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Student Research Presented at National Physics Meetings

SIOUX FALLS – On May 21, research work completed by current and former Augustana students will be delivered at an invited talk at the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (DAMOP) meeting in Charlottesville, VA.

The talk will be given by Dr. Eric Wells, associate professor of physics at Augustana during a focus session on collision-induced states in molecules. Sophomore Bethany Jochim (Pierre, SD) and alumnae Amy Lueking ’07 (Sioux Falls) and Laura Doshier ’07 (Rapid City, SD) investigated bond rearrangement leading to formation of H3+ following the ionization of ammonia and methane. Support for this research, done in collaboration with Eli Parke, Mat Leonard, Kevin Carnes, and Itzik Ben-Itzhak of the J.D. Macdonald Laboratory at Kansas State University was obtained from Research Corporation, National Science Foundation award PHY-0653598, and the Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division Office of Basic Energy Sciences, US Department of Energy.

Also at the DAMOP meeting, work done by Augustana students Michael Todt (Moorhead, MN), Nick Smolnisky (Sioux Falls), Nate Jastram (Sioux Falls), and Jochim will be presented in a contributed session. This work, entitled “Enhancing the feedback signals used in closed-loop control of molecular fragmentation,” explores methods of improving laser control of molecular dissociation. The experiments were again done in collaboration with members of the Kansas State group, including Augustana alumna Nora G. Johnson '05 (Dell Rapids, SD). The work was supported by National Science Foundation award PHY-0653598, and the Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, US Department of Energy.

Russ Averin (Sioux Falls) spoke at the April meeting of the APS in Denver. The meeting was hosted by six of the 14 divisions of APS, including the Divisions of Particles and Fields, Astrophysics and Nuclear Physics. Averin spoke at the session devoted to WZ physics. His talk, a report on collaborative work done with Augustana Assistant Professor Drew Alton, was entitled “Search for a scalar or vector particle decaying into Zg in pp collisions at √s = 1.96 TeV.”

The talk was follow-up to their recent publication in Physics Letters B and is part of the analysis of the DØ experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. This work was partially supported by the Augustana Research and Artists Fund.