"I was surprised by the amount of time professors were willing to spend answering questions and teaching outside of the lectures. This trend has continued since I started working with a research group. I also didn't appreciate breadth and variability of work in physics when I began my studies. Doing physics can mean everything from studying (and then putting to use) mathematical abstractions all the way down to writing software and building equipment. This fact, along with the IU physics department's learn-by-doing approach allows students to gain a lot of experience in a variety of areas."
Chris plans to graduate in 2008 with degrees in mathematics, physics, and classical studies.
Physics students have ample opportunity to work with faculty, scientists and staff in the various research labs in the Physics Department and Indiana University Center for Exploration of Energy and Matter (CEEM). Working in a real research environment is an invaluable experience - a very important one in your education. You develop skills in electronics, hardware, software in addition to the written and oral communication and interpersonal skills needed to work in collaborations.
As an example, students working in the Nuclear/Particle Physics Group, such as IUSTARS student Sam Adams (pictured at the right), attend weekly research meetings at which they present current work in collaboration with scientists and engineers. Sam is studying the optical connection between lead glass bars and sensitive photon detectors. This work is part of the design process for the GlueX experiment, which will study confinement of quarks.
In addition to research opportunities within the department, several Indiana University physics majors have participated in undergraduate research opportunities provided by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Applied Physics students have also interned at local companies.
Every summer, the NSF-Sponsored REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program brings twenty or so physics majors from throughout the country to work with scientists and engineers at both the IU Cyclotron and IU Department of Physics.
The following faculty members and research groups have specifically indicated a willingness to supervise undergraduates in research work. Even if a particular research area or faculty member is not indicated here, do not hesitate to inquire and indicate your desire to work with them.
Beggs, John – statistical physics of living neural networks using experimental data and computational models
Berger, Mike – theoretical astrophysics, cosmology, particle physics
Brabson, Ben – Climate Physics, including 250-year temperature records and model prediction out to 2100
de Ruyter, Rob – experimental and computational work on information processing in biological systems, in particular the fly visual system
Glazier, James – experimental or computational soft condensed matter physics and biophysics
Gottlieb, Steven – computational physics or theoretical elementary particle physics
Horowitz, Charles – nuclear theory/astrophysics, neutrino interactions in dense matter, supernovae and neutron stars
Kostelecky, Alan – Lorentz and CPT violation
Lammers, Sabine –Experimental particle physics research in proton-antiproton collisions with the D0 detector and proton-proton collisions with the ATLAS detector.
Lee, S.Y. – design and construction of a compact electron and photon source at IU/IUCF, beam dynamics, rf cavity design and measurement, magnet design, etc.
Liu, Chen-Yu – experimental tests of electroweak theory using low energy neutrons and the electric dipole moment search
Lunghi, Enrico–Theoretical Particle Physics
Messier, Mark – experimental neutrino physics using the MINOS and NOvA detectors
Tayloe, Rex – MiniBooNE: neutrino oscillations and interactions
Musser, Jim – neutrino physics/astrophysics: participate in test of CCD mosaic for use on Palomar Schmidt
Ogren, Harold – operation of a TRT module in our laboratory, developing the hardware and software to read out cosmic rays in the module, and various computer projects related to analysis of ATLAS Monte Carlo data
Sokol, Paul- experimental condensed matter studies using x-ray and neutron scattering of superfluids, confined liquids and solids and energy storage materials
Shepherd, Matt – particle physics; studying nature's strongest force with experiments at Cornell University and Jefferson Lab
Snow, Mike – neutron weak interactions/neutron scattering/polarized
Szczepaniak, Adam – anaylsis of meson production data, development of canonical, Hamiltonian approach to QCD
Urheim, John – experimental particle physics with the MINOS and NOvA neutrino detectors
Van Kooten, Rick – proton-proton collisions at the highest energies in the world using the ATLAS detector at LHC and the D0 detector on the Tevatron at Fermilab; linear collider detector R&D
Wissink, Scott – studies of proton spin structure – calibration and analyses using electromagnetic calorimetry with the STAR detector at RHIC