Centenary Physics Major Conducts Summer Research at University of Pittsburgh

Contact: Lynn B. Stewart, Centenary News Service
318-869-5120 or 869-5709

SHREVEPORT, La.-- Aljay Foreman, a senior physics major at Centenary College, spent the summer in an undergraduate summer research program in the Physics Department at the University of Pittsburgh.

The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, and is one of 60 nationwide in physics, materials and astronomy, and 300 nationwide in the full range of science, mathematics and engineering. The aim of these programs is for the academic curriculum to come alive as undergraduates participate as junior partners in ongoing projects.

Foreman worked in a materials science engineering group, under the direction of Professor William Soffa, measuring the magnetic properties of manganese-aluminum-carbon on the nanoscale. The aim of this research is to see if there is a change in properties accompanying changes in the particle size of the material. The ball-milling technique will be used to make ultra-fine grained alloys, and the novel and extraordinary properties of the sample will be studied using the VSM (Vibrational Sample Magnetometer).

Foreman, in his words, "learned plenty of new things concerning magnets. By being able to participate in a study like this, I was able to become familiar with the different components that can affect the properties of magnets." Different ball-milling periods combined with various heat treatment times can affect the coercivity and saturation magnetization, which can be measured on the VSM. Foreman conducted research as part of a group that is researching other magnetic materials at the University of Pittsburgh.