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Physics Research Opportunities & Collaborations

It all adds up. A Morris physics degree provides a solid basis for young scientists to pursue careers in engineering, academia, research, teaching, and industry.

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 current topic of 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

  • M. L. Keeler, W. Setzer, and W. W. Martin. 2010, “Rydberg-electron Decoherence in Experimentally Obtained Recurrence Spectra “ Phys. Rev. A, 82:053406.
  • 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 ν= 0, J= 1→0 SiO Maser Emission from VY Canis Majoris," Astrophysical Journal, 692, 154.
  • 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.

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

  • Jame Froberg, John Suikkonen and Stephen Sorensen, 2013, Cosmic Ray Counts versus Altitude, Spring Meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Phyisics 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 Phyisics 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 Phyisics Teachers, Bethel University, Minneapolis
  • Chad Reverman, 2013, Bulk Modulus of RDX crystals, Spring Meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Phyisics 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.
  • Patriat, R. and McIntosh, G. 2010, “The Lifetime of R Cassiopeia’s SiO Maser Features”, American Astronomical Societymeeting Washington, DC
  • Bonde, J. and McIntosh, G. 2008, “The Characteristic Lifetime of Mira's SiO Maser Features”, American Astronomical Societymeeting 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 Societymeeting 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

  • Emma Molden, 2013, Using the radial velocity to search for orbiting planets around Mira
  • Robert Smith, 2013, Computational Study of elastic constants of cyclotrimethylene-trinitramine
  • Chad Reverman, 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

  • 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.

Additional Oppertunities 

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.