ACU students and faculty part of physics experiments

For Immediate Release
July 25, 2000


Tom Craig, Director of Media and Community Relations
(915) 674-2692

Jamie Milstead, Media Relations Specialist
(915) 673-2620

The Abilene Christian University Department of Physics has been setting molecules in motion this summer. Thirteen students majoring in physics, two majoring in computer science and two faculty members are involved in physics experiments across the country.

Dr. Donald Isenhower, chair of the Department of Physics, is at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., with six students working on the PHENIX experiment.

The PHENIX experiment involves colliding gold ions to release quarks and gluons, subatomic particles that make up atoms and molecules. If these particles are released, it will be the first time since the creation of the universe. Scientists can then use these particles to better understand creation.

Chris Kuberg, sophomore engineering major from Upton, N.Y., is working on the PHENIX experiment. He has been working of this project in N.Y. since the beginning of last summer and will finish in August. Kuberg transferred to ACU in the spring semester of 1999. He plans to change his major to physics because he has enjoyed his work with physics so much.

"I've never been to a school where the faculty actively participates in research and is anxious to get students involved," Kuberg said.

Three students are currently working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory on particle research, and six students are in Abilene doing data analysis.

One student working in Abilene, Andy Brown, senior physics major from Ovilla, just returned from working on the PHENIX experiment. He was part of the team that assembled and repaired panels that detect subatomic particles. He is finishing research he started at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dr. Isenhower plans on publishing a paper with Brown's results in the future.

For ACU physics students to continue working on experiments, the Department of Physics must request funding from the U.S. Department of Energy every three years. The department just received funding for the next three years totally approximately $400,000. The DOE has been funding ACU since 1980.


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Last update: July 25, 2000
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