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Health Effects of Interstellar Radiation: Hope Students Only

Project Full Title:

HOPE STUDENTS ONLY: Understanding the Health Effects of Interstellar Radiation: A Biology/Physics Partnership

Project Mentor(s):

DeYoung,Paul; Rivera,Phillip

Project Mentor(s) EMail:;

Project Start Date:


Project End Date:


Project Description:

Astronauts traveling to Mars will be subject to increased radiation exposures. Those of us not traveling in space are also continually subjected to radiation of terrestrial origin as well as radiation arriving from outer space. What are the health effects of this low-level chronic exposure? The Nuclear Group again expects to partner with Hope College biologists (the Rivera research group) to shed light on this question. The Hope College particle accelerator will serve as a controlled source of radiation. Protons with energies in the MeV range will be scattered off a thin mylar target, exit the vacuum chamber through an ultrathin window and impact biological samples. Over the course of the summer, the effect on health and behavior will be monitored. Dates subject to change. This interdisciplinary project will incorporate the disciplines of Physics and Biology. However the project is specifically housed within the Hope College Department of Physics and is only for Physics applicants.

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