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Research Opportunities

 

 

Students are invited, from their first year on, to participate in research with faculty on an informal or formal basis. Research experiences are expected of physics and engineering students. To see ongoing research projects by faculty members, refer to the faculty pages on the left. Our faculty research specialties include geophysics, earthquake seismology, relativity, astrophysics, science education, solid-state physics, low-temperature physics, and laser spectroscopy. We have access to numerous laser labs, low-temperature equipment, the Winfree Observatory, the Randolph College Seismography Station, and much more.    

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of many paid summer research opportunities. The College also has its own Summer Research Program (http://www.randolphcollege.edu/summer), which has physics projects every year.  This program is open only to Randolph College students and allows for research in any subject area.  Students may work on an existing ongoing project, work on a newly proposed project or, design their own project under the supervision of a  participating professor.  Each summer the program hosts over ten different projects from departments across campus.  For eight weeks, one or two students work with a faculty member to develop their project and present their findings and conclusions to those on campus in a formal presentation and discussion setting. Often, the presentations are also taken to national meetings.

The Department of Physics requires one-semester of independent research during the senior year on projects of the students' choosing, closely mentored by a faculty member. These projects can be done more extensively (over a longer time) for Departmental Honors.

Research Projects in Physics

Student Grad Year Year of Research Type of Research Research Advisor Title 
Iva Gerasimenko 2010 2010 Senior Research Gilstrap TBA
Katrina Wiechmann 2009 2009 Senior Research Michalik Finding the Proper Motion of Barnardís Star at the Winfree Observatory
Stephanie Lyons 2009 2009 Senior Research Michalik Scattering Theory
Tiffany Paonessa 2009 2009 Senior Research Sheldon A Colorful Sky:  A Study of Atmospheric Phenomena
Wai Sze (Winncy) Cheung 2009 2009 Senior Research Sheldon The Physics of Robot Building
Iva Gerasimenko 2010 2009 NASA SARP Internship -- Examination of wave band pattern feature observed in northwestern Monterey Bay airborne imagery
Cheridan Harris 2010 2009 REU:  -- ?
Cheridan Harris 2010 2009 Senior Research Michalik Approximate Solar Temperatures from Color Indices Measured at the Winfree Observatory
Emily Schuetz 2008 2008 Senior Research Sheldon The Physics of Baseball Pitchers' Injuries
Kacey Meaker 2008 2008 Honors Research Michalik Relativistic Acceleration and Rotation
Reeju Pokharel 2008 2008 Senior Research Sheldon Why Not Solar Power?
Kacey Meaker 2008 2008 RC Summer Research Sheldon A Book for the Roller Coaster Enthusiast that Does Good Physics
Stephanie Lyons 2009 2008 REU: Notre Dame -- 14N (p,p) Scattering with the KN Van de Graff Accelerator
Wai Sze (Winncy) Cheung 2009 2008 DAAD Summer Research -- Synthesis of Nanosized Silicon Powders and Characterization of Their Electrical Properties
Iva Gerasimenko 2010 2008 RC Summer Research Toteva Fault damage and healing processes from semblance analysis of waveforms generated by repeating earthquakes
Sreya Bagchi 2010 2008 RC Summer Research Toteva Fault damage and healing processes from semblance analysis of waveforms generated by repeating earthquakes
Reeju Pokharel 2008 2007 RMWC Summer Research Toteva Seismic Refraction Analysis to Define Depth to Bedrock in Lynchburg, VA
Katrina Wiechmann 2009 2007 RMWC Summer Research Cohen Greek Theatrical Masks: Practical Methods and Artistic Implications
Stephanie Lyons 2009 2007 REU: Notre Dame Wiescher Proton Scattering From Nitrogen-14
Carly Torisky 2006 2006 Senior Research Michalik Correlations Between Impact Angle and Eccentricity of Blood Spatter Patterns
Jessica Maidment 2006 2006 Senior Research Sheldon Science Education: Testing an Inquiry-Based Curriculum for Teachers of Grades 3-8
Jessica Maidment 2006 2006 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon Collaborative Institute in the Sciences: A Classroom-focused Professional Development Opportunity
Sunnie Joshi 2007 2006 Senior Research Michalik A Study of Basic Principles of Fluid Dynamics and the Navier-Stokes Equation
Sunnie Joshi 2007 2006 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon Collaborative Institute in the Sciences: A Classroom-focused Professional Development Opportunity
Emily Schuetz 2008 2006 REU: Univ. of Maryland D'Souza Studied Image-Guided Radiotherapy With Cone Beam CT Imaging
Kacey Meaker 2008 2006 REU: NIST -- Cyclodextrins: From Physics to the Pharmacy
Katrina Wiechmann 2009 2006 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon Optical Spectroscopy of Defects in Yttrium Orthovanadate (YVO4) Crystals
Wai Sze (Winncy) Cheung 2009 2006 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon Optical Spectroscopy of Defects in Yttrium Orthovanadate (YVO4) Crystals
Tracey Wellington 2005 2005 Senior Research Michalik Observing Exoplanet Transits of the Stars HD 209458 and TRES-1 
Weiqin Bao 2005 2005 Honors Research Ordower The Advantages of Wavelets Over Fourier Series
Yonique Sutherland 2006 2005 Senior Research Sheldon Technology in Physics Education
Kidest (Kiddy) Tita (EVST major) 2006 2005 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon Can Science Teaching be More Effective Using Active Learning Techniques in the K-8 Classroom?
Kacey Meaker 2008 2005 RMWC Summer Research Seidman Thermal Lens Calorimetry: A New Method of Determining Heat Capacities and Thermal Conductivitie of Organic Solvents
Aliya Gifford 2004 2004 Honors Research Sheldon Study of Surface Property Characterization of a Nuclepore Substrate by Adsorption Isotherm and Scanning Tunneling Microscope
Gemma Griffin (EDU major) 2004 2004 Honors Research Sheldon Influence of Inquiry Science on Student Achievement and Instruction in the K-5 Science Classroom
Holly Groover 2004 2004 Honors Research Seidman Analyzing Reality: A Quantum Theoretical Approach
Sarah Priester 2004 2004 Senior Research Michalik Using a CCD Camera to Observe the Primary Eclipse of the Eclipsing Binary Star RW Geminorum 
Stephanie Canyon 2004 2004 Senior Research Sheldon Builing a Dye Laser / SC dropped out in Spring '02
Jennifer Lundy (BIO major) 2005 2004 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon The New Science Teacher: Educational Resources for the Science Educator
Carly Torisky 2006 2004 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon The New Science Teacher: Educational Resources for the Science Educator
Tracy Thorn 2003 2003 Senior Research Sheldon Temperature Dependent Luminescence of Optical Crystals
Shaima Saba Sattar 2004 2003 Senior Research Michalik Stress and Strain on a Simple Beam
Aliya Gifford 2004 2003 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon Strengthening K-8 Science Teaching Through the Science Pages: Web-based Initiatives for Science Educators
Weiqin Bao 2005 2003 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon Strengthening K-8 Science Teaching Through the Science Pages: Web-based Initiatives for Science Educators
Bianca Juganaru (self-designed EVST major) 2002 2002 Senior Research Sheldon Solar Power
Miranda Dettwyler 2002 2002 Honors Research Michalik A Study of Basic Principles of Cosmology
Tracy Thorn 2003 2002 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon Luminescence Spectroscopy of Optical Crystals Using a Home-Built Dye Laser
Holly Groover 2004 2002 RMWC Summer Research Seidman Theoretical Investigation of the Transport Mechanism(s) of Nitric Oxide in Biological Systems
Lourdes Cuellar (BIO major) 2004 2002 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon How Interactive Online Science Modules Influence the Development of Scientific Concepts and Pedagogical Knowledge of Prospective K-8 Educators
Sarah Priester 2004 2002 REU: Vanderbilt -- particle physics
Tracey Wellington 2005 2002 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon How Interactive Online Science Modules Influence the Development of Scientific Concepts and Pedagogical Knowledge of Prospective K-8 Educators
Katrina Parkinson 2001 2001 Senior Research Michalik An Investigation of Roche Lobes and the Roche Limit for Close Binary Stars 
Keri Pilling 2001 2001 Senior Research Michalik Computer Simulation of Quantum Mechanical Wave Packet Motion in One Dimension 
Melissa (Mitzi) Boswell 2001 2001 Senior Research Sheldon Monte Carlo Modeling of JLab Spectrometers
Stephanie Sydorko 2001 2001 Honors Research Sheldon Adsorption Isotherm of Nitrogen on a Nuclepore Surface at 77 K
Katherine Flansburg (EDU major) 2003 2001 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon Science Teaching: Using computer simulation modules to facilitate the development of science and pedagogical knowledge among perspective preservice teachers
Holly Groover 2004 2001 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon Computerizing the Introductory Physics Laboratory to Improve Student Learning
Karrell Thompson (MATH major) 2004 2001 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon Science Teaching: Using computer simulation modules to facilitate the development of science and pedagogical knowledge among perspective preservice teachers
Jessica Maddox (minor; MATH major) 2001 2000 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon Computerizing the Introductory Physics Laboratory to Improve Student Learning
Stephanie Sydorko 2001 2000 RMWC Summer Research Sheldon Computerizing the Introductory Physics Laboratory to Improve Student Learning
Melissa (Mitzi) Boswell 2001 2000 REU: JLAB -- calibrate one of the magnetic detectors used to probe the inner structure of the proton
Miranda Dettwyler 2002 2000 REU: Texas A&M -- Dept. of Oceanography. Developed their website, took a two-week trip in the Gulf of Mexico, and helped do oceanography experiments that studied the flow of water and heat in the Gulf
Carrie Murray 1999 1999 Senior Research Sheldon A Study of Spectral Indices of a Sample of Active Galactic Nuclei
Huong Nguyen 1999 1999 Senior Research Sheldon Scripting Interactive Physlets for use as Physics Teaching Tools
Stephanie Sydorko 2001 1999 REU: Bucknell Cunningham Thermo and Elastic Properties of Biomembranes: An X-ray Diffraction Study 
Melissa (Mitzi) Boswell 2001 1999 REU: JLAB -- calibrate one of the magnetic detectors used to probe the inner structure of the proton
Brantley Dollar 1998 1998 Senior Research Michalik Using a CCD Camera to Obtain the Light Curve of the Eclipsing Binary Star UW Orionis 
Carrie Murray 1999 1998 REU: Bucknell Chester Studying host galaxies of active galactic nuclei
Huong Nguyen 1999 1998 REU: Kansas State -- Monte Carlo simulation of muon-neutrino interactions with nuclei
Melinda Floyd 1996 1996 Senior Research Criss Building a Nitrogen Laser 
Susannah Lomant 1995 1995 Senior Research Michalik Using a CCD Camera to Obtain the Light Curve of the Eclipsing Binary Star XY Leonis 
Susannah Lomant 1995 1994 NIST -- Monte Carlo Simulations of Electron Cascades in a Solid
Becky Ghent 1993 1993 Honors Research Michalik Cellular Automata as a Means of Modeling Physical Phenomena
Becky Ghent 1993 1993 NIST - Computer Calculations in Quantum Electrodynamics
Branka Cehic 1993 1993 Senior Research Peters Building a Lock-In Amplifier 
Sasha Rao 1993 1993 Senior Research Michalik Using a CCD Camera to Obtain the Light Curve of the Pulsating Variable Star VZ Cancri 
Sasha Rao 1993 1992 REU: Lehigh -- Studying the adsorption of polymers to surfaces 
Becky Ghent 1993 1992 NASA Summer Scholars -- Data analysis on ground measurements of microwave emission from atmospheric ozone
Vera Siregar 1991 1991 Senior Research Michalik A Study of Coupled Oscillations Including Computer Simulation 
Becky Ghent 1993 1991 NASA Summer Scholars -- Data analysis on ground measurements of microwave emission from atmospheric ozone
Mari Yamagiwa 1990 1990 Senior Research Michalik Computer Simulation of Three-Body Motion 
Sara Woldehanna 1990 1990 Senior Research Carnevali Attenuation of Heavy Ion beams in Plasma
Susan Tietz 1990 1990 Senior Research Michalik The Strength of Materials and Determining the Plane of Failure
Sara Woldehanna 1990 1989 REU: William & Mary - Characterizing and Calibrating Particle Detectors
Vera Siregar 1991 1989 REU: UVA - Topic Unknown
Sara Woldehanna 1990 1988 REU: UVA - Topic Unknown
Alicia Hofler 1987 1987 Senior Research Michalik Computer Simulation of Orbits Within Saturn's Rings 
Sherrie Preische 1987 1987 Honors Research Michalik A Study of Basic Principles of Plasma Physics (Honors Project) 
Sherrie Preische 1987 1986 Summer Research: UVA Poon Computer Calculation of Quasicrystal Properties

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Department of Physics
Randolph College
2500 Rivermont Avenue
Lynchburg, VA 24503
tel.: (434) 947-8488   fax: (434) 947-8333