David Chin

  • Program Year: 1
  • Academic Institution: University of Rochester
  • Field of Study: Physics
  • Academic Advisor: Gilbert 'Rip' Collins
  • Practicum(s):
    Practicum Not Yet Completed
  • Degree(s):
    B.S. Physics, State University of New York at Geneseo, 2017

Summary of Research

For my research, I am using X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS) spectroscopy to understand the behavior of iron oxides under planetary core conditions. Planetary cores reach interior conditions of millions to billions of atmospheres, conditions previously inaccessible to laboratory experiments. At these extreme pressures, the energy density is comparable to that of traditional chemical bonds causing interior electron orbitals to be distorted and core electrons to participate in bonding. Consequently, chemical rules are very different for matter in the deep interiors of such planets that reach atomic pressures.
XAFS spectroscopy is sensitive to the complex chemistry that occurs at these extreme energy densities. XAFS uses the modulations in the absorption coefficient, produced by the interaction of the excited photoelectron with the surrounding material, to understand the chemical and physical state of the atom. By extracting the radial distribution function from the XAFS modulations, we gain information about the density and local order. Furthermore, the variation, produced by thermal vibrations, in the interatomic positions produce a damping in the amplitude of the modulations, from which we can estimate the thermal behavior of the compressed material. Lastly, we expect to develop a high-resolution spectrometer to infer solid – liquid melting and electron orbital hybridization from the near edge region of the absorption spectrum. These research goals will be achieved at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics.



D.A. Chin, P.M. Nilson, J.J. Ruby, X. Gong, D.N. Polsin, G.W. Collins, T.R. Boehly, J.R. Rygg, Y. Ping, F. Coppari, D. Trail, A. Amouretti, M. Harmand; An Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure Spectroscopy Study of Iron Oxides. APS Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter; Portland, OR. 2019.

Poster Presentations:

D.A. Chin, P.M. Nilson, G.W. Collins, T.R. Boehly, J.R. Rygg, Y. Ping, F. Coppari, D. Trail, I. Szumila, M. Harmand; Interpreting EXAFS: Toward Ramp-Compression Studies of Iron Oxide. APS Division of Plasma Physics; Portland, OR. 2018.

D.A. Chin, P.M. Nilson, G.W. Collins, T.R. Boehly, J.R. Rygg, Y. Ping, F. Coppari; Interpreting EXAFS: Toward Ramp-Compression Studies of Iron Oxide. Gordon Research Conference; Holderness, NH. 2018.

K. Fletcher, S.J. Padalino, D.A. Chin, H. Harrison, H. Sappela, H.Visca, P. Wakwella, C. Forrest, J. Katz, S. Regan, C. Sangster; Characterizing ICF Neutron Diagnostics on the nTOF line at SUNY Geneseo. APS Division of Plasma Physics; San Jose, Ca. 2016; NIF User Group Meeting; Livermore, CA. 2017; SUNY Geneseo: Geneseo Recognizes Excellence, Achievement and Talent; Geneseo, NY. 2017; and OMEGA User Group Meeting; Rochester, NY. 2017.


Susumu Okubo Prize (University of Rochester): Spring 2019

Masters of the Arts in Physics (University of Rochester): Winter 2018

Robert Marshak Graduate Research Fellowship (University of Rochester): Fall 2017

President's List at SUNY Geneseo: Fall 2012- Spring 2017

Summa cum Laude (SUNY Geneseo)

Award for Excellence in Mathematics (SUNY Geneseo): Spring 2017

The Susan McKenna Award (SUNY Geneseo): Spring 2017

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention: Spring 2016

The Physics/Astronomy Alumni Award (SUNY Geneseo): Spring 2016

The John W. Padalino Physics or Engineering Research Award (SUNY Geneseo): Spring 2016

Robert Duke Sells Memorial Endowed Scholarship (SUNY Geneseo): Spring 2015

Geneseo Alumni Fellow Annual Scholarship (SUNY Geneseo): Spring 2014

Ed Curry '96 Memorial Endowed Scholarship (SUNY Geneseo): Spring 2014