Faculty Research

Faculty Research

Dr. Sally Hicks

hicks research

The focus of my research for the last several years has been the investigation of neutron scattering from materials that are important for fission reactor applications.   This work is done in collaboration with scientists from the University of Dallas, the United States Naval Academy, the University of Kentucky, and Idaho National Laboratory. The work is supported primarily by grants from the Department of Energy NEUP Program. This research concentrates on measurements of neutron elastic and inelastic scattering differential cross sections from the structural materials 54,56Fe and on 23Na which is a coolant in future generation fast reactors.   University of Dallas physics majors have been heavily involved in the measurements.  

All measurements for this project have been completed at the University of Kentucky Low-Energy Accelerator Facilities.  There pulsed bunches of protons are accelerated using the 7 MV Model CN Van de Graaff  shown at the left.  These proton pulses produce neutrons for scattering via the T(p,n) reaction.   

For more information on Dr. Hicks' research click here.

Dr. Richard Olenick

olenick research

My research, which was initially funded by the Nancy Cain Marcus and Jeffrey A. Marcus Chair in Science, involves photometric studies of cataclysmic variable stars (CVs). CVs are a class of short period semi-detached binaries that consist of an accreting white dwarf primary and often a low mass main sequence secondary star. The orbital periods of CVs typically range from approximately 0.06 day to 0.6 day, which makes them ideal for observations. Accretion takes place when the secondary star fills its Roche lobe and matter is transferred through the L1 Lagrange point. Two structures in non-magnetic CVs are of interest in our research: (1) the accretion disks, where half of the gravitational potential energy of the accreting material is released, and (2) the boundary layer between the accretion disk and the surface of the white dwarf, where the kinetic energy of the flow is thermalized and radiated. Temperatures of the accretion disk range from 5000 K at its outer edge to over 10000 K at its inner edge and the disk radiates over a broad energy range from the optical through the far ultraviolet.

olenick research

Shown to the left is V1331 Cyg which we began studying in summer 2003.

For more information on Dr. Olenick's research, click here.

News

Program Aims to Open UD Ethos to Wider Community

On Thursday, Sept. 26, several members of the university community gathered to celebrate the completion of Course II of the Studies in Catholic Faith and Culture program, the first component of UD's Liberal Learning for Life initiative. The course is titled "The Person: Tradition and History."

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The Idea of Our University

To found the famous Core curriculum of the University of Dallas, as an education "best for the individual," Donald and Louise Cowan looked to John Henry Newman's The Idea of a University. He unapologetically promotes the Western classics -- precisely because so few know our own culture well enough to appreciate the depth of any other.

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To Russia with UD: Faculty to Lead UD's First Tour of Russia

This summer, the University of Dallas invites students, alumni, faculty and staff to join its first-ever tour abroad of Russia, led by Professor of Physics Richard Olenick and Affiliate Instructor of Spanish, French and Italian Irina Rodriguez. From June 8 to June 16, 2020, Olenick and Rodriguez will guide participants through the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, taking them on a cultural and literary tour of the "Russian soul."

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