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K-State Today

June 2, 2016

Physics professors awarded supplement to National Science Foundation grant

By Sarah Hancock

A National Science Foundation-supported Research Experience for Undergraduates program has received additional support for students from Kansas and Nebraska.

The support builds on another K-State project. In 2014, Itzhak Ben-Itzhak, university distinguished professor of physics, was co-principal investigator on a project that was awarded $6 million — K-State's share: $2,423,152 — by National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR. "Imaging and Controlling Ultrafast Dynamics of Atoms, Molecules and Nanostructures" has now been awarded an additional $41,166 to support undergraduate researchers and collaborations with small colleges.

The funding will support three students from schools in Kansas or Nebraska to attend summer 2016 Research Experience for Undergraduates programs at K-State and helps Ben-Itzhak and colleagues meet multiple objectives. It advances research in the specific topic of imaging and controlling ultrafast dynamics of atoms, but the Research Experience for Undergraduates program also helps the students who participate by giving them the chance to conduct and publish research.

The funding also supports the Small College Research Collaboration program, which enables collaboration with small colleges such as Fort Hays State University. Boosting regional collaboration benefits institutions in both Kansas and Nebraska and helps K-State recruit graduate students for its highly ranked physics program. The program helps faculty and students at smaller institutions gain access to research equipment, facilities and collaborations they don't have locally.

The physics department is in the College of Arts & Sciences.