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mike bergman (jan 09)Bard College at Simon’s Rock physics faculty member Michael Bergman recently received funding from the National Science Foundation through a grant that will help him to continue his research. This most recent grant is Bergman’s fifth from the NSF. To date, the grant has provided close to $115,000 in support of his research involving the Earth’s inner core.

“It’s very gratifying that my colleagues believe that this work is sufficiently interesting and merits funding,” Bergman said. The grant is a huge achievement, especially given that most major scientific grants are given to research conducted at graduate and research institutions. “Despite challenges associated with working at a small, undergraduate liberal arts college, it’s gratifying to demonstrate that it’s possible to do research here that moves the field forward,” Bergman explained.

His decade long research and experimentation involves studying the effects of magnetic fields rotation and fluid flow during the solidification of ice and metals within the Earth’s inner core. Collaborating with colleagues at Yale, Bergman will conduct experiments at Simon’s Rock to gain new insight about the evolution of the core and factors that may have caused seismic inferences within.

Dr. Bergman joined the Simon’s Rock faculty after a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, where he studied fluid dynamics, magnetohydrodynamics, and the generation of planetary magnetic fields. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, and NATO, which sponsored his work at the University of Glasgow. His recent work involves experimental studies of the effects of magnetic fields, rotation, and fluid flow during the solidification of ice and metals, for which he has received grants from the Research Corporation and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Bergman has published papers, some with student coauthors, in Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions, Nature, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Geophysical Research, and Journal of Crystal Growth, and is the author of a chapter in the American Geophysical Union monograph Core Dynamics, Structure, and Rotation. He was awarded the 2000 Doornbos Memorial Prize in Exeter, United Kingdom, for his research on the Earth’s interior, and is the secretary of SEDI, an international association of scientists who Study the Earth’s Deep Interior.