Doing More than Physics

 Not only is Kamaron Wilcox (’22) a physics and mathematics major, he has been diving with distinction for Hope. Recently, Kam was selected for the 2021 Academic All-American Division III Men’s At-Large Team!  Congrats Kam!  Kam is one in 45 given this honor and one of 15 third-team honorees.  Kam has also earned many other diving honors.

Kam is now working in the Astro Lab working on obtaining the problem of the scattering of soft-X rays with electrons in weak magnetic fields high in the magnetosphere of magnetars.  The goal is obtaining the cross section for circular polarization from our development to low fields obtain by Herold (1979).  Success at last!
Kam in action!

What are our majors doing now

Recently Yong-Chul Yoon (’18) and Elizabeth Lindquist (‘17) (now married) stopped by Hope College for a brief visit.  They are both pursuing PhDs.  Elizabeth is at Boston College in the Curriculum and Instruction program.  She’s focusing on Math, Science, and Technology education with a focus on metrics and physics/engineering learning.  Yong is at MIT in the Health, Science, and Technology program. He’s specializing in optical medical devices and currently working on Optical Coherence Tomography technology and imaging development. 

Nuclear Group Students Participate in Recent Experiment

Gabe Balk with the Barrel detector prior to installation.

Gabe Balk and TJ Mann joined an international collaboration to study r-process nuclei (141, 143, and 145Cs) at Argonne National Laboratories with the CARIBU system. The Nuclear Group contributed two key pieces to the experiment: the tape target drive and control system and the barrel-shaped beta detector which has fibers to direct detector light out of SuN to photomultiplier tubes.

TJ Mann working with Dr. Daniel Muecher to seal the vacuum chamber after the installation of the Barrel detector and tape target into SuN.

Another Student Publication

Alex Medema (Class of 2020), now in a PhD program at University of Colorado, Boulder

Alex’s paper is the 5th peer-reviewed publication with a physics major as the lead author. Influence of columnar defects on magnetic relaxation of microwave nonlinearity in superconducting YBCO resonator devices, Physica C: Superconductivity and its Applications 583, 1353849 (2021).  DOI:

Astrophysics, Summer 2021

The astrophysics research group is hard at work developing compact analytics that describe Compton scattering in strong magnetic fields in the magnetospheres of a group of highly magnetized neutron stars known as magnetars.  Such strong magnetic fields are not accessible in terrestrial laboratory experiments and therefore provide unique environments for testing the physics of quantum electrodynamics.

Here Kam is hard at work making sure that the spin dependence of the algebra correctly includes the spin dependence of the electron as it is either aligned parallel or anti-parallel to the external magnetic field.  Though the initial state is anti aligned, there are two states to keep track of their spins – an intermediate virtual state and a final state after the scattering takes place.

Kameron Wilcox, physics major (class of 2021)

William is mainly programming in C++ developing efficient algorithms to integrate complicated expressions associated with the lifetime of excited Landau states of electrons in strong magnetic fields.

William Vance, physics major (class of 2024)
Jonathan McCrackin, chemistry major (class of 2021)

Jon is helping with algebraic gymnastics.  He joined out group with the challenge to improve his math skills.  He is making significant contributions.