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The presentation of results from an investigation that took place in a class which incorporated research into the curriculum can take different forms, such as oral presentations, posters or written papers. Writing a research paper is difficult, yet in classes with RIC, students get guidance from their instructor, step by step, and many will get their papers published.
Biology courses Title Year
“Information Brochure #2: All About Covid-19 Vaccines” Course: SCB201, Honors General Biology (2021)
Author(s): Viona Agushi, Kayoung Lee, Mateo Ortiz, Alex Segundo, Edwin Galdamez, Felipe Perez, Kerly Lozano and Gisela Ismaili
Instructor: Dr. A. Lucia Fuentes
Published in Ad Astra ( link)
Abstract: This brochure is a follow up to our first brochure with information about the virus causing COVID-19. Here we go over the general principles of how vaccines work and the biology of the mRNA vaccine production. The brochures were written and translated into four different languages by Honors biology students and scholars from the NIH-Bridges and CRSP programs.
“Information Brochure #1: The Virus Causing Covid-19” Course: SCB201, Honors General Biology (2020)
Author(s): Shaopeng Ma, Victor Pleacoff, Felipe Perez, and Claire Sansaricq
Abstract: Available in Spanish, Chinese, Romanian, and English, the public health brochure is the work of LaGuardia students
“The Microbiome of the Long Island City Coast Water: What is the Source of Pathogenic Bacteria?” Course: SCB201, Honors General Biology (2020)
Author(s): Laura Pessoa and Jennifer Sanchez
Published in Honors Journal LaGuardia ( link)
Abstract: Tidal Straits, such as the Long Island portion of the East River, are characterized for having salinity levels that fluctuate between fresh and saltwater levels, which presents varying osmotic pressures on lifeforms and affects the dissolution of oxygen in the water. Moreover, the natural fertility of brackish water and the contamination with sewer runoff can make the water nutrient-rich. Here we present the results of our experiments determining the physical-chemical characteristics of deepwater samples from LIC, as well as the bacterial class diversity obtained through meta genomic analysis of DNA samples purified from the LIC Deepwater. We also compare our data to the information obtained by another group of students, using Long Island City Surface samples. We believe that the diversity of microorganisms found in the LIC Surface water is related to the dissolved oxygen (DO) and nitrate(RONO2)levels. The concentrations of pathogenic bacteria found in the water of LIC were unusual for brackish water. We posit that the pathogens must be coming from an unnatural source such as sewage.
“Bacterial Diversity in East River as a Possible Window into Pollutant Sources” Course: SCB201, Honors General Biology (2020)
Author(s): Veronica Martinez & Elise Oleksiak
Abstract: East River is a brackish water tidal estuary connecting the Upper New York Bay to the Long Island Sound. In this study, we used metagenomics to analyze the microbiome of a water sample from East River collected on the Long Island City coast. The purpose of our study was to classify bacterial species found in this water according to their typical habitat. DNA was extracted from organisms in the water sample and sent for metagenomic analysis. We analyzed the profile bacterial classes found in the samples and discovered among them high amounts of bacterial species typically present in freshwater, marine, and brackish water environments. The most common freshwater bacterial classes were Actinobacteria and Betaproteobacteria. From marine environments, there were high numbers of Flavobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria. Out of these, Actinobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria are the most common classes found in uncontaminated brackish water. We also used the bacterial analysis information to identify the presence of bacterial classes atypical from healthy brackish water bodies. These include potentially space pathogenic bacteria that are usually present in sewage, animal gut, and toxic waste. Some examples of such bacteria are pathogens like Bacteroidia, Chlamydia, Clostridia, and Fusobacteriia, gut bacteria like Lentisphaeria, Candidatus Saccharibacteria, and Erysipelotrichia, and sewage bacteria like Elusimicrobia. The results from this study could assist future research about pollutant bacterial species in East River and aid in determining the origin of the contaminating bacteria as well as strategies for its remediation.
Chemistry courses Title Year
“Green Method of Preparation of Self-Organized Organic Nanoparticles of a Free base Porphyrinoid” Course: SCC202, Honors General Chemistry II (2019)
Author(s): Afsana Abdul Rahim, Sarah Seron, and Jacob Martinez
Instructor: Dr. Amit Aggarwal
Abstract: Supramolecular systems that include their self-assembled and self-organized systems are promising components of advanced materials because of their rich photochemistry, stability, and proven enhanced catalytic activity. While inorganic nanoparticles are widely studied, the formation of organic nanomaterials is more recent, and porphyrinoids are at the forefront of this research. Here we present a green eco-friendly method to prepare a colloidal solution of a free base 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(pentafluorophenyl)porphyrin, TPPF20, using miscible host-guest solvent method. The aggregation of porphyrinoid to form colloidal solution was initially identified by opaqueness of solution and the further confirmed by UV-visible absorption spectroscopy. The broadening of strong absorption peak in the range of 380-475 nm, called Soret band and also the redder shift in low energy Q-bands is an indicative of aggregation of porphyrin to form their nanoparticles solution. A simple light scattering experiment, Tyndall Effect, also proves the formation of particles (aggregation of porphyrinoid) in the colloidal solution. We have used a miscible host-guest solvents method to prepare organic nanoparticle of TPPF20 as a model of Green Chemistry as ~89% solvent system is water.
Physics courses Title Year
“Orbital Decay of a Massive Black Hole” Course: SCP231, Honors General Physics (2021)
Author(s): Charles Lee-Georgescu and Ahn Vo
Instructor: Dr. Roman Senkov
Abstract: In this research, we derived starting with the first principles, the dynamical friction force on a star moving through a star field/galaxy. We used this derivation to calculate the orbital decay of a heavy Black Hole (BH) or a massive star. We found that the typical time for a BH to spiral into the galactic center, the decay time, is comparable to the age of the universe. Our estimation showed that this decay time scales with the mass of the BH as t ~ 1018M☉/M years, where M is the mass of the BH and M☉=2×1030 kg is the solar mass.
“Atomic Nuclei and Pairing Correlations” Course: SCP231, Honors General Physics (2020)
Author(s): Josselyn Velasquez and Bai Huang
Abstract: In this research we studied the effects of the pairing correlations in atomic nuclei. We analyzed the existing experimental data, namely the neutron and proton separation energies, for about 40 nuclei in sd-shell and could (1) see the manifestations of the nuclear single-particle levels and the effects of the pairing correlations between nucleons and (2) build a simple model which can explain the experimental data. We estimated the first single-particle energy level in the sd-shell and extracted the pairing correlation energies Δp,n for these nuclei. As the result we concluded that the first level in the sd-shell has the total angular momentum j=5/2 and the energy ε≈4+2(A-16), where the energy is in MeV and A is the mass number. For the pairing correlation energies we got Δp≈4.5 MeV and Δn≈4 MeV.
“Computer Modelling of Physical Systems” Course: SCP232/MAC101, Honors General Physics and Computer Science (2020)
Author(s): Edesa Montgomery, Tasmia Silmi, Sang Won Park, Adrian Echeverria, Gabriel Diaz Espinoza, Khendo Lama, Saima Tarannum, Tamim Khan, Silvio Molina, Rafael Paulino, Keven Juela, Paul Bravo, Javier Reyes, Rudra Chaudhary, Suyasha Tamang, Daniel Paulino, Kushal Shrestha, Orlando Flores, Peter Andonov and Amaru Alzogaray.
Instructor: Dr. Doyel Pal, Dr. Roman Senkov
Abstract: Five interdisciplinary research projects conducted by students in Spring 2020 Honors General Physics II and Computer Science classes. The simulations include: gap formation in planetary ring systems, motion of a 2-D pendulum, diffusion process of a gas or a fluid, modeling of Brownian motion, and precession of planetary orbits due to non-Keplerian central forces.
“Avalanche Model” Course: SCP231, Honors General Physics (2019)
Author(s): Christine Silva and Ekaterina Arslanbaeva
Abstract: In this project we developed and completely solved a simple mathematical model that describes motion of avalanche in n dimensions. First, we considered a discrete 1-D model in which the mass of moving snow is presented in a form of “snow blocks” lined up on an inclined plane separated by a certain distance. We solved this 1-D model exactly by applying 1-D kinematic equations and using the conservation of linear momentum. With the information and data gathered from the solution of this model, we could formulate and solve a most general n-dimensional avalanche model, which is mostly applied to the realistic case of n = 2. As the result, we derived that the avalanche slides down with a constant acceleration a=g sinθ/(1+2n), the size of the avalanche x ~ at2 , and the mass of the avalanche m ~ xn ~ t2n.
“Correction to the Earth's orbit due to the Sun-Earth-Moon interaction” Course: SCP231, Honors General Physics (2019)
Author(s): Shlok Suthar
Abstract: In this article we studied the influence of the motion of the Moon on the Earth orbit around the Sun. We started by considering the exact Newtonian gravitational interaction in the Sun-Earth-Moon system and, using the following mass hierarchy: M☉≫MEarth≫MMoon, derived the corresponding correction to the “naive” Earth-Sun potential energy. Without the obtained correction (and neglecting the other effects) the Earth's orbit is well known and corresponds to the Kepler's problem, with the obtained correction the Earth's orbit deviates from a perfect ellipse, for example, the Earth's perigee starts to shift by a small angle every year. In this study, this shift was calculated to be about 7.9 arcseconds per century and was compared to the other known effects, which lead to the Earth perigee precession. We also estimated similar interaction for Jupiter and its Galilean moons.
“Beta Equilibrium in Neutron Stars” Course: SCP231, Honors General Physics (2019)
Author(s): Panqian Wang and Arturo Romero
Abstract: A free neutron is an unstable particle with a mean lifetime of about 15 minutes, meaning that after this time it most likely will decay. Why do the neutrons not decay in a neutron star which is composed of neutrons? In this research we study the beta-equilibrium in neutron stars, which prevents the neutron from decaying and saves the star. The equilibrium is reached when the beta decay process (when a neutron decays into proton and an electron) is balanced out by the inverse beta decay (when a proton and an electron produce a neutron).To find the beta equilibrium we treated a neutron star as a Fermi-gas of free neutrons, protons, and electrons at absolute zero temperature. We found that in order to be stable a neutron star, must have certain amount of protons and electrons, with the ratio of number of protons to the number of neutrons is about 0.0012%.
“Dark Matter in the Solar System” Course: SCP231, Honors General Physics (2018)
Author(s): Karan Kumar
Abstract: We study the effect of dark matter on the planetary motion in our Solar system. In our Solar system, its been observed that the perihelion of many planets has been shifted by some angle but nobody could explain this why this happening. In our research, we explained this through dark matter. This might be because of dark matter present in our solar system.
“Average Size of a Hydrogen Atom” Course: SCP231, Honors General Physics (2018)
Author(s): Nikesh Prajapati
Abstract: In this project we derived the average size of a hydrogen atom in the frameworks of classical and quantum mechanics. From the classical point of view, the motion of an electron in a hydrogen atom is similar to the motion, for example, of the Earth around the Sun: the electron revolves around the nucleus in a plane along an ellipse. To calculate the average size of a hydrogen atom, we applied different theories such as Kepler's problem in classical physics and Schrödinger's equation in quantum mechanics. At first, we derived a formula for average size of hydrogen atom in classical mechanics, then we substituted the energy and angular momentum of the electron in their quantized forms, and finally, we compared the obtained result with the accurate quantum mechanical calculations.
“The Yarkovsky Effect” Course: SCP231, Honors General Physics (2018)
Author(s): Andrei Dragutan and Shou Oikawa
Abstract: The Yarkovsky effect is the result of a force generated due to uneven emission of thermal radiation, which is usually associated with smaller objects in space such as asteroids and meteorites. The Yarkovsky effect has two components: seasonal effect which manifests when the object is not spinning and diurnal effect where it takes effect when the object is rotating. In this work, we calculated the seasonal effect assuming a spherical object was at one astronomical unit distance away from the Sun. The formula was derived for spherical objects of various radii, and it was found that the gravitational force from the Sun was always stronger than the force of the Yarkovsky effect. It was also found that as the radius became smaller, the Yarkovsky effect became more prominent compared to the gravitational force. However, the stronger force of the seasonal effect on extremely small particles (of a radius less than 10-6 m) does not correspond to what is actually observed. This can be explained due to not taking into consideration the transfer of heat to the opposite side of the sphere, which will make smaller objects less affected by the Yarkovsky effect.
“Tsiolkovsky Rocket Equation” Course: SCP231, Honors General Physics (2018)
Author(s): Mateo Arbelaez
Abstract: In this project we derive the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation applying the momentum conservation principle to a system of varying masses, considering the gravitational field acting upon the rocket as it leaves a planet. Lastly, I apply the equations to calculate the final height of a Saturn V rocket as a function of its change in mass.