Research in the physics department focuses on student involvement during every step of scientific process. Students collect and analyze their own data, communicate their work in writing, and present their results at conferences and workshops. Many students publish their work in peer reviewed journals. Opportunities for student research in the department are numerous, with a wide ranging expertise of the faculty. Please contact the faculty member below if you are interested in exploring research opportunities.


Simulations of starburst galaxies, active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, and star forming regions, computational astrophysics, high performance computing, machine learning (Chris Richardson); photometric analysis of galaxy morphologies, emission line galaxy spectroscopy, and gamma ray bursts (Tony Crider).


Biomimetics, magnetic microspheres, magnetic hyperthermia and targeted drug delivery (Ben Evans); cell and tissue interactions during cancer treatment (Richard Blackmon).

Theoretical Physics

Quantum theory and quantum fields in curved space (Martin Kamela); non-linear dynamics (chaos), statistical physics, and emergence (Pranab Das).

Material Science

Magnetic materials, thin film deposition and ultrahigh vacuum (Kyle Altmann); quantifying biopolymer properties using nanoparticle sensors (Richard Blackmon).


Catalytic chemical processes (Sirena Hargrove-Leak); improving airport security scanners, using controllers to run drones (Scott Wolter); laser-based personalized cancer treatments and optical techniques for assessing dental restorations(Richard Blackmon); mass / heat transfer, modeling diffuse transport and delivery of drugs to the female reproductive tract (Jonathan Su) .

Physics and Engineering Education

Innovations in classroom and course design (Tony Crider, Kyle Altmann); developing educational activities (Sirena Hargrove-Leak, Martin Kamela); understanding youth culture as it pertains to science and engineering college education (Sirena Hargrove-Leak); gender differences in introductory physics courses (Chris Richardson); use of technology to enhance student classroom experiences (Jonathan Su).

Interdisciplinary Studies

Solar energy (Scott Wolter); exploring links between science, religion, and society (Pranab Das, Tony CriderMartin Kamela); communicating science to the public (Claudine Moreau, Tony Crider, Pranab Das); science Fiction Writing (Claudine Moreau); HIV prevention (Jonathan Su) .