Physics & Astronomy Departmental News

Professor Xianming Han wins research award

Professor Xianming Han won the 2018 College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award for Excellence in Research.  This is the second time in five years that a faculty member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy has won this award.

Five Students are Included in the Class of 2018

We have another successful group of graduating seniors in Physics, Astronomy and Physics-Engineering majors. Congratulations to all of them!

Two Students Presented Their Research at the American Astronomical Society Winter Meeting

Two Butler students presented their papers highlighting the results of observations taken using the SARA and Holcomb Observatory telescopes. The titles of the papers were:

  • Multiband Fourier Analysis and Interstellar Reddening of the Variable Stars in the Globular Cluster NGC 6402 (M14)
  • Full Phase Multi-Band Study of Eclipsing Binaries 1SWASP J061850.43+220511.9 and 2MASSJ07095549+3643564

The winter AAS meeting held in January, 2018 is the largest annual gathering of astronomers and this year it was held in Washington, D.C.

Physics/Math major Awarded The Goldwater Scholarship

Alex Glickfield received the Goldwater Scholarship, one of 211 awarded nationwide out of more than 10,000 applicants in 2018. The Goldwater Scholarship is the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship given in the STEM areas. It “seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields.”

New Digital Projector Replaces Analog Projector

Holcomb Observatory & Planetarium has replaced its 60-year-old analog planetarium projector with a new digital projector that provides a fulldome 3-D immersive experience.

National Science Foundation Experience Summer 2018

Sedrick Weinschenk, Astronomy/Astrophysics major,  accepted for an National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates at Columbia University, to work on particle-physics research.

Bailey Bond, Physics/Math major, will be attending an REU at the University of Southern Florida this summer.

The Seitz Foundation awards funding for overseas research

Casey Sobecks, Physics/Engineering major, was awarded funding for research in China this summer.

Four Telescopes Are Now Online for Student Use

Butler physics and astronomy students added to their growing list of telescopes to use at the end of 2015. First, in mid-October the Jacobus Kapteyn (1 meter) Telescope located in the Canary Islands had its refurbishment complete. As part of the SARA telescope consortium Butler faculty and students will have several nights per year of access to this telescope. Second, late last fall the 1-meter telescope at Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium saw the final touches of its $400,000 refurbishment completed. This brings the total number of research telescopes accessible by the department to four. The other telescopes already in use by the department located are at Kitt Peak, Arizona and Cerro Tololo, Chile.