Department of Physics and Engineering
West Virginia Wesleyan College
Nuclear Physics Projects

Return to student research listing

What do nuclear physicists do? One of our graduates is working as a nuclear physicist in a nuclear power plant. Another graduate instructs Navy personnel on nuclear submarines on safe reactor operating procedures. Another graduate is designing a nuclear system as a source of energy for a spacecraft to operate far from the Sun.

Doug Sincek (2006) measured the neutron absorption coefficient of a variety of plastics. The neutrons were produced when alpha particles emitted from americium-243 interacted with boron.

Patricia Knight (2002) studied thermoluminescence, which is light emitted from some solids after they are exposed to radiation and heat. Patricia obtained energy response graphs for crystals such as lithium fluoride. She obtained their glow curves, which gives information on crystal structure.

Kelly Davisson (2001) investigated interactions between neutrons and deuterons. Kelly obtained an NSF summer research position at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After she graduated, she joined the University of Tennessee to work on her Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics.