Physics Program Secures NSF Grant
Thanks to $264,699 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant received through the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program, Assistant Professor of Physics Jeremiah Williams is introducing more students to plasma physics using a cutting-edge diagnostic system that allows for unique research opportunities. The grant allowed for the addition of a Tomographic Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system to Williams’ laboratory.
According to Williams, Wittenberg is the only undergraduate institution with a Tomographic PIV system, and the university is one of a just a handful” of research institutions with this type of volumetric measurement capability.
The grant is the latest in a string of successes for the Department of Physics, which is rated in the top 35 percent of undergraduate institutions in the United States in terms of numbers of majors graduated, and for Williams himself.
“This diagnostic will allow us to make a number of new measurements, including instantaneous volumetric measurements of the morphological properties of weakly coupled dusty plasma systems, more complete (and volumetric) measurements of transport within these systems and the evolution of the thermal properties of these systems,” Williams said.
Previously, Williams expanded the department’s research opportunities through a collaboration with the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, a Collective National Center for plasma and fusion science funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Working through the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s university support program, Williams received experimental hardware, including a vacuum system, two high voltage supplies and an assortment of smaller components.