REU: Atomic, Molecular and Plasma Physics

Co-funded by EPSCoR

For information contact

Students work with their mentor and graduate students in the Extreme Light Laboratory.
Students work with their mentor and graduate students in the Extreme Light Laboratory.

Application Dates

Nov 15 2016 App opens
February 1 Priority deadline
March 1 App closes
April 1 Decisions complete

Program Dates

June 4 2017 Arrival day
June 5 Program begins
August 9 Program ends
August 10 Departure day

Who should apply


Related fields

  • Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science

Applications are encouraged from students with sophomore standing or higher and a GPA of 3.0 or higher. This program encourages applications from students traditionally underrepresented in physics. These groups include women, Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, and Asian Americans.

Eligibility

Participation in the Nebraska Summer Research Program is limited to students who meet the following criteria:
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Current undergraduate with at least one semester of coursework remaining before obtaining a bachelor's degree

See Eligibility for more information.

How to apply

Follow the application steps to submit the following materials.

About the Program

Physics is the most fundamental of all the sciences, the study of matter and energy and their interactions. It provides the underlying framework for chemistry, biology and beyond. Students will have the opportunity to work in the area of atomic, molecular, and optical physics, where rapidly advancing technology and novel ultrafast sources of light and of electrons are allowing researchers to investigate and control matter with unprecedented precision. Students can anticipate working on projects—simulations and lab experiments—related to lasers, optics, computer modeling, etc.

2015 Physics summer scholars
2015 Physics summer scholars

Benefits

  • Competitive stipend: $5,000
  • Suite-style room and meal plan
  • Travel expenses to and from Lincoln
  • Campus parking and/or bus pass
  • Full access to the Campus Recreation Center and campus library system
  • Wireless internet access

Learn more about academic and financial benefits.

Events

  • Department seminars and presentations
  • Professional development workshops (e.g., applying to graduate school, taking the GRE)
  • Welcome picnic
  • Day trip to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
  • Canoe and camping trip
  • Research symposium

Mentors and Projects

Dr. Martin Centurion Physics and Astronomy

Imaging of molecular reactions with ultrafast electron diffraction

The group focuses on imaging the structure of isolated molecules, and changes to the structure that result from absorption of light. The conversion of light into chemical and mechanical energy at the molecular level is of interest for Physics, Chemistry and Biology. We have recently demonstrated the capability to capture the coherent motion in molecules, with femtosecond resolution in time and atomic resolution in space using femtosecond electron pulses. Previously, we had demonstrated 3D imaging of isolated molecules. The focus of the group is now on extending this methods to image photo-induced reactions in more complex molecules. Students may contribute in any of a number of areas such as data analysis and simulations, design and construction of experimental components, sample preparation, computer programing for controlling different parts of the experiments, among others.

Dr. Timothy J. Gay Physics and Astronomy

Ellipsometric Studies of Chiral Nanostructures on Surfaces

The REU student and/or small-college faculty member will study how helical chiral (or “handed”) nanostructures affect the polarization of light that is reflected from them. They will learn in the process the basics of ellipsometry, an important optical technique used to analyze the structure on solids and, in particular, nanostructures.

Dr. Donald Umstadter Physics & Astronomy

Ultrafast science using a high-power laser system

Physics is the most fundamental of all the sciences, the study of matter and energy and their interactions. It provides the underlying framework for chemistry, biology and beyond. Students will have the opportunity to work in the area of atomic, molecular, and optical physics, where rapidly advancing technology and novel ultrafast sources of light and of electrons are allowing researchers to investigate and control matter with unprecedented precision. Students can anticipate research projects related to understanding and conducting experiments using DIOCLES, an ultra-high-intensity laser system.