Programs & Awards  
2013 Sigma Pi Sigma Undergraduate
Research Awards

Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor societyThe following six 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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  Clemson University
  Left to Right: Benjamin Schroeder, Andrew Hanson, Rachel Andorfer, Kristyn Brandenburg, Taylor Kimmel, Scott Lindauer, Scott Davis, Michael Gagnepain, Alexander Kerr.
Clemson University

Construction of a 12” Cyclotron

mouseProposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
Our chapter proposes to design and construct a 12” cyclotron. The design and construction process will be split over multiple semesters to offset costs and allow more students the opportunity to participate. The final product will be a fixture of our physics department for future undergraduate research, education, and outreach.

Principal Proposers: Andrew Hanson, Scott Lindauer, Reaganne Clark, Ben Schroeder, Jeremy St. John, Maximilian Hughes, Emily Thompson, Adam Barton, Olivia Schertz, Brenden Roberts, John Farmer, Alexander Kerr, Kristyn Brandenburg, Andrew Pitman
Faculty Advisors: Dr. Feng Ding, Dr. Chad Sosolik

 
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  Juniata
   
Juniata College

Asteroid Occultation Observations

Proposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
The Juniata College chapter of the Society of Physics Students is seeking funds to purchase equipment for observing and timing asteroid occultation events. Previously, Juniata College SPS students have taken part in the effort of the International Occultation and Timing Association (IOTA) to observe lunar occultations, which occur when the Moon passes between a star and the line of sight of an observer on Earth, which can provide highly precise information about the Moon's orbit and its surface. IOTA also oversees an ongoing project collecting asteroid occultation data, an effort we are now looking to join.

Principal Proposers: Keegan Healy, Timothy Berguson, Matthew Flaugh, Chris Arnold, Jon Bogue, Teresa Turmanian, Caitlin Everhart, Tess Ginley, Mary Elizabeth Petrie, Robert Draham, David Milligan, & Alexander Debrecht
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Matthew Beaky

 
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  Lamar University
  Left to Right: Keeley Townley-Smith, Aaron Weatherford, Jose Castro, Jessica Plaia, Bryan Neal, Sara-jeanne Vogler, & Dr. Cristian Bahrim
Lamar University

Solar and stellar measurements using accurate spectroscopic techniques

mouseProposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
We propose to use low-cost optics equipment in order to (1) generate a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram for the 24 brightest stars visible in Beaumont, (2) analyze the polarization of stellar and solar light and the effect a telescope's optics have on these measurements, and (3) analyze the absorption spectrum due to Earth’s atmosphere on the Sun’s blackbody radiation spectrum.

Principal Proposers: Sara-jeanne E. Vogler, Jose Castro, & Bryan Neal
Faculty Advisor: Cristian Bahrim

 
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  Drexel University
   
Northern Virginia Community College

Experiments in Electrodynamic Levitation and Torodial Dipole Moment

Proposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
The purpose of this proposal is twofold.  First is to complete a presentable laboratory model of inductive magnetic levitation of a rotating circular Halbach array supported and stabilized by a system of inductive coils, as an axial and radial electrodynamic bearings.  Second is to explore properties of a physical model of a toroidal dipole moment.

Principal Proposers: Ian Bean, Yves Laurent Tchatchoua, John Austin Raymer, Kiarash Akhlaghi Feizasar, & Douglas Goncz
Faculty Advisor: Walerian Majewski, PhD

 
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  Tuskegee
   
Tuskegee University

Design and Development of Novel Nanocomposite Materials and Reactor Systems for Photocatalysis

Proposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
Photocatalysis is an inderdisciplinary field of research which involves the contribution not only from Physicists, chemists, material scientists, chemical and environmental engineers, but also demands often the need of technologists who can build the custom made reactor systems for different applications. Novel solid state materials' development is equally important for the water/air decontamination and/or fuel generation process. In this research study, we propose to develop and demonstrate both aspects of reactor and materials' design for the sunlight assisted photocatalysis.

Principal Proposers: Jeremiah F. Wilson, Sammie Ely III, Bria M. Moore, & Lamont Henderson
Faculty Advisors: Dr. P.C. Sharma, Dr. Sesha Srinivasan,& Dr. Akshaya Kumar

 
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  UTA
  Front row: Andrea Marlar, Soha Aslam, Esau Hervert
Back row: Aaron Baca, Timothy Hoffman, Elijah Murphy, Yvonne Ng, Robert Mathews, Ryan Hart
University of Texas at Arlington

Research and Development of a Novel Acceleration Method using Forward Helical Vortex Magnetic Field with Rodin style toroidal electromagnet

Proposal | Interim Report | Final Report

Abstract
High energy particle physics requires powerful accelerators and detectors to study the fundamental constituents of matter and the forces between them. Accelerators of various energies are used in many different areas, including material property studies, medicine and homeland security. One challenge faced is the difficulty of transferring energy from the accelerator to the particle to be accelerated. Traditionally, a radio-frequency cavity along with an electric field is used for charged particle acceleration. We propose to carry out research and development of a novel acceleration method using forward helical vortex magnetic field generated by a Rodin style toroid coil electro-magnet. Due to the shape of the field, we expect this scheme to not only accelerate but also focus charged particles. We will construct several prototype Rodin style magnets, characterize the magnetic fields generated by the prototypes and test their functionality on a low energy positron accelerator in the UT Arlington Physics department. Should this scheme work, we may have developed a new way of accelerating particles and fine-tuning their energies.

Principal Proposers: Frank Allen, Soha Aslam, Aaron Baca, Timothy Hoffman, Robert Mathews, & Elijah Murphyz
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Christopher B. Jackson

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