Physics Club Hosts Instrument Systems Engineer

Physicist Jason LaForest spoke about his work developing instruments to measure and analyze molecular particles and shared some practical, real-world uses for the instruments during an online presentation hosted by the Physics Club on March 11.

More than 35 school community members joined the one-hour Zoom videoconference for the Evening of Science event, spearheaded by junior Lillie Szemraj, president of the Physics Club.

During his presentation, Mr. LaForest, an instrument systems engineer at Mobilion Systems in Pennsylvania, gave a detailed explanation of devices used to measure and analyze properties of particles found in various kinds of matter.  

Students were invited to take a deep dive into some of the instrumentation’s methodology, which Mr. LaForest illustrated with high-tech graphics. The devices’ many applications include developing consumer products like cat litter and medication capsules, improving industrial metal equipment design for less waste, and examining moon dust for NASA, he said. One timely molecular instrumentation that Mr. LaForest described is used to study the spike proteins on the coronavirus.

Mr. LaForest holds a U.S. patent on a combination laser diffraction and dynamic image analysis instrument.  

After his presentation, Mr. LaForest answered questions from students about his patented device, a typical day at work for him, and ways to determine accuracy when dealing with microscopic particles.

Mr. LaForest is the brother of Eric LaForest, Loomis history teacher and the Keller Family Director of the Norton Family Center for the Common Good.