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Physics Research Opportunities & Collaborations

It all adds up. A Morris physics degree provides a solid basis for you to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, medicine, law, business, and more!

The University of Minnesota, Morris physics program believes undergraduate research contributes to the intellectual development of its students. There are various opportunities for students to collaborate in faculty research and to develop their own ideas. Each student carries out a senior thesis research project mentored by a faculty member, which culminates in a paper and presentation on a topic of current interest in physics.

Recent Publications and Presentations by Morris Physics Students and Faculty

Part of the scientific endeavor is to present one’s results to other scientists. The results may be submitted for publication in a discipline journal or may be presented orally at a scientific meeting.

Publications

  • Takemae, S., Kirwin, P. and McIntosh, G. 2013, "Reproducing Eratosthenes' Determination of the Circumfrence of the Earth on a Smaller Scale," The Physics Teacher, 51, 222.
  • McIntosh, G. and Patriat, R. 2010, "The Lifetime of R Cassiopeia's SiO Maser Features" Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 122, 1187.
  • McIntosh, G. and Bonde, J. 2010, "The Lifetime of Mira's SiO Maser Features" Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 112, 396.
  • McIntosh, G. and Rislow, B. 2009, "Evidence for Stable v=0, J=1→0 SiO Maser Emission from VY Canis Majoris," Astrophysical Journal, 692, 154.
  • Sylke Boyd, Jane S Murray, and Peter Politzer, Molecular dynamics characterization of void defects in crystalline (1, 3, 5-trinitro-1, 3, 5-triazacyclohexane), J. Chem. Phys. 131, 204903 (2009).
  • McIntosh, G. and Hayes, A. 2008, "Variations of the v=0, 1, 2, and 3, J=1-0 SiO Masers of R Cassiopeia," Astrophysical Journal, 678, 1324.
  • Sylke Boyd and Kevin J Boyd, A computational analysis of the interaction of lattice and intramolecular vibrational modes in crystalline alpha-RDX, J. Chem. Phys. 129, 134502 (2008).

Another hallmark of the Morris campus is its commitment to funding student travel to regional and national research conferences. Division and grant funds exist to support student travel, and almost all students who apply for travel support receive it. The following list indicates some of the meetings where Morris faculty and students have presented research in recent years.

Presentations

  • Sylke Boyd, How can we use ice halos to improve our knowledge about cirroform clouds and the conditions in the upper troposphere? in Gordon Research Conference on Radiation and Climate. 2017. Bates College, Lewiston, Maine: GRC Gordon Research Conferences.
  • Emily Moore, 2016, Binary Hard-Sphere Fluid Phases, Spring Meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers, St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN
  •  Brittney Ferrian, Kevin J. Boyd, and Sylke Boyd. Construction of a low-cost LIDAR for cirrus cloud observations. in March Meeting of the American Physical Society. 2016. Baltimore: APS.
  •  Michelle King, Morton Greenslit, and Sylke Boyd. Algorithms for ice halo detection in all-sky images. in March Meeting of the American Physical Society. 2016. Baltimore: American Physical Society
  •  Saesun Kim, 2015, Three-Particle Radial Distribution Functions in the Hard-Sphere Model, Spring Meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN
  •  Sylke Boyd, Michelle King, and Morton Greenslit. Analysis of Ice Halo Appearances Using an All-Sky Camera. in Gordon Research Conference on Radiation and Climate. 2015. Bates College, Lewiston, Maine.
  •  Zachary Klassen, Joseph Wieber, and Sylke Boyd. Climate Variability and Local Land Use in the Upper Midwest. in March Meeting of the American Physical Society. 2014. Denver, CO: APS.
  •  Shelby Richard, Jieyin Jin, and Sylke Boyd. Data Collection on Cirrus Coverage Using an Allsky Camera. in Summer Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers. 2014. Minneapolis, MN: AAPT.
  •  Stephan Sorenson, James Froberg, and Sylke Boyd. Data collection and analysis on Halo displays using an all-sky camera. in March Meeting of the American Physical Society. 2014. Denver: APS.
  •  McIntosh, G., Froberg, J. Sorenson, S., and Suihkonen, J. "Balloon-based Measurements of Cosmic Rays," June 2014 AHAC, UND, Grand Forks, ND
  •  James Froberg, John Suikkonen and Stephen Sorensen, 2013, Cosmic Ray Counts versus Altitude, Spring Meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Bethel University, Minneapolis
  •  Emma Molden, 2013, Using the radial velocity to search for orbiting planets around Mira, Spring Meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Bethel University, Minneapolis
  •  Robert Smith, 2013, Computational Study of elastic constants of cyclotrimethylene-trinitramine, Spring Meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Bethel University, Minneapolis
  •  Chad Reverman, 2013, Bulk Modulus of RDX crystals, Spring Meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Bethel University, Minneapolis
  •  Smith, R. and McIntosh, G. 2012, "The Ascent Dynamics of High Altitude Balloons", Academic High Altitude Conference, Trevecca University, Nashville, TN.
  •  Matthew Kroonblawd and Sylke Boyd, Computer Study of the Effect Voids in RDX Crystals on the Dissipation of Shock Energy and on the Vibrational Eigenmode Spectrum, International Workshop "Progress and Future Challenges in Computational Materials Science", Bremen Center for Computational Materials Science – BCCMS, University of Bremen, March 28th – 30th 2011.
  •  Patriat, R. and McIntosh, G. 2010, "The Lifetime of R Cassiopeia's SiO Maser Features", American Astronomical Society meeting Washington, DC
  •  Bonde, J. and McIntosh, G. 2008, "The Characteristic Lifetime of Mira's SiO Maser Features", American Astronomical Society meeting St. Louis, MO
  •  Rislow, B. and McIntosh, G. 2008, "Characteristic Lifetime of a Polarized Feature in the Ground State SiO Maser VY Canis Majoris", American Astronomical Society meeting St. Louis, MO

The Morris campus annually holds a symposium that highlights student research and creative activities and informs the community of student scholarly achievement. Physics students have been actively involved in this symposium.

University of Minnesota, Morris Undergraduate Research Symposium Presentations

  • Moore, Emily 2017, "Development of a Three-Dimensional Image of a Colloidal Fluid"
  • Brittney Ferrian, 2016. "Construction of a low-cost LIDAR for cirrus cloud observations"
  • Moore, Emily 2016, "Binary Hard-Sphere Fluid Phases"
  • Michelle King and Morton Greenslit 2016. "Algorithms for ice halo detection in all-sky images"
  • Kim, Saesun 2015, "Three-Particle Radial Distribution Functions in the Hard-Sphere Model"
  • Michelle King 2015, " A New Method of Image Analysis for Measurement of Cirroform Clouds"
  • Kim, Saesun 2014, "Virial Coefficients for Liquid Argon"
  • Patzer, Mitch 2014, "Virial Coefficients of a Hard-Sphere Fluid"
  • Zach Klassen and Josef Wieber 2014," Climate Variability and Local Land Use in the Upper Midwest"
  • Stephen Sorenson and James Froberg 2014, "Data Collection and Analysis on Halo Displays Using an All-Sky Camera"
  • Molden, Emma 2013, "Using the radial velocity to search for orbiting planets around Mira"
  • Smith, Robert 2013, "Computational Study of elastic constants of cyclotrimethylene-trinitramine"
  • Reverman, Chad 2013," Bulk Modulus of RDX crystals"
  • Kroonblawd, Matt 2012, "Computer Study of Thermal Energy Transfer in Crystalline TATB"
  • Smith, Robert 2012, "The Ascent Dynamics of High Altitude Balloons"
  • Kessler, Jerome 2011, "Weather Trends Spanning a Hundred Years from the Morris Region"
  • Kroonblawd, Matt 2011, "Computational Study of Shock Energy Distribution in the vicinity of a Void in Crystalline RDX"
  • Lind, Jeff 2011, "Skylight Polarization from a Balloon Flight"
  • Patriat, Remi 2010, "The Characteristic Lifetime of R Cassiopeia's SiO Maser Features"
  • Setzer, Will 2010, "Spectroscopic Measurements of Highly Excited Potassium Atoms in an Electric Field under the Influence of Diffuse Krypton Gas"

As indicated above, each student prepares a senior thesis topic.

Senior Theses

  • Ferrian, Brittney 2017, "Geometrical Frustration with a Few Thousand Coupled Lasers"
  • Moore, Emily 2017, "Turbulence and Flow Variation in Forest Canopies and Complex Terrain"
  • Gonda, Thomas 2017, "Direct Dark Matter Detection using WIMPs from the Commissioning Run of the PandaX-II Experiment"
  • Lasley.Roy 2016, "All Optical Single Photon Switches and Transistors Utilizing Rubidium Rydberg Atoms"
  • King, Michelle 2016, "Ultrafast single-electron transfer in coupled quantum dots driven by a few-cycle chirped pulse"
  • Miller, Claire 2016, "Possible Accretion Mechanisms for Super Massive Black Holes at High Redshift"
  • Greenslit, Morton 2016, "The Establishment of Temperature of Quark-Gluon Plasma in Heavy Ion Collisions"
  • Wieber, Josef 2015, "Fano-resonant metamaterials and their effects on electro-magnetic waves"
  • Thurnbeck, Alex 2015, "Antiparticle Plasmas for Antihydrogen trapping, Resonant Quantum Transitions"
  • Jin, Jieying 2015, "Very large Magneto-optical trap"
  • Brand, Wesley 2015, "Quantum Computing on Superconducting Circuits"
  • Kim, Saesun 2015, "Non-Classical Path in the Triple-Slit Experiment"
  • Patzer, Mitch 2015, "Interstellar Dust Grain Alignment by Radiative Torque (RAT) in the Local Interstellar Medium"
  • Graham, Sam 2014, "Superhydrophobic Surfaces and Their Effect on Skin-Friction Drag"
  • Ehlers, Peter 2014, "Solving the Klein-Gordon Equation for an Infinite Square Well with a Moving Wall"
  • Froberg, James 2014, "Graphene Negative Differential Resistance Transistor Devices"
  • Hastings, Jay 2014, "Effective Conductivity in Thermoelectric Materials"
  • Klassen, Zach 2014, "Complete Optical Absorption in Periodically Patterned Graphene"
  • Molden, Emma 2014, "Lateral Force Microscopy Measures the Directional Dependence of Friction on the Atomic Level"
  • Suihkonen, John 2014, "The Interpretation of the Depth of Maximum of High Energy Air Showers"
  • Sorenson, Stephen 2014, "Effects of the Atmosphere on Air Fluorescence Measurements"
  • Reverman, Chad 2013, "Methods of Determining The Hubble Constant"
  • Smith, Robert 2013, "How to Interpret a Quantum State"
  • Hansen, Alli 2013, "Using Pulsar Timing to Detect Gravitational Waves"
  • Yamamoto, Tetsuya 2013, "Invisible cloaking technique at microwave frequency"
  • Ratzlaff, Jack 2013, "Optical Tweezers and their Application in the Unfolding of DNA"
  • Hoffman, Brandon 2012, "Spin Torque Transfer in Magnetic Multi-Layer Junctions"
  • Kroonblawd, Matt 2012, "Computer Study of Thermal Energy Transfer in Crystalline TATB"
  • Martin, Will 2012, "Manipulation of Rydberg States"
  • Lind, Jeffrey 2011, "EBEX and The Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization"
  • Kessler, Jerry 2011, "High-Temperature Superconductivity and the Pseudogap"
  • Martin, Johanna 2011, "Extrasolar Planet Detection Using the Transit Method"
  • Owen, Lewis 2011, "The Rotational Dynamics of Supersolid Helium-4"
  • Sampers, David 2011 "Electrical Spin Injection with Double Tunnel Junctions"

Finances

Three programs fund many of the student and faculty collaborations mentioned above:

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP)

The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) is a University-wide program that provides academically talented students the opportunity to earn up to $1,400 while developing their own scholarly and creative projects.

Morris Academic Partners (MAP)

This program is unique to the Morris campus, providing paid research partnerships to academically talented, qualified third-year students. The standard stipend is $2,000.

Multi-Ethnic Mentorship Program (MMP)

The Multi-Ethnic Mentorship Program (MMP) affords students of color the opportunity to receive a $2,000 stipend for working with faculty or staff on year-long projects.

McNair Scholarship (Since 2017)

Morris's McNair project will prepare cohorts of low-income, first-generation students and students from groups underrepresented in graduate education for doctoral study. It will build on Morris's culture of support for student engagement, academic excellence, and scholarly activity, providing McNair Scholars with a cohesive series of activities designed to prepare them for successful admission to and completion of doctoral programs, particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.

Additional Opportunities

Faculty pursue research funding from University sources and granting agencies like the National Science Foundation and use part of that money to hire students to assist with their investigations. Physics majors conduct undergraduate research projects at UMM or through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and other off-campus summer programs.

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