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Science Students Meet Leading Astrophysicist

Posted on October 14, 2013.

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 14, 2013 – High Point University science students recently had the unique opportunity to meet with Dr. Don Winget, an astrophysicist at the University of Texas-Austin.

Winget’s research focuses on white dwarf stars, which are the remains of stars similar to the Sun that have already used up all of their fuel. His research team is leading the way in turning astronomy from an observational science to an experimental one by using the so-called Z Machine, the world’s largest X-ray generator, to “create” white dwarf atmospheres in the laboratory and study their properties.

HPU students engaged with Winget over lunch to learn more about this ground-breaking research, how he became an astrophysicist and the future of astronomy.

“I could say meeting Dr. Winget was an extraordinary experience, but that would only begin to explain the tip of the iceberg,” says Stephen Vultaggio, an HPU junior majoring in physics. “Meeting Don was a turning point for me. Thanks to the help of Dr. Winget, Dr. Barlow and everyone else in the department, I have been able to pin point the path I wish to take after High Point, which is graduate school. Without High Point University and the Physics Department, I would not have been able to have these incredible opportunities to meet the best scientists in the field and to realize my future professional aspirations.”

Afterward, students attended a public lecture by Winget where he discussed the latest results of his research.

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