CASPER To Host First-Light Celebration, Dedication Of New Lab April 27

April 25, 2001

by LoAna Lopez

The Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER) -- a partnership between Baylor University and Texas State Technical College -- will host the opening of its Hypervelocity Impacts and Dusty Plasmas Laboratory (HIDPL) with a first-light celebration and facility dedication at 12:15 p.m. Friday, April 27, on the TSTC campus in Waco.

CASPER consists of a theory group and two experimental labs which specialize in various areas of research: the Astrophysics and Space Science Theory Group (ASSTG), the Hypervelocity Impacts and Dusty Plasmas Lab (HIDPL) and the Space Science Lab (SSL).

The hypervelocity lab is a partnership between Baylor and TSTC whereby Baylor provides startup and annual operating funds while TSTC provides a 5,000-square-foot building and ongoing full-time technical support staff. CASPER recently completed the $200,000 facility which will serve as home base for various research projects.

Dr. Truell W. Hyde, director of CASPER and associate professor of physics at Baylor, said the lab opening marks an exciting time in the cooperative ventures between Baylor and TSTC.

"The combination of Baylor and TSTC resources, particularly in this new lab, allows CASPER members to participate in research that just would not be possible otherwise," said Hyde, who also is director of graduate studies in the physics department at Baylor.

CASPER officials from Baylor and TSTC will join supporters from the Cooper Foundation for the event. Visitors to the lab dedication can tour the facility and visit with Baylor and TSTC students involved in the research.

The first-light celebration is the initial firing of the GEC RF Reference Cell, one of only three vacuum reference cells in the world configured for space-related research.

Visit the CASPER Web site at or call Hyde at 710-6717 for more information about the HIDPL and CASPER.

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