Members of our senior class investigated an impressive range of research topics in the past year.

Scott Adler ’19

Advisor: Beth Parks

Building an Inexpensive Data Logger to Monitor Solar Cell Tracking

My lab has developed a gravity-based solar tracking system to increase solar power output, potentially making solar energy more affordable in the developing world.  In order to test this tracking system in homes and businesses, an inexpensive data logger is required.  I have designed and built a data logger based on the Arduino platform that can be used for this purpose

Jocelyne Andrade ’19

Advisor: Jeff Bary

An Infrared Study of T-Tauri Stars

Josephson T-Tauri binary stars have protoplanetary disks where interesting drivers of evolution exist. Chief among these are accretion, jets and winds. As these systems age, they become good candidates for the formation of new planetary systems. This project involves the study of infrared spectra of three T-Tauri binaries.

Tara Atkinson ’19

Advisor: Jonathan Levine

Understanding Energy in a Quantifiable Way

This project is showing how we can prove conservation of energy in a class and lab setting. By turning buckshot over and over, energy switches from potential to kinetic. The temperature change of the system will help us physically see energy being conserved.

Anthony Castillo ’19

Advisor: Jonathan Levine

Measuring Abundances of Elements Using Different Laser Powers

We are working on a mass spectrometer that will be used to date rocks on Mars. I looked at data that came in from the instrument after switching the nanosecond laser on the device to a femtosecond laser. We want to look at different components that may improve the calculation of ages.

Kathryn Chapman ’19

Advisor: Patrick Crotty

Gravitational Production of WIMPzillas During Inflation

dark matter is a mystification

don’t despair, we can look to inflation

the vacuum state changed but WIMPzilla's stayed the same

this, says QFT, is particle creation

Brianna Holmes ’19

Advisor: Kiko Galvez

Generating Bessel Poincaré Beams

For my project, I sought to model and generate Bessel Poincare` beams, which are a type of nondiffracting beam that contains every state of polarization. In order to do this, I utilized Matlab, Spatial Light Modulators, and polarimetry to generate and then verify that these were Bessel Poincaré beams.

Jin Won Huh ’19

Advisor: Kiko Galvez

Quantum Talbot Effect

Talbot effect is the result of near-field diffraction of light. In near-field diffraction, light will form repeating fractal images of the diffraction source. I investigated the Talbot effect with the quantum nature of light.

Laura Leonard ’19

Advisor: Cosmin Ilie

Higgs Inflation

This project aimed to understand and investigate how the naïve model of Higgs inflation is not sufficient for satisfying slow roll inflation conditions, and then looked to instate how non-minimal coupling could be a solution.

Liam McGovern ’19

Advisor: Beth Parks

Measuring Building Insulation

My project made improvements to a system designed to measure building insulation.  I used a Raspberry Pi to build a back-up data collection system, and tested the data collection in the new Career Services building at Colgate.

Jillian Perkins ’19

Advisor: Jonathan Levine

Development of a Rock-Dating Spectrometer for Spaceflight

Professor Levine and a colleague in Boulder, CO are building an instrument, the purpose of which is to be sent into space to date rocks in their own geographical contexts. However, recently, we are having a problem with the data coming from the instrument in that it gives the incorrect age of our standard, the Duluth Gabbro. We have been looking at possible factors that could be causing this, and I focused on one in particular, the decreased ablation laser diameter, for my project. Tune in to learn more and see how the tale unravels!

Lekshmi Rajagopal ’19

Advisor: Tom Balonek

Variable Star Photometry

Variable star photometry with DSLR cameras using the eclipsing binary system RZ Cassiopeia as a model.

Alina Sabyr ’19

Advisor: Jeff Bary

Spectral Analysis of Accretion & Outflow Signatures in Young Binary Stellar Systems

Spectral reduction and analysis of oxygen and hydrogen features in TTauri binary systems for the purpose of studying the accretion and disk dispersal in young stars.

Jonathan Schuldt ’19

Advisor: Rob Salgado

An Exploration of Trigonometry in 2-dimensional Negative Curvature Space-times

Using simple geometry, trigonometry and calculus, we have created a method to better understand 2-dimensional, negatively curved spacetimes with an emphasis on special relativity and the twin paradox.

Allison Shahidi ’19

Advisor: Linda Tseng

Contamination of the Susquehanna River Watershed in Hamilton, NY

This project combines velocity data and water samples from several sites along Payne Creek to determine the loads of various contaminants in this local stream. Contaminants studied include metals, pharmaceuticals, and illicit drugs.  

Araven Tiroumalechetty ’19

Advisor: Linda Tseng


The development of a suitable microplastics model system to study their potential uses, with specific focus on leaching and adsorption processes.

Victory Unigwe ’19

Advisor: Rob Salgado

Space-Time Geometry and Anti-DeSitter Space

This is an investigation into the geometric analogues of flat space in order to expand and apply their properties in curved space. This allows us to gain an understanding of relativistic behaviors in curved spacetimes, specifically Anti-DeSitter Space. Here, we can attempt to take a look at problems like the twin paradox and the “clock effect” while searching for a generalized formula to demystify space-time geometries.

Faith Williams ’19

Advisor: Kiko Galvez

Quantum Entanglement in Medical Diagnosis

Brain Tissue + Entangled Photons = WOW!

Nina Wittler ’19

Advisor: Kiko Galvez

Creating Pendulum Beams

Creation of pendulum beams and investigation into their relationship to the quantum pendulum.

Chenglu Wu ’19

Advisor: Jeff Bary

Measure the Sizes and Temperatures of Spots on Pre-Main Sequence Stars

Starspot is one of the most ubiquitous and significant feature of stars and my research adopts the method of synthetic spectrum to study the starspots of young T Tauri Stars.

Saiyang Zhang ’19

Advisor: Cosmin Ilie

SIMPzilla Capture by the First Stars

I studied several papers on models for dark matter being captured by massive objects like the sun or the First Stars and verified their simulations by programming. Based on equations adopted from literature, a new model for SIMPzilla captured by the first star was proposed. The First Stars were formed near the center of the dark matter halos. SIMPzilla particles came from far away from the star in the dark matter halo, entering the surface of the star and colliding elastically with nucleons. After many collisions, among some of the SIMPzillas, their speed were slowed down to be smaller than the escape velocity of the star. Then, they were captured by and condensed at the core of the star.