J.C. Sanders worked with leading scientists to determine how to protect the planet from a possible future asteroid collision.
An asteroid more than a half-mile in diameter is on a collision course with the Earth. How do we avoid disaster?
J.C. Sanders, a June 2006 OSU University Honors College physics graduate from Roseburg, Ore., spent last summer on an internship with top scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California looking for a solution to that not-so-impossible scenario.
The answer may well be to use a nuclear device to deflect the object, slow it down or speed it up so it misses the Earth. Using computer models, J.C. worked with the scientists on such issues as when and where to detonate the bombs for maximum effect against different types of space objects.
J.C.’s work was so well received that he was invited to the Livermore lab for another internship this summer to work on alternative propulsion systems for interplanetary travel.
And, proving that an OSU education really is hands-on, J.C. also did an internship at Los Alamos National Laboratory working on a fusion research simulation project two years ago.
J.C. says being in the Honors College was a real plus in his OSU education. “You interact with professors in a different way than in a normal class. There’s more discussion and study of ideas in honors classes,” he says.
Next on J.C.’s agenda is graduate work in physics at the University of Texas in Austin.