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Research Opportunities

The Department of Physics/Astronomy has several research programs which are open to student involvement at all levels. If you are interested in participating, feel free to contact the faculty members involved for more information. 

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Astronomy/Astrophysics

The astronomy research group at our department investigates both old and young stellar populations. Many questions remain as to how the Milky Way formed and how it will evolve. By studying objects like globular clusters, dwarf galaxies, and young stellar clusters in Galactic star-forming fields, we can better understand how they may have played a role in the evolution of the Milky Way. Students play a key role in carrying out this research. They learn valuable skills such as data analysis, critical thinking, and computational analysis.

There are several research projects which are either ongoing or in the planning stage, most of which have openings for student contributions. 

Contact: Nadia Kaltcheva and Barton Pritzl

Experimental Particle Physics

Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of nuclear interactions, is well tested at high energies, where the coupling constant is relatively small and quantum mechanical perturbation theory applies. However, at low energies, where the coupling constant is large, interactions between particles are not well understood. Developing a strong understanding of these interactions will help solve a range of problems in astrophysics, cosmology, and complex systems particle and condensed matter physics.

Contact: Mark Lattery

Physics of Nanofibers

This research is focused on preparation of metal-oxide and composite metal-oxide nanofibers using electrospinning method. By varying chemical composition of the solutions for electrospinning we are able to create great variety of flexible nanofibers with diameters ranging from 500 nm down to 50 nm, and to tune their physical and chemical properties. Surface morphology of nanofibers is investigated using electron microscopes whereas structural changes are probed with X-ray diffraction system. Infrared and ultraviolet spectroscopies are used to probe the optical properties of the fibers whereas surface area determination is performed with a BET instrument.   

Contact: Nenad Stojilovic

Infrared and Magneto-Optical Spectroscopy of Exotic Materials

In this project we use infrared and magneto-optical spectroscopy to probe electrodynamic response of charge carriers in materials with exotic properties. We are currently interested in iron-based superconductors and topological insulators. Experiments are performed at temperatures ranging from room temperature down to 5 Kelvin. For magneto-optical studies, performed in fields up to 18 Tesla, we use facilities at National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. These projects are done in collaboration with Dr. Sasa Dordevic from the University of Akron and Dr. Cedomir Petrovic from Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Contact: Nenad Stojilovic

Physics Teaching and Learning

The Lattery Physics and Engineering Research Group (LPEER) at UW Oshkosh is a collaboration of students, teachers, and researchers interested in how students learn in a model-centered science classroom.

This research is leading us in three  directions:

  • the development of models that attempt to describe/explain student reasoning about force and motion in introductory physics 
  • a critical re-examination of the "early learners" in the history of mechanics (e.g.,  Archimedes, Buridan, and Galileo)
  • the design of new classroom technology (hardware and software) for physics teaching 

Empirical studies are being conducted in UW Oshkosh classrooms. Analysis of student reasoning is being used to clarify interpretations of the historical literature, and vice versa. Recent advances in classroom technology allow us to pose and answer many new research questions in this area. LPEER collaborates closely with Dr. Calvin Kalman and his education research team at Concordia University in Canada. 

Contact: Mark Lattery


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by reinecka last modified Apr 09, 2018 03:53 PM