College of Science and Health > Academics > Physics and Astrophysics > Research

Department Research

Our faculty members are actively engaged in research in various fields of physics. They structure their research so that undergraduates can participate, even beginning early in a student's academic career.

Research topics range from experimental to theoretical physics, cosmology to condensed matter, in-house research to studies conducted at laboratories like Argonne National Lab and Fermilab. We encourage students to take the leap and get involved with research in the physics & astrophysics department.

Below lists research focusing on specific areas with faculty. Students at all levels are encouraged to discuss opportunities for conducting research  with one of the faculty members.

  • ​Bernhard Beck-Winchatz, Astrophysics, Atmospheric Science
  • Susan M. Fischer: Nuclear Physics, Physics Education Research
  • Gabriela Gonzalez-Aviles: Materials Science
  • Christopher Goedde: Molecular Dynamics, Dynamical Systems, and Computational Physics
  • Mary Bridget Kustusch: Physics Education Research
  • Eric Landahl: Ultra-fast Physics
  • Jesus Pando: Cosmology
  • Anuj P. Sarma: Star Formation, Radio Astronomy

Faculty Research Descriptions​​

Recent Publications

S. Fischer. "Performance tests of a large area position-sensitive planar germanium detectors with conventional and amorphous contacts" (with S. Gros et al). Nuclear Instruments and Meth. 602A. 466. (2009).

C. Goedde. "The interplay of thermal and pump fluctuations in stimulated Brillouin scattering" (with E. Huynh et al). Optics Communications 281, 836-845. (2008).

G. Gonzalez Aviles. "The Structure of Strontium-doped Hydroxyapatite: An Experimental and Theoretical Study". Phys Chem DOI: 10.1039/b802841a. (2008).

G. Gonzalez Aviles. "In Situ Studies on the Kinetics of Formation and Crystal Structure of the Phase In4Sn3O12 Using High-energy, X-ray Diffraction" (with JS. Okasinski et al). J Appl Phys 104: (4) 043520. (2008).

M.B. Kustusch. "Assessing the impact of representational and contextual problem features on student use of right-hand rules", Physical Review Physics Education Research, 12, 010102, (2016).

M.B. Kustusch. “Student Conceptions of Expertise” (with C. Bertram et al). In C.K. Looi, J. Polman, U.Cress, & P. Reimann (Eds.),  Transforming Learning, Empowering Learners:  The International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS), Vol 2. Singapore:  International Society of the Learning Sciences. (2016).

M.B. Kustusch. “Exploring student difficulties with observation location” (with J. Bryant, R. Dawod, et al). In A. Churukian, D.L. Jones, & L. Ding (Eds.), Physics Education Research Conference , College Park, MD. (2015).

M.B. Kustusch. “Name the experiment! Interpreting thermodynamic derivatives as thought experiments” (with et al). American Journal of Physics, 82, 39-46. (2014).

M.B. Kustusch. “Partial derivative games in thermodynamics: A cognitive task analysis" (with et al). Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, 10, 010101. (2014).

M.B. Kustusch. “The real prize inside: Learning about science and spectra from cereal boxes” (with R. Beichner et al). The Physics Teacher 47, 450-453. (2009).

M.B. Kustusch. “Scaling up education reform” (with R. Beichner et al). Journal of College Science Teaching, 37, 48-53. (2008).

E. Landahl. "Time-Resolved Structural Measurement of Thermal Resistance across a Buried Semiconductor Heterostructure Interface.  Materials. 2023; 16(23):7450. Article​

E. Landahl.  "Measuring femtometer lattice displacements driven by free carrier diffusion in a polycrystalline semiconductor using time-resolved x-ray scattering" (with S. Lee et al).  Applied Physics Letters 113, 032107. (2018).

E. Landahl. "Direct Measurements of Multi-photon Induced Nonlinear Lattice Dynamics in Semiconductors via Time-resolved X-ray Scattering" (with G. J. Wilson, M. Watson et al).  Scientific Reports 6.  Article 39506. (2016).

E. Landahl. "Picosecond x-ray strain rosette reveals direct laser excitation of coherent transverse acoustic phonons" (with S. Lee et al). Scientific Reports 6, 19140. (2016).

E. Landahl. "X-ray characterization of a multichannel smart-pixel array detector" (with M. Tarpley et al). Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 23, 196-205. (2016).

E. Landahl. "Pushing x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy beyond the continuous frame rate limit" (with E. Dufresne et al). Optics Express 24, 355-364. (2016).

E. Landahl. "Demonstration of a time-resolved x-ray scattering instrument utilizing the full-repetition rate of x-ray pulses at the Pohang Light Source" (with S. Lee et al). Review of Scientific Instruments 87, 035107. (2016).

E. Landahl . "A simple cross-correlation technique between infared and hard x-ray pulses" (with B. Kraessig et al). Applied Physics Letters. 94: 171113. (2009).

J. Pando. "Detection of protein Secondary Structures a the Discreet Wavelet Transform" (with S. Shaheen & L. Sands). Physical Review E. 80, 051909. (2009).

A. P. Sarma, E. Momjian. "The Discovery of the Zeeman Effect in 38 GHz Class II Methanol Masers", Astrophysical Journa., Vol. 958. Pages 75-81. (2023).

A. P. Sarm,. E. Momjian, N. Wenner (graduate student). "Long-term Variability of Class I Methanol Masers in the High-mass Star-forming Region DR21 (OH)". Astrophysical Journal. Volume 930. Pages 114-125. (2022).

A. P. Sarma, A. Datta, A. Koley, E. Momjian, N. Roy. "Magnetic Field Measurement in TMC-1C using 22.3 GHz CCS Zeeman Splitting". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS). Volume 516. Pages L48-L52. (2022).

A. P. Sarma, E. Momjian. "A Curious Case of Circular Polarization in the 25 GHz Methanol Maser Line Towad OMC-1". Astrophysical Journal. Volume 890. Pages 6-13. (2020).

A. P. Sarma, E. Momjian. "The Zeeman Effect in the 44 GHz Class I Methanol (CH3OH) Maser Line Toward DR21W". Astrophysical Journal. Volume 872. Pages 12-18. (2019).