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Nuffield Research Placement

28th Sep 2018

Congratulations to Year 13 students Emily Shacketon and Suhyun Maeng on their recent Nuffield Research placement.

Emily Shackleton  

For 4 weeks during the summer, I was lucky enough to be working as part of the Lancaster University Physics Department Neutrino Group, under Dr Andrew Blake. My project was focused on the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), a neutrino detector that is currently being built in America. Neutrinos are tiny, neutral particles that are extremely different to detect, but they are a part of a significant area of research due to their ability to change types, or oscillate. Part of my research involved writing code in C++ that would create histograms and graphs, in order to investigate the different parameters that affect neutrino oscillation probabilities. Two of these parameters still have unknown values, and one of my tasks was to see how the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment will be able to narrow the known ranges of these parameters, given that it will be much more advanced than the current generation of detectors. I also had to calculate many statistics to evaluate the most likely values of these different parameters. Overall it was an amazing project, as I got to experience the world of academic research, all while investigating a topic that I have a great interest in.

 

Suhyun Maeng  

Over the summer, I had a chance to work with Dr Victor Debattista, the Professor of Astrophysics from the Jeremiash Horrocks Institute of the University of Central Lancashire through the Nuffield Research placement. I worked with two other interns to investigate the role of double bars in galactic bar destruction. More specifically, it was to see whether the formation of an inner bar causes the destruction of the outer bar in a galaxy. Galactic bars are bar-shaped structures composed of stars often created at the centre of spiral galaxies, and about a third of all spiral galaxies are said to be barred. For our research, we used Fortran 77 based code to create density and luminosity contour plots to identify and analyse bars, and to study the possible effects of bar destruction. On the whole, I think it was a very valuable experience which allowed me to get a taste of what being involved in actual academic research is like.

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