Student Research 1999-present in the Davidson College Physics Department

 

The Davidson College Physics Department has research opportunities for undergraduates in the areas of computational, educational, experimental, and theoretical physics.  The opportunities have led to many students to write theses as part of the Honors in Physics graduation requirement.  Follow the link to Honors Projects in Physics to see the project titles and examples of the theses.  Below are recent independent study and summer projects carried out in the department.  Click on a faculty member's name to find out more about the research programs available at Davidson.  To learn about the equipment and facilities in our laboratories click research facilities.

research
Mario Belloni (Theoretical: Quantum Mechanics)

Leah Ruckle (physics '12), An Analytic and Computational Study Momentum Space, Summer 2010 (work in collaboration with Richard Robinett of Pennsylvania State University).  Leah Ruckle, Mario Belloni, and Richard Robinett “The Biharmonic Oscillator and Asymmetric Linear Potentials in the Extreme Quantum Limit,” Contributed Poster, Joint Meeting of the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers and Zone 9 of the Society of Physics Students, Davidson, North Carolina.  Paper published: “"The Biharmonic Oscillator and Asymmetric Linear Potentials: From Classical Trajectories to Momentum-space Probability Densities in the Extreme Quantum Limit," Leah J. Ruckle*, Mario Belloni, and Richard W. Robinett, Eur. J. Phys, 33 1505 (2012).

Seyi Ayorinde and Kelsey Chisholm (physics '10), Negativity of the Wigner Function and its Applications, Summer 2009 (work in collaboration with Richard Robinett of Pennsylvania State University). 

Kelsey Chisholm and Seyi Ayorinde (physics '10), New Mathematical Identities from Quantum Mechanical Sum Rules: Parity-related Potentials, Summer 2009 (work in collaboration with Richard Robinett of Pennsylvania State University). Paper published: “New Mathematical Identities from Quantum Mechanical Sum Rules: Parity-related Potentials,” Seyi Ayorinde*, Kelsey Chisholm*, Mario Belloni, and Richard W. Robinett, J. Phys. A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 43 235202, 22 pp. (2010).

Robert Correll (physics '07), An Analytic and Computational Study of Classical and Quantum-mechanical Phase Space, Summer 2006; Fall 2006 (work in collaboration with Richard Robinett and Michael Doncheski of Pennsylvania State University and Wolfgang Christian at Davidson College).  “Studying a Quantum ‘Bounce’,” Contributed Poster, Joint Meeting of the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers and Zone 9 of the Society of Physics Students, Elon, North Carolina.“Studying a Quantum ‘Bounce’,” Contributed Talk, Joint Winter Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Astronomical Society, Seattle, WA, January 2007.

David Sheibley (physics '07), Analytic Results and Negativity of Wigner’s Formulation of Quantum Mechanics, Summer 2006; Fall 2006 (work in collaboration with Richard Robinett and Michael Doncheski of Pennsylvania State University). “Packets in the Classical Asymmetric Infinite Square Well,” Contributed Poster, Joint Meeting of the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers and Zone 9 of the Society of Physics Students, Elon, North Carolina  [received the Best Undergraduate Paper Award].  “Packets in the Classical Asymmetric Infinite Square Well,” Contributed Talk, Joint Winter Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Astronomical Society, Seattle, WA, January 2007.

Laura Gilbert (physics ’06), An Analytic Study of the Quantum-mechanical Asymmetric Infinite Well, HONORS THESIS, Spring 2006 (work in collaboration with Richard Robinett and Michael Doncheski of Pennsylvania State University).  “An Analytic Study of Quantum Mechanical Asymmetric Infinite Square Wells,” Contributed Poster presented at the Joint Meeting of North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers and Zone 9 of the Society of Physics Students, Belmont, North Carolina [received the Best Undergraduate Paper Award].  “Playing Quantum Physics Jeopardy with zero-energy eigenstates,” L. P. Gilbert, M. Belloni, M. A. Doncheski, and R. W. Robinett,  American Journal of Physics 74, 1035-1036 (2006) . ArXiv number: quant-ph/0606196.  “Piecewise zero-curvature energy eigenfunctions in one dimension,” L. P. Gilbert, M. Belloni, M. A. Doncheski, and R. W. Robinett,  European Journal of Physics 27, 1331-1339 (2006).

Laura Gilbert (physics ’06), The Wigner Quasi-probability Density in an Asymmetric Infinite Well, Summer 2005/Fall 2005 (work in collaboration with Richard Robinett and Michael Doncheski of Pennsylvania State University).  “The Pedagogy of the Asymmetric Infinite Square Well,” invited talk presented at the Fall 2005 Meeting of the NCS-AAPT in Pembroke, North Carolina.  Received the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award from the NCS-AAPT.   “An Analytic Study of Energy Eigenstates of Piecewise-constant Potentials Using the Wigner Quasi-probability Distribution,” talk presented at the Joint Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society and Florida Section of the AAPT in Gainesville, Florida.

Laura Gilbert (physics ’06), Quantum Mechanical Wave Packet Dynamics in an Asymmetric Infinite Well, Summer 2004 (work in collaboration with Richard Robinett and Michael Doncheski of Pennsylvania State University).  “The Time Evolution and Partial Revivals of a Particle in an Asymmetric Well,” talk presented at the National Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Albuquerque, NM.  “The Time Evolution and Partial Revivals of a Particle in an Asymmetric Well,” poster presented at the Meeting of North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Davidson, North Carolina.  “Much Ado About Nothing: A Diversion into Allowable Solutions of the 1-D Schrödinger Equation,”  talk presented at the Meeting of North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Davidson, North Carolina.  “More on the Asymmetric Infinite Square Well: Energy Eigenstates with Zero Curvature,” L. P. Gilbert, M. Belloni, M. A. Doncheski, and R. W. Robinett, European Journal of Physics 26, 815-825 (2005).

Kevin Bell (Spanish ’05), PT -Symmetric SUSY quantum mechanics, Summer 2002, Summer 2003, and Summer 2004. “Determining the Energy Spectrum of a PT-Symmetric Periodic Potential,” poster presented at the Gordon Research Conference on Physics Research and Education: Quantum Mechanics, South Hadley, MA. “Solving PT-Symmetric Periodic Potentials Using Hill’s Equation,” talk given at the Winter Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Austin, TX.  “Using Hill's Equation to Solve PT-Symmetric Periodic Differential Equations,” talk given at the Joint Meeting of the American Physical Society and the Division of Particles and Fields, Philadelphia, PA.  “Hill's Equation and SUSY QM: Solving Periodic PT-Symmetric Differential Equations,” poster presented at the joint SESAPS NCS-AAPT meeting, Wilmington, NC.

Adam Abele (physics ’03), Two- and Three-Dimensional Quantum Mechanics, Spring 2003. “Using Java 3D to Visualize Problems in Classical and Quantum Mechanics,” invited poster presented at the Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research Awards, Charlotte, NC.  “One-, Two-, and Three-dimensional Quantum Mechanics Using Java3D,” talk given at the Summer Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Madison, Wisconsin.

Andrew Schoewe (physics ’03), PT -Symmetric SUSY quantum mechanics, Summer 2002. “Determining the Energy Spectrum of a PT-Symmetric Periodic Potential,” poster presented at the Gordon Research Conference on Physics Research and Education: Quantum Mechanics, South Hadley, MA. “Solving PT-Symmetric Periodic Potentials Using Hill’s Equation,” talk given at the Winter Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Austin, TX. “Using Hill's Equation to Solve PT-Symmetric Periodic Differential Equations,” talk given at the Joint Meeting of the American Physical Society and the Division of Particles and Fields, Philadelphia, PA.  “Hill's Equation and SUSY QM: Solving Periodic PT-Symmetric Differential Equations,” poster presented at the joint SESAPS NCS-AAPT meeting, Wilmington, NC.

Ben Sargent (mathematics ’01), PT-Symmetric SUSY quantum mechanics, Summer 2001.PT-Symmetric Supersymmetric Quantum Mechanics,” poster presented at the SESAPS meeting, Charlottesville, Virginia. “PT-Symmetric Periodic Potentials within Supersymmetric Quantum Mechanics,” talk given at the Winter AAPT Meeting, Philadelphia, PA. “Determining the Energy Spectrum of a PT-Symmetric Periodic Potential,” poster presented at the Gordon Research Conference on Physics Research and Education: Quantum Mechanics, South Hadley, MA.

Tim Valdes (physics/mathematics ’01), SUSY quantum mechanics, Spring and Summer 2000. “Supersymmetric Quantum Mechanics,” Math Coffee presented at the Mathematics Department at Davidson College. “Supersymmetric Quantum Mechanics,” poster presented at the Spring Research Symposium at Davidson College.


Dan Boye (Experimental: Optical properties of solids, rare earths, and metals) for much more information see the Rare Earths in Sol-Gel Glasses page.

Dan Hampton (Physics '10) Upconversion in Er3+ and Yb3+ doped sol-gel glasses, Spring &Summer 2010

Lindsey Martin (Physics '10) Ytterbium and Erbium in sol-gel glass, Summer 2009

Dwight Swift (Physics '08) Effects of Aluminum and Dimethylformamide (DMF) additives on Terbium fluorescence in Sol-Gel glasses, Spring 2008

Carlos Ortiz (Physics '07) Spectroscopy of Terbium Doped Sol-Gel Glasses, Summer 2006 & Academic Year 2006-07

Colleen Gillespie (Physics '06) Energy transfer from Gd3+ to Tb3+ in SiO2 sol-gel glasses, Summer 2005

Robert Correll (Physics '07) Sol-Gel Glasses, Rare Earths and Phonon Emission, Summer 2005

Kiril Simov (Physics '05) LabVIEW interfaces for Spectroscopy, Summer 2004

Anders Langworthy (Physics '04) LabVIEW interface for Active Frequency Stabilization and Control of a Dye Laser, Summer 2004

Sharon Meidt (Physics ’03) “Production and Optical Studies of Thin Film Silica Coatings”, Sharon Meidt, Ken Krebs, Dan Boye, North Carolina Academy of Science, Greensboro, NC. “Optical studies of sol-gel silica codoped with chromium and thulium”, Sharon Meidt, Ken Krebs, Dan Boye, Southeastern Section Meeting of the American Physical Society, Charlottesville, VA. “Photoexcitation Studies of Tm3+doped Sol-gel Silica Glass”, Sharon Meidt, Ken Krebs, Dan Boye, American Association of Physics Teachers and the National Society of Physics Students, Philadelphia, PA.


Wolfgang Christian (Computational Physics)

Rob Correll (Physics '07) M. Belloni, and W. Christian, “Packets in the Classical Asymmetric Infinite Square Well,” Contributed Poster, Joint Meeting of the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers and Zone 9 of the Society of Physics Students, Elon, North Carolina, September 2006.

Kiril Simov (Physics '05) and W. Christian, “Modeling Optical Phenomena Using Open Source Physics,” Contributed Poster, Joint Meeting of the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers and Zone 9 of the Society of Physics Students, Duke University, Durham , North Carolina, September 2005.

Adam Abele (Physics ’03), Java 3D and Rigid Body Dynamics, Spring and Summer 2002. “A Java 3D Plotting Framework,” departmental seminar and poster presented at the Spring Research Symposium at Davidson College. “Open Source Physics and Java 3D” talk given at the NCS-AAPT Meeting, Ashville, NC. “Java 3D Simulations of Rigid Body Dynamics” talk given at the Winter AAPT Meeting, Austin, TX.  “Using Java 3D to Visualize Problems in Classical and Quantum Mechanics,” invited poster presented at the Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research Awards, Charlotte, NC.  “One-, Two-, and Three-dimensional Quantum Mechanics Using Java3D,” talk given at the Summer Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Madison, Wisconsin.

Sharon Meidt (Physics ’03), General Relativity, Fall 2002. “General Relativity Simulations Using Open Source Physics,” talk given at the 2002 Fall NCS-AAPT Meeting, Ashville, NC.  “General Relativity Simulations Using Open Source Physics,” poster presented at the Joint Meeting of the American Physical Society and the Division of Particles and Fields, Philadelphia, PA.

Andrew Schoewe (Physics ’03), Electromagnetic Theory, Spring 2001. “Discrete Finite-Difference Solution of Problems Involving Maxwell’s Equations,” departmental seminar and poster presented at the Spring Research Symposium at Davidson College.

Meghan Carroll (Physics ’02), Quantum Mechanics, Spring 2002. “Numerical Solutions of the Time Dependant Schrödinger Equation in 1 and 2 Dimensions,” departmental seminar and poster presented at the Spring Research Symposium at Davidson College.  “Using a Computer-Rich Curriculum to Teach Quantum Mechanics,” talk given at NCS-AAPT, Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Cheryl Greene (Physics ’02), Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos, Spring 2002. “A Computational Study of Chaotic Dynamics,” departmental seminar and poster presented at the Spring Research Symposium at Davidson College.


Tim Gfroerer (Experimental: Semiconductor Spectroscopy)

Mark Crowley (Physics '11) Defect-related recombination and free-carrier diffusion near an isolated defect in GaAs, Summer 2010.  "Defect-related recombination and free-carrier diffusion near an isolated defect in GaAs," talk given at the 2011 AAPT Winter Meeting in Jacksonville, FL. "Excitation-dependent recombination and diffusion near an isolated dislocation in GaAs," paper published in Journal of Applied Physics (2012).

Ryan Crum (Physics '11) Exploring free carrier diffusion with light- and heat-generating recombination, Summer 2010.  "Exploring free carrier diffusion with light- and heat-generating recombination," talk given at the 2011 AAPT Winter Meeting in Jacksonville, FL.

Caroline Vaughan (Physics '10) Radiative efficiency near an isolated defect in GaAs, Summer and Fall 2009.  "Understanding radiative efficiency with diffusion near an isolated defect in GaAs," poster presented at the 2009 Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the APS and poster presented at the 2010 APS March Meeting in Portland, OR.

Dan Hampton (Physics '11) Sulfur-related DX centers in GaP alloys for high efficiency solar cells, Summer 2008 and 2009.  "Stretched-exponential transport transients in GaP alloys for high efficiency solar cells," poster presented at the 2008 Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the APS.  "Photocapacitance measurements on GaP alloys for high efficiency solar cells," poster presented at the 2009 Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the APS and talk given at the 2010 APS March Meeting in Portland, OR. "AX-type defects in zinc-doped GaAs(1-x)P(x) on GaAs," paper published in Journal of Applied Physics (2010).  "Defect states with an occupation-dependent lattice configuration in Zinc-doped Ga(0.58)In(0.42)P on GaAs," Proceedings of the 35th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in Honolulu, HI (2010).

Mac Read (Physics '10) Imaging and modeling diffusion and recombination near isolated defects in GaAs, Summer 2008, Summer and Fall 2009, and Spring 2010 (HONORS PROJECT).  "Imaging and modeling diffusion to defects in GaAs," poster presented at the 2008 Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the APS.  "Defect-related recombination and free-carrier diffusion near an isolated defect in GaAs," poster presented at the 2009 Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the APS and poster presented at the 2010 APS March Meeting in Portland, OR. "Excitation-dependent recombination and diffusion near an isolated dislocation in GaAs," paper published in Journal of Applied Physics (2012).

KyungTaek Lim (Physics '11) Efficiency enhancement in GaAsP via thermal depletion of defect states, Summer 2008.  "Efficiency enhancement in GaAsP via thermal depletion of defect states," poster presented at the 2008 Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the APS.

Peter Simov (Physics '08) Temperature-dependent transient capacitance in a GaAsP diode, Summer 2006.  "Thermally activated reciprocal capacitance transients in a GaAsP diode," poster presented at the 2006 Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the APS.  "Reciprocal capacitance transients?" talk given at the APS March Meeting in Denver, CO (2007).  "Defect-related trapping and recombination in metamorphic GaAs(0.72)P(0.28) grown on GaAs," Proceedings of the 33rd Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in San Diego, CA (2008).

Adam Topaz (Math '08) Modeling defect level occupation for recombination statistics, Summer 2006.  Talk given at the 2006 Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the APS.  "Using the excitation-dependent radiative efficiency to assess asymmetry in the defect-related density of states," paper published in Applied Physics Letters (2007).

Brant West (Physics '08) Excitation-dependent radiative efficiency in GaAsP/GaInP heterostructures, Summer 2006.  "Thermally activated radiative efficiency enhancement in a GaAs/GaInP heterostructure," poster presented at the 2006 Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the APS.  "Using the excitation-dependent radiative efficiency to assess asymmetry in the defect-related density of states," paper published in Applied Physics Letters (2007).  "Defect-related trapping and recombination in metamorphic GaAs(0.72)P(0.28) grown on GaAs," Proceedings of the 33rd Photovoltaic Specialists Conference in San Diego, CA (2008).

Colleen Gillespie (Physics '06) Sub-bandgap photoluminescence from InGaAs/InAsP heterostructures, Summer 2003 and Spring 2004.  “Excitation dependence of sub-bandgap photoluminescence from InGaAs/InAsP heterostructures,” poster presented at the 2003 Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the APS.  “Time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy of InGaAs/InP heterostructures,” poster presented at the 2004 Meeting of the Southeastern Section of the APS.  “Deep donor-acceptor pair recombination in InGaAs-based heterostructures grown on InP substrates,” paper published in the Journal of Applied Physics (2005).

Kiril Simov (Physics '05) DLTS on InGaAs, Summer 2002 and Summer and Fall 2003.  “Design, development, and testing of a transient capacitance spectroscopy system,” talk given at the Fall North Carolina Section of AAPT Meeting in Asheville, NC.  “Temperature-dependent transient capacitance in InGaAs/InAsP-based diodes,” talk given at the APS March Meeting in Montreal (2004).  “Observation of an anomalous minority carrier trap in n-type InGaAs,” paper published in Indium Phosphide and Related Materials (2005).

Peter Campbell (Physics '03) Sub-bandgap photoluminescence in InGaAs/InAsP heterostructures lattice-mismatched to InP substrates, Summer 2002. Talk given at the Winter AAPT Meeting in Austin, TX.  “Deep donor-acceptor pair recombination in InGaAs-based heterostructures grown on InP substrates,” paper published in the Journal of Applied Physics (2005).

Patten Priestley (Physics '03) Defect-related density of states in InGaAs/InAsP heterostructures lattice-mismatched to InP substrates, Summer 2001 and 2002. “Novel materials for heat-based solar cells,” poster presented at the Council on Undergraduate Research Posters on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. “Temperature dependence of nonradiative recombination in low-bandgap InGaAs/InAsP double-heterostructures grown on InP substrates,” paper published in the Journal of Applied Physics (2003). “Defect-related density of states in low-bandgap InGaAs/InAsP double heterostructures grown on InP substrates,” paper published in Applied Physics Letters (2002).

Malu Fairley (Spelman '03) Temperature dependence of defect-related and Auger recombination in InGaAs/InAsP heterostructures lattice-mimatched to InP substrates, Summer 2001.  “Temperature dependence of nonradiative recombination in low-bandgap InGaAs/InAsP double-heterostructures grown on InP substrates,” paper published in the Journal of Applied Physics (2003).

Laura Cupples (Physics '02) Photon recycling in semiconductor heterostructures with weakly absorbing substrates, Summer 2000.

Emmett Weindruch (Physics '01) Excitation-dependent transition between defect-related and radiative recombination in lattice-mismatched InGaAs/InAsP heterostructures, Summer and Fall 2000. Poster presented at the APS March Meeting in Seattle, WA.  “Defect-related density of states in low-bandgap InGaAs/InAsP double heterostructures grown on InP substrates,” paper published in Applied Physics Letters (2002).


John Yukich (Experimental: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics)

James Wells (Physics '07) Photodetachment spectroscopy from cooled negative ions, Summer 2005

Anders Langworthy (Physics ’04) Construction of single-mode dye laser, development of electronic apparatus, programming in LabVIEW, study of photodetachment from S- and evaporative cooling from an ion trap, Summer 2002. “Evaporative Cooling in a Penning Ion Trap,” presented at NCS-AAPT meeting, Asheville, NC.

Diana Pendergrast (Physics ’02) Photodetachment from O-, data acquisition and analysis, Fall 2001. “Near-threshold photodetachment from O- in a magnetic field”, presented at APS meeting in Charlottesville, VA. Department research seminar. “Observed Landau Structure in photodetachment from trapped O- ”, presented at APS meeting Williamsburg, VA. Co-author of “Observed Landau Structure in photodetachment from trapped O-”, paper, Physical Review A.

Phil Stewart (Physics ’01), Construction and testing of optical apparatus (traveling wavelength meter) and electronic apparatus (Penning ion trap) for experiments in photodetachment spectroscopy, Summer 2000.
 


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