Posts Tagged ‘DANGO’

The Research Special

0 Commentsby   |  07.16.13  |  Department, Research

We are proud to have students and Faculty at prestigious research labs and universities for summer research projects.  We can be found at our typical summer haunts working at ACU, Brookhaven National Lab in New York, FermiLab near Chicago, and the Albert Einstein Institute in Hannover, Germany.  We also have a new project at the University of Illinois, and two students on summer REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) projects at Illinois and the Colorado School of Mines.

We are thrilled that ACU has produced a new video highlighting our summer research!  Enjoy this Wildcat Video Minute (ok, two-and-a-half minutes):

WVM header

Notice that this is linked to a playlist on our spiffy new Youtube Channel!

Want to learn more about our research?  Want to know what it is like to be an ACU student at the lab?  No problem, have some DANGO.  Here’s the June issues of our DANGO (the Doings ANd Goings On) newsletter–now with the picture of the week:


-Dr. D



Summer 2013 – DANGO #1


0 Commentsby   |  05.27.13  |  Department, Fun, Research

Happy Memorial Day!

This year, I am spending mine in the PHENIX control room at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider in New York along with Dr. Towell and 4 ACU students.  We have been responsible for running a $100 million experiment from 8 am – 4 pm since last Tuesday.  So far, the all-ACU crew has done a great job: no explosions, no fire balls, no oxygen masks, no black holes, and lots and lots of physics.

There is a real chance that this year we will record enough data to make the first W-boson measurement with the muon arms which will give a very important clue on the structure of the proton.  Simulations for this measurement were started in 2002. A grant from the NSF was awarded to ACU, UIUC, and two other universities in 2005. The detectors were constructed and installed in 2011. If this run is successful and we can fast track the analysis, then hopefully we will finally publish results in 2014–making this a 12 year project that has involved dozens and dozens of ACU students.

For the last 18 years we have a long-standing tradition of writing a summer department newsletter called DANGO (the Doings ANd Goings On).  Today, we continue this hallowed tradition:

DANGO 2013 Issue #1

-Dr. D




0 Commentsby   |  07.26.12  |  Uncategorized

Haven’t had your recommended daily allowance of DANGO?  Well, you’re in luck:

Research on, my friends.

-Dr. D

Research Updates


0 Commentsby   |  07.02.12  |  Research

This week is a two-for-one double DANGO update as we clear our plates in preparation of this week’s big physics news:

Make your plans to celebrate Higgsdependence Day this Wednesday.

-Dr D.

Summer of Physics 2012


0 Commentsby   |  06.25.12  |  Research


It was almost hard to believe that another school year had come and gone already.  Before we knew it, we were triaging our schedules to figure out what had to be done before we left town and what would get put off a few more weeks months, packing up the car, and driving off to the lab.

This summer we’ve got two students at ACU doing phonon imaging with Dr. Head, four students smashing atoms at Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island in New York with Dr. Daugherity and Dr. Towell, four more students doing nuclear physics research at FermiLab near Chicago with Dr. Isenhower, two students working on a fission detector for NIFFTE at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico and at Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California, and one student with Dr. Willis looking for gravity waves at the Albert Einstein Institute in Germany.   It is safe to say that this is one of our busiest summers ever!  (Hence the length of time it took me to get this post up…)  During this summer the sun never sets on ACU’s research.

There are lots of ways to talk about cutting-edge physics research.  There is the big picture overview of how we’re slowly unraveling the mysteries of the universe (and why that is worth our time and money).  There is the discussion on societal impact of how basic science research fuels technology growth, the economy, and (our primary focus) educating the next generation of people who will work in fields which haven’t even been invented yet.  Ultimately, this blog is about what ACU is doing in scientific research, so I’ll let most of our story this summer be told through the eyes of our students.

The day-to-day work of research is not likely what you would expect.  We rarely wear lab coats or safety goggles.  One day we’re writing code, the next day we’re soldering wires, the next day we’re going to a conference, or operating a $500 million detector, or (like today) building dams out of duct tape and styrofoam to keep the water away from our equipment during this torrential downpour.  We have high tech and low tech, exciting days and mundane days, and lots of setbacks for every breakthrough.

Here’s the first chapter of our story.  This is our first edition of our newsletter called the Doings ANd Goings On (DANGO) of ACU Physics Research:

DANGO 2012, Issue #1

-Dr. D



Physics Department Update


0 Commentsby   |  07.22.11  |  Department, Engineering

I’d like to give you a short status update on the physics department.  I’m motivated to do this do because during the past two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to:

  • welcome 16 of the new students joining our department this fall,
  • attend the ninth Christian Engineering Education Conference, and
  • see first hand how our students are contributing to research at ACU, BNL, and LANL.

If I’m allowed to speak presidentially, then I’d say the state of our department is outstanding.  We have a current group of students that are excellent and accomplishing great things this summer.  Read our latest DANGO reports for more details (see below).  We have a very promising group of students arriving this fall and there are more scheduled for the August passport session that I haven’t had the opportunity to welcome to campus yet, but I look forward to doing that soon.

Finally, the faculty of the Department of Physics has worked extremely diligently over the past year to develop a plan to change us into the Department of Physics and Engineering.  Experts in Engineering, Business, Finance, and Recruiting from both inside and outside of the university have reviewed our plan and everyone has been very supportive.  Clearly there is a great student demand for Engineering and we believe we can develop a world-class engineering program that will compliment our current physics program.  It was exciting to me to attend the Christian Engineering Educators Conference and hear about how Christians who engineer are leading and serving for Christ.  I heard about how faculty and students participate in engineering mission trips and I participated in some discussions of how God is the ultimate designer.  There is definitely a place for engineering at ACU.  Currently we are looking for the right Christian engineering professor to help develop and lead this program.  If you know of a professor that may be qualified, please pass their name on to me.

God has blessed us in many ways and I’m excited about what is in store for the Department of Physics (and Engineering?).

–Dr. Rusty Towell, Department Chair

Life at the Labs


0 Commentsby   |  06.30.11  |  Research

It is fun and easy to talk about huge colliders, massive experiments, and the latest cool results, but often the day-to-day life gets overlooked.  Curious about cutting-edge physics research as viewed through the eyes of our students?  Well, until the movie comes out you can read our latest Doings ANd Goings On at the link below:

DANGO 2011 – Issue #2

-Dr. D

Summer 2011 Research


0 Commentsby   |  06.22.11  |  Research

After a long, beautiful hibernation, we are back with this summer’s physics research!

This summer we’ve got students and professors working in New York, Chicago, Colorado, New Mexico, and Idaho.  Not bad for a physics department from small-town west Texas.  Most of our work falls under the umbrella of nuclear physics by studying the structure of the proton and directly measuring nuclear fission processes.  We also have students who have recently worked on various research projects in medical physics, homeland security, and optics just to name a few.  Of course, the research experience helps our graduates go off to a huge array of different fields in physics, engineering, education, and computing.

My plan is to let you hear directly from the students about their summer research experiences, so for the first time I am posting a copy of our weekly newsletter: the Doings ANd Goings On (DANGO) of the ACU Physics department.  Since our group is quite literally scattered across the country, we have the students and professors write a weekly status update for the DANGO newsletter.  By our records, this is the 17th year of DANGO (and the 30th year of nuclear physics research at ACU).

Research is an inherently messy process.  The User’s Center here at Brookhaven National Lab has a poster with quote from Einstein on the wall:

“If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research”

DANGO captures it all.  The joy and the sorrow.  The triumphs and the suffering.  The work and the play.  The serious and the not-so-serious.  The difficult process of doing something which has never been done before.  And you’re welcome to come along for the ride.

Click on the link to download:  DANGO 2011 – Issue #1

-Dr. D