Getting a physics degree at USU is not just about taking courses and passing tests. A USU physics degree is about learning how to "do" physics and, most importantly, learning how to teach oneself the physics needed to solve problems and create knowledge. All physics majors finish their USU degree by doing just that. Through the capstone course, "Research in Physics", each student teams up with a faculty mentor to perform research in a variety of physics topics over one or more semesters. Upon completion of their project, each student prepares a written exposition and gives a public presentation of their work. Many of these projects are documented here.

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2016

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Algorithms for the Optical Profiling of the Atmospheric Limb Radiometry Data Analysis for the OPAL CubeSat, Eric D. Ashby

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High Altitude Payload for CubeSat Aeroboom Development, Jessica Gardiner

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The Consensus Problem, Cellular Automata, and Self- replicating Structures, David Griffin

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Atmospheric Modeling for OPAL Mission, Preston Hooser

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Complexity and Art, Jeffrey Jenkins

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Importance of Grad-Shafranov Re-solves Towards Accurately Modeling an ITER Equilibrium in NIMROD, Joseph Jepson

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Mineral Physics Modeling of the Effect of Water on Crustal Seismic Velocity Ratios, Eric Lyman

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Smartphone Seismology: Data Acquisition Through Consumer Available Devices, Matt Olsen

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The Schwarzschild Solution and Timelike Geodesics, Matthew Ross

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Mysterious mesospheric bores over the South Pole, Christina Solorio

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Predictive Formula for Electron Range over a Large Span of Energy, Anne Starley

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The Equivalence Problem: Einstein­Maxwell Solutions, Rebecca Whitney

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OPAL CubeSatellite Flight and Line of Sight Integration Modeling, Kenneth Zia

2015

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Electrically Induced Plasma, Nate Ashby

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Imaging the Brigham City Fault Segment Using Electrical Resistivity Tomography Techniques, Alex Barker

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Centrality Measures of Graphs utilizing Continuous Walks in Hilbert Space, Jarod P. Benowitz and David Peak

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Thermal Evidence of Flat­slab Subduction Perturbations in the Western US, Michael Berry

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PT401 Paint Process Development and Infrared Reflectance Measurements, Sariah Cassidy

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Statistical Variation of Diverse Light Emission Measurements from Bisphenol/Amine Epoxy Under Energetic Electron Bombardment, Justin Christensen

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Suitability of Nickel Chromium Wire Cutters as Deployable Release Mechanisms on CubeSats in Low Earth Orbit, James Gardiner

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Analysis of Electrostatic Breakdown Sites, Sam Hansen

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Correlations of Fault Rock Constitutive Properties Derived from Laboratory Retrieved Data of the North-Eastern Block of the Southern San Andreas Fault, Mecca Hills, CA via Computational Analysis., Ryan M. Lee

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Physics Education: Analysis of the Effects of i>clicker Usage in the Gen Ed Classroom on Content Learning, Collin Mortensen

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Catching Mesospheric Gravity Waves Over Bear Lake, Utah, Kelly Osborne

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Langmuir Probes in a Microwave Generated Plasma, Wesley Rawlins

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The Schwarzschild Solution and Timelike Geodesics, Matthew B. Ross

2014

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Neutral Density Behavior from 45-90 km Based on Rayleigh Lidar Observations above USU, David Barton

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Creating an Electronic Analog of a Stomatal Network, David Berg

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Constructing a Flat Field for Scientific Astronomical Imaging, Catharine Bunn

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Computational Modeling of Doped Helium Clusters, Ryan Carlson

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GASPACS Structure: Designing to Survive, John Ellis

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A Study of Anisotropic Chemical Etching on Crystalline Silicon, Gregory D. Erickson

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High Precision Rapid Convergence of Asian Options, Mario Y. Harper

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Creating Hertzprung-Russel Diagrams Of Open Clusters, Margaret Jensen

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Rainich geometrization of real massless scalar fields, Dionisios Krongos

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Diffusive Electron Heat Flow and Temperature Variance Along Magnetic Field Lines, Michael Kushlan

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Improved Measurements in Conductivity for Highly Disorganized Resistive Materials, Phil Lundgren

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Soft Circuits: Improving Attitudes Toward Circuits Through Crafternoons, Darren McKinnon

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Carbon Nanotube Sensors and Field Emitters, Ben Pound

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Global Nightly OH and O2 Mesospheric Airglow: Examining a Decade of Measurements Using the NASA SABER Satellite Sensor, Jonathan Price, Jordan C. Rozum, Gene Ware, and Doran Baker; The Journal of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, & Letters

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Analyzing Solutions to the Einstein Equations Using Differential Geometry, Jordan Rozum

2013

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Forward Model for Temperature Derivation from Atmospheric Lidar, Jaren Hobbs

The potential of educational video games, Phillip Hunt, Jan J. Sojka, Stephen Clyde, William Bermudez, Gortdon Fjelsted, Ryan Lauritzen, and Sam Shwartz

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Studying Light Pollution in and Around Tucson, AZ, Rachel K. Nydegger