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Covenant Physics Travels to Tallahassee
This November, physics major Ben Luke ’22 traveled to Tallahassee, FL with Dr. Broussard, Covenant’s professor of physics, for the SESAPS conference. The SESAPS (Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society) conference is an opportunity for physicists of all levels to learn from each other. Undergraduate and graduate students present alongside researchers from universities and national labs. This year, the conference was held at Florida State University and included sessions on a wide variety of topics throughout the three-day event.
Ben’s presentation, “Schrödinger's Equation and Symmetric Proximity Effect Film Sandwiches,” explained the results of his first major research project. He has helped professors with research before, but this was his first time holding a significant role in the research. This past summer, he conducted remote research with Dr. Broussard, communicating with his professor two to three times a week. Ben was in charge of getting calculations, making models, writing results, and constructing a poster presentation.
Ben’s Journey to the Mountain
Ben came from Greenwood, SC to Covenant in the fall of 2018. In addition to studying physics, Ben is also completing a minor in Spanish and a second minor in math. He is also a tutor in the physics department, a student-athlete, and captain for the men’s tennis team. After graduation in May, Ben plans to enroll in graduate school to study theoretical particle physics. He hopes to teach at the university level, but he would like to conduct professional research before reentering the classroom.
As the only physics major in his class year, Ben’s upper-division classes are very small. For some, he is the only student. Ben says that while he misses having larger classes and classmates to study with, he deeply enjoys his upper-level classes. He says these classes feel more like a conversation than a lecture because he is free to interject and ask questions at any time. Ben has also had the opportunity to get to know Dr. Broussard very well, which not only aids him in his coursework but also led to this research opportunity.
Why Study Physics at Covenant?
“While I do have a passion for the sciences, and specifically physics, I appreciate the way Covenant urges students to be aware of different areas of academia and to interact with those different areas,” Ben says. He comments on how much he has enjoyed the liberal arts education at Covenant, but he says that what sold him on Covenant over any other school was the community. He says, “There was a notable difference in the community at Covenant when I visited compared to other schools. It was evident that the students were mutually invested in one another. That’s what made me want to come here.”
When asked why he didn’t choose a school with a bigger physics department, Ben points out that at Covenant, he gets the full package. He is receiving an excellent liberal arts education, living in a biblical community, and playing the sport he loves alongside some of his best friends.
We are excited to see what God has in store for Ben’s future! Be on the lookout for Ben’s work, soon to be published in AIP Advances.