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Undergraduate Research

The Undergraduate Research Participation Program allows undergraduates to gain experience in advanced physics laboratories. Opportunities exist in the following fields:

Astrophysics - Dr. James Webb

Observational astrophysics acquiring and utilizing data from the Stocker AstroScience Center 24" telescope and the SARA telescopes.

Experimental Nuclear Physics - Drs. Werner Boeglin, Lei Guo, Pete Markowitz, Brian Raue, Joerg Reinhold

Students will be introduced to basic experimental nuclear physics techniques. Research projects include analysis of data for data taken in several experiments at Jefferson Lab and SLAC, development and construction of detectors for experiments at Jefferson Lab, and construction of vacuum windows for the Hall A Spectrometer at Jefferson Lab. Support is also available for travel to and participation in experiments at Jefferson Lab.

Nano and Bio Research - Dr. Jin He

Dr. He is seeking enthusiastic undergraduates (not limited to Physics major) who are interested in Nanoscience, Nanobiotechnology and single molecule biophysics. If you are motivated to participate in our highly interdisciplinary and exciting research front, please contact Dr. He. You can get trained in nano materials preparation, nano- and micro-fabrication, computer programming (for both hardware control and data analysis) and work on exciting new nano and bio stuff. Some of our research can be part of your undergraduate projects. You also have chances to present your research findings in local, regional and national scientific conferences Dr. He is also a FIU MBRS RISE Program mentor. You may also consider to apply for a MARC U*STAR program fellowship for biomedical research. You are also encouraged to apply McNair fellowship. Starting from January, 2014: Applications for a Research Experience for Undergradautes (REU) position are accepted. You will learn microfluidics and the fabrication of whole cell biosensor and single cell analysis. To apply, please send Dr. He a CV and a description of your research interest and career plan. You should have finished at least 12 credits of science and engineering courses.


Quantum Optics - Dr. Yifu Zhu

Research assistantships for undergraduate students are available in the Laser and Optical physics group. The assistantships are funded by the National Science Foundation. The research interests of the group include cavity quantum electrodynamics, atomic coherence and interference in cold atoms, light manipulation of neutral atoms, and coherent nonlinear optics at low light intensities.

Theoretical Biophysics of Protein Folding - Dr. Bernard S. Gerstman

Students will be given the opportunity to participate in theoretical research in the physics of protein folding. The mathematical physics of non-linear dynamics and polymer physics will be applied to the biologically critical question of how proteins can fold to the very specific conformations necessary to be able to carry out their biological functions that are crucial for life. The mathematical physics involves a non-linear dynamics formalism similar to the study of chaotic systems. In addition, students will use advanced graphical visualizations of the folding process on a Silicon Graphics workstation.

Theoretical Solid State Physics - Dr. Xuewen Wang

Students will be introduced to basic topics in quantum theory such as wave equation, spin matrix, and many-body interaction while working on the application of quantum theory in realistic systems. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the calculation of many-body interactions in simple atomic systems and in improving the Monte Carlo procedure used for the calculation. The results will be used to calibrate parameters in various mean-field approximation schemes, which will lead to more precise predictions of the properties of complex systems. Students involved will be exposed to other current research topics in theoretical solid state physics and will gain valuable experience with the mathematical tools and numerical procedures now commonly employed in various areas of the physical sciences.