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Research garners national attention for Samir Bali and his students

10/08/2012

written by Vicki Prichard, College of Arts and Science

Research Group: Lalit Bali, Milly Dong, Kashi Goyal, Brad Worth, Samir Bali, and Marcel Nguemaha.
Research Group: Lalit Bali, Milly Dong, Kashi Goyal, Brad Worth, Samir Bali, and Marcel Nguemaha.
Samir Bali and his team of undergraduate and graduate research students at Miami University, are featured in “Researchers Stories” on the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (ACF PRF) website.

Bali, an associate professor in physics, is one of four researchers out of 184 ACF PRF grant awardees – which include recipients from Research 1 institutions – whose work is featured on the website.

The feature, “Scattered Light,” includes photos of the student engagement in the experimental setup of their research project, “Measurement of the Refractive Index of Highly Turbid Media."

Bali and his team developed a new method and measurement tool to measure the optical properties of turbid materials.

Milly Dong in Miami's physics lab.
Milly Dong in Miami's physics lab.
Bali’s research redefined traditional assumptions that when light passes from a denser medium, for example, glass into air, that at a certain angle the light will no longer penetrate the air. In the 1950’s, scientists discover that the light does slightly penetrate. Until Bali’s discovery, there was an absence of methodology to utilize slight-angle dependent penetration.

Bali modeled the angle-dependence of the penetration and designed methodology that analyzes the material contained within the slight depth of light penetration. While his method works for small particle sizes, preliminary data indicates its potential success in measuring larger particle sizes.

The ACS PRF grant, which was awarded to Bali in 2011, has helped to support Bali’s principle investigator (PI) and graduate students, as well as equipment (e.g., fiber-coupled lasers, cameras) and supplies (optics, such as prisms and wave plates, and custom-prepared turbid samples).

“I am indebted to ACS PRF for supporting my students and me in our research for the past six years, and seeing us through difficult times when funding from other sources has been scarce. To be chosen by ACS PRF as one of four "success research stories" from amongst about 200 awardees is truly special for my students and me.”

As a result of the grant support, Bali’s graduate and undergraduate students have co-authored on peer-reviewed books, engaged in research, and invited talks and posters pertaining to their research.

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