Getting a physics degree at Utah State University (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 as well as engaging in research and experiments in order to discover new aspects of the field. 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.

Follow

2023

PDF

Preparation, Characterization and Electron Yield Analysis on Highly Insulating Granular Particles, Heather Allen

PDF

Metasurfaces for Holography, Scott Howell

PDF

High Frequency Radio Communication, Tyler Larsen

PDF

Radon in Utah Homes, Madison Mackay

PDF

Effectiveness of Multilayer Graded-Z Forms of Radiation Shielding, Brinley Packer

PDF

Engineering Lab Building Telescope Manual, Aidan L. Tueller

PDF

The Kp Index and Behavior of Quiet Periods, Collette Walbeck

2022

PDF

Characteristics of Mesospheric Temperature and Gravity Waves over Chile in 2020-2021, Damien M. Devitt and Kenneth Zia

PDF

Large Earthquakes' Effect on the Ionosphere, Aaron Houston

PDF

Seasonal Variations in Global Ionospheric Total Electron Content, Jason Knudsen

PDF

Effects of Exposure to Atmospheric Humidity on Breakdown Field Strength Measurements of Polymers, Megan Loveland DeWaal

PDF

Improving the Efficiency of the Preconditioning of Iterative Solutions to the Kinetic Equation, D. Caleb Price

2021

PDF

Comparisons of Mesospheric Temperatures Between 70 and 110 km: USU Lidar, NASA's TIMED Satellite, and the MSIS2 Empirical Model, David M. Collins

PDF

The Effects of Materials and Profiles of Gratings on Diffraction Spectra, Brock Halling

PDF

Phase-Space Dynamics of Runaway Electrons in Tokamaks, Gavin Held

PDF

Improving Skills in Computer Methods: Introductory Toolkit to Python for Undergraduate Physics Majors, Erin O'Donnell and Melissa Rasmussen

PDF

Developing Electron Beam Lithography at Nanoscale Device Laboratory, Din Pašić

2020

PDF

Clustering and Classifying Geophysical Rock Properties of the San Andreas Fault, Jared Bryan

PDF

Giving Students a Better Understanding of the Concepts Behind the Coriolis Force, Ridge Cole

PDF

Traveling-Wave Electrophoresis: 1D Model, Austin Green

PDF

Synthesis of Graphene by Liquid Precursors at Lower Temperatures, Clayton Hansen

PDF

Determining the Phase of the Diurnal, Solar Thermal Tidal Wave in the Upper Atmosphere Using Nighttime Na Lidar Measurements, Trevor Harshman

PDF

Determing the Chaotic Nature of Periodic Orbits, Bo Johnson

PDF

Waves Over McMurdo Station, Robert Johnson

PDF

Material Outgassing Kinetics: The Development of a Testing Capability, Alex Kirkman

PDF

Fabrication of Suspended Microbolometers on SOI Wafers, Isaac Maxfield

PDF

National Security and Climate Change, Madison Moran

PDF

Understanding Noether’s Theorem by Visualizing the Lagrangian, Seth Moser

PDF

Hodographic Analysis of Na Lidar Data to Measure Atmospheric Gravity Wave Parameters, Jeffrey Ormsby

PDF

Optical Relaxation of Defects in Kapton Caused by Irradiation, Ashlan Keeler Swainston

2019

PDF

Monitoring Ambient Laboratory Conditions with a Raspberry Pi, Joshua Boman

PDF

Decomposing the Hamiltonian of Quantum Circuits Using Machine Learning, Jordan Burns, Yih Sung, and Colby Wight

PDF

Thermal Oxidation of Silicon in a Home-Made Furnace System, Joshua Koskan

PDF

Porting Symbolic Libraries from Maple to Python, James Lewis

PDF

Physics 4900, David Maughan

PDF

Yang-Mills Sources for Biconformal Gravity, Walter Davis Muhwezi

PDF

Relaxation of Radiation Effects in Polymers, Alexandra Hughlett Nelson

PDF

The Effects of Beta Radiation on the Electrostatic Discharge of LDPE, Kip Quilter

PDF

Thermodynamic Properties of Black Holes, Geoffrey Schulthess

PDF

Octonionic Maxwell Equations, Ben Shaw

PDF

Mathematica Program to Compute Klein Gordon Equation for Generic Black Holes, Brant Smith

2018

PDF

Numerical Methods for Anisotropic Thermal Conduction, Brett Adair

PDF

Investigation of an Unusual Thin Layer Descending Through the Upper Stratosphere, Houston D. Bentley

PDF

Gravity Waves Over Antarctica, Vanessa Chambers

PDF

Phonon Dynamics of Alkali Metals in the HCP Lattice Structure, Jake Christensen

PDF

Solar Observatory: Shedding Light on the Surface of the Sun, Zane F. Davis

PDF

Calculating Redshift via Astronomical Spectroscopy, Joshua Glatt

PDF

The Effects of the Beta Transition on Dielectric Breakdown in LDPE, Tyler Kippen

PDF

Electron Yield Comparisons of Low and High-Density Polyethylene, Jordan Lee

PDF

D-Region VLF Monitoring System, Jonh Carlos Mojica Decena

PDF

Characterization of Programmable Arduino Sensors, Brett Mortenson

PDF

Impact of Bubble Baths on Stainless Steel Sphere Water Entry, Wesley Robinson

PDF

Mathematica Program to Compute Klein Gordon Equation for Generic Black Holes, Brant Smith

PDF

Atmospheric Gravity Wave Events over Antarctica, America Wrobel

PDF

Sodium Lidar for Mesopause Temperature and Wind Studies, Xiaoqi Xi

2017

PDF

Growing Bores at the South Pole, Mikaela Ashcroft

PDF

The Global Positioning System, Brendon Baker

PDF

UV Degradation of Polycarbonate, Katie Gamaunt

PDF

The Use of Plenoptic Cameras in Astronomy, James R. Hamilton

PDF

Explorations in Hybrid Rocket Technology: Arc-Track Ignition in 3D-Printed Rockets, Richard Harvey

PDF

Rayleigh-LIDAR Observations of Mid-Latitude Mesospheric Densities, Brandon S. Hustead, Lucas R. Priskos, Jonathan L. Price, and Joshua P. Herron

PDF

An Investigation of the Alkali Metals in the fcc Structure Using an Embedded-Atom-Method (EAM) Model, Marcus Jackman

PDF

Arduino and Raspberry Pi in a Laboratory Setting, Dustin Johnston

PDF

Investigating the Weddell Sea Anomaly using TIE-GCM, DaeSean K. Jones

PDF

Measuring and Modeling the Conductivity of Highly Insulating Materials, David King

PDF

Analysis of Carbon and Nitrogen Stable Isotope Levels in Side-blotched Lizards ( Uta stansburiana ) Fed Varying Diets, Kati Mattinson

PDF

Reducing the Contact Time of Bouncing Droplets using Macro-Textured Surfaces, Andrew Merritt

PDF

Microcontroller Survivability in Space Conditions, Windy Olsen

PDF

Rayleigh-LIDAR Observations of Mesospheric Densities, Lucas R. Priskos, Brandon S. Hustead, Jonathan L. Price, and Joshua P. Herron

PDF

Wormholes: Gates to the Stars?, Samuel Shreeve

PDF

Tilt Classifications in Perfect Fluid Cosmology, Bryant Ward

2016

PDF

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

PDF

High Altitude Payload for CubeSat Aeroboom Development, Jessica Gardiner

PDF

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

PDF

Atmospheric Modeling for OPAL Mission, Preston Hooser

PDF

Complexity and Art, Jeffrey Jenkins

PDF

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

PDF

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

PDF

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

PDF

The Schwarzschild Solution and Timelike Geodesics, Matthew Ross

PDF

Mysterious Mesospheric Bores Over the South Pole, Christina Solorio

PDF

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

PDF

The Equivalence Problem: Einstein­-Maxwell Solutions, Rebecca Whitney

PDF

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

2015

PDF

Electrically Induced Plasma, Nate Ashby

PDF

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

PDF

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

PDF

Thermal Evidence of Flat­-Slab Subduction Perturbations in the Western US, Michael Berry

PDF

PT401 Paint Process Development and Infrared Reflectance Measurements, Sariah Cassidy

PDF

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

PDF

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

PDF

Analysis of Electrostatic Breakdown Sites, Sam Hansen

PDF

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

PDF

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

PDF

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

PDF

Langmuir Probes in a Microwave Generated Plasma, Wesley Rawlins

PDF

The Schwarzschild Solution and Timelike Geodesics, Matthew B. Ross

2014

PDF

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

PDF

Creating an Electronic Analog of a Stomatal Network, David Berg

PDF

Constructing a Flat Field for Scientific Astronomical Imaging, Catharine Bunn