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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Physics & Astronomy

Current Students

Physics & Astronomy

Student Research

Azure Avery in Zink's lab

Our undergraduate and graduate students conduct cutting-edge scientific research with DU faculty members and at collaborator institutions nationwide.

Physics majors:  Find a research project!

Student Research Highlights

  • Graduate student Azure Avery's work is nationally recognized
    Azure Avery has had a banner year, publishing two first-author papers and receiving two prestigious awards. Avery is the first author of two new articles: "Observations of the planar Nernst effect in permalloy and nickel thin films with in-plane thermal gradients" (Avery, Pufall, & Zink 2012, Phys Rev Lett, 109, 196602) and "Determining the planar Nernst effect from magnetic field dependent thermopower and resistance in nickel and permalloy thin films" (Avery, Pufall, & Zink 2012, Phys Rev B, 86, 184408). In addition, she received the APS GMAG Ph.D. Dissertation Award for outstanding research in magnetism and was selected as a finalist for Best Student Presentation Award at the 2013 Joint MMM/Intermag conference. Azure works with Dr. Barry Zink and finished her Ph.D. in 2013. 

  • Recent BS graduate Mark Rustad publishes first-author paper on his thesis research
    Mark Rustad, BS Physics 2012, is the lead author on a paper recently published in the Journal of Chemical Physics. Titled "Why and how does native topology dictate the folding speed of a protein?" (Rustad & Ghosh 2012, J. Chem. Phys. 137, 20510), the article reports on Mark's research at DU on the physics of protein folding. Working with Dr. Kingshuk Ghosh, Mark created new theoretical models to investigate the speed with which a protein molecule can fold into the biologically relevant state called the native state. Mark is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics at the University of Minnesota.

  • Figure from Tomasino poster
    Figure from Tomasino poster
    Graduate student Rachael Tomasino wins poster prize
    Astronomy Ph.D. student Rachael Tomasino won a prize for the best graduate student poster at the recent APS Four Corners conference for her poster "AKARI MLHES Data Set Processing with FAST," which describes a method for calibrating and correcting images obtained from the Japanese infrared satellite AKARI. The figures show an image of alpha Orionis (Betelgeuse) before and after correction for cosmic-ray hits using Rachael's method. Rachael is a second-year graduate student working with Dr. Toshiya Ueta.

  • Figure from Lomax paper
    Graduate student Jamie Lomax publishes binary star results
    Astronomy Ph.D. student Jamie Lomax has published a first-author paper in the Astrophysical Journal describing her recent work on the eclipsing interacting binary star beta Lyrae. Lomax analyzed 6 years' worth of spectropolarimetric data and found the first evidence for a "hot spot" in this system where the mass stream from one star strikes the accretion disk around the other. Her results appear in "Geometrical constraints on the hot spot in beta Lyrae" (Lomax et al. 2012, ApJ, 750, 59). Jamie also presented this work at the recent Stellar Polarimetry and Stars, Companions, and Interactions conferences. Jamie works with Dr. Jennifer Hoffman and will complete her Ph.D. in 2013.