Our meeting began with some good news! Our SGA bill to help with funding for our chapter’s trip to PhysCon in San Francisco this November was successful. PhysCon is a Society of Physics Students sponsored conference that offers opportunities for students to present research and network with other physics students, academics and professionals. Dr Brad Barlow stated a reminder about HPUniverse day coming up Friday, November 30th. HPUniverse day is a large outreach event to the community to introduce them to the university and to science. Finally, we heard presentations from Ryan Hegedus, Paddy Clancy and Thomas Boudreaux who spoke about their summer experiences.
Ryan worked with our own Dr. Barlow as part of the High Point University Summer Undergraduate Research Program in the Sciences (SURPS) doing research in astronomy. Ryan wrote computer code to measure radial velocities of a specific type of binary systems, potentially discovering a white dwarf orbiting a pulsar. Ryan also participated in the Educational Research in Radio Astronomy program at Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia where he used radio astronomy to measure the width of the moon and deduce what type of radiation is primarily given off by Jupiter.
Paddy’s interest in sounding rockets led him to volunteer at the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition in Utah over the summer where 52 teams from universities such as Yale, Embry –Riddle and UCLA launched their sounding rockets. He learned more about what to do and what not to do when designing and building a rocket. He is also working on a rocket to represent High Point University at IREC in the Spaceport America Cup next year!
Thomas did a 9-week internship at Space Telescope Science Institute doing a comprehensive survey of GALEX data to look for pulsating hot sub-dwarf stars. He also presented his data at the student research symposium. He toured the control room for the Hubble telescope and the James Webb Space telescope.