Hello, my name is Emily Herman and I'm a rising junior pursuing a double major in physics and voice performance at Saint Norbert College in northeastern Wisconsin. On campus I work as a teaching assistant and homework grader in the physics department. My college has a very small physics department and I am one of the only two physics major in my grade. This summer has been a great opportunity for me to experience physics outside of my small department at SNC. I have been able to explore condensed matter research and interact in a graduate level atmosphere. After I graduate from Saint Norbert College, I plan to attend graduate school for physics. My research interests include acoustics, condensed matter physics, and plasma physics.


Nanoparticle suspensions act as a thermally reversible solution where monomers are in equilibrium with precipitate nanoparticles. A simple, temperature controlled apparatus allows quick separation of the monomer suspensions from the aggregate particles. The concentration of monomers suspended in the solvent is measured as a function of temperature and used to calculate the enthalpy of dissolution and the activity coefficient of the nanoparticles.

The enthalpy of dissolution is the energy that it takes break the nanoparticle superlattice at constant pressure. The activity coefficient is dependent on the solubility parameter of both the solvent and solute. It is simply a measurement of how non-ideal a solution is.

Understanding nanoparticle interactions is important if we plan to implement them in technology.