Faculty Research in Physics
Dr. Rex Taibu: Physics Education Research (PER)
Dr. Rex Taibu has taught studio physics classes for several years. His teaching experience has shaped his research focus. Currently, Dr. Taibu is actively engaged in promoting scientific inquiry attitudes in students through designing, implementing, and assessing innovative inquiry based physics labs. The idea is to explore the many ways (inductive, deductive design, etc.) inquiry learning can be implemented in a laboratory classroom. Dr. Taibu's interest in inquiry lab instruction is driven by an understanding that the traditional approach to lab instruction (which provides step-by-step procedures for students to follow), suppresses students' thinking, makes it difficult for students to construct meaning, and does not provide students with the opportunity to appreciate the nature of science. Dr. Taibu believes that the experiences he gives to his students will later on become even more valuable to students in their future Undergraduate Research projects.
QCC Space Weather Research and Education Program
Dr. M. Chantale Damas
Program Director: Dr. M. Chantale Damas
Location: Physics Department, Room S-343
The Queensborough Community College (QCC) has partnered with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the City College of New York (CCNY) to design and implement a high impact practice integrated research and education program in solar, geospace and atmospheric physics under the umbrella discipline of space weather. The program is aimed at both enhancing the STEM experience of community college students, and increase the participation of groups historically under-represented in STEM fields. Students are engaged in a year-long research experience with two components: 1) during the academic year, students are enrolled in a course-based introductory research (CURE) where they conduct research on real-world problems; and 2) during the summer, students are placed in research internships at NASA, CCNY and other partner institutions. Through a strong collaboration with partner institutions, the project will train and retain women and underrepresented community college students in STEM fields.
All students as early as their first semester can participate. Students must commit to being part of the program for one full academic year plus the summer. Only US citizen and permanent residents can receive stipends. Women and underrepresented minorities are especially encouraged.
For participation in the program, students will receive a $5,000 stipemd in the summer. The pogram provides travel awards to students to attend national science conferences to present their work.
This program is mainly supported by the National Science Foundation Geosciences Directorate under NSF Award Number DES-1446704, and the NASA MUREP Community College Curriculum Improvement (MC3I) under NASA Award Number NNX15AV96A. This program is partially supported by NSF award AGS-1359293 REU; QCC US Department of Education Queensborough MSEIP (P120A140057); CUNY Research Scholars
Dr. Sunil Dehipawala: Material Science Research
Principal Investigator: Sunil Dehipawala
We investigate properties such as electronic, optical, magnetic, and structural properties of materials. The macroscopic properties of materials depend on microscopic properties of atoms and molecules. For example charge state of metals and near neighbor bond length & type of neighboring atoms determine majority of properties of metal compounds. Recently synthesis and characterization of nano particles became very hot field in the research. We conduct research on synthesis and characterization of nano particles such as iron, cobolt, and palladium. We used simple synthesis techniques such as sol-gel method, spin coating or vapor deposition. In addition to we conduct research to learn pathways and conditions of arsenic absorption by plants. We use several different techniques such as UV_Vis-Near IR absorption, Mossbauer Spectroscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy and X ray absorption to characterize samples. Synchrotron sources at Brookhaven laboratory and Cornell university use for X-ray absorption experiments (EXAFS and XANES). Several Queensborough students were able to conduct experiments at these facilities and publish their findings at national and regional meetings.
Dr. Raul Armendariz: Cosmic Ray Lab
Assistant Professor Armendariz's research is in particle physics, astrophysics, and electronic detector technology. Students in the group are designing an educational array of cosmic ray detectors consisting of fluorescent plastic scintillator, photomultiplier tubes, and data acquisition electronics; through collaborative efforts select students conduct research at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Assistant Professor Armendariz manages the QCC QuarkNet Center's educational outreach program with high school physics teachers.
Dr. Jillian Bellovary: Unveiling Massive Black Holes in Cosmological Simulation
Professor Bellovary's research group uses state of the art cosmological simulations to study how massive black holes form and evolve. These simulations incorporate the full details of galaxy formation, including star formation, supernova explosions, gas heating and cooling, and black hole formation and growth. In particular, the group is interested in studying massive black holes in dwarf galaxies, which have recently been detected in the nearby universe. These most massive black holes in the tiniest galaxies possess many mysteries. By using a simulation that spans the history of the universe, Professor Bellovary's group focuses on the formation and subsequent evolution of massive black holes in both satellite and isolated dwarf galaxies.