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Hendrix Students Share Research at National Physics Meeting

Tours 4CONWAY, Ark. (January 31, 2017) – Three Hendrix College physics majors presented their undergraduate research this month at the American Physical Society (APS) meeting in Washington, D.C.

Tours 1 Tours 2 Tours 3The APS is the largest organization of physicists in the United States, and this annual meeting attracts over a thousand physicists from around the world to share recent findings in the field.

William Gardner ’18 of St. Louis, Missouri, presented research titled “Magnetic Enhancements to Dark Matter Annihilation,” which he completed at Hendrix under the direction of physics professor Dr. Todd Tinsley.

“Presenting research at the APS meeting was an amazing capstone opportunity for my work in Dr. Tinsley’s laboratory from the past two years,” said Gardner. “I was honored to participate in discussions with graduate students, professors, and other researchers which have helped me think about my studies after Hendrix.”

Karthik Garimella ’17 of Conway presented work he did on “Automated Approaches to RFI Flagging” with Dr. Kumar Golap and Dr. Emmanuel Momjian at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, New Mexico.

“The APS April Meeting was a great way to present my research to fellow undergraduates who were interested in similar real-world problems,” said Garimella. “I was able to network with several graduate students and attend many lectures on the ongoing research in physics such as gravitational waves.”

Joseph Matson ’17 of Cherokee Village, Arkansas, presented “Anisotropic Differential Reflectance Spectroscopy of Thin GeSe” based on the research he did with Dr. Hugh Churchill at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville as part of the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

“The APS conference was a great opportunity to see the variety of research going on in the physics community,” said Matson. “It was also my first experience presenting a research poster, so it was a valuable learning experience.”

Garimella and Matson were recognized by the APS and the Society of Physics Students with Outstanding Presentation Awards.

“I attended the meeting and was incredibly proud of these three students. They represented themselves, their research, and our institution well,” said Tinsley. “I was also delighted to see how fully they invested themselves in the other aspects of the scientific program."

Their visit ended with a tour from Dr. Jay Hansen, a Research Physicist in the Clock Development Division of the Time Service Department at the United States Naval Observatory (USNO). The USNO is responsible for the timekeeping for the Department of Defense and is the source of timing for GPS systems. Students were able to see many of the atomic clocks used in USNO’s timing array and optical clocks under development in the laboratory.

The group’s travel was supported in part by the Hendrix Odyssey Program.

About Hendrix College

Hendrix College is a private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas. Founded in 1876 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884, Hendrix is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges and is nationally recognized in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings for academic quality, community, innovation, and value. For more information, visit