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LVC Faculty Win Prestigious NSF Grant to Study Quantum Physics
07.02.10 |
The research labs at Lebanon Valley College are very busy this summer. For nine weeks starting in June, six math and physics students, along with two faculty members from both departments, are conducting research in quantum physics thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, Va. LVC is one of only 14 grantees in a national pool of 37 applicants to receive funding that totals $236,198 over three years.

“This grant strengthens the research environment at LVC,” explains Dr. Scott Walck, professor of physics and co-author of the grant. “It enables the departments of physics and mathematical sciences to continue to be recognized nationally and continue to establish a presence at the forefront of undergraduate research.”

The vigorous program seeks to advance scientific understanding of quantum entanglement with potential impact in mathematics, computer science, and physics, and applications to quantum computers. The grant funds faculty and student summer pay, as well as travel to conferences, computers, and other supplies.

“The NSF research grant is prestigious, especially for a small college like LVC,” explains Dr. David Lyons, professor of mathematics and co-author of the grant. “That our students contribute to research results and appear as co-authors on papers speaks to the strength of our mathematics and physics programs. Our work contributes to the active research field called quantum information.”

One of the student researchers, Ian Younker ‘12, a physics major from York, will be writing a computerized conversion program, along with Laura Snyder ’11, a physics major from Richfield. Other participating students include Adam Hansell ’11, a physics major from Lebanon; Nathan Kearney ’11, a mathematics major from Lutherville, Md.; Curt Cenci ’11, a mathematics major from Emmaus; and Chris Ulicny ’12, a mathematics and computer science major from Lititz.

“We are spearheading an investigation into the rapidly expanding field of quantum information,” explains Cenci. “It’s a field that is vital for the eventual development of quantum computers.”

For information on the NSF grant and quantum physics research at LVC, please visit

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