Astronaut Mice

On June 15, 2021 at 4:07 pm, the first mouse was placed near the end of Hope College’s Tandem Van de Graaf particle accelerator to receive a small dose of neutron radiation amounting to ~1/15th of a daily radiation dose if the mice were on the Moon. To study the effects of low dose radiation, Neuroscience students Parker and Corine will look for behavioral changes of mice over time. Three minutes later at 4:10 pm, Forest operates the accelerator remotely and starts the simulated space radiation. The space radiation is created in a reaction involving the 3.4 MeV proton beam and a Lithium Fluoride crystal.

Corine LaFrenier ’22 and Parker Friend ’23 stand next to the Hope College Particle Accelerator end station. The mouse is in the blue bottle just under Parker’s right hand.
Corine LaFrenier ’22 and Parker Friend ’24 stand behind Forest Rulison ’21 as he turns on the ion beam of Hope College’s Particle Accelerator.

Class of 2020 Physics Majors Have a Reunion

With the global COVID-29 pandemic having denied the Class of 2020 its Commencement and other year-end milestones, Hope blended elements of the ceremony and a reunion in an on-campus celebration for members of the class on Saturday, May 22. Physics Alumni attending the celebration included Alex Medema – 2nd from the left – who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado – Boulder, Scott Joffree – 4th from the left – who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Physics at Clemson University, and Cole Persch – 5th from the left – who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science at the University of Colorado – Boulder.

Recent Publications by Hope Physics Majors

In the first quarter of 2021, four research papers authored by former and current Hope College physics majors were accepted for publication.

Cole Persch (class of 2020), now in a Ph.D. Program at UC-Boulder

β-decay Feeding intensity distributions of 71,73Ni, Phys. Rev. C103, 055808 (2021). DOI:

Scott Joffre (class of 2020), now in a Ph.D. program at Clemson

Comparing electrochemical analysis and particle induced X-ray emission measurements of Prussian Blue Analogue deposits, Discover Materials 1, 13 (2021), DOI:

Blake Harlow (class of 2022)

Nitrogen Beams with a National Electrostatics Corporation Alphatross Source and a 5SDH Accelerator, Accepted for publication in the Journal of Undergraduate Research in Physics.

Jason Gombas (class of 2019), now in a Ph.D. student at Michigan State University

β-decay Feeding Intensity Distributions for 103,104mNb, Phys. Rev. C103, 035803 (2021), DOI:

Summer Research Program 2021

Group Photo
2019 Summer Research Students and Faculty

Apply online at

Choose from a range of research projects:

The dates for the 2020 Research Program are May 24 to July 30, unless otherwise indicated.

Students selected for the Summer Research Program will receive a stipend. Housing assistance is also provided if the student lives on campus.

Incoming Hope College students hired for the Bridge Research Program will be paid at a reduced rate for a duration to be arranged. Students interested in Bridge Research should contact the Department at

Applications will be reviewed starting February 26, 2021. We do not anticipate offering any positions to students from other institutions in 2020.

For more information contact us at

In recent years, funding for the Summer Research Program has been provided by:
National Science Foundation
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Department of Energy
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Michigan Space Grant Consortium
Hope College Jacob E. Nyenhuis Faculty Development Fund
Hope College Dean for Natural and Applied Sciences
Hope College Bibart Research Fund
Hope College Department of Physics
Hope College Department of Physics Dr. Harry and Jeannette Frissel
Research Fund
Hope College Department of Physics L.T. Guess Research Fund

Stephen Remillard’s Microplasma Research Highlighted in Spera

The third annual issue of Spera, Hope’s pulication for faculty research, scholarship and creative performance, highlighted Dr. Stephen Remillard’s research studying microplasmas, how they can be generated, and their properties.

“There’s a very limited understanding of plasma starting in very small places,” Remillard says. “That’s what’s neat about microplasma: everything we knew about macroplasmas has to be modified, and that’s what we’re working on.”

From Industrial Glitch to Research Focus

Dr. Remillard’s work with students in the Microwave Lab is currently supported by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.