Physics End of Year Ceremony

The Department of Physics held an end of year ceremony on April 30, 2024 to celebrate another successful year. Congratulations to all the recipients!

Physics Graduates: Nate Jobson, Gabe Balk, Will Vance, Jennifer Falkner, Ethan Jansen (not shown here)
Best Senior Award: Nate Jobson
Best TA award: Joey Fogt
First Year Student Award: Naomi Whitfield
First Year Student Award: Trevor Harrison
Sigma-Pi-Sigma inductees: Joey Fogt, Bishop Carl, Godswill Ogudoro, Dr. Kester Ighodalo, Hope Weeda

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.