Transit of Venus

Dr. Mader and Dr. Peaslee hosted a gathering of Physics Research Students and friends to watch the Transit of Venus last night.

Dr. Gonthier set up two telescopes, one for projection of the sun’s image, and the other with a solar filter for safe viewing. He also had a live feed to the telescope in the Harry F. Frissel Observatory in VanderWerf Hall on campus which was trained on the sun to take images during the Transit.  Solar viewing shades were available for direct viewing, although the ability to see the small black dot as it moved across the face of the sun varied from person to person.

The clouds rolled in later in the evening, but a few breaks in the clouds allowed everyone a glimpse of this twice-in-a-lifetime event (the previous one was in 2004, but the next one won’t occur until December 2117!) until sunset.

SURF 2011

The 2011 SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Function) dinner was held last night (July 7) in the Haworth Inn banquet room. Over 200 people attended, including the physics summer research students and faculty. Hope College has a strong tradition of organized collaborative student faculty research and this event marks one of our annual celebrations of that tradition. Besides a fine dinner, we heard a delightful address from Prof. Don Williams followed by short research presentations by students in nine departments. Andrew McCubbin represented the Physics Department with an update on his research into metalloprotein stoichiometry which he is doing in Hope’s particle accelerator laboratory as part of the Nuclear Group.

Surface Lab Renovations

This week, the Hampton Lab moved into their new space. The renovated space includes all new cabinetry, abundant work spaces, and a new fume hood.

Kyla and Evan

Kyla Koboski and Evan Nelsen work at the new peninsula.


Jenny Hampton demonstrates the use of the new fume hood.


Kyla analyzes previous data at one of the computer work stations.


Evan makes a nickel and copper solution for the electrodeposition of alloy thin films.