Dr. Moumita Dasgupta (Physics) Receives Grant Award from American Association of University Women

Dr. Dasgupta’s lab uses a quantitative approach to look at biological systems to help gain a better understanding of patterns that occur in living organisms. Motivated to understand the underlying physics of how DNA fold and condense to fit in a much smaller cell, Dr. Dasgupta came up with a simplistic mechanical model which mimics such an environment or “active” system. External grant funding from American Association of University Women (AAUW) in the amount of $34,700 will allow her and student researchers to investigate and understand how orientation of obstacles in the path of the proteins walking on the surface of DNA impacts the folding time, or “passage time” in this model. The Dasgupta lab will also computationally simulate this system to compare obtained results from the experimental model to have a better understanding of this complex biological phenomena. The title of the study is “Impact of Spatial Arrangement of Passive Obstacles on First Passage Time of an Active System.”

Photo Credit: “Jim Gipe Photo / Pivot Media”

Dr. Engebretson awarded NSF funding for collaborative space physics research

The National Science Foundation recently awarded Dr. Mark Engebretson, Professor Emeritus of Physics, and his team $396,635 over three years to support the project, “Collaborative Research:  Studies of ULF Waves Associated with Solar Wind Coupling to the Magnetosphere and Ionosphere.” (NSF ID: PLR-1341493)

In collaboration with Dr. Marc Lessard at the University of New Hampshire, Dr. Engebretson will continue to operate and analyze data from four ground-based induction magnetometers located in Antarctica (including South Pole Station) and two in the Arctic. The stations in this project are key links in arrays of ground-based ionospheric and magnetospheric observatories in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions. These observatories, together with both low-altitude and high-altitude NASA satellites, provide the data with which Engebretson, Lessard, and members of their team work to characterize and understand the physical processes occurring in Earth’s space environment.

The study of the Earth’s space environment has become increasingly important to our technologically–driven society.   Continue reading “Dr. Engebretson awarded NSF funding for collaborative space physics research”

Engebretson and MACCS team receive $425,919 grant from National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation has awarded a new three-year $425,919 research grant (NSF AGS-1264146) to Augsburg College’s Physics Department for continued operation of the Magnetometer Array for Cusp and Cleft Studies (MACCS), a longitudinally-extended array of 8 magnetometers located in Arctic Canada, and for space science research based on MACCS data. Continue reading “Engebretson and MACCS team receive $425,919 grant from National Science Foundation”

Physics Professor Receives NSF Funding to Continue Space Research

Dr. Mark Engebretson, Professor of Physics, was granted a three year, $185,940 award from NSF’s Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences for his project, “Collaborative research: Continued study of ultra low frequency (ULF) waves at cusp latitudes on Svalbard to probe earth’s space environment.” Continue reading “Physics Professor Receives NSF Funding to Continue Space Research”