Wiest wins $20,000
for magnetic resonance instrumentation
March 12, 2009—Governor Manchin announced that the WV Higher Education Policy Commission
had approved Dr. Wiest’s proposal to purchase a tunable
laser. Wiest explained, “I plan to use the laser in research to produce
high-resolution energy diagrams of atoms.”
NASA funds Stevens’ pulsar grant
April 15, 2012—Dr. Trevor Stevens was awarded a
$10,000 seed grant from NASA/West Virginia Space Grant Consortium for the
astrophysics project, “Analysis of Pulsar Timing Data in TEMPO2.” TEMPO2 is
a computer program developed by astrophysicists. A pulsar is a highly magnetized, rotating collapsed stellar remnant
consisting almost entirely of neutrons.
Pulsars emit a directional beam of electromagnetic
radiation that can only be observed when the beam is pointing toward Earth,
similar to the way that a lighthouse can only be seen when the light is
pointed in the direction of an observer. This is responsible for the pulsed
appearance of emission.
Neutron stars rotate very quickly and at a constant
rate. This produces a very precise interval between electromagnetic pulses
that range from roughly milliseconds to seconds for an individual pulsar.
The precise periods of pulsars makes them useful
tools. Observations of a pulsar in a binary neutron star system were used
to indirectly confirm the existence of gravitational radiation. Certain
types of pulsars rival atomic clocks in their accuracy in keeping time.
NASA funds Stevens’ course
April 16, 2013—Dr.
Trevor Stevens is using funding from the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium
to develop a class in computational astrophysics. The class introduces
upper-level students to advanced techniques in modern computer programming
and modeling. Students apply these ideas by studying problems in astrophysics
Stevens explained, “The course will strengthen
our curriculum in modern computational methods. I am also using my experience
with the WV High Performance Computational Resources group to introduce students
to opportunities in high-performance computing, such as advanced modeling
Stevens is also collaborating with Dr.
Maura McLaughlin of WVU on a project involving the NASA Chandra X-ray
$19,858 for magnetic resonance instrumentation
Jan. 31, 2008—The West Virginia Higher Education Policy commission approved Dr. Popson’s proposal to purchase a pulsed magnetic
resonance spectrometer. The instrumentation is designed to determine the
forces between atoms by the reaction of their nuclei to an external
magnetic field that oscillates at high frequency. The theory forms the
basis of the medical procedure called magnetic resonance imaging. In the
photo below, Dr. Popson is personally accepting the check from Governor Manchin.
NASA approves Brennan’s
$5000 photovoltaic grant
15, 2012—Dr. Thomas Brennan won a $5000 NASA grant for a research project
to improve the efficiency of photovoltaic cells. The photo shows Dr.
Brennan’s playing a solar-powered guitar.
NASA funds DeLaney’s
astrophysics grant proposal
Feb. 11, 2013—When
talking about the sky, it is hard to mistake the expression on Dr. Tracey DeLaney’s face as anything short of thrill. In fact, if
you spend a few minutes with her, you may wonder why you never studied more
DeLaney has studied
the supernova remnant in Cassiopeia A for many years. NASA recently
accepted her $50,000 two-year proposal for a two-year study of the magnetic
field in this enormous supernova remnant made from the explosion of a star.
This is her seventh grant of this nature.
She commented, “Cas
A is my baby and this is a project from my brain. It is very cool.”
DeLaney will collaborate
with a team of astronomers for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a
trained NASA scientist, and a current physics student. They will study a
topic that has sparked interest in the astronomy world for years.
With a partial 3-D computer model
already in place from her previous research on Cassiopeia A, DeLaney is ready to figure
out what causes stars to explode. “All our research is made of bits and
pieces that will eventually help to answer this question,” DeLaney stated.
They will combine 2012-2013 radio
images from the Very Large Array and with archival x-ray images obtained
with NASA’s Chandra x-ray observatory.
They will identify highly polarized
radio emissions from the debris field of the stellar explosion and compare
those polarized structures to emission features in the x-ray images. This will
help us to understand how magnetic fields are amplified in the blast wave
of the explosion and how cosmic rays are produced in supernova remnants.
DeLaney also focused
on what this grant could mean for her students. “When students collaborate
with us and they apply to graduate school, they carry our name wherever they
go,” she commented. “It is a great thing whenever we can give students
real-world research experience.”
NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory was launched
into space on July 23, 1999 by Space Shuttle Columbia. It is the most
advanced x-ray observatory to date, especially designed to observe remnants
of exploded start.
Brennan’s $5000 proposal for Marcellus research
April 15, 2012—Dr. Thomas Brennan won a
$5000 NASA grant for a research project to improve extraction of natural
gas from Marcellus shale. Last summer, Brennan worked at NASA-Glenn on sonoluminescence research, flashes of light produced by
sound waves in materials. He has
also contributed to the picosatellite program at
the NASA IV&V facility in Fairmont.