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02/29/2004 - Institute of Shock Physics Comes to Triangle

WSU's acclaimed Institute of Shock Physics (ISP) is expanding to WSU Spokane's Riverpoint campus. The ISP is a multi disciplinary research organization that conducts fundamental research in shock-wave and high-pressure compression of matter. The purpose is to understand physical and chemical changes in solids and liquids as they undergo very large and rapid compression.

The newly created Applied Science Laboratory (ASL), a multi disciplinary contract research enterprise to be located on the Riverpoint campus, will be a division of the Institute of Shock Physics. The Applied Science Laboratory will build on the research of the ISP, but will be different in that it will be a contract research organization. The ASL will undertake a broad range of applied research activities of interest to either federal agencies or private corporations.

Hergen Eilers, a leading researcher and business entrepreneur, will join the WSU Spokane faculty to spearhead the new laboratory. Eilers will lead the ASL's first focus area, nanophase enhanced optical research.

As the holder of seven patents, Eilers brings both a scientific track record and a business background. Currently the president of NovaCera, he has also worked with Gemfire Corp and was a co-founder of Quantum Vision --- all California companies.

The ASL's initial work will focus on three main areas within the broader scope of the ISP. They are nanophase enhanced optical devices, unconventional energetic materials, and pulsed power.

Nanophase enhanced optical devices means tiny particle at the near-atomic size that have interesting optical properties. Possible uses for these particles may be to enhance the resolution of X-rays, allow the creation of super-strong windows, or make possible flexible information displays.

Unconventional energetic materials are metal-polymer systems that are safer than conventional explosives. These are expected to have significant payoff for the Navy's next generation missiles and advanced ordnance systems.

Pulsed power works directly with shock physics fundamental research in shock-wave and high-pressure compression of matter. The laboratory will use magnetic pressure to test the strength and response of new materials under shock compression.

For more information about the Institute of Shock Physics, go to

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