Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Tyler Bennett

Tyler Bennett ’12 joined a research team investigating energy efficient ways to create light.

On the cutting edge. My internship with Professor [John] Collins revolved around finding new materials to make energy efficient lighting. Companies are looking for energy-efficient phosphors for a variety of colors.

Searching for the right combination. The main body of my work was looking at different phosphors solid-state lighting applications, such as new LED lights. In order to determine which sample is best, measurements of emission, excitation and reflection spectra all needed to be taken.

Down to business. My job was to conduct the experiments and gather the data on each of the samples. I was also involved in the construction of a high energy infrared laser for future use in the lab.

Illuminating opportunity. I am particularly interested in the physics that relate to energy production, such as laser and solid-state physics, both of which I have learned about from this internship.

How it began. Last year Professor Collins approached me asking if I was interested in doing research with him over the semester. I had a lot of fun and gained a lot of hands on knowledge about the work that he does. Since I enjoyed it so much, I decided I would ask him if I could continue doing research over the summer.

Wheaton power. Getting this type of internship is the biggest advantage of going to a small undergraduate institution. Professors need assistants and often times you only need to ask in order to gain a valuable experience that you wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere.

—Emily Polinsky ’14