On April 8, 2014 five new members were inducted in Sigma Pi Sigma, the Physics Honor Society. To be inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma, students need to attain high standards of general scholarship and outstanding achievements in physics. Criteria for induction in the Wheaton Sigma Pi Sigma Chapter include not only numerical standards for grade and class rank, but also a record of active participation in, and service to the department, through research and teaching assistant positions, as well as being active in the Society of Physics Students.
This year's inductees, Alex Armstrong, David Martin, Michael Morken and James Tarka, all demonstrated this high level of commitment to physics by their involvement in summer research, high standards of scholarship, and excellent performance as teaching assistants in the department. In addition, also Dr. Robert Bishop was inducted as a member of Sigma Pi Sigma.
Wheaton College is home to one of the oldest chapters of Sigma Pi Sigma. Only ten years after the first chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma was founded in 1921 at Davidson College, the Wheaton College Chapter was chartered as the Upsilon (20th) Chapter. Since the beginning in 1931, 324 people have been inducted into the Wheaton College chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma. This represents many generations of experience and wisdom that can be brought to bear on matters of physics and common interest to all members.
Riley Mulhern (Geophysics '14) worked for six months with the organization Nuevas Esperanzas on the northern slopes of the Telica volcano in Nicaragua to identify water resources for volcano communities. Nuevas Esperanzas provides practical and technical assistance to communities in Nicaragua as they seek to establish sustainable livelihoods which lift them out of poverty and encourages transformational development at all levels of society. Riley's internship was part of the Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) program, an interdisciplinary program at Wheaton College, open for students from all majors, which aims to promote in students a commitment to confronting human needs through their lifestyle and vocational decisions.
To learn more about Riley's experience, visit the website of Nuevas Esperanzas >>.
Mindy Cartolano (Physics ’13) and Dr. Darren Craig received word that the paper they recently submitted to Physics of Plasmas has been accepted for publication. The paper entitled “Statistical analysis of variations in impurity ion heating at reconnection events in the Madison Symmetric Torus” summarizes research that Mindy did for her honor’s thesis at Wheaton. The published study describes observations of ion heating during reconnection in a large plasma experiment at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Reconnection is a process that converts magnetic energy to thermal or kinetic energy in plasmas. This process is active in laboratory plasmas and throughout the universe in places like the earth’s magnetosphere and the solar corona.
Mindy is currently pursuing a PhD in physics at the University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign. Read more about Dr. Craig's research here.