The Science Seminar Series: February 4, 2010
Undergraduate Research, from Balloons to Europa
Dr. Tom Manning
Department of Chemistry
Valdosta State University
Time: 4:00 -5:00pm
This talk will provide brief overviews on several research projects that are taking place this academic year. The first is the design of a nano-satellite by four students that is powered and controlled by nanotech components. Its mission is to deliver genetic material to the moon Europa. Second, three students are involved in three weather balloon launches to the top of the stratosphere. The launches are planned from different locations in south Georgia and north Florida. The payload on each launch includes electronic monitoring equipment and high tech material made at VSU that will be studied to examine the effects of extremes in radiation, pressure and temperature of the upper atmosphere (100,000 ft) on the carbon based material. Third, a student is working on a novel experiment using concentrated microwaves to make C60 or fullerenes that has been developed and is being further tested will be discussed. Two students are using multiangle laser light scattering (MALLS) to study the aqueous phase structure of DNA fragments and the aggregation of certain drugs. Also, our periodic puzzle project, a collaborative project with students in Cuba, (www.valdosta.edu/periodicpuzzles ) will be outlined. Finally, the current status of our bacteria farms in the Gulf of Mexico that are producing pharmaceutical agents will be outlined.