Tag Archives: Research

New Funding

National-Science-Foundation-logoAlexander Kostinski (Physics/EPSSI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $156,119 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation.
The project is “Correlated Random Processes in Physical and Radar Meteorology.”
This is the first year of a potential three-year project totaling $477,948.

Cloud in a Box

Cloud Chamber20140324_0003When it comes to climate change, clouds are the wild card. Atmospheric physicists at Michigan Tech use a turbulence-generating cloud chamber to better understand the details and droplets.

There are few absolutes in life, but Will Cantrell says this is one: “Every cloud droplet in Earth’s atmosphere formed on a preexisting aerosol particle.”

And the way those droplets form — with scarce or plentiful aerosol particles — could have serious implications for weather and climate change.

It’s been known for decades that cleaner clouds tend to have bigger cloud droplets. But through research conducted in Michigan Tech’s cloud chamber, which was published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cantrell, graduate student Kamal Kant Chandrakar, Raymond Shaw and colleagues found that cleaner clouds also have a much wider variability in droplet size. So wide, in fact, that some are large enough to be considered drizzle drops.

Dirtier clouds, Shaw explains, not only have smaller droplets, but also much more uniformity in droplet size, with no observable drizzle drops.

“If clouds have more aerosols in them, the drops would be smaller and more similar in size,” Shaw says. “It would be harder for the cloud to rain, and the cloud would then last longer. If a cloud rains, or has less water in it, it won’t be there to reflect sunlight.”

By Stefanie Sidortsova, read the full story.

 


Jaszczak Leads Discovery of New Mineral

image144299-persA team led by a physicist from Michigan Tech has discovered a new mineral, named for the region in Tanzania where it comes from.

John Jaszczak knew that something was very unusual about the mineral specimen he was examining under the microscope of a Raman spectrometer in the basement of Fisher Hall.

On a hunch, Jaszczak decided to look into it further. The diagnostic studies with Raman spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy showed a layered structure rich in molybdenum, lead and sulfur that may be a new mineral. Now, Jaszczak and the team he pulled together can confirm that gut feeling. The tiny, silvery, cylindrical whiskers are indeed a new mineral—merelaniite. The journal Minerals published the team’s findings last week.

Detailed chemical and physical analyses of merelaniite—a member of the cylindrite group—revealed a neatly stacked layered structure with sheets rolled in scrolls like tobacco in a cigar. These tiny whiskers, which to the naked eye look like very fine hairs on other larger crystals, have probably been regularly cleaned off their host rocks containing other more recognizable minerals that occur at the famous gem mines near Merelani, Tanzania.

Screen Shot 2016-11-01 at 8.39.44 AM“Minerals have a natural wow factor, and while we use many of them daily without thinking twice, some specimens are truly art,” Jaszczak says, adding that minerals like the gems tanzanite (a blue/purple variety of zoisite) and tsavorite (a green variety of grossular garnet), which come from the same mines as merelaniite, can be more eye-catching. But it doesn’t negate the value of less showy minerals.

Read the full story.

New Funding

Raymond Shaw

Raymond Shaw (Physics/EPSSI) is the principal investigator on a research and development project that has received a $150,931 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

 

 


Will Cantrellimage64675-pers

Will Cantrell (Physics) and Claudio Mazzoleni (Physics) are Co-PIs on the project, “An Investigation of the Suitability of a Laboratory Cloud Chamber for Optical Radiative Transfer Measurements.”

 

This is the first year of a two-year project potentially totaling $316,374.


New Funding in Physics

Claudio Mazzoleni (Physics/EPSSI) is the principal investigator on a research and development project that has received $400,321 from the National Science Foundation.

Jacek Borysow (Physics), Raymond Shaw (Physics), Will Cantrell (Physics) and David Ciochetto (Physics) are co-PIs of the project, “MRI: Development of a Water Vapor and Temperature Mapping System to Study Cloud-Turbulence Interactions in the MTU PI-Chamber.”
This is the first year of a three-year project.





Great Lakes Research Center Dedication Thursday

It’s the Great Lakes Research Center, or GLRC. The public is invited to the dedication ceremony for Michigan Technological University’s newest building, set for 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 2. Inside are eight laboratories, each tailored for different research topics that relate to the Great Lakes, among them exotic and invasive species, fish ecology, sediments, remote sensing and atmospheric science. READ MORE

See also Atmospheric Sciences and Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Institute for more information about atmospheric and remote sensing activities at Michigan Tech.