Student Research in Physics

One of the distinctives of the IWU physics department is the ability to offer several opportunities for students to participate in scholarly research with faculty.  Below are projects in which our students have participated in since 2017.  Below is a brief description of their research participation, and further down are links to all of their research posters which summarize their work, and a listing of professional conferences our students have participated in.

Recent IWU Students and their research projects

James Boone (’19) worked in summer 2017 with Dr. Warren Rogers, testing various Monte-Carlo simulation packages for use in MoNA experiments.  In summer 2018 with Dr. Steven Smith, helping set up and diagnose vacuum chamber equipment and electronics for the X-ray fluorescence laboratory.

Andrew Wantz (’20) worked in Summers 2017 and 2019 with Dr. Warren Rogers analyzing a large dataset for neutron scattering characteristics in plastic scintillator from an experiment done at Los Alamos National Laboratory conducted in 2016.  He presented the results of this research at the Fall 2017 meeting of the Division of Nuclear Physics of the American Physical Society in Pittsburgh, PA in October 2017.  In summer 2018 he participated in the summer 2018 NSF REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program at TUNL (Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory).  He worked primarily on Rutherford Backscattering experiments, and presented his research at the Fall 2018 Meeting of the Division of Nuclear Physics of the American Physical Society on the Big Island of Hawaii in late October.

Nathan Kitzmiller (’19) worked in summer 2017 with Dr. Scott McCullough in computational biophysical simulations.

Justin Hazel (’20) worked in summer 2018 with Dr. Scott McCullough in computational biophysical simulations.

Zachary Faitz (’20) worked in summer 2018 with Dr. Scott McCullough in computational biophysical simulations.

 Jeremy Hallett (’22) worked in summers 2019, 20, and 21 with Dr. Warren Rogers.  In 2019 he worked on the design and construction of a mounting platform for 16 neutron detectors in preparation for a planned neutron scattering experiment at Los Alamos National Laboratory, which involved numerous simulation calculations.  In 2020 he worked on a software filter designed to filter 2-neutron events from background produced by 1-neutron scattering in the MoNA array  He presented his work at the Fall 2020 conference for the Division of Nuclear Physics of the American Physical Society in New Orleans, LA (meeting held remotely).  In 2021 he worked on simulation and development of the next-generation neutron detectors for the MoNA collaboration, looking for ways to use proton scattering in the detectors to assist with multi-neutron filtering.  He presented his work at the Fall 2021 conference of the Division of Nuclear Physics of the American Physical Society in Boston, MA (meeting held remotely).

Andrea Munroe (’23) worked in summers 2020 and 21 with Dr. Warren Rogers

Student research posters:

Summer 2017

     James Boone – Test of Monte Carlo Simulation for MoNA Neutron Detectors

     Andrew Wantz – Neutron Scattering in MoNA Detector Bars for Comparison with Simulation

     Nate Kitzmiller – Parameterizing Docking Candidates to Evaluate Binding Affinity for SHP2 in silico

Summer 2018

     James BooneX-Ray Fluourescence of Cometary Gases to Model Solar Wind-Comet Interactions

     Andrew WantzDeveloping a Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry Station for TUNL (summer 2018)

     Justin Hazel and Zachary Faitz – Parameterization, Docking, and Molecular Dynamics Generated Binding Affinity for SHP2 in silico

Summer 2019

     Jeremy HallettPreparation for the Dark Scattering Experiment at Los Alamos National Laboratory

     Andrew Wantz2-Neutron Simulation for the Development of Causal Gates

Summer 2020

     Jeremy HallettDevelopment of a Multi-Neutron Filter

     Andrea MunroeNon-Linear Behavior in Plastic Scintillator Neutron Detectors

Summer 2021

     Jeremy HallettCluster Production in MoNA Through Charge-Exchange

     Andrea MunroeA Multi-Layered Approach to Multi-Neutron Filtering

National Conference presentations

James Boone: Fall 2017 Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP) meeting of the American Physical Society (APS), Pittsburgh, PA

Andrew Wantz: Fall 2017 Division of Nuclear Physics (DNP) meeting of the American Physical Society (APS), Pittsburgh, PA

Andrew Wantz:  Fall 2018 DNP meeting of the APS in Hawaii

Jeremy Hallett: Fall 2020 DNP meeting of the APS in New Orleans, LA (remote meeting)

Andrea Munroe: Fall 2020 DNP meeting of the APS in New Orleans, LA (remote meeting)

Jeremy Hallett: Fall 2021 DNP meeting of the APS in Boston, MA (remote meeting)

Andrea Munroe: Fall 2020 DNP meeting of the APS in Boston, MA (remote meeting)