On April 5, a group of NOVA students delivered four presentations at the American Center of Physics during a meeting of the Chesapeake Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers. Students described the results of their two semesters of work in the Undergraduate Research Program led by Professor Walerian Majewski in the Annandale Physics Laboratory. Majewski worked with 16 students during this time that included laboratory meetings once a week for experimentation.
During this trip, students engaged in constructive discussions with the physicists and received suggestions and ideas about further improving their experiments. In the category of student presentations, NOVA student Armian Hanelli was declared the winner with the “Third Elementary Dipole: Toroidal” talk, followed by the second place talk of Brendan Knopes with the topic “Lifetime of Cosmic-Ray Muons and the Standard Model of Fundamental Particles.”
“Participation in this program has contributed to Armian Hanelli winning this year’s Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship and Yash Shevde winning a highly competitive internship in the International Research Experience for Students’ Summer Program in Nuclear Physics administered by George Washington University, and funded by a National Science Foundation grant at Johannes Gutenberg University’s MAMI Electron Accelerator in Mainz, Germany,” Majewski said.
Dean for Mathematics, Science and Engineering Abe Eftekhari said, “Students have worked on their research topics for two semesters. They learned some modern physics outside of their curriculum, learned about physics experimentation and how to prepare a research poster or a PowerPoint presentation and how to present in front of other scientists.”
NOVA students also attended the University of Maryland astronomical observatory presentation on the Thirty Meter Telescope which is currently being built and will be finished in about 10 years, beginning the next generation of ground-based telescopes. After the presentation, the group went to the observation room where they used the telescopes to look at the Moon, Jupiter and Mars.
Earlier in March, the students also had another opportunity to present their research at the meeting of the Washington Academy of Sciences “Capital Science 2014” at Marymount University.
NOVA Undergraduate Research Program in Physics was supported by grants from Virginia Community College System, NVCC Educational Foundation and the Society of Physics Students.