Physics Department News

Graduation 2015

 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.

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