Women in Science (WinS) is an active science club at Ohio Wesleyan that is dedicated to sharing new and exciting scientific discoveries and advancements with the general student body. Last week’s presentation didn’t disappoint, as OWU physics and astronomy professor Robert Haring-Kaye spoke about “Searching for Gold in the Wild West and the Exotic East of the Nuclear Landscape.” Every Friday WinS has a guest speaker (be it an OWU professor or another outside source) come and present his or her findings or the findings of others within the field. Haring-Kaye discussed how some nuclei stray away from the known lines of stability and are viewed as outliers within nuclear physics. Two such regions, as he affectionately described them, are the “Wild West” and the “Exotic East.” He explained that all published research regarding these nuclei is based heavily on rules set forth by quantum mechanics due to their exceedingly miniscule size. Haring-Kaye also examined various applications of nuclear physics and some of the helpful discoveries that have been made as a result, citing the MRI machine as a prime example of advancement in the scientific field of study.
“History suggests some very important technology has been developed as the result of nuclear physics and the research done with it,” he explained.
The main portion of his lecture focused on student-staff research concerning specific nuclei and the creation of said nuclei and ultimately, determining what type of symmetry that a nucleus possesses. He stressed that these projects offer great opportunities for student involvement and have proven to be invaluable assets in the overall research.
“We host these lectures every Friday and include a guest speaker—and pizza—as a way of encouraging students to take part in recognizing areas of scientific research being done in modern society,” said Alyson Michael ’14, co-president of WinS. Everyone is invited!