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LHU News

LHU physics students travel to Cornell University’s Wilson Synchrotron Laboratory

Shown, front row from left, are LHU students Jake Keiper and Marisa Iraca. Back row, from left, are student Alyx Claiborne; Dr. John Reid, physics professor; and students Derek Grove, Grier Sayers, Chadd Miller and Blake Miller.

A group of Lock Haven University physics students recently took a field trip to Cornell University’s Wilson Synchrotron Laboratory. Students were given a guided tour of the two particle accelerators operated from Wilson Lab: The Cornell Electron Storage Ring (CESR) and the Cornell BNL ERL Test Accelerator (CBETA). Here, particles are accelerated to nearly the speed of light and are then used to study the properties of materials and the design of accelerators.

LHU students who participated were freshmen, juniors and seniors, and represented traditional physics, nanotechnology and pre-engineering concentrations. These accelerators are a concrete application of the physics that students study in their classes at LHU and learn about in student-led Physics Club presentations. The tour was especially relevant for traditional physics students who study particle physics and cosmic rays as a capstone research project.

The field trip was planned by Jake Keiper and Chadd Miller, senior students and Physics Club officers. Both students participated in Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs in the summer of 2018, where they worked directly with particle accelerators.

Keiper’s REU was at Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island, while Miller’s REU was at Cornell University in Wilson Lab.

Students from LHU often participate in REUs at some point in their undergraduate career. Field trips, like the tour at Cornell University, are a regular part of physics department activities and have given students numerous opportunities to see their education in the classroom applied to exciting projects in the real world.

Following graduation, students from the LHU physics program have gone on to work and conduct research at a variety of graduate schools and industry jobs.

For more information about the Department of Geology and Physics at LHU, visit

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Lock Haven University’s main campus is located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the scenic mountains of Pennsylvania. The university offers 49 undergraduate majors and certifications with 47 minors and five graduate programs.

LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.

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