Research experiences are an important part of a physics education. This is especially true for students interested in graduate school, but all students benefit from the skills learned while applying classroom knowledge to real-world problems. Our students enjoy several options for gaining meaningful research experience, the results of which are frequently presented during Cornell's annual Student Symposium -- see recent project abstracts.
Summer Research on Organic Solar Cells
Since 2005, Cornell faculty and students have researched photovoltaic cells that rely on organic dyes rather than silicon. The process not only allows our students to engage in research alongside a team of faculty mentors, but involves the full gamut of research skills involved in fabricating, testing, and analyzing the cells while learning from similar studies from around the world. Read more
Summer REU Programs
Our students have had great success in their acceptance to major summer research programs at places like Cornell University, Indiana University, and the CERN particle accelerator lab in Switzerland. Because we're a small, hands-on department, we know our students and their lab skills well, and we're able to write strong, detailed letters of recommendation. Read more about recent REUs
Advanced Experimental Physics Lab
The block plan allows students to spend an entire block researching a single topic of their choosing in this required course. Students collaborate in pairs and are given guidance in selecting a reasonable project. Then they design and build their own equipment for use in making detailed measurements. Past projects have ranged from scanning electron microscopes, a variety of lasers, and wireless power transmission using magnetic resonance. See examples of recent projects