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NASA Space Grant Researchers Examining Geneseo Atmosphere

Earth from space

GENESEO, N.Y. – Three researchers in the Department of Physics and Astronomy have received a $20,000 research initiation grant from the NASA/NY Space Grant Consortium.

Principal investigator David Meisel, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Computational Astrophysics, is teaming with Charles Freeman, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Chair of the department, and Savitri Iyer, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, on the project, titled “Explorations into Time-resolved Particle Tomography for Atmospheric and Space Research."

The award is providing for the construction of a multi-energy particle detector array to study rapidly moving features in the Earth’s atmosphere above Geneseo. The array involves instrumentation currently held by the Department of Physics and Astronomy and a high-sensitivity muon detector to be provided by Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) via a long-term equipment loan arrangement. Helio Takai from BNL will supervise installation of the muon detector at Geneseo. A muon is an elementary subatomic particle similar to the electron but much heavier.

Geneseo has a number of nuclear science instruments available, including a Pelletron accelerator, to support calibration of instruments for the project. A set of undergraduate courses will be developed to facilitate incorporating undergraduate and secondary school training related to the project, such as STEM field use of the data, use of the Pelletron accelerator and use of other instrumentation.

David Meisel

Charlie Freeman

Savitri Iyer

Principal Investigator David Meisel (left), Charlie Freeman and Savitri Iyer are examining rapidly moving features in the Earth's atmosphere above Geneseo thanks to a NASA/NY Space Grant.

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