Physics Student Research

2015 Research


Egan Presents Poster at American Astronomical Society's Annual Conference

Arika Egan, senior physics and philosophy major, recently attended the 225th American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Seattle, Washington where she presented a poster about new data on galaxies NGC4242 and UGC07301, analyzing the light intensity as a function of radius, and creating stellar energy distribution graphs, color graphs, and surface brightness profiles for each galaxy. Arika did this research as part of her summer research experience for undergraduates (REU) at the University of Wyoming.


Kyle Branning's Columbia REU in CERN, Switzerland

Over this summer, Kylee Branning's part in the Columbia REU program was focused on the development of data driven background estimation techniques to discriminate the backgrounds for VV resonance searches in the final state of lepton, neutrino, and two quarks. The background she worked with was composed of W+Jets, Z+Jets, ttbar, multijets, and standard model dibosons. Specifically the W/Z+Jets and ttbar backgrounds were measured in control regions formed by reverting the signal region cuts.

Additionally b-tagging was used to discriminate between those two different background types. For the standard model dibosons, the estimation was based on the Monte Carlo. The multijets Run I extrapolation showed marginal quantum chromodynamics (QCD) contamination. Comparisons were made between data and Monte Carlo for an integrated luminosity of 6 pb-1 collected at 13 TeV center of mass energy. In the end, no discrepancy between data and Monte Carlo was found in this study.

The picture is of Kylee with the statue of Shiva Nataraj. The statue was a gift from India, celebrating CERN's long association with India which started in the 1960's and continues strongly today.

Photo of Daabii Reinhardt

Reinhardt Does Research in Colorado on Renewable Energy

Biidaaban "Daabii" Reinhardt of Gwinn, spent 10 weeks this summer at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo. doing research on renewable energy and how to make it more efficient. Specifically, she focused on the functionalization of silicon quantum dots (nanoparticles) used to make the photovoltaic cells (solar panels) more efficient in industry. Read more about Reinhardt's experience here.


2014 Research


Argonne Student Research Presentation

At the annual Argonne Undergraduate Research Symposium at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, several NMU students gave presentations.  Physics major, Daniel Wilbern's presentation was on Measurement of the Mean Lifetime of Muon Particles. His talk was based on research that he did while working with Dr. William Tireman (Physics).


2013 Research


Argonne Student Research Presentation

Three physics students presented at the 2013 Argonne Conference. Daniel Wilbern's presentation was about time-of-flight and position dispersion in plastic scintillator detectors. Cassy Hasting's presentation was about experimental identification of transmission band shifts for liquid-filled, hollow core for photonic crystal fibers due to refractive index scaling. Elizabeth Butler spoke about analyzing time data for the EBEX experiment.

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Elizabeth Butler Completes Summer REU in Minnesota

NMU Physics major, Elizabeth Butler, worked this summer on the EBEX experiment for the University of Minnesota, creating software to analysis time data. EBEX is a polarimeter designed to look at the cosmic microwave background radiation in hopes of finding traces of gravitional waves in the modes of polarization.

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Hastings Travels to France to Participate in Optics REU

NMU physics major, Cassy Hastings, traveled to Paris, France this summer to study optics and research at The Institut d’Optique Graduate School. This REU program is a collaboration between the University of Michigan and several Paris universities.

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Erik Wisuri Interns at NASA

NMU Physics major, Erik Wisuri, interned this summer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility.  At NASA, he worked with a scientist to develop software that can create new mathematical models for ocean microbial ecosystems using genetic algorithms.

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2012 Research


Kitt Peak National Observatory Internship

Senior physics major, Amelia Shirtz, was selected to work as an undergraduate research assistant this summer at Kitt Peak National Observatory. Shirtz's research assistant position was offered through the NSF-Funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program.

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Argonne Student Research Presentation

Three physics students presented at the 2012 Argonne Conference. Elizabeth Butler and Arika Egan presented on techniques used in astronomical photography. Amelia Shirtz presented on creating an infrastructure for LSST all-sky camera site data.

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2011 Research


Student Research Paper Published

A 2012 NMU graduate and physics major, Alexandra Fittante, has published a research paper in an international Nuclear and Particle Physics journal with Dr. Neil Russell of the Physics Department. Ms. Fittante worked on this project, which involved a variety of calculations to find limits on coefficients relevant for space-time symmetries, during her senior year.

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