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Citadel News Service
27 Apr 2012

Physics students awarded grant to fund research

Citadel physics cadets Djordon Porter and Ryan Boodee, along with former student Drew Farr, designed an experiment to study the characteristics of tiny particles known as carbon dots. The students, who are members of The Citadel’s chapter of the Society of Physics Students, submitted an undergraduate research proposal to Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, to request financial support.

The intercollegiate organization, with more than 700 chapters throughout the country, awarded the students a grant totaling $1,900 for their project entitled Fluorescent Quantum Sized Carbon Dots Isolated in an RF Paul Trap.  In this experiment, the students examine the light emitted from tiny carbon dots. 

To isolate the particles for analysis, the team is soldering together storage device called an ion trap, which is about the size of a deck of cards. “Some of the really fun stuff for me is building,” said Cadet Boodee, who is a sophomore physics major from Raleigh, N.C.  Boodee is looking forward to use lasers to study the brightness of the isolated particles.  “It’s been a really exciting project.”

The Citadel chapter of Society of Physics Students is one of nine to receive monetary awards, which are funded by members of Sigma Pi Sigma.  The students will submit a final report on their project by the end of 2012. 

“I want to get my doctorate in some type of physical science,” said Cadet Djordon Porter, a sophomore from Columbia, S.C. “Having had this opportunity, I am now thinking of maybe doing a doctorate thesis in quantum physics because I can advance the world.” 

To see a video of the cadets explaining the experiment, visit the School of Science and Mathematics by clicking here: www.citadel.edu/root/ssm.

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