Recent grants awarded to the Luther Physics Department:
Grant money is used to buy the equipment and supplies that make research possible. It also can support travel to research facilities and conferences, as well as stipends for student work during the summer.
The Physics Department uses the Emil Miller Memorial Endowment Fund to support multiple students each summer. Many Luther physics students have also participated in NSF-supported Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs at universities across the country.
In 2008, the National Science Foundation awarded Dr. Flater and her collaborators Dr. Borovsky of St. Olaf College and Dr. Ashurst of Auburn University with a Research at an Undergraduate Institution grant for the amount of $116,444. The award supports faculty members and summer research students to investigate the frictional properties of phosphonate self-assembled monolayers.
In 2007, the Department received a $159,000 Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation. This grant allowed for the purchase of an atomic force microscope used for Dr. Flater's research projects designed to probe the nature of friction at the nanoscale.
In 2007, an Iowa College Foundation Grant of $2,000 provided funds used by Dr. Wilkerson and his students to search for new variable stars in the field of open cluster NGC2286.
In 2006 the National Science Foundation provided an RUI grant of $138,000 for Dr. Pedlar's study of heavy quark mesons. The grant funds equipment, student stipends and travel associated with the research. The Department also received two Iowa College Foundation McElroy grants for a total of $4,000. The grants supported work in particle physics and astrophysics.
In 2004 an Iowa College Foundation McElroy Grant of $1,750 supported the study of variable stars in star clusters by Dr. Wilkerson and his students.
In 2001 the Department received an Iowa College Foundation Maytag Grant of $2,000 for the spectroscopic study of supernovae.
In 2000 an Iowa College Foundation McElroy Grant of $2,000 supported the development of an astronomical spectrograph. This year the department also received $129,000 from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust to support all aspects of astronomical observing.
In 1999 the Roy J. Carver charitable Trust provided $129,000 for upgrading the astronomical observing facilities at Luther. The grant provided equipment and facilities used in research as well as classroom work and public outreach.
In 1998 an NSF ILI grant of $10,171 was used to acquire telescopes, cameras and filters for astronomical work.