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For inquiries related to SD Mines Research, contact:

Research Affairs

S.D. School of Mines & Technology
501 E. St. Joseph Street
Suite 102, O'Harra Building
Rapid City, SD  57701

(605) 394-2493

Research@Mines Archive:
March, 2019

Mines Student Helps Photons Travel on Communication Highway

Abbi Elger

Abbi Elger’s enthusiasm for science is captivating.

Elger, who is working in the physics department at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, is a participant in DOE’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program coordinated by the Lab’s Office of Educational Programs.

“Since I was a kid, I have been curious about how our universe works. I especially find the fields of astronomy and quantum physics totally fascinating. I am thrilled that I get to work at Brookhaven and be surrounded by amazing scientists who share my interests and teach me something new every day,” said Elger.

Under the direction of her mentor, Brookhaven physicist Andrei Nomerotski, Elger is working on a quantum science project in collaboration with Stony Brook University (SBU) that may help communications become “hack proof.”

“We are capturing data related to entangled photons,” said Elger. “Currently, entangled photons—two photons that are produced together and correlated—can only travel over short distances. To advance the methods of encrypted communication that are currently available and to connect quantum devices, our goal is to send entangled photons over long distances, such as from Brookhaven to  Stony Brook University or even from New York to California.”

“Abbi was a perfect fit for this project,” said Nomerotski. “She is v...

Last Edited 3/19/2019 10:15:13 AM [Comments (0)]

SD Mines Seismometer Upgrade Allows Geologists to Detect Earthquakes Around the World

Kevin Ward, Ph.D., assistant professor of geology and geological engineering at Mines points to a small seismograph that replaces all the older instruments inside the seismograph station on campus

On the afternoon of Jan. 5, 2019, the remote jungle of Acre, Brazil began to shake. The trees swayed, the ground moved up and down and animals scurried for cover. At 2:25 p.m. local time, the Seismological Observatory of the University of Brasilia registered a magnitude 6.8 (Mww) quake with an epicenter 55 miles west of Tarauaca, Brazil, and 204 miles east of Pucallpa, Peru with depth of 575 kilometers.

Minutes later, a tiny device, inside a concrete bunker at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology registered the same earthquake–and an email alert is sent to the phone of Kevin Ward, Ph.D., assistant professor of geology and geological engineering at Mines. “I can see earthquakes around the world,” says Ward.

The Mines seismographic bunker was built into the side of a hill behind campus in 1960. It includes a pillar of concrete that extends 25 feet into the ground the connects the bunker with the earth. For decades the seismometers in this bunker were part of the USGS Global Seismographic Network. But, as the university and the town of Rapid City grew–the level of local noise and vibrations interfered with the older mechanical seismometers. These instruments are so sensitive to vibration they can pick up trains, cars, and even footsteps near...

Last Edited 3/11/2019 11:42:49 AM [Comments (0)]