Student Research Opportunities
Student involvement in individual projects (from their first year of college onward) is
central to the character of our program.
Departmental faculty and their research projects
Students are encouraged to broaden their education by conducting research as an undergraduate
(from their first year of college, to graduation and beyond). Through such experiences,
students learn how to "do" science and participate in the process of gathering scientific
knowledge. Former research projects conducted by IWU students have led to presentations
at various conferences (including IWU's John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference and various national and international conferences), publications in scientific journals,
and the achievement of "Research Honors." Undergraduate research experience also helps
prepare students for graduate or professional school.
Student Research Opportunities:
Physics majors are invited to apply for the
2019 Bill Murphy Summer Research Award. Instructions/details can be found here.
Any student interested in participating in an undergraduate research project should approach their
academic advisor and/or other faculty/staff of the department with whom the student
is interested in conducting research.
Course Credit: With the consent of your academic advisor and your research advisor, course credit
(Phys 495 or 499) may be earned for your research experience.
Research Honors: Qualified students are strongly encouraged to seek "Research Honors" during their
senior year for their original student research projects. Course credit (Phys 499) may be earned for work associated with the completion of an Honors Research project.
The assent of a faculty member willing to serve as project advisor is required for
participation. Students must discuss their interest in research honors with their
academic advisor and their research project advisor no later than the spring semester
of their junior year. Moreover, a student's intention to attempt Honors Research must
be declared to the Associate Provost during the semester immediately preceding achievement
of senior standing.
Students may seek Research Honors in their major field (or in another field in which
six course units will have been completed prior to beginning the Honors Project) provided
that a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 overall and 3.50 in the field
in which honors are sought has been maintained (exclusive of military science courses).
Students seeking Research Honors must present and defend their research to their project
hearing committee. The project hearing committee, appointed by the faculty advisor
with the consultation and consent of the student, will review the completed project
and determine whether or not Honors shall be granted.
See examples of student Honors Projects.
Faculty Research: Faculty in the Physics Department at IWU conduct research in a broad range of areas.
For detailed descriptions of faculty research interests, see the Faculty/Staff Profiles.
A number of research opportunities exist within the Illinois Wesleyan physics department
- Atomic collisions
- Optical Manipulation of Matter at Small Length scales
- Magnetism in nanowires and nanolattices
- Computer simulations of biomedical phenomena including telomere dynamics and tumorigenesis
- Observational Astronomy
- High-Density Magnetic Dot and Anti-Dot Array Fabrication via Nanosphere Lithography
- Ill-Condensed Matter
- Collective Behaviors & Medium-Mediated Interactions
- Novel Microscopies