Geneseo Physics

and Astronomy


Fall, 1994

Kurt Fletcher, Department Scribe

great Potential:

Class of ‘94

Congratulations to our recent graduates! Among those who earned BA and BS degrees in physics are Rory Cottrell, Bridget Emerling, Jennifer Fosberry, Mark Greenfield, Paul King, Michele Lang, Jeff Pagett, Jeff Powers, Andy Raab, Mike Rogers, and Chris Schleigh. A majority of this year’s class is continuing on to graduate school. Rory is studying geophysics at the University of Rochester. Bridget is continuing her studies at the University of Kentucky. Jen has chosen to go to SUNY/Binghamton, Mark is studying engineering at the University of Kentucky. Paul is at William and Mary. Michele is at Alfred. Jeff Pagett is at SUNY/ Cortland. Andy is studying materials science at the University of Virginia. Mike is at Florida State. John Hildebrand, a non-metriculated Geneseo student, has moved on to Georgia State University.

The 3-2 Engineers who completed their undergraduate work this year include Aaron Batchellor and Dan Gaugel from the University of Buffalo in mechanical engineering; John Bunnel from Clarkson in industrial management; Todd Elder, Brian Komarisky, and Teresa Worczak from Clarkson in mechanical engineering; and Kimberly Van Cook from the University of Buffalo in chemical engineering. Congratulations!

Research Accelerates

The Greene Science Building was humming with activity this summer. Down in the accelerator lab, Drs. Steve Padalino and Kurt Fletcher and students Carrie Creasey, Dustin Kruse, Dana Lane, Brian DeMarco, Brian ("Byron") Fisher, and Jenny Schweitzer continued work on the neutron detector characterization project funded by the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester. The detectors are used for diagnostics of laser-induced, inertial confinement fusion experiments at LLE. A new multiparameter data acquisition system, installed for this project, was used to collect neutrons and Helium-3 ions liberated from the D(d,n)3He reaction. The coincidence technique was used to select monoenergetic neutrons to determine the response of the detector.

In addition to this project, Kurt and Carrie assembled a thin films deposition station for the fabrication of thin targets for nuclear experiments. Thin films can be deposited using resistive heating or ion beam sputtering using a new saddle-field ion source, which produces a 3 to 8 keV beam of noble gas ions.

Dr. Warren Rogers continued his research on beta-NMR measurements of magnetic moments of short-lived nuclear isotopes, with the assistance of Brian Fisher.

Dr. Shiladitya Raj Chaudhury worked with Geneseo students Andy Schultz, Keith Lowenstein and Vassar student Erik Deutsch on his Annotated Multimedia Physics Learning Environment (AMPLE) project throughout the summer. This is a state-of-the-art computer-based instructional system which is being tested in Physics 101, the Science of Sound, this fall.

Several of our students took advantage of research opportunities off campus. Rob Fuentes was invited to participate in the Penn State REU program, where he worked on wavelet compression for pseudopotential calculations under the direction of Dr. James Annett. This project was initiated to improve the efficiency of algorithms for modeling silicon lattices.

Very Low temperatures produce new vacancy

After six years at Geneseo, Professor Warren Rogers has left for warmer shores. At the beginning of August, Warren, his wife Sandy, and children Warren, Jr. and Melanie departed for Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. In a letter to the Department, Warren expressed regret over leaving "what is, in my mind, the best and the brightest department at Geneseo," and explained that his reasons for leaving "had nearly everything to do with the climate here in Western New York."

Warren’s new address is Dr. Warren D. Rogers, Westmont College, Department of Physics, 955 La Paz Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108. His new e-mail address is IN%"".

The Department will seek to fill this vacancy through a nationwide search for a permanent replacement with Steve Padalino chairing the search committee. In the meantime, Dr. Savitri Iyer is filling the position for this academic year. And speaking of Savi...

Focus on Savi Iyer

Dr. Savi Iyer began her one-year stint as a Visiting Assistant Professor in September, but she already knows her way around Geneseo. Last year she served as an adjunct professor, teaching Electricity and Magnetism while Steve Padalino was on sabbattical. Savi earned her bachelors degree at the University of Madras, India, and her Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh. At Pitt, Savi studied General Relativity with E.T. Newman. She and her husband, Madan V. Shastri, live in Rochester with their brand new baby boy, Gaurav.

Physicists SCATTER

Seniors Bridget Emerling and Michael Rogers accompanied Warren Rogers and Steve Padalino to the Fall Meeting of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics in Asilomar, CA on October 21-23, 1993. Warren and Steve each presented a paper. According to Mike Rogers, "My experience at Asilomar was a rare opportunity to interact with other physicists in a professional environment."

During the first week of January, Carrie Creasey, Rob Fuentes, and Dana Lane travelled to Triangle Universities Nuclear Lab in Durham, NC, to participate in an experiment with Professors Fletcher and Padalino. Beams of polarized deuterons, produced by the atomic beam polarized ion source at TUNL, were accelerated to 4 MeV by the tandem Van de Graaff accelerator in order to study polarization effects on the elastic scattering of deuterons from deuterium. The Geneseo students worked closely with researchers from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and returned from their journey enthusiastic about graduate research. Dana and Carrie report, "After visiting TUNL we determined that we wanted to attend graduate school and work in a research environment."

Alley Award Launched

The Department’s service award, formerly called the Physics Special Award, was renamed the Phillip W. Alley Service Award by an action of the faculty, to recognize Phil’s many years of service to the Department. At this year’s Junior-Senior Dinner, Michael Rogers was the recipient of the newly named award. Bridget Emerling and Jennifer Fosberry shared the Physics Senior Award, and Mary Ellen Miller received the Physics Alumni Award. We congratulate our juniors and seniors on their efforts!

Department reflections

It’s been an active year for the Geneseo Physicists (and Astronomer).

There have been a series of new babies born among the junior faculty. Kurt and Leah Fletcher had a baby boy, Ethan Lawrence Fletcher, on February 5. Savi Iyer and Medan Shastri’s son, Gaurav Venkat Shastri, was born on February 27. On June 11, 1994, Shiladitya Raj Chaudhury and his wife Sara had a daughter, Chloe Roja Chaudhury. Aside from adapting to new sleep patterns, parents and children are doing well.

Phil Alley continued his research efforts at Goddard Space Flight Center this summer. He spent six weeks evaluating and developing test plans for radiation damage tests of optical components for the Cassini mission to Saturn. These studies included tests on polypropylene and mylar using the 2 MeV accelerator at Goddard. Another six weeks was spent developing a scheme to protect an interferometer filter from direct solar radiation.

On the social front Phil and his wife, Marie, journeyed to Scandanavia and St. Petersburg, Russia. The scenery was outstanding, with lots of water, plenty of boats, and high prices. The Alleys sold their boat, the Phil-Mar, this summer. There were tears and smiles as it sailed off, but they plan to purchase another boat after Phil retires.

Shiladitya Raj Chaudhury has been quite busy with the AMPLE computer instruction system. His wife, Sara, is completing her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Rochester, when she’s not playing with baby Chloe.

Jim Chen is on leave from Geneseo, serving his second term as the Chair of the SUNY University Senate in Albany.

Fred Evangelista is our instructional support specialist. He supervises the instrument shop, provides guidance for technical design, assists in the creation of new undergraduate experiments, and keeps our Analytical and General Physics labs running smoothly. This year Fred has enjoyed visits with his grandchildren, Anthony, David, Matthew, and Nicole.

In addition to summer research in the Nuclear Structure Lab, Kurt Fletcher, and his wife Leah have been busy with their new son. They also have been working on remodeling their "new" 80-year-old house on Elm Street. Kurt’s thesis paper, "Tensor Analyzing Powers for D(d,p)3H and D(d,n)3He at 25, 40, 60, and 80 keV," was published in the May issue of Physical Review C.

As discussed above, Savi Iyer is adjusting to motherhood and a full-time teaching load. A recent paper, "Non-local Equations for General Relativity," with C.N. Kozameh and E.T. Newman, appeared in the Journal of Geometry and Physics.

Ken Kinsey remains an active participant in the Genesee Country Museum, which is a restored 19th century museum village in Mumford, NY. In addition, he continues to introduce students to the software application LabVIEW. LabVIEW is a graphical program development application for data acquisition, instrument control, data analysis and data presentation.

Our department secretary, Penelope Lawrence, has had a busy year. She has been training new faculty members, supervising student workers, and maintaining the department office. Penny’s youngest son, Jacob, is now 4.5 years old and spends his days at the Small Treasures Day-Care in Mt. Morris. Jacob was a Mighty Duck for Halloween.

Dave Meisel has had an active year. He continues as the Associate Director of the University of Rochester’s C.E.K. Mees Observatory, the Executive Director of the American Meteor Society, and Chair of the NY Astronomical Society’s Education Committee. He’s given invited papers at the 1994 American Astronomical Society winter meeting, the AAPT 1994 summer meeting, and several others. In addition, he was awarded a Geneseo College Planning Council Grant for a "Women in Physics" lecture series and a Grant for a SUNY Conversations in the Disciplines Conference on "Chaos and Fractals" with Prof. Gary Towsley of the Math Department.

Steve Padalino spent last year on sabbatical, but never left the comfort of his own office: he continued his research on neutron detectors for the UR Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the Geneseo Nuclear Structure Lab. This summer Steve and his wife Susan visited the Lake Placid region of NY.

Jerry Reber continues to chair the Department. This year he has also served on the College Planning Council, which oversees many programs and initiatives at Geneseo. He also spent several days at SUNY Plattsburgh as an external reviewer of their physics department. Jerry continues to dominate the squash court, and has extended his educational activities to give a lesson to younger players. This summer Jerry and Dixie enjoyed a three week trip, hiking around the South Dakota Blackhills and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They also spend plenty of time in Erie, PA, visiting their granddaughter Alyssa Marie.

Alumni feedback

Many thanks to those alumni who have reported back to us. Your messages have been edited down to fit in the Newsletter. Hopefully, I highlighted the important points!


Michele Lang (94) has accepted a teaching assistantship at Alfred. She is working on her masters in ceramic science. • Dave Flaitz (93) is working in the Orthopaedic Research Lab at the University of Buffalo. Dave is continuing work on his Masters in Mechanical Engineering. • Bill Geist (93) is furthering his studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Bill’s research efforts in experimental nuclear physics take place at Triangle Universities Nuclear Lab. • Dave Schmidt (93) has returned to Clarkson College to pursue graduate work in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. • Anthony Bencivenga (92) is finishing his Masters in Mechanical Engineering at SUNY-Buffalo. His thesis topic is "Optimal Tolerance Allocation for Minimum Cost and Maximum Quality." • Tim Bold (92) is finishing his masters thesis in the Mechanical Engineering department of Duke University with support from the Mary Derickson McCurdy Graduate Fellowship. Tim’s area of specialization is fluid dynamics, and his research involves the influence of propagating waves in the Gulf Stream. He hopes to find a job in the biotech field. • Fred Huebner (92) moved to North Carolina in June of 1993 to work for Information Systems and Networking at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. He reports that he plans to wed Janet Marcucci (a 92 Geneseo Biochemistry grad) in October of 1995. • Mark Muller (91) is working for an environmental engineering firm in White Plains, NY and continuing his graduate studies at night. • Kurt Laurer (91) is working on steam turbine design in the Industrial and Power Systems division of General Electric in Schenectady, NY as part of the Edison Engineering Program. As a program participant, Kurt will be supplementing in-house training at GE with classes at RPI. • Steve Weppner (91) at Ohio University is working on many body scattering in nuclear theory. He has several papers on the way. • Diane Bryan (90) continues her graduate research at the Nuclear Structure Research Lab at the University of Rochester. Tom DeClerck (90) and his wife Jill had a baby boy, Daniel Thomas DeClerck, on September 23, 1993. Tom is working at Eastman Kodak and has been accepted into the Special Opportunity Graduate Program to continue his studies. • Michelle Anne Gaudett (90) completed her MS in Materials Science and Engineering in March of 1993 and is continuing her studies at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. • Diane Herrick (90) will be marrying Bill Bryan (Diane Bryan’s brother) September 10. She is also continuing her research at NSRL at Rochester. • Stephanie Nelson Dickman (89) received her masters in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia and has worked on infrared systems, radar systems, and adaptive array processing for GE Aerospace and Martin Marietta since 1991. This fall she starts work at a new job in image analysis at Kodak in Rochester. Stephanie and her husband Doug (Geneseo, ‘89) were married in September 1991. • Matt Harper (87) has been employed as a Quality Assurance Development Manager for Language and Database Development at Progress Software Corp. for the last 4.5 years. He and his wife Linda have a 2-year old (Timothy) and a second child on the way. • Edward Reber (87), completed his Ph.D. in experimental nuclear physics at Florida State University in February, 1993. He currently holds a DOE Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Arms Control Unit at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Ed reports that he lives within two hours of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and "the best trout fishing in the world." • Darren Stevens (87) is currently a systems development engineer/project manager at Stainless Design Corp. in Saugerties, NY Darren and his wife are expecting a child in March 1995. • Patrick Dennis (85) is working on a Doctorate in Finance at the University of North Carolina. Pat has passed his comprehensive exams and is considering dissertation topics in mututal funds/managed portfolio performance or derivative securities. • Don Duggan-Haas (85) has had quite a year. He quit his teaching job of 7 years, married Katy Duggan, moved to Michigan and enrolled in Michigan State to pursue a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Policy.• Steve Edgar (85) is a software developer at Cornell University, currently working on interactive video conferencing via Internet. Steve is married to Karen Raab (86), who works at Ithaco, an aerospace/electronics firm. Steve and Karen have a three-year old daughter, Kristi. • John E. Will (83) has been awarded a Colorado Research Fellowship and Teaching Assistantship to continue his PhD work in Electromagnetics at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He’s teaching two courses, Electromagnetic Compatability and a microwave measurements lab. In addition, John works 30 hours a week for JAYCOR, where he leads a team developing a device to be used by law enforcement. The "Auto-Arrestor" delivers a high voltage pulse which damages electronic ignition components. • Paul Conlon (82) is a senior engineer for Kodak in the Clinical Diagnostics division. Paul is working on computing tools used in the design of chemistry tests for analyzing blood, and reports that he’d rather not be mentioned in the Newsletter. (Oops!) • Zoe Frank (77), her husband Dr. Richard Shine, and their seven-year-old daughter Alana live in Mountain View, Ca. Zoe and Dick both work for Lockheed Missles and Space Corporation at Palo Alto Research Labs. Zoe studies the sun in the visible range with a tunable filter system at the Swedish Solar Observatory in the Canary Islands.


Fund is a major force

Many thanks to all alumni, parents, faculty, and friends who contribute to the Physics Alumni Fund. Over the past year the Alumni Fund has helped to support the Freshman Pizza Party, the Fall picnic, The Fall and Spring Cabin Retreats, colloquium refreshments, and a student-organized tour of the microelectronics facilities at RIT. The fund provides for a subscription for a daily newspaper for the physics lounge and for Physics and Astronomy coffee mugs given to our departing seniors and 3/2 engineers. Most importantly, however, the Physics Alumni Fund is used to provide awards for students who have distinguished themselves academically and through service to the department.

You may be contacted to contribute to 125th Anniversary Campaign for Geneseo, a major fund-raising effort to raise at least $5 million for the College by 1997. Remember that you can designate your gift to the Physics Alumni Fund, if you so desire.

Thank you for your support!

energetic Physics Club

Brian Fisher, Student Correspondent

Physics at Geneseo has always meant vast amounts of pizza, and this past year was no exception. The Physics Club again consumed unfathomable amounts of pizza while furthering the cause of Physics throughout the Geneseo college community. In 1993-1994, President Bridget Emerling and her crack team of minions helped set up and deliver on a vast array of pizza-filled physics fun.

In the fall, the club, in conjunction with our neighbors on the third floor of Greene, established the now Annual Chemistry-Physics Football Game. Although we put up a valiant effort, the physics team succumbed to the overall mass of the chemistry team, by a score of 0-21 or 0-28, depending on whom you talk to. The club vowed to return the next year to seek revenge on the chemists, and then both teams assembled for a post-game party.

The football game whetted the club’s appetite for athletic competition, so broomball was the next logical step. The fall broomball league is female only. The physics club fielded its team, dubbed "Boltzmann’s Babes", with a group of intrepid young woman physicists of the 90’s. They didn’t win, but had a lot of fun showing that, indeed, ice has a lower coefficient of friciton than dry land. In the Spring, the coed team followed in the "Babes" footsteps, and determined how fast Paul King could slam into the wall without loosing consciousness.

Record numbers of conscious people attended the much less athletic fall and spring trips to Dr. Reber’s cabin in Pennsylvania. About 25 to 30 current students and recent alumni converged upon the cabin near Slate Run to fill their weekend with hiking, canoeing, napping, pun-hurling, Wagon-Wheeling, and consuming outrageous amounts of food. Certain anonymous attendees learned not to trust anyone when sleeping across the river. They awoke to find their canoe sitting safely on the opposite side. It was stolen in the middle of the night by some truly unruly physicists who thought it would be funny to see their reactions in the morning. We were not disappointed.

For 1994, the Physics Club elected Dana Lane as President and Dictator-For-Life, with Andy Schultz, Vice-Dictator; and Rob Fuentes as the ever-important job of Secretary/Treasurer. Dana has an ambitious agenda this year, including collaborative efforts with other academic clubs within Greene Science. The club is planning a hike through Letchworth State Park in the fall with the Geology and Geography Clubs, and is also planning a mountain bike excursion through Letchworth. The club is also setting up a day trip to the New York Division of the American Physical Society meeting in October at Binghamton, along with trips to RIT and the University of Rochester to visit their graduate and 3-2 Engineering programs. In addition, the tradition of Pizza-Filled excitement is sure to live on.

The Physics Club is always looking for ideas for interesting activities. Any ideas for activities or trips from anywhere are always welcome.

atomic physicists

"It would be a poor thing to be an atom in a universe without physicists... physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms."

- George Wald (b. 1906), U.S. biochemist. Foreword to L. J. Henderson, The Fitness of the Environment (1959)

Generate some power

Did you graduate from the Geneseo Physics and Astronomy Department and now hold a position of influence and authority in your organization, (or you know someone who does) ? Then why not look for ways in which our students could gain experience through a summer internship? If your company or laboratory has a summer research program for undergraduates, then please send us the information so that we can let our students know. If your organization has never supported such a program, see whether it would consider it. We like to find opportunities for Geneseo students to see how physics and engineering work in "the real world" through off-campus experiences. Drop us a line if you can enrich someone’s education through a summer internship.



Department of Physics and Astronomy Staff. (from left to right)

Savi Iyer,

Ken Kinsey,

S. Raj Chaudhury,

Fred Evangelista,

Jerry Reber,

Kurt Fletcher,

Dave Meisel,

Phil Alley,

Stephen Padalino.