SSAP 2017 Symposium
HiPSEC students and faculties at the SSAP 2017 Symposium on April 12-13, 2017 in Naperville, IL.
AWARD! UNLV graduate students Daniel Sneed and Jason Baker won poster presentations awards at the SSAP 2017 Symposium.
2016 Quadrennial Physics Congress
HiPSEC members Jason Baker, Pamela Burnley and Jasmine Hinton attended the 2016 Quadrennial Physics Congress (PhysCon) as exhibitors. PhysCon is a meeting for undergraduate physics students sponsored by the American Institute of Physics and Sigma Pi Sigma. We brought our new demonstration DAC and showed students how to use pressure to freeze water at room temperature. We were enthusiastically received and talked to hundreds of students about HiPSEC.
New CO2 laser heating facilities at HPCAT
The development of a new CO2 laser heating system has been initiated by HiPSEC researchers in the Salamat group in collaboration with scientists at HPCAT. Once completed, the system will be compatible across various beamlines in APS Sector 16 and opens up the capability to perform high-pressure high-temperature experiments on wide band gap materials up to several thousand Kelvin, with in situ X-ray diffraction and spectroscopic measurements.
(L-R: Jesse Smith and Eric Rod of HPCAT, Dean Smith, Christian Childs and Ashkan Salamat of HiPSEC)
GRADUATION! VAHE MKRTCHYAN graduated with his M.S. Physics degree August, 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Cornelius and Dr. Ravhi Kumar. His thesis work entitled “Structural Behavior of NbSexTe2-x Compounds Under High Pressure” was supported by HiPSEC. Vahe is continuing his education in the Ph.D. program in the Physics and Astronomy Department at UNLV under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Cornelius and Dr. Ravhi Kumar.
GRADUATION! DANIEL SNEED graduated with his M.S. Physics degree August, 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Michael Pravica. His thesis work entitled “Forcing Cesium into Higher Oxidation States via Useful Hard X-ray Induced Chemistry at Extreme Conditions” was supported by HiPSEC. Daniel is continuing his education in the Ph.D. program in the Physics and Astronomy Department at UNLV under the supervision of Dr. Ashkan Salamat.
Extreme Crystals Weekend Undergraduate workshop
On the weekend of April 9 – 10, 2016 HiPSEC held its first annual Extreme Crystals Weekend Workshop for undergraduate students. Twenty students from around the country came to Las Vegas to learn about high pressure physics, chemistry and geoscience. The workshop included demonstrations of diamond anvil cells, laser heating, large volume high pressure apparatus, shock experiments, x-ray and electron diffraction and Raman spectroscopy. The workshop also featured talks and discussions about careers in high pressure science and information about working at the National Labs and NASA as well as in academic environments. The workshop was a lot of fun for everyone involved. HiPSEC members enjoyed the participant’s energy and enthusiasm, the students enjoyed seeing the wide variety of science and instrumentation on display, and with the exception of a brief period of violent rainstorms and flash flooding, everyone enjoyed the mild spring temperatures.
GRADUATION! QUINLAN SMITH graduated with his M.S. Physics degree May, 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Michael Pravica. His thesis work entitled “Impedance Spectroscopy Studies of Yttria Stabilized Zirconia (3.8% mol YSZ) Under Extreme Pressures and Temperatures” was supported by HiPSEC. Quinlan took a job as a Laboratory Assistant at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
GRADUATION! ANDREW ALVARADO graduated with his M.S. Physics degree May, 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Changfeng Chen. His thesis work entitled “High Pressure Properties of Several Narrow Bandgap Semiconductors from First-Principles Calculations” was supported by HiPSEC. Andrew is continuing his education in the Ph.D. Material Science program at UCLA.
GRADUATION! CHRIS HIGGINS graduated with his M.S. Physics degree May, 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Changfeng Chen. His thesis work entitled “Ab Initio Structure Determination and Property Characterization of High-Pressure Ca-O Compounds and Li2(OH)Br Crystals” was supported by HiPSEC. Chris is continuing his education in the Ph.D. program in the Physics and Astronomy Department at UNLV under the supervision of Dr. Ashkan Salamat.
PUBLISHED! Equation of state for technetium from X-ray diffraction and first-principle calculations.
Technetium is the lightest radioelement, meaning that every isotope is radioactive and because of this has but the smallest natural abundance. It is however a major fission product from nuclear fission reactions and produced on the kilogram scale at nuclear reactors around the world. To date, no structural studies have investigated the high pressure behavior of this metal likely due to the implicit challenges with working with radioactive material. Utilizing HPCAT experimental facilities at the Advanced Photon Source, ANL, Ph.D. student Daniel Mast obtained the first x-ray diffraction experiments up to 67GPa. An experimental equation of state for technetium was derived compared to a theoretical compression curve. (Mast et al, Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids, 95 (2016) 6-11, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpcs.2016.03.007)
SSAP 2016 SYMPOSIUM Several HiPSEC members, including 10 students, attended the meeting in Bethesda, Maryland.