comparing signal to noise ratio and brightness profiles of each. All calculations were performed and results analyzed using Astronomical Image Processing for Windows (AIP4WIN) by Richard Berry. In many cases, previously unusable star profiles were resolved sufficiently to take photometric data from them, while those with low signal to noise ratios improved by a factor of two to three. These results suggest that the proposed method could be used to enable photometric analysis of previously un-usable data.
Andrew Bechter, Richard Olenick, Arthur Sweeney, Blaise Dufrain, Eric Bechter, University of Dallas
In 2011 the STExTs project surveyed the open cluster Dolidze-Dzimselshvili 9 in Hercules for 37 nights using a f/2.8 152 mm astrograph during which time approximately 11,000 images were obtained. We will discuss the star extraction algorithm, systematic error removal algorithm, and analyses used in processing the lightcurves for approximately 1900 stars. We will present our findings on new variable star candidates as well as new characteristics of existing variable stars.
Presented at the Joint Spring 2012 Meeting of the Texas Sections of the APS and AAPT and Zone 13 of the SPS
Jared Rovny, Kyle Mezier, Irina Voloshina, Richard Olenick, and Vladimir Metlov (University of Dallas)
J2138+26 is a new WZ Sge-type dwarf nova, discovered by Dae-Am Yi et al. on May 7, 2010 (CBET 2273). The object is suggested to be similar to GW Lib, another WZ Sge star outbursting in 2007, in terms of a low inclination angle and apparent brightness. J2138+26 is a binary star system with a variable light output caused by precession of the accretion disk around the white dwarf in the cataclysmic variable system. J2138 enters certain periods of outburst when it is significantly brighter, and its regular light variations (from precession), called superhumps, have a changing period. Additional photometric observation of this system provides information about the changing amplitude and period of its superhumps and outbursts, which in turn helps to determine the system's history and physical activity, as well as providing insight into cataclysmic variable systems and their behavior in general. The research in July 2010, done by the named authors and using a 0.6-m telescope from the Sternberg Astronomical Institute's branch of the Crimean Observatory in Crimea, was focused on such photometric observation. Data and analysis of the superhump periods will be presented. The analysis of data taken by Dr. Voloshina and ourselves will be presented with a focus on the changing amplitude and period of J2138, and the physical significance of these results discussed.
The Beauty of the (n,n'γ) Reaction for Investigating Collective Excitations Across the Te Isotopic Chain
Invited talk on nuclear structure delivered by Dr. Sally Hicks at the nuclear physics seminar at the University of Notre Dame on 2/20/2012. UD students who worked on the study of the Te nuclei were acknowledged for their work. These include: J. C. Boehringer, Matthew Burns, Meghan M. Walbran, Beth Sklaney, Gary Alexander, Corey Collard, Steve Etzkorn, William Faulkner,Patrick Roddy, Chris Davoren, Chris Aubin, Jeff Ellis, and Peter Burkett.
Advanced Elastic/Inelastic Neutron Data Development Project
Research talk delivered at the AEINDDP NEUP meeting in Irving TX by Dr. Sally Hicks. (10/7/2011) UD physics majors who have made the research possible and acknowledged during the presentation:L. J. Kersting, C.J. Luke, P. J. McDonough, A. J. Sigillito, J. Schniederjan, L. Downes, J. Girgis
Measurement of the Absolute Elastic and Inelastic Differential Neutron Cross Sections
23Na between 2 and 4 MeV
A Kumar , M.T. McEllistrem , B.P. Crider , E.E. Peters, F.M.Prados-Est´evez, A Chakraborty, J.R. Vanhoy, L.J. Kersting , C. J. Lueck , P.J. McDonough , A Sigillito , S.F. Hicks , S.W. Yates, Talk delivered by Ajay Kumar at the Fourteenth International Symposium on Capture Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy and Related Topics, University of Guelph, Canada August 28 - September 2, 2011. University of Dallas students who participated in the research are highlighted with bold letters. Their name also appears in the conference proceedings, written by Dr. Sally Hicks and Dr. Jeff Vanhoy. Dr. Hicks also served as a session chair at this conference.
Nine physics majors graduate in 2011. From left to right the graduates are Luke Kersting, Kyle Meziere, Anthony Sigillito, Christen Racciato, Andrew Miller, Paul Stauduhar, Natalie Weisse, Zofia Kaminski, and Mary Catalano. Congratulations to all!
Sophomore physics major Jeff Schniederjan reports that , "We got to see one of the two telescopes on Castel Gandolfo. We also got to see the offices where anyone who works in the Vatican Observatory spends most of their time. Our tour was courtesy of Fr. Brown. Besides working in the Observatory he is also the librarian there. So he showed us some more familiar modern day textbooks and some really old ones too. The first book is Copernicus' De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium 2nd edition from about 1550. Then Galileo's book that got him in trouble with the church. Also equally as notable is Newtons Principia Mathematica printed in 1713. We all had a great time getting to tour the castle and visiting with Fr. Brown."
Senior physics major Anthony Sigillito was awarded the Outstanding Student Presentation Award at the Texas Section of the American Physical Society Fall-2010 meeting in San Antonio, TX. His oral presentation "The Design and Fabrication of Bismuth Hall Effect Biosensors" stood out among the 100+ presentations of students who participated in the competition. Anthony received a $200 prize for his accomplishment. (Award announced 1/3/2011.)
The Meziere Family Observatory was built by senior physics major Kyle Meziere and
his father. The 10-foot diameter dome was donated to the UD Physics Department for
student and faculty use. Mr. Meziere and his family (shown in the above figure along
with Mr. Arthur Sweeney on the right) hauled the observatory from San Diego to its
temporary location at the home of adjunct physics professor Mr. Arthur Sweeney over
the Thanksgiving holidays. The department hopes to move the observatory to a dark
site outside of the Dallas-Ft. Worth area as soon as an appropriate site is determined.
The physics faculty deeply appreciate this generous donation and will do their best
to make sure many UD students are able to use the facility for observations and research.
See Meziere Observatory in Astronomy Corner for more details.