Physics Department senior undergraduate students Tia Martineau and Kiersten Nunes spent their summer months contributing towards cutting-edge research in astrophysics.
Both students' projects were funded through the highly competitive National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program that is designed to offer research experiences to the nation's top undergraduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) areas.
Detecting dark matter
Tia Martineau '18 joined a research project that focused on detecting elusive dark matter particles at the University of Washington at Seattle.
Dark matter makes up 85% of the matter in the universe and yet is very poorly understood. Tia also had opportunities to work at the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium at Bryn Mawr College on spiral arms patterns in galaxies, and at NASA Ames Research Center for studying near-Earth asteroids. However, she chose to go to Seattle because of her deep interest in dark matter.
Studying the sun
Kiersten Nunes '18 spent her summer months at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics working on a research project about coronal mass ejections from the sun.
These ejections play a very important role in "space weather" that can significantly impact modern electronic and communication systems on earth. There are many important questions surrounding these ejections, and they can be extremely challenging to predict accurately.
UMass Dartmouth’s Physics Department has a strong reputation of placing its high-performing undergraduate and graduate students in top research programs, internships, graduate schools, and professional positions.