Fun with Physics at Kansas State University

        by Leah VanNahmen

        supervisor:  Dr. Itzik Ben-Itzak

Kansas State University Physics Department  REU Program, sponsored by NSF

Hi! Welcome to my web site.  I was privileged to spend the summer (2006) at Kansas State University physicsing it up with all their really cool equipment as part of the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates program.  My advisor, Dr. Itzik Ben-Itzhak and my research group found all kinds of really interesting stuff for me to do, so explore my web site and you will find out all about it.  To find out anything you could possibly want to know about the my project itself, try pushing one of these spiffy looking buttons (I love buttons!):

Project Goals Research Progress Final Report REU Experience

Besides the man project information, you can visit the friend-and-family favorite How To Page that gives practical, easy-to-follow steps to create your own home laboratory, including How to Build a Particle Accelerator and How to Build Fancy Timing Equipment for Stuff Going Faster than Your Average Super Hero.  I also suggest a look at the week-by-week running commentary on the Ethics Lectures provided as part of my REU experience.  It's not every day you have such a great opportunity to learn about the Categorical Imperative (something every self-respecting ethical person should know!).

                                          Ethics Lectures How To Page

And finally, since I'm sure you are justly curious about what sort of crazy undergraduate would provide such a very unique look into the physics world, you can also find out

About Me:  I'm a Junior from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.  I majored in Physics because I love the challenge and knowing how the world works.  When I had spare time this summer, I enjoyed going to the free concerts at the city park, going out for coffee with spiffy people I've met here, joining the REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) students in other disciplines for barbeques and such, hanging out at the Catholic Campus Center, etc.  My favorite so far with the physics people was taking a hayride around the Konza Prarie with the biology REU students.  In my usual, not-physics-researching world, I enjoy singing, acting, running, spending time with my fiancÚ (I'm getting married this December - oh boy! :-) ), family, and friends, praying, listening to the Kansas City Symphony, and going out on "hot dates."  My long term plans include being a wife, mother, youth minister, and home physicist.  Two of my favorite quotes are "We can do no great things, only small things with great love" from Mother Theresa and "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you sit there long enough" from Will Rogers.  My secret ambition is to fully become the woman God has created me to be.  I don't know what else you could care to know, but if you're abnormally interested in something you can send me an e-mail and ask.

Questions?  Comments?  If I really confused you, or you think something is really neat and want to know more, or you just want to say hi or tell me your favorite joke or quote or something (I like jokes and quotes :)), send me an e-mail at

Useful Links: 

American Physical Society Statements on Ethics

American Institute of Physics

My Research group's home page