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Education

April 3, 2014

PSU physics major wins US Dept. of Energy internship

PLATTSBURGH — SUNY Plattsburgh physics major Cole Martin beat out 800 other applicants for a chance to work alongside some of the world’s most talented scientists as they study particle physics.

He was one of 10 students chosen for the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago.

Martin, who is from Morrisonville, will work with physicists studying outcomes from the world’s largest particle collider, a long tube that uses electromagnetic fields to propel charged particles at extremely high speeds. 

The results show evidence of the subatomic world.

“Cole will be working at a world-class scientific laboratory in cutting-edge facilities researching energy and technology with some of the most talented research scientists in their fields,” said Dr. Kenneth Podolak, assistant professor in the Department of Physics.

“I am very excited and grateful,” Martin said. “We are going to be doing the coolest stuff and answering basic questions about how nature works.”

PRAISES PROFS

The first thing Martin did when he got the news was call home.

“When my mom picked up the phone, I said, ‘Mom, you will never believe what just happened,’” he said. “She immediately asked, ‘OK, what kind of trouble did you get into this time?’”

Podolak said the internship, which starts after Martin graduates in May, is “going to be an incredible opportunity to grow professionally.”

“My goal is to network, attend graduate school at the University of Chicago and end up a professional researcher myself,” Martin said.

He credits SUNY Plattsburgh physics professors Podolak and Dr. Glenn Myer for inspiring him to apply for the competitive program.

“My professors have been good examples of where you can go with your career,” he said. “They really bend over backwards to help you.”

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