All physics faculty are committed to student involvement in their research.

Most physics majors participate in one or more research projects before they graduate. Recent ones include:

  • surveys of neutral hydrogen in galaxies using Arecibo Observatory
  • metal-bearing protein structure using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • crystal growth
  • thermodynamic and optical properties of the materials that comprise the surfaces of the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn
  • pulsar timing and tests of general relativity
  • studying magnetic nanostructures such as nanoparticles and films
  • non-standard dark-matter distributions in galaxies
  • design and construction of a confocal fluorescence microscope for characterization of quantum emitters
  • building optical setups and characterizing ferroelectric materials via Raman spectroscopy

Students who achieve a grade point average of 3.25 or better are eligible to apply for the College’s EXCEL Scholars undergraduate research program, which pays a competitive wage and offers free housing during the summer and interim session. In addition, some physics faculty have been awarded grants from the National Science Foundation, the Research Corporation, or other external sources that allow them to employ student research assistants. Each fall, students who worked as EXCEL Scholars during the summer present the results of their research in posters at a session open to the campus and in talks for the Physics Club.

Physics posters shown in recent EXCEL poster sessions:

A listing of on- and off-campus summer research opportunities is maintained by the department.

Penny for your thoughts.