Student research projects

Summer 2014

  • Amanda Hayden worked at Luther College studying electron capture from molecules by highly charged ions.
  • Zach Stottler worked at Luther College on an analysis of the decays of bottomonium states which yield open charm mesons, using data from the Belle Collaboration.
  • Ryson Stuart worked at Luther College on an analysis of heavy quark fragmentation in electron-positron annihilation, studying the continuum production of open charm mesons, using data from the Belle Collaboration.
  • Will Imoehl worked at Luther College on an analysis of the radiative cascade decays of the Y(2S) bottomonium states, using data from the Belle Collaboration.
  • David Pfotenhauer worked at Luther College assessing the nature of pulsating stars near the statistical limit of variability detection in the field of Open Cluster M23.
  • Daniel Herman worked at Luther College studying short-term transient events in the measured signal from the stars in the field of Open Cluster M23.
  • Dylan Winston studied the interaction of electron and hole spins with magnetic domain walls.
  • Steve Sorenson worked at Luther College studying  the systematic changes in the friction of aluminum oxide surfaces and developed quantitative models regarding the kinetics of the reaction of aluminum oxide with water in the scanning environment.

Summer 2013

  • Joe Novak worked at Luther College classifying testing validity of and modeling short-term transient events in the measured signal from stars in the field of Open Cluster M23.
  • David Pfotenhauer worked at Luther College assessing the nature of  pulsating stars near the statistical limit of variability detection in the field of Open Cluster M23. 
  • Ben Anderson worked at Luther College determining the period stability limits for eclipsing binary stars in the field of Open Cluster M23.
  • Zach Stottler and Ryson Stuart worked at Luther College on an analysis of the radiative decays of singlet-P bottomonium states using data from the Belle Collaboration.
  • Gian Andreone worked at Luther College studying electron capture from molecules by highly charged ions.
  • Dylan Winston worked at Luther College on a computer model of spin torque of carriers through domain walls.
  • Nathan Lee worked at Luther College on a computer model of a buckyball (Carbon-60).
  • Steve Sorenson worked at Luther College on developing rigorous quantification routines for atomic force microscopy measurements and also worked to measure changes in friction and topography of aluminum oxide surfaces before and after rubbing.
  • Erik Linn-Molin worked at Luther College investigating the time-dependent friction properties of aluminum oxide surfaces through an analysis of worn surface regions as compared to unmodified regions.

Summer 2012

  • Donald Lee-Brown worked at Luther College assessing the relationship between variability amplitude and excitation modes in semi-regular variable stars in the field of open cluster M23.
  • Clara Olson worked at Luther College undertaking a search for flares and flare-like events in the stars in the field of open cluster M23. 
  • Nathan Lee worked at Luther College on the development of a program to simulate collisions between ions and a carbon-60 molecule.
  • Gian Andreone worked at Luther College on simulating momentum and and radial distributions of electrons in molecules for use in computational ion-molecular scattering studies.
  • Erik Linn-Molin performed systematic investigations of the time-dependent friction properties of aluminum oxide surfaces.
  • Jon Zarling worked at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories on studies of radiative decays of singlet-P bottomonium states, using data from the Belle Collaboration.

Summer 2011

  • Donald Lee-Brown worked at Luther College studying correlations between different variability parameters and the stability of those parameters in semi-regular variable stars in the field of open cluster M23.
  • Andrew Becklin worked at Luther College developing statistical techniques for identifying potential short timescale luminosity fluctuations in the stellar population in the field of open cluster M23.
  • Opeoluwa Matthews continued work in the Luther nanotribology lab, investigating frictional properties of bare and organic monolayer-coated aluminum oxide surfaces. Due to time dependent frictional properties measured on these surfaces, Opealuwa began performing systematic friction versus time experiments on the AFM, in addition to friction versus load measurements.

Summer 2010

  • Donald Lee-Brown worked at Luther College developing and applying a variance-based statistical test for long-term variability of stars in the field of open cluster M23 and completed Fast Fourier Transform period analysis of newly determined variable stars.
  • Alex Sperry worked at Luther College studying statistical trends in the variability parameters of long-period variable stars in the field of open cluster M23 with the goal of identifying distinct classes of variability with the population of long-period variables in the field.
  • Kirsten Strandjord worked at Luther College developing a web interface to allow the public to search years of astronomical data at Luther with goal of finding rare transient events within the field.
  • Braulio Dumba continued his research in the development of atomic force microscope (AFM) tip reconstruction algorithms at Luther College. In collaboration with graduate students at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Pennsylvania, Braulio implemented a quantitative comparison of our MatLab-based tip reconstructions to commercially-generated reconstructions, progressing toward our goal of an open=source, user-friendly tip reconstruction program for use by the AFM community.
  • Opeoluwa Matthews worked in Luther's nanotribology lab, investigating frictional properties of organic monolayer-coated aluminum oxide surfaces. He performed measurements of friction and adhesion using an atomic force microscope (AFM), quantifying the load and time evolution of these properties.
  • Sarice Barkley,a St. Olaf student, continued probe development and level calibration for Luther's nanotribology lab. She constructed, using a micromanipulator, more than 150 atomic force microscope colloidal probes, experimentally determining the key force constants for each lever in the process.
  • Dallas Wulf worked at Luther College on a project based on data from the CLEO experiment concerning a search for the production of spin-singlet charmonium states by hadronic transitions from the charmonium resonance Psi(4160).
  • Christina Storlie worked at Luther College on a project based on data from the CLEO experiment concerning a search for charmonium resonances above the open-charm threshold which decay to the J/Psi(3097) and a meson or pair of mesons.

Summer 2009

  • Drew Doescher worked at Luther College studying period evolution in eclipsing binary stars in the field of open cluster M23.
  • Alex Sperry worked at Luther College developing statistical techniques for examining the luminosity stability of stars in the field of open cluster M23 over a five-year time period.
  • Kirsten Strandjord worked at Luther searching for rare stellar flare events and developing techniques for identifying flares in stars.
  • Braulio Dumba traveled to the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) just outside of London, England for eight weeks to continue his research in atomic force microscope (AFM) tip reconstruction algorithms. During his collaboration work with research scientists and students at NPL, Braulio learned to run commercial tip reconstruction software programs for a comparison of those programs to our own tip reconstruction algorithms.
  • Jared Wilkins continued his research in implementing AFM calibration techniques in Luther’s nanotribology lab, developing a new organizational scheme for quickly and efficiently calculating spring constants for AFM cantilevers. Jared also implemented a new friction vs. load technique on the AFM using open-architecture software.
  • Brian Nowosatka improved techniques for attaching microspheres to AFM cantilevers during his summer in Luther’s nanotribology lab. Brian also investigated the effects of scan rate, scan speed, and scan size on the height and friction variation produced as these so-called colloidal probes are scanned in the AFM.