Sophomore physics major earns prize for astronomy research

A Grove City College Physics major received a distinguished prize for his astronomy research at a recent physics conference.

Sophomore Darin Mumma’s work, entitled “Speckle Interferometry of Close Binary Star Systems,” was selected as runner-up in the undergraduate research poster competition at a joint meeting of the Society of Physics Students, the Ohio Section of the American Physical Society and the Ohio Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers in March at the College of Wooster in Ohio. 

“This recognition reveals that the value of research is not just in the research itself; it is also in the professional development the process entails. It also demonstrates that I have developed professionally alongside the guidance of professors and peers who improve me each and every day,” Mumma said.

Mumma’s poster details research conducted using Grove City College’s observatory – a facility located near Edinboro, Pa. – that houses a 20-inch reflecting telescope equipped with research-grade instrumentation.

“Darin’s efforts to characterize the orbits of visual binary stars using a technique that has only recently been possible using telescopes such as ours is an exciting breakthrough,” said Dr. James L. Clem, professor of Physics and Darin’s research advisor. “It demonstrates how important contributions can be made to current astronomical research by undergraduates.”

In attendance at the conference were ten members of the Grove City College Physics Club, along with their advisor Dr. DJ Wagner.  Physics students Kaleb Slaatthaug ’21, Noah Callinan ’22 and Aric Smith ’21 also presented research posters at the conference.

Sophomore physics major earns prize for astronomy research

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