West Virginia Wesleyan College

Department of Physics and Engineering

Department News

 

New science building opens

      We proudly announce that the newly-constructed David E. Reemsnyder Science Research Center officially opened at a ceremony on April 9, 2010. The 23,000-square-foot facility is connected to the Christopher Hall of Science.

      “The opening of the Reemsnyder Research Center is another great moment for Wesleyan College,” said President Pamela Balch. "The center will strengthen one of the most region's distinctive undergraduate science programs by enhancing teaching, learning, and research.”

 

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The new Reemsnyder Science Research Center (on left) adjoins Christopher Hall of Science on right.

Observing a transit of Venus

 

DSC00070      June 6, 2012—Dr. DeLaney arranged for an observation of a transit of Venus across the Sun today.    

      This occurs when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth. In the photo (right), Venus is the black spot seen at the upper right edge of the Sun.  

      During a transit, Venus is seen as a small black disk moving across the Sun’s face. Such transits usually require several hours. This year’s transit lasted 6 hours and 40 minutes. The next transit of Venus will occur in 105 years.

 

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Student wins computing competition

image002   February 18, 2012—Colby Stanley aspires to a career as a Computer Engineer. The sophomore is certainly off to a good start—his knowledge of computers garnered him a first place finish in the High-Performance Computing Competition sponsored by West Virginia EPSCOR.

     High-performance computing involves using a cluster of computers to solve a problem that is too complex for one personal computer.

     Stanley’s research involved using data from pulsars—stars that emit pulses of electromagnetic ration similar to a lighthouse. He ran the data through the Wavelet Analysis software program to separate the data from noise.

     Stanley said, “The supercomputer gave me the ability to look at a much larger range of frequencies than with a regular computer.” Stanley’s faculty adviser is Dr. Trevor Stevens.

 

Wiest wins $20,000 NSF grant for a tunable laser system

      On March 12, 2008, Governor Manchin announced that the National Science Foundation had approved Dr. Wiest's proposal to purchase a $20,000 laser system. Governor Manchin stated, “Through these grants, we intend to make West Virginia fertile ground for research and the great minds of tomorrow.”

 

BertManchinPopson wins $19,958 NSF grant for magnetic resonance equipment

      The National Science Foundation approved Dr. Popson’s proposal to purchase a pulsed magnetic resonance spectrometer. In the photo, Governor Manchin is personally delivering the check. 

 

Popson wins AAPT service award

      Dr. Popson was awarded the Distinguished Service Award at the annual meeting of the Appalachian Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers. AAPT was established in 1930 with the fundamental goal of ensuring the “dissemination of knowledge of physics, particularly by way of teaching.” There are currently 10,500 members in 30 countries around the world.

 

AAPT meets at Wesleyan

     Wesleyan hosted the annual meeting of the Appalachian Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers in October. Wesleyan's Dr. Joseph Wiest serves as president. He also chaired this year's meeting. President Pamela Balch gave the attendees a warm welcome.