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Physicist awarded grant to study magnetosphere

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Friday, January 29, 2010

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Media Contact: Sue Stevens

ARLINGTON - Yue Deng, assistant professor of physics at The University of Texas at Arlington, has received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program grant. The grant, announced Jan. 13, is for $462,000 over five years.

Yue Deng

Yue Deng

The award, known as a CAREER grant, is for selected junior faculty who are beginning new research and can integrate that research into their teaching.

Deng will study energy output from the magnetosphere-space around the earth controlled by the earth's magnetic field-and its impact on the earth's upper atmosphere. Following a space weather disturbance, intense currents from magnetosphere to the upper atmosphere dramatically increase the heating and expansion of the atmosphere. This heating and expansion can strongly alter the orbit of satellites around the earth. Concurrently, ground currents can cause serious problems to pipelines, transoceanic cables and power lines.

"It is vital to understand the variability within this critical region of our atmosphere so that scientists can predict its effects on satellite tracking and power grids," Deng said.

Deng's work is representative of the research under way at UT Arlington, an institution of 28,000 students on its way to becoming a nationally recognized, top-tier research university.

She also will participate in NSF educational programs at UT Arlington and integrate the research into education. Her project will provide opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students to be involved in the cutting-edge research.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.