Physics Seminar by Luke Pinkerton (Hope‘97), Thursday (4/18) at 11 am – VDW104

“Direct Tension Testing” by Luke Pinkerton ’97, CEO Helix Steel

Bio: Luke Pinkerton ‘97, PE (ME) is CEO and founder of Helix Steel. He has a BS in engineering physics from Hope College and an MS in structural engineering from the University of Michigan in 1999. He earned an MBA from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2004.He is an active member of ASTM Committee C09 (chair of direct tension task group), Secretary of ACI 380, consulting member of ACI 332 (residential construction) and associate member ACI 551(tilt-up panels). He was awarded the Concrete Foundations Association Associate of the year in 2018 and Tilt Up Concrete Association’s Robert Aiken Award for Innovation in 2018.

Physics student presentations #3 (summer research in 2023), Thursday (4/4) at 11 am – VDW104

1. “Analyzing Promethium Isotopes To Understand The Origin Of Heavy Elements In The Universe” by Godswill Ogudoro, Mentor Paul DeYoung

The origin of heavy elements in the universe is one of the most prevailing questions in current physics. The r-process is a set of nuclear reactions responsible for the creation of many of the current heavy elements in the universe. Historically, theories about how the r-process occurs have been unclear and flat-out wrong. We now have identified neutron star mergers as where the r-process occurs. I am currently analyzing Promethium isotopes which are an important step in the r-process to create a better model of how heavy elements came about.

2. “Characterization and Testing of SiPMs for a Next-Generation Neutron Detector” by Bishop Carl , Mentor Belen Monteagudo

MoNA-LISA is a position-sensitive neutron detector at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) used to probe neutron-unbound states through invariant-mass spectroscopy. Position resolution of the neutron detector is a key factor in invariant-mass measurements. A better neutron position would significantly improve the overall reconstructed decay energy resolution and would therefore lead to a better understanding of nuclei near and beyond the dripline. The MoNA collaboration is designing a next-generation neutron detector to improve the current MoNA-LISA resolution (~5cm). The new design will replace the PMTs for SiPM arrays as readout technology. The use of SiPMs (more compact) for neutron detection is being tested within the Collaboration and its performance characterized with a simple detector made up of a circuit board with SiPM sensors coupled to a plastic scintillator. The response of each SiPM has been studied (breakdown voltage and dark current count rate). As position sensitivity is a main requirement for the planned next-generation neutron detector, a multitude of tests with cosmic rays and collimated gamma sources, such as 60Co and 65Zn, have been performed as well to evaluate the new design’s position resolution. Along with these tests, algorithms have been developed to reconstruct the interaction point based on the light collected by the SiPMs. Preliminary results of these ongoing tests will be presented.

Physics Seminar by Dr. Kyuil Cho, Thursday (3/28) at 11 am – VDW104

Title: Room temperature superconductor! Is it possible?
Abstract: Superconductor is a material that shows two special properties: zero resistance and Meissner effect (expulsion of magnetic field) below its critical temperature. Thanks
to these special properties, this material has been used in many applications such as
superconducting wires, medical device MRI, superconducting magnets in particle
accelerators and plasma Tokamak reactors, and qubits for quantum computers.
Recently there has been a rapid development on high temperature superconductors
and their superconducting critical temperatures approach almost room temperature.
In this seminar, this exciting development will be reviewed, and the possibility of room
temperature superconductors will be discussed. Furthermore, the recent research
obtained by Hope College superconductivity research group will be discussed with
some exciting superconductivity demos (zero resistance and magnetic levitation).

Speaker: Dr. Kyuil Cho


B.S., Physics, Hanyang University, South Korea, 1998
M.S., Physics, Hanyang University, South Korea, 2000
Ph.D., Physics, Clark University, USA, 2009
Postdoc at National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, USA, 2009-2010
Postdoc at Ames National Laboratory, USA, 2010-2014
Staff scientist at Ames National Laboratory, USA, 2014 – 2021
Assistant Professor at Hope College, USA, 2022 – present

Physics student presentations #2 (summer research in 2023), Thursday (3/21) at 11 am – VDW104

1. “Turbulence and Zonal-Flow Impact in the Madison Symmetric Torus in Quasi-Single Helicity” by Nick Kaipainen, Mentor Zach Williams

Reversed-Field Pinches (RFPs) operating in the Quasi-Single-Helicity (QSH) magnetic geometry exhibit significant improvements in confinement time as compared to standard discharges due to the efficient saturation of large-scale tearing modes. This modification to the magnetic geometry and profiles introduces new instabilities which drive transport. This work focuses on diagnosing the microinstabilities and microturbulence in a non-reversed Madison Symmetric Torus QSH experiment. Local gyrokinetic simulations are conducted with the GENE code to identify the dominant instabilities as ion-temperature-gradient (ITG) and density-gradient-driven trapped-electron-mode (TEM) at core and edge radial locations, respectively. It has been previously observed in the RFP (Williams PoP 2017) that residual tearing fluctuations in RFPs degrade zonal flows; the degree to which this affected turbulence and transport in that work depended on the driving instability. While initial investigations reveal strong zonal flow activity, an ad-hoc magnetic perturbation is employed to model magnetic fluctuations present in the RFP. These fluctuations degrade the zonal flow structure, resulting in a more substantial increase in electrostatic fluxes for the TEM-dominated position than for its ITG counterpart.

2. “Exploring Properties of YBCO Superconductors Using Proton Irradiation” by Joey Fogt, Hope Weeda, Trevor Harrison, and Nolan Miles, Mentor Kyuil Cho

We studied the effect of 600 keV proton irradiation on thin film Cuprate superconductors. Using the Hope Ion Beam Accelerator Laboratory, a 580 nm thick YBCO-1237 sample was subjected to a series of proton irradiations totaling a fluence of 7.2 x 1016 p/cm2. The superconducting critical temperature (Tc ) of the YBCO sample decreased drastically, from 90K towards 0K, while normal state resistivity increased with increasing irradiation dose. These changes in sample properties will be used to discuss fundamental properties of the superconductor.