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Undergraduate Research Programs in Physics

Research Groups
High Energy Physics GroupMaterials Science InstituteOregon Center for OpticsAstrophysics Group Institute of Molecular BiologyResearch in Other AreasSummer Research ExperiencesPhysics Advanced Projects Lab

Sample undergraduate research plan:

Year Terms Activities Information
freshman fall join an Undergraduate Research Group (URG) comprising freshman through senior physics majors with similar research interests. Continue URG participation through the rest of your undergraduate program. Contact the undergraduate advisor (email about joining an URG.
sophomore (freshman for strong students) fall-winter choose and apply to National Science Foundation “Research Experience for Undergraduates” (REU) programs NSF REU web page, see also UO Student Physical Society web page. Watch for UO SPS seminars about REUs.
sophomore (freshman for strong students) summer afterwards complete REU program (10 weeks beginning approximately second week in June) NSF REU web page, see also UO Student Physical Society web page.
sophomore or junior spring through fall meet with physics advisor about research email for appointment
junior fall-winter reading course with prospective research advisor optional: register for PHYS 405, signup sheets in physics office
junior winter-spring begin research in UO lab optional: register for PHYS 401, signup sheets in physics office
junior summer afterwards continue research in UO lab optional: register for PHYS 401, signup sheets in physics office
senior fall finish research in UO lab optional: register for PHYS 401, signup sheets in physics office
senior winter-spring write up honors thesis (optional) see this link, also can register for PHYS 403, signup sheets in physics office

Undergraduate research opportunities at UO Physics take different forms. Some students undertake research projects during the academic year and summers with UO Physics and other faculty. Many of these are thesis projects for either the UO Honors College or the research for honors program within the department. Students are also encouraged to participate in National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF REUs) which involve summer research at other institutions (REUs are structured for students to travel elsewhere). Finally, there are internships and other special programs run by UO Science Institutes. The following lists the three areas where research opportunities exist, and gives the names of student participants, their advisors, project titles, etc.

Work in the labs of research groups, including:

High Energy Physics Group (Strom, Torrence, Frey, Brau, Csonka)

(for titles and information see the web page, linked above. Note students are mentored by faculty within the group.)

Advisor Name Years Title
Ray Frey Austyn Young
Ray Frey Doug Rutledge 00-01
Eric Torrence Paul Csonka 00-03
Eric Torrence Kenneth Jacob 00-01
Eric Torrence Ron Kopald 00-01
Eric Torrence Dave Reed 00-02
David Strom Jessica Metcalfe 01-03
David Strom/ Stephen Hsu Eric Fitzgerald 02-03
David Strom Sarah Loney 02-03
David Strom Leif Karlstrom 02-03
Jim Brau Christina Turner 02-03
David Strom/Eric Torrence Brooks Harrop 03-05 High energy physics linear collider experiments
David Strom Tyler Neely 02-05
David Strom Jon Baumgardner 03-05
Eric Torrence Samantha Johnson 06
Eric Torrence Rodrigo Guzman 05-06
Ray Frey Barrett Hafner 07 Neutrino Oscillations
David Strom Barrett Hafner 07 silicon detector characterization
Ray Frey Stephen Battazzo 07 FPGA filter desgin for LIGO
Eric Torrence Stephen Battazo 06-07 linear collider instrumentation
Frey/Strom Eddie Strandberg 07 software for instrumentation
Ray Frey Megan Ray 07 double Compton scattering
David Strom Barrett Hafner 07 KPIX Circuit Design and Characterization
David Strom Eric Carlson 09-10 SiD ECAL Development
David Strom William McCann 09-10 TBD

With Faculty in the Materials Science Institute (Haydock, Taylor, Toner, Deutch, Gregory, Parthasarathy)

Faculty Name Years Title
Roger Haydock David Kim 92-93 Liouvillian classical mechanics
Roger Haydock/Dietrich Belitz Oran Looney 00-01 A classical particle in a periodic potential
Russell Donnelly Rose Honey ~97-98
Russell Donnelly Jessica Levine 00-01
Russell Donnelly Alex Stange 00-01
Russell Donnelly Ian Sullivan 02-03
Russell Donnelly Jackson Champer 03-05
Russell Donnelly Doug Neill 05 The added mass effect of a pendulum in a fluid
Steve Kevan William Scannell 01-02
Steve Kevan Josh Kogut 01-02
Heiner Linke Corey Dow 02-03 Controlling the motion of drops on asymmetric surfaces
Heiner Linke Laura Melling 02-03 Self-propelled droplets experiments
Heiner Linke David Haskell 02-03 Measurement setup for Leidenfrost studies
Heiner Linke Dan Reddy 02-03 Gian enhancement of diffusion
Heiner Linke Benji Alemean 03-04 Surface passivation of silicon chips
Heiner Linke Leif Karlstrom 03-04 A toy perpetuum mobile
Heiner Linke Leif Karlstrom 04-05 Developing a demonstration of a leidenfrost droplet system
Heiner Linke Amanda Stout 03-04 Video imaging of self-propelled liquid droplets
Heiner Linke Mike Taormina 04-06 Leidenfrost ratchets
Heiner Linke Gwynne Engleking 04-05
Heiner Linke Ryan Conrad 04-06
Richard Taylor Rodrigo Guzman 02-04 Fractal analysis of modern painters
Richard Taylor Gavin Hall 02-04 Fractal analysis of modern painters
Richard Taylor Cooper Boydston 03-04 Fractal analysis of eye and body
Richard Taylor Annika Andersson 03-04 visual properties of fractal patterns
Richard Taylor Matt Calverley 03-04 fractal analysis of eye motion
John Toner Leif Karlstrom 04-05 Experiments and theory of pitch diffusion in groups of violinists
Pete Sercel Tom Johnson 02-03
Miriam Deutsch Dan Cassell 02-03
Steve Gregory Stephanie Vitus 03-05 Plasmon oscillations on thing metallic films.
Mark Lonergan (CH)) James Myers 99-00
Dave Johnson (CH) Xavier Kyablue 02-05 Interdiffusion and nucleation of silicon-germanium multilayers
Marina Guenza (CH)) Todd Crum 02-05
George Rayfield Jeanine Amacher 04-07 Modification of Bacteriorhodopsin for use as a Holographic Storage
Raghuveer Parthasarathy Greg Tietjen 07 Probing interactions between light and microparticles.
Raghuveer Parthasarathy Jordan Crist 07 Creating and characterizing biomimetic molecular monolayers
Raghuveer Parthasarathy Isaac Settles 07 Mechanical properties of vesicle-trafficking proteins.
Raghuveer Parthasarathy Sophia Bailey 07 Piezoelectric stage design; optical trapping of emulsion droplets (UCORE)
Raghuveer Parthasarathy Sarah White 07 Mobility of membrane-anchored macromolecules (visiting REU student).
Mark Lonergan Chris Mann 06-07 Developing and understanding some novel polymer photovoltaics
Heiner Linke Tyler Hennon 06-07 Metal deposition for electron-beam lithography
Heiner Linke Adam Caccavano 06-07 FemLab modeling of heat distributions of thin films at low temperatures
Heiner Linke Andrew Chastain 06-07 Table-top demonstration of self-propelled droplets
Heiner Linke/Russ Donnelly Stephen Battazzo 06-07 Turbulence ratchets
Heiner Linke John Boyd 07 Table-top demonstration of self-propelled droplets (UCORE)
Heiner Linke Eric Hyde 07 Microsphere lithography (UCORE)
Heiner Linke Asher Tubman 07 Microsphere lithography
Heiner Linke/Russ Donnelly Tyler Hennon 07 Turbulence ratchets
Heiner Linke Chelsea Beebe Saldivar 08-10 Semiconductor fabrication & Hall bar characterization
David Cohen Rong Wu 09-10 testing amorphous silicon (a-Si:H), and amorphous silicon-germanium (a-Si,Ge:H) using Ramam spectroscopy

Research projects with the Oregon Center for Optics: (Raymer, Steck, Deutch, Wang, Noeckel, van Enk)

Faculty Name Years Title
Mike Raymer Christine Zeller 01-03 Cryogenic optical microcavities
Mike Raymer Bryan Killett 03-04 Laser-beam profiling using a Sagnac interferometer
Mike Raymer Greg Kovac 03 Photon statistics of light emitted by LEDs
Dan Steck Dan Reddy 04-05
Dan Steck Aaron Webster 05-07 Design and construction of a scanning Michelson interferometer for optical wavelength metrology, and, Design and construction of an avalanche photodetector for single photons
Dan Steck Sequoia Alba 06-07 Networked data acquisition and control hardware for ultracold atom experiments, and, Chaotic escape of light rays from a vase-shaped optical cavity
Mike Raymer Yonatan Schultz 07-08 Spin-orbit coupling of photon angular momentum
Dan Steck Ian Kelly-Morgan 07 Development of an economical Geiger mode Avalanche Photo Detector
Dan Steck Yonatan Schultz 06 Chaotic escape of light rays from a vase-shaped optical cavity
Dan Steck Jeremy Copperman 04-05 Nonlinear dynamics and pattern formation of vibro-fluidized granular media
Dan Steck Jeffry Garmin 07 Chaotic escape of light rays from a vase-shaped optical cavity
Dan Steck Jason Goff 07 Design and construction of high-precision current sources for atom cooling and trapping, and, Chaotic escape of light rays from a vase-shaped optical cavity
Dan Steck Peter Gaskell 04-07 Networked data acquisition and control hardware for ultracold atom experiments

Research projects within the Astrophysics Group: (Bothun, Schombert, Imamura)

Faculty Name Years Title
Greg Bothun Joshua Bury 02-03
Jim Schombert Jackson Champer 02-03
Jim Schombert Stephanie Vitus 02-03

Research projects with the Institute of Molecular Biology: (Remington, Matthews)

Faculty Name Years Title
Jim Remington Patrick O’Brien 99-00 crystal structure analysis of fluorescent proteins
Brian Matthews Kazuto Usui 01-02

Research in other areas:

Faculty Name Years Title
Michael Manga Geology Devon McClain 00-02
Andy Marcus Chemistry James Utterback 06-present spectroscopy to explore the dynamics of complex (chemical) systems
John Hardwick Chemistry Ian Kelly-Morgan 07 Temperature dependence of pressure broadening and shifts of acetylene at 1550nm by He, Ne, and A

Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REUs) at various other institutions:

(this research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). All REUs involve travel to other institutions. For more information, see the NSF REU web page)The following is a partial list of UO past participants in summer REUs at other institutions:

Name Years Host Institution Area
Rachel Miller 99-00 UCSD optics
Andrew Cole 00-01 Los Alamos
Ted Argo 01-03 University of Illinois acoustics
Laura Melling 01-02 University of Washington astrophysics
Christina Turner 01-03 University of Chicago astrophysics
Benji Aleman 01-02 University of Puerto Rico mathematics
Sandra Penny 02-03 University of Nevada-Los Vegas physics
Laura Melling 01-02 University of Oregon Mentor Graphics REU
Amanda Stout 02-03 University of Oregon Mentor Graphics REU
Matt Sternberg 04-05 Nuclear Physics
Leif Karlstrom 04-05 University of California-Berkeley Time evolution in Rayleigh-Benard convection cells
Liz Olhsson 05-06 National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Tallahassee, FL Microwave processing of high-temperature superconductor BSCCO
Yonotan Schultz 06-07 University of Oregon Raymer Lab
Ken Elder 06-07 University of Minnesota
Kristen Fauria 06-07 University of Arkansas/Dominican Republic (geo)
Tamela Maciel 06-07
Alice Tasker 06-07 Chabot Space & Science Center Programs to facilitate a greener center and teaching youth about the environmental impact of humans
Ian Kelly-Morgan 06 Texas A&M University Finite difference algorithm for determining magnetic fields within plasma flow
Nicole Czakon 03 external student at UO/Raymer lab Photon statistics of light emitted by LEDs
Andrew Nahlik 04 external student at UO/Raymer lab Measuring the photon wave function
Devon Biggerstaff 05 external student at UO/Raymer lab Measuring the photon wave function
Luna Schwaiger 06 external student at UO/Raymer lab Photon orbital angular momentum in optical fiber
L. Ashleigh Baumbardner 07 external student at UO/Raymer lab Spin-orbit coupling of photon angular momentum
Noah Fitch 05 external student at UO/Steck Lab Design and construction of high-precision current sources for atom cooling and trapping
Evan Sangaline 06 external student at UO/Linke Lab Automatic tracking and kinematic analysis of self-propelled droplets
Alice Tasker 08, 09 Steck Group The epistrophic fractal structure behavior of a photon inside a ‘chaotic cavity.’
David Curry 10 Cardiff University, U.K. International REU in Gravitational Physics: reconstructing gravitational wave signature of supernovae and GRBs.
Max Halverson 07 external student at UO/Linke and Donnelly Labs turbulence ratchets

Summer REUs and MSI special programs at UO (see the link, left, for more information:

  • REU hosted by the Materials Science Institute (limited opportunities for UO students, most come from elsewhere)
  • Mentor Graphics Internships for women

See also, the UO Biophysics UOSPUR site.
For additional information contact Dr.Scott Fisher, Advising Coordinator for the Department of Physics at or (541) 346-4799.


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