UMSS20 Student Profile: Jacob Marchio

Jacob Marchio, Engineering Physics
Design and Construction of a Computer Controlled Astronomical Spectropolarimeter
Mentored by Sam Hess

Jacob Marchio is building an instrument that can gather spectral information as well as polarization in astronomy (which provides information about stars).

Through spectroscopy, things such as temperature and mass can be obtained, whereas measuring the polarization (a preferred direction of electric field oscillation) can yield other astrophysical information, such as information about magnetic fields or a star’s surroundings.

Devices that measure both are not widely available, so Marchio hopes to explore this potential.

“Hopefully this project will encourage astronomy programs (and amateur astronomers) to consider new ways of collecting data, beyond traditional spectroscopy, with very modest equipment and budget,” says Marchio.