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Students present summer research

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Pratibha Gautam

Staff Writer

The Physics Club held a student research presentation on Monday, Oct. 15, allowing students to gain experience in communicating their findings by displaying and explaining them to their friends and classmates.

“Being able to communicate one’s research is almost as important as doing it,” said Ty Naquin, a junior physics major from Deatsville and the president of the physics club.

These presentations allow student researchers to develop better communication skills while also giving the public an insight into some very interesting areas of current research, Naquin explained.

Three students each spent about twenty minutes explaining their summer projects.

Sebastian Lee, a senior physics major from Crestview, Florida, worked in the cosmology department of the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. Using photogrammetry data, which measures the distances between objects in the universe, he analyzed the light emitted by hydrogen atoms billions of years ago.

“This will help in the study of large-scale structures in the universe like clusters of galaxies,” Lee explained.

Donavan Ebersole, a senior physics and math major from Blountstown, Florida, worked with James Sanders, an assistant professor of physics at Troy, to analyze the viscosity, or the friction between molecules, of liquid. Their goal is to eventually design an efficient and economic test to determine the viscosity of liquids.

Madelynn Lytle, a senior math major and physics minor from Blountstown, Florida, worked in the neurobiology department at the University of Alabama  at Birmingham to study the development of light propagation and capture in cone photoreceptor cells using a two-photon simulation to better understand how the human eye works.

“Yielding something that advances our knowledge of retinal physiology while utilizing my background in math and physics is revolutionary in terms of my future endeavors, which is to study visual biophysics,” said Lytle.

The Physics Club has many other events planned for the year, including building a laser pen to etch images into wood and other research presentations, according to Caroline Howell, a junior physics major from Blountstown, Florida and the secretary of the club.

“Soon we’re going to have a stargazing night with our resident astronomer and we also hoping to take a field trip to NASA or a national lab in the weeks to come!” Howell said.