Undergraduate Research Opportunities

At many universities, research opportunities can be limited for undergraduate students. But at UNM, faculty and administrators place a significant emphasis on making research accessible for undergrads. Many times, these hands-on projects can really make the difference in stimulating love for a particular subject.

Generally, you should at least complete Physics 330 before starting research, although there are exceptions. In the field of physics, there is much background work required to prepare you for research, and you get this via your freshman and sophomore physics and math courses. A good time to start searching for a research advisor is in the spring of sophomore year.

Research opportunities can also be found with scientists with physics backgrounds working outside the Physics Department, for example at Los Alamos National Laboratories, Sandia National Laboratories, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Ask your faculty advisor about Undergraduate Research. They can help identify people doing research in the field of your interest.

To get an idea of some of the research projects that our undergraduate students have done at PandA, you can browse our list of Senior Theses. Many other research projects are going on, and several of our students have been awarded research grants from the Rayburn Reaching Up Fund, see the table below.

Recent and Ongoing Undergraduate Research Projects
Student Project Title Professor Date Award Received
Julie Campos Resources for Quantum Optimal Control Deutsch 2019 Rayburn Research award
Ivey Davis Kinetic Decoupling of Dark Matter Allahverdi 2019 Rayburn Research award
Ryan Gibbons A Silicon Photomultiplier Array for a Liquid Argon Veto System Gold 2019 Rayburn Research award
Cameron Lamar Radon Emanation Measurements for Neutrino-less Double Beta Experiments Loomba 2019 Rayburn Research award
Nicholas Litza POLARBEAR Data Quality Analysis Project Barron 2019 Rayburn Research award
Asher May Lattice Resonances of Arrays with Regular Defects Manjavacas 2019 Rayburn Research award
Eric Putney Saturated Flavor Development in a Dense Two-Dimensional Neutrino Gas Duan 2019 Rayburn Research award
Kyle Ritchie Decay of Coherent Scalar Field Oscillations: Two Approaches Allahverdi 2019 Rayburn Research award
Susan Sapkota Data Analysis to Improve the Directional Signature for Dark Matter Searches Loomba 2019 Rayburn Research award
Amy Soudachanh Stable External Cavity Narrow Linewidth Laser for Laser Cooling and Trapping Becerra 2019 Rayburn Research award
Brady Spears Inversion of Muon Flux for Resolving Subsurface Densities Roy 2019 Rayburn Research award
Adam Yanez Development of Detectors for Particle Physics Research Seidel 2019 Rayburn Research award
Patrick Brown Non-standard Thermal Histories and Temperature of the Universe Allahverdi 2018 Rayburn Research award
Julie Campos Measurement of Intrinsic Charge Amplification in New Detectors for Particle Physics Applications Seidel
2018 Rayburn Research award
Cayman Rogers Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay and Liquid Argon Shielding Fields 2018 Rayburn Research award
Daniel Russell Code for Image Processing of CCD Images Utilized in Dark Matter Reearch Loomba 2018 Rayburn Research award
Kylar Greene Determining Distances to Mira Variable Stars Pihlström 2018 Rayburn Research award
Patrick Latimer Water Fountain Protoplanetary Nebulae: Six Epochs of VLBA Data Pihlström 2018 Rayburn Research award
Lauren Zundel Radiative Heat Transfer Between Graphene Nanodisks Manjavacas 2018 Rayburn Research award
John Keeney Anderson Localication in a Completely Random Medium Mafi 2018 Rayburn Research award
Patrick Latimer 'Water Fountain' Masers in Proto-Planetary Nebulae Pihlström 2018 Hulsman Award
Aryeh Sapon Development of a metasurface lens Acosta 2018 Rayburn Research award
Desirae Orr  Using gravity to monitor active volcanes Roy 2017 Rayburn Research award
Brady Spears Computer Modeling of Density Structures in the Valles Caldera, Jemez Volcano, NM Roy 2017 Rayburn Research award
Ivan Rajen A method to measure real-time charged particle beam fluence beyond 1e16 1-MeV-neutron-equivalent/cm^2 using 3D Si diodes Seidel/Hoeferkamp 2017 Rayburn Research award
Cody Bassett Research in quantum optics Mafi 2017 Rayburn Research award
Zachary Castillo Viability of integrating Op-Amps for event detection in TPCs Loomba 2016 Dept. funding
Jeremy Metzner Characterization of metal deposited by laser ablation Schwoebel 2016 Dept. funding
Robert Reyna Application of diodes to measure charged particle beam characteristics Seidel 2016 College funding
Christian Roberts Two channel fluorescence correlation with evanescent illumination J. Thomas 2016 College funding
Austin Vaitkus Effects of CS_2 and SF_6 on diffusion rates of low-energy recoil tracks in TPCs Loomba 2016 Dept. funding
David Hatley Creation of tapered optical fibers Mafi 2015 Rayburn Research award
Brad Philipbar R&D leading towards the deep underground neutrino experiment Gold 2015 Rayburn Research award
Alex Mills  Scintillation in liquid argon Gold 2015 Rayburn Research award
Bryan Rubio Construction of a femtosecond laser Mafi 2015 Rayburn Research award
Nelly Allon Development of a method for measuring charged particle beam fluence beyond 1e16 1-MeV-neutron-equivalent/cm^2 Seidel/Hoeferkamp 2015 Rayburn Research award
Veronica Dike Detecting pulsar polarization below 100 MHz at the LWA Taylor 2015 Rayburn Research award
Alex Johnson Heat advection by melt percolation in the upper mantle Roy 2015 Rayburn Research award
Ottino Neutron single-spin asymmetry at PHENIX Fields 2015 Rayburn Research award
Cameron Trapp Monte Carlo simulations of physical systems Cahill 2014 Rayburn Research award
Brad Philipbar Meandering rivulets experimental analysis Vorobieff 2014 Rayburn Research award
Tristan Garwood Electronic structure modeling of III-V superlattices with hybrid DFT Krishna 2014 Rayburn Research award
Aidan Grummer Building parts to aid in a dark-matter detection experiment Loomba 2014 Rayburn Research award
Nicholas Rajen Modular wiring bus for a 3K research cryostat Boyd 2014 Rayburn Research award
Josh Plank Measuring electron temperature in a helicon-antenna induced plasma Gilmore 2014 Rayburn Research award
Alex Padilla  Condensed matter research Dunlap 2014 Rayburn Research award

Summer Research for Undergraduate Programs

Research Awards