Physical Science

Undergraduate Research

Research & Scholarship Opportunities

Current Projects

Coming Soon!

Past Projects

  1. Synthesis and Characterization of Short-Linked Dendrimers
    MICHAEL NIELSON, DAVID DALTON and MACKAY STEFFENSEN
    Dendrimers are perfectly branched macromolecules made from repeating units. Usually, dendrimers begin with a focus point and branch outward. These molecules were first described by F. Vogtle in 1978 and knowledge of the compounds has grown steadily since that time. Our work focuses on short-linked dendrimers (two-atom linkers), many of which have never before been synthesized. We have chosen to make dendrimers from a variety of starting materials, which has allowed us to investigate the properties of dendrimers with differing surfaces. The short-linkages make the molecule less flexible, increasing the chance that our surface groups (atoms furthest from the origin) will actually be found at the surface. Our efforts and results will be discussed.
  2. Determination of Gas Emissions from Confined Animal Feeding Operations
    KEITH SHUMWAY, KIM WEAVER, and LOWRY HARPER
    Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are cost effective means for raising livestock for human consumption. CAFOs allow a limited amount of personnel to care for thousands of animals. One challenge facing CAFOs is managing the large amount of animal waste that is produced. From 2000-2006, SUU was involved in a cooperative agreement with the USDA ARS to quantify CAFO gas emissions. Three of these gases are carbon dioxide and methane (green house gases) and ammonia (green rain). The environmental importance of these gases necessitates accurate quantification of CAFO gas emissions. Data to measure these gas emissions has been collected by SUU students and has been compiled to calculate gas emissions. The results will be compared on a yearly and seasonal basis throughout the study and to emissions determined elsewhere. In addition, a new waste management system was introduced in 2004 and its effect on gas emissions will also be evaluated.
  3. Progress Toward The Synthesis Of Chiral Crown Ethers
    JAMES L. CLARK, JACOB FRIEST, and J. TY REDD
    New macrocyclic ligands containing a pyridine and pyrimidine subcyclic units are being prepared by treating the appropriate subcyclic unit with a chiral oligoethylene glycol.  The starting subcyclic units are prepared prepared by multi-step synthetic process. These crowns will form complexes with organic ammonium salts and amines. Some will fluoresce when complexed. The complexation properties of these macrocycles will be studied by various NMR techniques.
  4. Negative refraction of chemical wave and formation of chemical image
    PAUL M. JOHNSON, JUSTIN CHANDLER, and RENWU ZHANG
    In this work, we focus on the computer simulation of chemical waves generated by the locally external forcing (pacing). Pacing waves can propagate either outwardly or inwardly, depending on chemical properties of media. We discovered a novel phenomenon, negative refraction, which occurs when pacing waves transmit across the interface between outwardly propagating medium and inwardly propagating medium, in comparison with the normal refraction. The important consequence of negative refraction is that it could form an image of a pacing source in the other medium, designated as a “chemical image”, which was never reported before. Formation of a chemical image may have a great potential application in medical technology, for instance, cancer therapy. By forming a “chemical image”, a high concentration of drug molecules may form at the tumors so they will target cancer cells while they damage healthy cells minimally.
  5. A Study of the Distribution of Galactic z Values Calculated from the General Doppler Equation
    BRENT SORENSEN and LOREN GOEBEL
    Speaking of galactic redshifts, the equation Equation of the original paper (“Revisiting the General Doppler Equation as Derived in Special Relativity”), we suggest that z values between 0 and -1 correspond to an observed blueshift I the spectra, and positive z values for an observed redshift.  Clearly there are more possible values for redshifts than blueshifts, but does this mean there will actually be more objects exhibiting redshifts than blue?  Consider a range of possible relative speeds between observer and source and also random angles between the line of sight to the direction of the velocity vector (from 0 to 2p radians).  Using these randomly selected values, we then calculate the z value for each combination using equation Equation.  The last calculation takes 10,000 random speeds from 0 to 3´108 and directions from 0 to 2p radians.  Still, more redshifts dominate the numbers.
  6. Effectiveness of Supplementary Calcium Absorption
    BROOKE EWING, HAILIE POLLOCK AND CYNTHIA B. WRIGHT, KELSEY ALEN, GREG THOMPSON, KIM WEAVER, and TY REDD
    The purpose of this study was to measure the absorption of four different calcium carbonate supplements. Four groups of five participants took a 500 mg calcium supplement twice daily for three weeks. Four 24-hour urine samples were collected (prior to taking the supplement and at the end of each week). Subjects also recorded intake of calcium-rich foods ingested during the study. The amount of calcium excreted was measured using an atomic absorption spectrometer. Data was analyzed using repeat measure ANOVA (SPSS 13.0 for Windows). Likely due to the small sample size no significant difference was found within or between subjects. However, the means for two of the supplements showed a trend of increasing calcium excretion over the duration of the study.