Programs & Awards  
2011 Sigma Pi Sigma Undergraduate Research Awards

Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor societyThe following eight Society of Physics Students (SPS) chapters have received Sigma Pi Sigma Undergraduate Research Awards to fund chapter research projects. The awards provide calendar year grants to support local chapter activities that are deemed imaginative and likely to contribute to the strengthening of the SPS program. The program is funded through income from the Sigma Pi Sigma Trust Endowment Fund.
Recipients: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 & Previous

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  Colorado State University
  Left to right, back: Heith Kippenhan, Ben Griego, James Avila, Jeff Lyons, Robert Cope, Tyler McGoffin, Dr. Richard Eykholt, Erik Wildforster, Kelly Mauser, and Patrick Kelly. Front: Clayton Bargsten, Douglas Ortego, Sam Mitchell, Nicholas Kaufhold, and James Patterson.
Colorado State University

Investigation of the Effect of Various
Substances on Sonoluminescence

Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
Sonoluminescence is the name given to the phenomenon of the emission of light from a cavitation bubble in an acoustic field. The mechanism for this event still remains a mystery since it involves spontaneous energy concentrations of about 12 orders of magnitude. Many applications for this type of energy concentration are being realized, especially in the field of sonochemistry. Yet, not only is the mechanism behind sonoluminescence not fully understood, but many of the key experimental parameters that would give insight to the mechanism still remain unknown. One of these key parameters is the size of the cavitation bubble at the point that light emission occurs. While techniques such as Hanbury Brown and Twiss (HBT) interferometry have been proposed and the theoretical models for this technique exist, there are certain difficulties that must be overcome before a HBT experiment can be implemented. We plan to overcome these challenges by testing new methods to either increase the radius of the bubble or increase the output emission, thus facilitating the implementation of an HBT interferometer to measure the minimum radius size, which we also plan to implement.

Principal Proposer: Jeff Lyons
Chapter Advisor: Dr. Richard Eykholt

 
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  Left to right, firts row: Dr. Claycomb, Rebecca Cook, Tanaya Mandal, Brittney Gardner, Linh Do. Second row: Johanna Dickerson, Syed Amir, Noman Ali, Sai Medi, Sarin Patel, Franklin Leal
  Left to right, firts row: Dr. Claycomb, Rebecca Cook, Tanaya Mandal, Brittney Gardner, Linh Do. Second row: Johanna Dickerson, Syed Amir, Noman Ali, Sai Medi, Sarin Patel, Franklin Leal.
Houston Baptist University

Fractal Dimensions of the Morphology of Bacillus Subtilis and Proteus Mirabilis

Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
Bacillus subtilis and Proteus mirabilis morphologies will be studied to identify their fractal dimensions. A fractal dimension of 1.88 was found for B. subtilis at 37oC. Experiments on Proteus are in progress. Changes in the fractal dimension as a result of electromagnetic fields, temperatures, pH, and enzymes will be analyzed.

Principal Proposers: Norman ALi, Linh Do, Ricki Kumar, Johana Dickerson, Sarin Patel, Sai Medi, Franklin Leal, Rebecca Cook, Tanaya Mandal, Brittney Gardner, Derrick Rodgers, and Anum Bana
Chapter Advisor: Dr. James Claycomb

 
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  Ithaca College
  Ithaca College
Ithaca College

Undergraduate Research and Student Laboratory Magneto-Optical Trap (MOT)

Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
Our chapter proposes to finish the creation of a magneto-optical trap (MOT). This project will entail completing the optical paths and testing the MOT. When completed, it will be used for undergraduate research opportunities within our institution, as well as for advanced laboratory classes and demonstrations to prospective students.

Principal Proposer: Judith Olson
Chapter Advisor: Michael “Bodhi” Rogers

 
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  Left to right, front row: Heather Garcia, Hannah Hsu, Kimberley Barnes, Danny Martell. Back row: Jordan Lance, Matt Kraske, Karl Schmidt, Emily Bee, Paul Schale, Dan Johnson, Lane Seeley.
  Left to right, front row: Heather Garcia, Hannah Hsu, Kimberley Barnes, Danny Martell. Back row: Jordan Lance, Matt Kraske, Karl Schmidt, Emily Bee, Paul Schale, Dan Johnson, Lane Seeley.
Seattle Pacific University

Analysis and Modeling of the Spiral Pump Project Proposal

Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
Our chapter intends to build and study a working model of a spiral waterwheel pump. We will conduct multiple experiments to determine the optimal construction parameters of the waterwheel. We will also develop and test a numerical model which can be used by sustainable engineering teams planning site specific installations.

Principal Proposers: Emily Bee, Daniel Johnson, and Paul Schale
Chapter Advisor: Lane Seeley

 
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  Left to right, first row: Jason Lumpkin, Zarah Ahmad, Zachary Nolan. Second row: Jian Peng (faculty advisor), Santaneel Ghosh (faculty advisor), Nathan Burford, Taylor Busch, Lucas Greten.
  Left to right, first row: Jason Lumpkin, Zarah Ahmad, Zachary Nolan. Second row: Jian Peng (faculty advisor), Santaneel Ghosh (faculty advisor), Nathan Burford, Taylor Busch, Lucas Greten.

Southeast Missouri State University

Alternating Magnetic Field Controlled, Multifunctional Nano-carriers for Therapeutic Applications

Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
The primary objectives of this proposed research are: (1) to synthesize an externally tunable, thermo-responsive, multifunctional nano-carrier and (2) to investigate the feasibility of using this for precise temperature control for biomedical applications. The use of magnetic modulator is attractive due to the transportable nature of magnet and the directional specificity inside the body that may allow further control.

Principal Proposers: Zarah Ahmad, James Benson, Nathan Burford, Taylor Busch, Lucas Greten, Jason Lumpkin, Zach Nolan, and Phillilp Yarboro
Faculty Advisors: Dr. Jian Peng and Dr. Santaneel Ghosh

 
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  Left to right: Vladimir Lankevich, Wendi Chang, Marissa Adams, Dev Ashish Khaitan, Daniel Gresh, Joshua Geller.
  Left to right: Vladimir Lankevich, Wendi Chang, Marissa Adams, Dev Ashish Khaitan, Daniel Gresh, and Joshua Geller.
University of Rochester

Society of Physics Students LASER Harp (SLasH)

Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
We propose the creation of a robot playing a laser harp. We plan to initiate a joint project with the University's chapter of the Optics Society of America (OSA) and the Robotics Team to construct a rudimentary robotic arm to play a Laser Harp. We feel that this project will be able to uphold the mission of Sigma Pi Sigma by promoting understanding in physics and scientific work carried out in a project group; thus creating an overall sense of fellowship among all the participating groups and individuals. Through this method, we plan to not only interact with individuals on campus who may or may not affiliated with the aforementioned groups, but also spread word outside of The University.

Principal Proposers: Marissa Adams and Vladimir Lankevich
Faculty Advisor: Prof. Frank Wolfs

 
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  Left to right: Amanda Palchak, Dr. Alina Gearba (SPS Advisor) and Charles T. Young.
  Left to right: Amanda Palchak, Dr. Alina Gearba (SPS Advisor) and Charles T. Young.
University of Southern Mississippi

Photoionization Cross Section Measurement
of Rb 5P3/2

Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
Photoionization cross sections are known to be dependent on the ionizing photon energy. The proposed research project aims at determining photoionization cross sections at previously unexplored ionizing wavelengths for the rubidium 5P3/2 excited state. This data allows for comparison with theoretical predictions of the photoionization cross section versus the ionizing photon energy.

Principal Proposers: Charles Young and Amanda Palchak
Chapter Advisor: Dr. Alina Gearba

 
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  Left to right: Patrick Ahmaad Scott, Ephedyn L. Lin, Adam L. Blumenau, David Orion Girardo, and Marko B Popovic (faculty advisor).
  Left to right: Patrick Ahmaad Scott, Ephedyn L. Lin, Adam L. Blumenau, David Orion Girardo, and Marko B Popovic (faculty advisor).
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Physics applied to post-stroke rehabilitation

Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
We plan to build a physical model, study human arm movement, construct and experiment with embedded sensor networks and develop a control system to facilitate the development of a new generation of soft and active orthopedic braces for a broad range of applications in physical therapy and use as a permanent assistive device. This project will become part of an ongoing collaboration between Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Harvard University, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

Principal Proposers: Ephedyn L. Lin and David O. Girardo
Chapter Advisor: Marko B. Popovic

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