Jose A. Ceja

Advisor: Dr. Stephen R. Walton

A study of sunspots' polarized light in the visible and infrared bands can provide insight into the Sun's most interesting characteristic: its magnetic field. Such analysis yields maps of the magnetic field properties of sunspots, aiding the overall study of the Sun’s global field. Even though I use the same data that has been used for years at the San Fernando Observatory, I analyze it with a "new" method which can yield a more complete look of what goes on in these solar active regions. My research is funded by an NSF grant.

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Barbara Falkowski

Advisor: Dr. Ryoichi Seki

Currently I am working on the CHICOS (California High school Cosmic ray Observatory). The goal of this project is to investigate very high energy cosmic rays, and possibly discover their source. My part in this project is to calculate the variation of a distribution of particles caused by a cosmic ray hitting the atmosphere at a given energy. I am doing this using a computer program which simulates the "air showers" caused by cosmic rays. Air showers are cascades of fast moving elementary particles that result from the collision of a cosmic ray with a molecule in the atmosphere.

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David Miccolis

Advisor: Dr. Cristina Cadavid

After many years of study the Sun still has its secrets. One such mystery is the mechanism for transporting heat from the Photosphere (visible layer) to the outer atmosphere. We are analyzing a data set consisting of a 9 hour sequence of near simultaneous, high resolution and high cadence intensity images in the Photosphere and Chromosphere, together with magnetic images of lower resolution and cadence. We find that discrete darkening events in the Photosphere are precursors of brightenings in the Chromosphere 2 minutes later. The timing and coupling of Photospheric events and Chromosphere heating appear to be regulated by a pre-existing 4 minute oscillation of the solar atmosphere. At the time of the events, there is evidence of power in waves with periods 1-8 minutes. The magnetic field behaves as a passive tracer of horizontal photospheric flows that converge on the Photospheric events, suggesting that the waves are purely acoustic.

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Mayra Tovar

Advisor: Dr. Nicholas Kioussis

In my research project, I will be studying the properties of intermetallic surfaces. The intermetallic to be studied will be either Ni3Al or NiAl. In order to observe such properties, I will add water to the surface to see how oxidation changes those properties. It is believed that oxidation can act as a protective layer, making the material a stronger one. Carrying out tests of total energy versus number of k-points and energy cutoff for energy minimization is done mostly at zero temperature. However, nonzero temperature tests might also be performed; it has been observed that the mechanical strength of Ni3Al increases with temperature, contrary to other materials.

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