Performing Research in Physics
Most undergraduate physics students will perform research during his/her studies here. What is the best way to find a job doing research with one of our faculty? Take as many opportunities as you can to meet them and ask if they have opening in their labs. On this page you will see some postings for research positions in faculty laboratories, but these are not the only opportunities available. In addition to your teachers, attending events such as Monday lunches with Physics Faculty will give you the chance to introduce yourself and ask about performing research.
Cornell supports undergraduate research in many ways. Read about Hunter Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholars.
A partial list of current research positions available in the Department of Physics.
Most undergraduate research positions are unadvertised and students are encouraged to contact a number of faculty in their search. Below are a few advertised positions. (updated September 2012)
Research with Professor Tomás Arias
Apply quantum mechanics and supercomputing to important problems with societal impact: alternate energy technologies and biophysics. Prospective students must have significant computing skills (experience with Linux a big plus) and have done well in undergraduate quantum mechanics courses.
Contact Professor Arias
Research with Professor Ivan Bazarov
My lab offers multiple research opportunities for undergraduates. The range of activities spans from high quantum efficiency photocathodes, design and construction of a high voltage photoemission gun, experimental study of field emission, beam dynamics theory and modeling.
Presently, there are 5 undergraduate researchers, but there is room for one more. We meet each Tue at noon over in Wilson Synchrotron Lab 374 for pizza. Check us out! For more info see http://www.lepp.cornell.edu/~ib38/research.html
Contact Professor Bazarov
Research with Professor Carl Franck
For Summer 2013 and Fall 2013 course credit: Seeking an enthusiastic undergraduate to join in an experimental study of signaling in living matter and transitions to multicellular life. (More background) I am interested in talking to students at all skill levels and majors in and outside of science and engineering as well as freshman.
Contact Professor Franck
Research with Professor Chris Henley
Professor Henley’s research is theoretical and typically involves simulation “experiments” with an underpinning of analytic equations to be understood. It includes several disparate topics, all of which involve geometry. A typical project is meant to lead to a publication with the undergrad as the first author.
We normally start with reading/research for credit, if successful may continue during summer (if funds available for pay).
1. Biological physics
- Propagation of the left/right signal in zebrafish embryos
- Simulation of emergent “drive on the right” pattern by cell swarms in microfabricated channels
2. Quasicrystals and atom packings
- Prediction of decagonal quasicrystal phase in Mg-Rh-Ag
- Emergence of matching rules in realistic decagonal quasicrystals
- “Alloy compound” phase diagram for packings hard spheres of two sizes with non-additive radii
- Ordering behavior of caged Al10 clusers in Al-Ir
3. Frustrated spins
- Ground states of classical spins on the pyrochlore lattice with competing antiferromagnetic interactions beyond the second neighbor
- Ordering effects of random dilution in J1-J2 antiferromagnets on the honeycomb or diamond lattice
- Defect-defect interactions in models with non-quantum “topological order”
Contact Prof. Henley for details.
Contact Professor Henley
Research with Professor Georg Hoffstaetter
1) Surface-roughness analysis of superconductors exposed to RF fields.
2) Computer control of a butterfly valve and of the speed of a pump for better temperature stabilization of liquid helium.
3) Setup of a computer-conrold long-distance microscope for the optical inspection of surfaces inside superconducting accelerator structures.
4) Mechanical design and construction of a stand that loads large accelerating structures into a centrifugal barrel polishing machine. (For a mechanical engineering major.)
5) Determination of defective temperature sensors in a liquid-helium environment and replacement of these sensors.
6) Design and construct mechanical fiducialization for sensors that measure the arrival time of second sound waves in a liquid helium bath. (Physics or mechanical engineering major)
Contact Professor Hoffstaetter
Research with Professor Jane Wang
Professor Wang’s research aims to identify, investigate, and discover new phenomena in a broad range of physical and biological systems.
Using human and computer interface to study physics of movement.
We are seeking enthusiastic undergraduate students to participate in our explorative project on using human and computer interface to study physics of movement. If you have a strong background in physics and computer science, and are open-minded and willing to work with dedication, please contact Prof. Jane Wang (email@example.com) with a brief description about your background and a resume.
Contact Professor Wang