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Professor and Student Work with Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Lainey S. Cronk, March 30, 2009
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Andrianarijaona in a physics class at PUC.

Can you measure the cross section of an electronic CT (charge transfer) in an isotopic system? Can you employ a variety of lasers and beams to generate specified molecular activity? Unless you are part of the research of Dr. Vola Andrianarijaona or researching experimental physics at the postgraduate level, chances are you cannot. This is just a sampling of the many-faceted research Andrianarijaona, who teaches in the physics department at Pacific Union College, is conducting in association with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Andrianarijaona's work is entitled "An Investigation of Charge Transfer in Low Energy D2+ + H Collisions using Merged Beams" and is scheduled to be presented at the Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP) convention at the University of Virginia later this year. He is joined by senior physics major Jerilynn Rada, who helps analyze data and compare it to previous experimentation.

Rada, who plans on attending graduate school, understands the importance of participating in such a project as an undergrad. "It really helped introduce me into the world of research and I was able to get my name out," she says. Andrianarijaona agrees and feels all science students should look for similar research opportunities. "Interaction with researchers sharpen a student's knowledge and is mandatory for those who want to go to graduate school," he says.

Although they are not looking to prove something specifically, their research will be considered and possibly applied by astrophysicists if "a good agreement can be achieved." An abstract of their work has also been submitted to the International Conference on Photonic, Electrical, and Atomic Collisions (ICPEAC) 2009.