A University of Wyoming graduate student will head to New Zealand this summer to continue studying quantum mechanics thanks to a National Science Foundation fellowship.

Josh Heiner, a Ph.D. student in UW’s Department of physics and astronomy, was selected for the NSF’s East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes program, in conjunction with the Royal Society of New Zealand, according to a UW news release.

Heiner will work with Joshua Bodyfelt, a research officer with the New Zealand Institute for Advanced Study, who earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from UW in 2003.

Heiner said Bodyfelt’s connection to UW allowed him to make the contact.

“Bodyfelt is and alumnus who has kept in contact with our department at UW,” Heiner says in a statement. “Basically, he has the expertise and the skill set needed to help model an innovative way to understand the interaction of subatomic particles, also known as quantum mechanics.”

Heiner will work to discover further insights into the new approach under Bodyfelt’s supervision. The preliminary results of their research have already been published in the International Journal of Advanced Research in Physical Science. Heiner will use a supercomputer at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand, for the complicated nonlinear computational modeling involved in the research.

Heiner is originally from Star Valley and received his bachelor’s degree from Bringham Young University-Idaho before coming to UW to pursue his graduate studies.