Remembering Jenny Hampton, great friend, great scholar

On this day, the Hope College Physics department honors the memory and legacy of Dr. Jennifer “Jenny” Hampton, who died in an automobile accident one year ago today. Dr. Hampton was a professor of physics at Hope College and a posthumous recipient of the HOPE award. She was an effective and brilliant researcher, as well as a relatable and beloved instructor. The hole she left behind is still felt today in the department and across Hope’s campus. She was truly a blessing to the department, the college, and community.

What is inside Hope’s particle accelerator?

The particle accelerator at Hope College is a 1.7 MV tandem accelerator that is capable of creating hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, and oxygen ion beams. This week major maintenance was scheduled to determine the location of a small sulphur-hexafluoride leak on the main tank. With creative vacuum leak chasing techniques,  we determined that the location of the leak was a worn out gasket on the stripper-gas control drive rod feedthrough (as pictured below – right). Also shown below (left) is the opened terminal and accelerating tube.

Left: Miguel Castelan Hernandez (Hope ’23) cleans inside the accelerator terminal tank while Dave Daughtery, Hope College Machinist, cleans and inspects the Van de Graaff chain. Right: Close-up picture of the control rod drive. The control rod drive controls the amount of Nitrogen gas that is fed into the center of the terminal to strip electrons off of accelerating ions.
Bethany Dame (Hope’23) and William Vance (Hope’24) prepare to move the accelerator column back into the terminal tube.

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.