Programs & Awards  
2012 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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  Bethel University
  Principal Proposer Jessica Doehrmann & Benjamin Heppner.
Bethel University

Assessment of the 1D Isentropic Flow Assumption in Characterizing the Flow in a Converging-Diverging Nozzle

mouseProposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
Piezoelectric pressure measurements and high-speed video (HSV) shadowgraph imaging are conducted to study the copressible flow in a converging-diverging (CD) nozzle. Results from these studies will be used to assess the 1D Isentropic Flow.

Principal Proposers: Lauren Otto, Jessica Doehrmann, & Timothy Gustafson
Chapter Advisor: Dr. Thomas Greenlee

 
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  The Citadel
  From Left to Right: Dr. Joel Berlinghieri, Mr. Drew Farr, Dr. Rob Clark, Cadet Ryan Boodee, Dr. Russell Hileke, Cadet Djordon Porter.
The Citadel

Fluorescent Quantum-Sized Carbon Dots Isolated in an rf Paul Trap

Proposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
Recently discovered nanoscale carbon particles, known as carbon dots, have attracted much attention from the scientific community in their ability to fluoresce brightly and for potential use in nanoscale devices. Previous studies have revealed a direct relationship between size and luminescence in carbon dots, however, this relationship remains unexplored outside of solution. Although a variety of theories have been derived to identify a mechanism supporting this relationship, it is not fully understood or known to exist outside of solution. Using an rf Paul trap design with electrospray ionization, the ExCitAtion group at The Citadel aims to isolate and study these carbon dots in the absence of solution. The as described relationship will be tested for these "naked" carbon dots to better understand the mechanisms involved in this unique property.

Principal Proposers: Andrew J. Farr & Ryan J. Boodee
Chapter Advisor: Robert J. Clark

 
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  Drew University
   
Drew University

Radio Astronomy Investigation of Jupiter and the Sun with the NASA Radio Jove Kit

mouseProposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
We plan to study both Jupiter and solar radio emissions in the range of 20 MHz to 200MHz. We will carry out this effort by constructing the Radio Jove Kit which was developed by NASA. Data collected will help us understand the role played by Io and sunspots in terms of Jupiter's and the Sun's radio emissions respectively.

Principal Proposers: Andrew Bryar, John T. Bone, Melissa Hoffman, & Ashish Shah
Chapter Advisor: Robert K. Murawski

 
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  Drexel University
  From Left to Right: Jeremy Gaison, Sam Ciocys, Sajjan Mehta and Mike Sehi
Drexel University

Three-Dimensional Electronic Hand-Tracking System

Proposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
We propose to create an electronic hand-tracking system to be used for manipulating virtual objects. The machine will work off of principles found in a theremin, specifically the theremin's ability to alter its output depending on the position of the user's hand. By connecting a microcontroller to the antenna, it will be possible to take measurements and analyze them in real time on a computer.

Principal Proposers: Sam Ciocys, Nick Kruczek, Sajjan Mehta, Julian Kemmerer, David Barbalace, & Josh Henery
Chapter Advisor: Dr. Luis Cruz Cruz

 
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  Linn-Benton Community College
   
Linn-Benton Community College

Airfoil Performance Analysis and Wind Tunnel Engineering

Proposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
Our chapter proposes to design and build a small scale wind tunnel of high aerodynamic precision. We will use the wind tunnel to independently verify the lift and drag coefficients of several standardized NACA airfoils. The wind tunnel will become a fixture of our physics department for future use in undergraduate research, education, and outreach.

Principal Proposers: David Konyndyk, Kristoffer Hess, Mike Ortiz, Dillyn Winn, & Blythe Noorie
Chapter Advisor: Toni King

 
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  Saint Peter's College
  From Left to Right: Prajwal Niraula, Edwin Young, Alberto Bodden, Stephanie McKillip, Ahmed Suliman, Leidy Carbonell, Sean Block, WeiDong Zhu, AlexanderDahl, Jonathan Ocasio

Saint Peter's College

Measurement of Radiation Emission Due to Plasma Sterilization

Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
Plasma is being considered as a sterilizer and it has a 98% effectiveness. The only obstacle is the UV radiation it emits. The goal for this project is to measure the levels of ultraviolet radiation plasma creates and then to compare the reult with the safe standards of UV radiation individuals can be exposed to. Depending on the results obtained, a prototype of sterilizer will be built.

Principal Proposers: Ahmed Suliman, Leidy Carbonell, Alberto Bodden, Sean Block, Prajwal Niraula
Faculty Advisors: Dr. WeiDong Zhu

 
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  Southeast University
  From Left to Right: Tianchen Jin, Yulu Liu, Dr. Zhenhua Ni, Jilong Liu, Qi Liu
Southeast University

Controlled Growth of Graphene by Chemical Vapor Deposition

Proposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
Graphene, firstly isolated in 2004, is a new type of carbon materials, which contains a single- or few-layered sheet of Sp2-bonded carbon atoms. This special atomic structure gives graphene rich physical properties and wide potential applications. It has excellent electrical, mechanical, thermal and optical properties and has wide applications in nanoeletronic devices, transparent conductive films, power storage, composites materials et al. In our program, CVD method will be used to fabricate large area and high quality graphene, which will pave the way for its applications. We will also investigate the growth mechanism of graphene on different metal substrates.

Principal Proposers: Tian-Chen Jin, Yu-Lu Liu, Ji-Long Liu, & Qi Liu
Faculty Advisor: Zhi-Yong Zhou,

 
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  Suffolk University
  Left to Right: Lee Wizda, Yosuke Sugishita,Prashant Sharma
Suffolk University

Two Dimensional Ordering of DNA Using Stacking Bonds

Proposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
A key problem in nanotechnology is the precise assembly of nanoparticles on a substrate. DNA self-assembly using Watson-Crick base pairing, termed DNA Origami, is regarded as a promising route towards achieving nanoscale precision. We propose to address the problem of scaling up DNA Origami, by designing Origami structures whose mutual interaction is spatially non-uniform and results in directed stacking of different origami
tiles.

Principal Proposers: Lee Wizda & Yosuke Sugishita
Chapter Advisor: Prashant Sharma

 
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  UT Dallas
  Top Row, Left to Right: Professor Jason Slinker, Clint Naquin, David Taylor, Jonny Bursa, Middle Row: Omar Hasan, Anthony Phung, An-Ting Liu, Bottom Row: Armand Halbert, Roxanne Lee, Christine Liu
University of Texas at Dallas

Building a Highly Paralleled LED Lifetime Tester

Proposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
We will build and evaluate the performance of an instrument to measure the current and light output of eight experimental light emitting devices. As a research component, we will explore the use of a scanner for capture of the light emission, which will allow tracking of spectral changes and use of arbitrary device layouts.

Principal Proposers: An-Ting Liou, Omar Hasan, Armand Halbert, Anthony Puong, Jonny Bursa, Christine Liou, Roxanne Lee, Clint Naquin, & David Taylor
Chapter Advisor: Prof. Jason Slinker

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