Established Record of Undergraduate Participation in Research

The Bucknell Department of Physics & Astronomy is particularly proud of the opportunities we provide for undergraduate participation in ongoing faculty research. In the the years 2001-2006, 22 undergraduates have appeared as co-authors with Physics & Astronomy Department faculty members on articles published or submitted for publication in scientific journals (see list of papers with undergraduate co-authors). During the same period 39 additional papers with undergraduate co-authors have been presented at national meetings of the American Physical Society, the American Astronomical Society, and other profession organizations, often with students attending the meeting and delivering the presentation (see list of presentations with undergraduate co-authors). Some of the research on which these papers is based was conducted during special summer research programs, while some was done during the academic year (see below).

Research Opportunities

Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program

This 10 week summer program gives about 10 undergraduates each year the opportunity to work full time on a research project under the supervision of a Bucknell faculty member. Most of the funding is provided by the National Science Foundation and Bucknell University.

Summer Research at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Chicago, Illinois

Students participate in experiments studying elementary particles at one of the world's pre-eminent high-energy physics labs. Contact Professor Sally Koutsoliotas at

Honors Program and Honors Theses

Physics majors with a GPA of 3.5 at the end of their junior year may apply for admission into the honors program. As a part of the honors program students write an honors thesis based on research conducted under the supervision of a faculty member.

Independent Study

Students may register for PHYS or ASTR 350, Undergraduate Research, and receive academic credit for research conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. Interested students should contact the potential research supervisor to receive permission to register for this course.

Non-Bucknell Programs

We encourage students to take advantage of industrial internships and research opportunities at other institutions. In recent summers Bucknell physics majors have found positions at the Space Telescope Institute, Princeton, Dartmouth, the University of Michigan, Oak Ridge National Lab, Lockheed, and many other labs. Advertisements for off-campus positions are posted across from the Physics & Astronomy Department Office.

Research Fields

Astronomy and Astrophysics

Professors Katelyn Allers, Jack Gallimore, Ned Ladd, and Michele Thornley

Pattern Formation and Chaos (Experiment)

Professor Tom Solomon

Atomic Physics (Experiment)

Professors James Higbie, Marty Ligare, and Dave Schoepf

Quantum Optics (Theory)

Professor Marty Ligare

Gravitation (Theory)

Professor Jeff Bowen

Condensed Matter Physics (Computer Simulation)

Professor Katharina Vollmayr-Lee

Elementary Particle Physics (Experiment)

Professor Sally Koutsoliotas

Statistical Physics (Theory)

Professor Ben Vollmayr-Lee