Physics Major - Research Opportunities

USciences Physics majors participate in internships and summer research opportunities at national laboratories, collaborating laboratories at Research 1 universities, and private companies. These novel experiences provide our majors with opportunities to work and mature in a professional environment, acquire new skills, expand their career network, and participate in publishable frontier research beyond their campus environment. In recent years, physics majors have interned at NASA, the University of Maryland, and other leading institutes in the field.

Undergraduate Research

USciences Physics majors  have a great opportunity to conduct research under the mentorship of the Department’s Physics faculty who are leading experts in several sub-disciplines of physics

  • In the area of Materials Sciences, the Ultra-Low Temperature and Quantum Device Group led by Dr. Ramos performs experimental research in the areas of basic and applied superconductivity, nanotechnology, quantum mechanics, and aspects of quantum computing.
  • In the area of Biophysics, the group led by Dr. Freire aims at the development of lab-on-a-chip platforms for biological applications.
  • In the area of Astrophysics the group led by Dr. Halpern conducts investigation on complex and higher-dimensional solutions in general relativity, the history of modern physics, and the relationship between science and culture.
  • In the area of Chaos and Complexity the group led by Dr. Eschenazi conducts theoretical and experimental investigations  of the dynamical behavior of complex systems in condensed matter, fluids, and quantum systems. It uses Dynamical Atomic Force Microscopy to unravel the nature of intermolecular forces.
  • In the area of Physics Education Research, Brunner, Dr. Aurora, Dr. Ramos, Dr. Eschenazi and Dr. Freire with their students investigate new pedagogical techniques and instructional environments. The objective is to better understand how physics is learned and to generate better student learning outcomes in physics.

Major Research Equipment and Facilities

The Department has several Physics Research Laboratories which are available for undergraduate research. These laboratories are outfitted with state-of-the-art, advanced equipment that are accessible to undergraduates. These include:

  • An Ultra-low Temperature and Quantum Device Laboratory has a cryocooler that goes down to 2 Kelvin (2 degrees above absolute zero) in under two hours, and a helium-3 "wet" cryostat with a base temperature of 330 milli-Kelvin. These enable undergraduate researchers to do research normally found in large research universities.
  • A Kurt & Lesker Nano36 Evaporator and Deposition System for fabricating films and devices.
  • An Atomic Force Microscopy system also capable of STM microscopy, nano manipulation and measurements of intermolecular forces.
  • The instrumentation to characterize lab-on-a-chip platforms includes a signal generator, a high voltage amplifier, a Hitachi CCD camera, and an imaging system. There is also a Nikon inverted dark-field microscope, and a sterile hood. A simulation package COMSOL Multiphysics is used for device design, and device control is done by programs based on LabView.
  • Computational facilities which includes multi-processor workstations.