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H1N1, Biodegradable Plastics and Nuclear Physics Highlight Research Areas Undertaken During Houghton College's Summer Research Institute
Date:5/25/2010

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Karen Torraca, will work with two students this summer toward the development of a “green” synthetic method for the conversion of alcohols to ketones or aldehydes. Their ultimate goal will be to develop not only a “green” process, but also one that is amenable to large-scale use where it will have the greatest environmental impact. Their search will focus on the use of palladium catalysts to complete the oxidation of various alcohols to ketones or aldehydes under mild conditions.
 
  • Mark Yuly, professor of physics, and three students, Katrina Koehler, Adam Silvernail and Nick Fuller, will be collaborating with researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Kentucky on two nuclear physics experiments at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE). The first experiment is an active target measurement of n+p ’ d+³ neutron capture cross sections at low energies, which are important for Big Bang nucleosynthesis models. For the second experiment, a Time Projection Chamber is being constructed that will allow measurement of high precision fission cross sections needed for advanced nuclear reactor design codes.

Houghton established the undergraduate Summer Research Institute in 2007 to bring together physics, chemistry, biology, math and computer science faculty and students into a more intense research environment. For more information, visit
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H1N1, Biodegradable Plastics and Nuclear Physics Highlight Research Areas Undertaken During Houghton College's Summer Research Institute
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