Our 2015 graduates: Thaddeus Howard, Michael Klem, Michael Kalan, Aaron Mebane, Michael
Hoff, Samuel Henderson, Luke Pecha, Anthony Kersting, and Luke Simmons. Not shown
is Laura Aumen who won the Mayberry Award at graduation.
Physics Week 2015
Physics majors celebrated Physics Week March 23-29. Activities included: (1) demonstrations
of electronics projects, (2) physics research poster presentations, (3) physics fair
on the mall, (4) liquid nitrogen sundaes, and (5) last, but not least, bubble soccer
behind the tower. What a sight it was!
Fulbright to Germany
Anthony Kersting, UD senior physics major with a German concentration, has been awarded
a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship for the academic year 2015-16. Anthony has completed
research in observational astronomy where he investigated dwarf n ova ASASSN-14cv. He is also a member of Lyric Theater and Collegium Cantorum. Anthony
joins physics majors William Spearman (Research Fulbright to CERN in 2008) and Jamie
Antonelli (Research Fulbright to France in 2005) as recent physics majors who have
won this prestigious award.
Texas APS Presentations
Three senior physics majors presented the results of their senior research projects
at the Spring 2015 Meeting of the Texas Section of the American Physical Society.
The meeting was held at Lee College, March 6-7, 2015.
Observations and Analysis of the New Dwarf Nova ASASSN-14cv
Anthony Kersting, Richard Olenick, and Arthur Sweeney
(University of Dallas)
On June 21, 2014 a new bright cataclysmic variable star, ASASSN-14cv, was detected
in the constellation Draco by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae, ASAS-SN.
The 13th magnitude CV matches to a blue 19th magnitude SDSS star, but no previous
outburst data is to be found in CRTS data. During follow-up observations performed
using the University of North Texas' Monroe Robotic Observatory, the CV was observed
over the course of ten nights for a total of 495 images from its early plateau stage
until quiescence. Ensemble photometry performed on the raw images was used to produce
light curves for the CV which were then analyzed in order to determine an early superhump period
of 0.0592 d. During quiescence the orbital period was measured to be 0.0609 d. Early
outburst data is rare and few observers go on to perform careful analysis of such
data, making these results of particular interest in studying CVs.
Discovery and Follow-up Observations of the Exoplanet Candidate GSC02087-011261
Laura Aumen, Richard Olenick, and Arthur Sweeney
(University of Dallas)
Wide angle survey measurements;by the University of Dallas Small Telescope Extrasolar
Transit Survey (STExTS) in the summer of 2012 found that the star GSC02087-01126 exhibits
characteristics of a possible transit. According to the UCAC4 catalogue, the star
has a (B-V)o magnitude of 0.265, corresponding to a temperature of 7402 K, which
is a reasonable for a star in possession of a planet. Using the box least squares
(BLS) function, we determined a likely period for the orbit of 0.79380 days.
Calculation of the ephemeris led to taking follow up data targeted toward the specific
dates of the transit in the summer of 2014 with additional follow-up;measurements
in the spring of 2015 using the University of North Texas' Monroe Robotic Observatory.
The observational data and calculated quantities will be presented.