McNair Scholar 2018 Salamong Xiong

Salamong Xiong is a rising junior at Macalester College, double majoring in physics and philosophy. His research interests revolve around how we can better understand the universe, and how the universe has evolved. He plans on getting his Ph. D. in Physics.

Salamong Xiong headshot
My dream is to work for NASA and contribute to astrophysical or cosmological science. In the future, I want to be able to pull others up, especially those from my community.

Research project

Optical Characteristic Measurements of Crystalline Silicon (c-Si)

Abstract: We report on measurements of the transmission through crystalline silicon (c-Si) samples, with various resistivities, at 110 GHz. The microwave source directed electromagnetic waves of normal incidence onto samples of c-Si. We calculated transmission for each sample by comparing the power detected with and without the c-Si sample in the sample holder. We used the transmission values to determine the respective dielectric loss tangents of each sample. We upgraded the equipment to improve the accuracy of the previous experimental setup. In the process of obtaining this data, we aligned the setup, as well as detected and characterized systematic uncertainties in the equipment.

Faculty mentor

Dr. Shaul Hanany is a professor at the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Dr. Hanany completed his Ph. D. in Physics at Columbia University in 1993. His current research focus on unraveling the nature of the Big Bang. He and his research team build instruments to observe the cosmic microwave background radiation, which encodes information about the evolution of the universe. In 2000, one of Dr. Hanany’s publications has been named as, “one of the 10 most important breakthroughs in science for the year.”