Physics Department News Archive

August 1, 2006

Summer Research 2006

Sioux Falls -- A number of Augustana College physics students are involved in research this summer. The department views research experience as an essential part of a undergraduate physics education and encourages as many students as possible to participate in summer programs.

Much of the physics summer research is conducted as part of an Augustana/Kansas State collaboration. This summer, the topic was a study of bond rearrangement in small polyatomic molecules. Three students were involved in this work; Laura Doshier, an economics major from Rapid City, Nate Jastram, a physics major from Sioux Falls, and Ivan Lee, a physics and math major from Hong Kong. Faculty involved in the project include Eric Wells at Augustana and Itzik Ben-Itzhak and Kevin Carnes at KSU. The experimental work takes place at KSU's Macdonald Laboratory, a large facilty for atomic, molecular, and optical physics research. When not in Manhattan, the Laura and Ivan worked to analyize the data in Sioux Falls and prepare for future experiments. Nate spent his time in Sioux Falls building up the Physics Department Laser Lab as part of a recent award from the National Science Foundation. Laura and Ivan were funded by Research Corporation, Nate by the National Science Foundation.

Physics majors were busy outside the department as well. Amy Lueking, a senior physics major from Sioux Falls, worked on a project entitled " Localization of cytoskeletal proteins in cardiomyocytes: examining Bin-1, B-dystroglycan, Caveolin-3 and Dystrophin in relation to tranverse tubules in control and dilated cardiomyopathy hamsters.", with Dr. Steven Armstrong, at the Sanford School of Medicine at USD and the Cardiovascular Research Institute of the South Dakota Health Research Foundation. Amy's work was funded by the Biomedical Research Infrastructure Grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Chris Fry, a chemistry and physics major from Pierre, SD, studied the kinetics of trioctyl quaternary ammonium compounds with Gary Earl of the Augustana Physics Department. This research was funded as part of the Northern Plains Undergraduate Research Consortium.

David Huebner, a physics, computer science, and mathematics major from Fargo, ND, worked on computer simulation of Lennard-Jones clusters with Brian Moore of the Augustana Chemisty Department. David's work was funded by the South Dakota Space Grant.

Collin Taphorn, a physics and chemistry major from Storm Lake, IA, worked with Gary Earl and Duane Weisshaar of the Augustana College Chemistry Department on the wiscosity of quaternary ammonium compounds.

Back to Physics News Archive


Ivan (back), Nate (middle) and KSU undergrad Mat (foreground) adjust electronics setings.

Laura (left), Ivan (middle) and Nate (right) in front of their poster at the NPURC end-of-summer event.