Research in the department ranges from aspects of fundamental physics to interdisciplinary endeavors, as well as investigations into methods of effective teaching and learning.  Our goal is to actively engage undergraduates in research.  Future students are encouraged to contact faculty and discuss potential projects!

Faculty Research Interests

David Berube/Jeff Sanny Magnetospheric physics, ultra-low frequency waves in Earth's magnetosphere
John Bulman Experimental low-temperature physics, superconductivity
Vincent Coletta Statistical mechanics, Physics education research
Jonas Mureika Cosmology, Particle Physics, Models of Athletic Performances, Image Analysis
Jeff Phillips Physics Education Research
Gabriele Varieschi Particle Physics, Gravitation and Cosmology, Interdisciplinary Physics


Student Research Involvement

* indicates a student

Cosmology and Particle Physics

G. Varieschi and Z. Burstein (*), "Conformal Gravity and Related Weyl Tensors as an Alternative to Standard General Relativity," poster presented at the LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium (2012).

M. Isi (*) and J. Mureika, "Alternative Theories of Gravity: Non-Commutative Entropic Gravity in Lower Dimensions," poster presented at the LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium 2012).

C. Gower (*) and J. Mureika, "Lacunarity Analysis of Large Scale Clustering in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey," talk presented at the Pacific Coast Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (2010).

K. McCormick (*) and J. Mureika, "Exploring the Texture of the Universe: Lacunarity Analysis of Large Scale Structure," poster presented at the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research (2008).

Physics Education Research

L. Taylor (*) and J. Phillips, “Physics Teacher Characteristics and Classroom Practices” published in the American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings 1289, pp. 317-320 (2010). (This paper was selected as a Finalist for the PERC Proceedings Paper Award because "it is noteworthy in terms of the quality of research, readability and impact on the PER Community.")

L. Taylor (*), K. Clemmer, C. McElwain, J. Phillips, “Measuring The Impact Of The MAST Program For In-Service Teachers” poster presented at the Council on Undergraduate Research’s Posters on the Hill, Washington, DC (2010).

L. Taylor (*) and J. Phillips, “A Survey of Southern California Physics Teachers' Characteristics and Classroom Practice” poster presented at the Southern California section of the American Association of Physics Teachers Fall Meeting (2009).

Space Physics

Dayside distribution of Pc5 wave power in the quiet magnetosphere and its response to the solar wind
D. Berube, J. Sanny, R. Taus(*), and A. Garoutte(*), Planet. Space Sci., doi:10.1016/j.pss.2014.04.014, 2014

Global profiles of ULF wave power in the quiet-time magnetosphere
A. Garoutte(*), C. Burstein(*), J. Sanny, and D. Berube, Proceedings of the 2012 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), Ogden Utah, March 29 – 31, 2012 (published on CD)

C. Platon (*), S. Petrich (*), D. Berube, J. Sanny, "Global Profiles of ULF Wave Power in the Quiet-time Magnetosphere: A Case Study," poster presented at the LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium (2011).

The occurrence of ionospheric signatures of plasmaspheric plumes over different longitudinal sectors 
E. Yizengaw, J. Dewar(*),J. MacNeil(*), M. B. Moldwin, D. Galvan, J. Sanny, D. Berube, and B. Sandel, J. Geophys. Res. (Space Physics), 113, A08318, doi:10.1029/2007JA012925, 2008.

Global profiles of compressional ULF wave power at geosynchronous orbit and their response to the solar wind 
J. Sanny, D. Judnick(*), M. B. Moldwin, D. Berube, and D. G. Sibeck, J. Geophys. Res. (Space Physics), 112, A05224, doi:10.1029/2006JA012046, 2007.

A statistical study of transient event motion at geosynchronous orbit
J. Sanny, D. Berube(*), and D. G. Sibeck, J. Geophys. Res. (Space Physics), 106, 21,217 (2001).


W. Eberts (*), Q. Thames (*), M. Isi (*), A. Hentrup (*), P. Foster (*), A. Hoemke, "LMU Fusion: Our Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusion Reactor," talk presented at the LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium (2014).

W. Eberts (*), M. Isi (*), Q. Thames (*), A. Hoemke, "Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusion Reactor," poster presented at the LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium (2013).

B. Sorbom (*), A. Hoemke, J. Bulman, "Nuclear Fusion in a Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor," poster presented at the LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium (2010).

Interdisciplinary Projects

T. Souaiaia (*) and J. Mureika, “A Mathematical Model of the Environmental Effects on Long Jump Performance of World Class Athletes,” paper to appear in International Journal of Computer Science in Sport (2012).

Z. Burstein (*), C. Gower (*) and G. Varieschi, “Simulating a guitar with a conventional sonometer,” paper to appear in Open Journal of Acoustics (2012) [arXiv:1105.4570 [physics.class-ph].

G. Varieschi and C. Gower (*), “Intonation and compensation of fretted string instruments,” poster presented at the American Physical Society April Meeting, Anaheim, California (2011).

G. Varieschi and C. Gower (*), “Intonation and compensation of fretted string instruments,” paper published in American Journal of Physics 78 (1), 47-55 (2010) [arXiv:0906.0127 [physics.class-ph]].

T. Souaiaia (*) and J. Mureika, "Density Altitude Effects in the Long Jump," poster presented at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (2006).

G. Varieschi and I. Jully (*), “Toy blocks and rotational physics,” paper published in The Physics Teacher, Vol. 43 (6), 360-362 (2005) [arXiv:physics/0402119].