A Brief Description of My Undergraduate Work
Observational Astronomy Research
This undergraduate research project involved the light curve analysis of several eclipsing binary systems. We used the 31-inch National Undergraduate Research Observatory (NURO) telescope in Flagstaff, Arizona as well as our 17-inch Planewave telescope at the Truman State Observatory (TSO) in Kirksville, Missouri for data collection. For each object, we determined a Fourier fit to the light curve and used the Fourier coefficients to classify the system as an Algol, Beta-Lyrae, or W UMa. Additionally, we used our data and the Fourier fit to quantify the asymmetry in each light curve and the O’Connell effect.
I would like to thank the Office of Student Research at Truman State University and the Missouri Space Grant Consortium for funding this project, and most of all, my advisor Dr. Vayujeet Gokhale for his support and mentorship.
If you are interested please read my paper here, or check out the resources from my past presentations below:
Theoretical Quantum Mechanics Research
This undergraduate research project involved the Wigner function formalism of quantum mechanics rather than the more widely used wavefunction formalism. Wigner functions are pseudo-probability density functions – real and normalized – and have wavefunction-like properties that allow for probability or expectation value calculations. The only complication is that Wigner functions, in general, can take on negative values, posing problems with interpreting them as probability densities. The goal of the research project was to physically interpret Wigner functions as probability currents in time, allowing quantum particles to travel forward as well as backward in time. Starting with simple systems like the free particle and the harmonic oscillator, we performed analytical calculations of their Wigner functions and investigated whether it was possible to understand them as probability currents that reproduce their familiar physical behavior.
I would like to thank my advisor Dr. Taner Edis for his support and mentorship on this project.
If you are interested, please check out my report below: