Cheng Explores the Formation of Planets


NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently awarded a $51,800 grant to Patricia Cheng, professor of physics, to support her study of the dust and gases surrounding young stars. For more than a decade, the researcher has investigated what she believes are the “building blocks” in the creation of planets and identify what types of gases and dust are optimum for planet formation.

Cheng, who joined the university in 1994, holds a doctorate in physics from Catholic University of America. She has served as a postdoctoral research fellow with NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center and as a member of the NASA/Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope Science Team from 1991-1998. Cheng, a member of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, International Astronomical Union and the American Astronomical Society, has written more than 44 papers in refereed journals, more than 60 papers in conference proceedings and meeting abstracts and two CD-Rom sets.


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