Baylor senior Fanjun “Frank” Bu is first author of A Student View of Experimental Physics, an article published in the March issue of The Physics Teacher, a journal of the American Association of Physics Teachers. The paper was co-authored by Robert Lloyd Marlowe and Kristin Whitson of UTC.
Bu approached Dr. Marlowe, a UTC physics professor, during his sophomore year at Baylor about gaining hands-on experience in the UTC lab, and working together on a project involving dynamic light scattering, also known as photon correlation spectroscopy. Although the professor had some doubts about allowing a 15-year-old to work around an expensive 150-mW focused laser beam, he eventually agreed.
The article, written two years later, relates Bu’s experiences during that year as he increased his knowledge in an area of physics that greatly interests him as well as Professor Marlowe’s observations of the advantages that working in a college physics lab affords a high school student.
“This is my story so far, but this is not the end,” writes Bu. “I have experienced many things and have learned many skills that normal high school students wouldn’t know about. I think the experience will benefit me in the rest of my life.”
“Tomorrow is my 17th birthday,” he concludes. “And now, I am sitting in the professor’s office and summoning up all these valuable memories. Just as the professor says, ‘Reading about this is not equivalent to doing it.’ I think I have used this year wisely. And these memories are the best birthday gifts ever.”