Physics & Astronomy Research

The department of physics and astronomy is active in a number of areas of research. Our research activities and interests are outlined below.


Experimental Physics

Etienne Gagnon
Ken Krebs
Amy Lytle

The Laboratory for Materials Physics is maintained by Ken Krebs. The lab's primary emphasis is on the fluorescent properties of impurity ions embedded into metal oxide matrices using a wet chemical (sol-gel) process.

The Terahertz Radiation and Non-linear Optics lab encompasses the research program of Amy Lytle and Etienne Gagnon.


Theoretical Physics

Greg Adkins
Calvin Stubbins

 

Physics Education

Christof Keebaugh
 

Remote Sensing

Fronefield Crawford

F&M is engaged in a NATO-funded effort with international partners to develop a multi-sensor robotic platform for the reliable identification of buried landmines and unexploded ordnance. This work is being led by Tim Bechtel (Earth and Environment Dept.) with contributions from Froney Crawford and a number of physics students. More information can be found on the Landmine Detection at F&M website. This work has been funded by  NATO Science for Peace and Secutiry Programme projects  G5014: "Holographic Impulse Subsurface Radar for Landmine and IED Detection" and G5731: "Multi-Sensor Cooperative Robots for Shallow Buried Explosive Threat Detection".
 

Astrophysics

Fronefield Crawford
Elizabeth Praton
Deborah Schmidt
Ryan Trainor


Our main research interests in astrophysics are in the areas of cosmology and large-scale structure  (Beth Praton),  galaxy formation and black holes (Ryan Trainor), interstellar chemistry and the molecular content of  late-stage stars and planetary nebulae (Debbie Schmidt) and gravitational wave physics and pulsar astronomy (Froney Crawford).

The Pulsars at F&M web page has more information about our current pulsar projects, and you can follow us at @FandM_Pulsars on Twitter.

F&M is also a member of  North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) and the NANOStars research and education program. This program gives students at F&M the opportunity to use the Arecibo 300-meter radio telescope to remotely conduct pulsar search and timing observations as well as to hunt for new pulsars in Arecibo survey data.