The nuclear research group at Hope College has received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation's "Research in Undergraduate Institutions" (NSF-RUI) program.
The research team is led by Dr. Paul DeYoung, who is professor of physics and chairperson of the department, and Dr. Graham Peaslee, who is an associate professor of chemistry and geological/environmental sciences. DeYoung and Peaslee have each held RUI support every summer during which they have been on the Hope faculty - since 1986 and 1995 respectively.
The $213,000 award will support a variety of research projects for the next three years. The activities will center on radioactive nuclear beam studies at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University and the Nuclear Structure Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame.
"These studies will increase our understanding of the way nuclei far from stability are constructed and interact with other matter," DeYoung said.
Work will also be conducted using the new Hope College Ion Beam Analysis Laboratory (HIBAL), which has been funded through a major equipment grant the college received from the NSF's Physics Directorate during the summer of 2003. The interdisciplinary projects will investigate applications of nuclear physics techniques to questions in other scientific disciplines.
Peaslee noted that Hope students will participate in all of the research projects. "They will be involved in every aspect of the work: experimental setup, data acquisition, analysis and modeling, and presentation of results," he said.
A federal agency, the NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. The RUI program has three objectives: to support high-quality research by faculty members of predominantly undergraduate institutions, to strengthen the research environment in academic departments that are oriented primarily toward undergraduate instruction, and to promote the integration of research and education.