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Student Research

The Loyola physics department strongly encourages students to explore research, larger-scale projects, and science employment opportunities in the summer. This can be done through the Loyola Hauber fellowship program, Loyola research and project courses for credit, NSF-sponsored programs at other universities, DOE and NASA labs, internships, and other programs. Upper division physics majors can continue their research during the school year for academic credit. These experiences add a different dimension to the physics training at the undergraduate level, helping students build a stronger résumé, and giving them a better sense of careers in the sciences. Loyola physics faculty have a long history of involving students in their research. The following is a partial list of recent research projects conducted by students.

Student Mentor Year Project (Quotes surround titles of presentations and student papers) Journal publications
and awards
BHess, BToulan, BGlezer  Lowe S2020  "Modeling protein-DNA complexes"  
SHiggs and MSpear  Ganem  S2020 

"A Generalized Model of Temperature-Dependent Light Absorption for the Visible and Near-infrared in Thulium-doped YAG" 

EMullen  Lowe  SP2020  "An Introduction to Quantum Computing"   
KMarcelino  Lowe  SP2020  "Laser and Single Photon Interference"   
CHabig  Erdas  2019  "The Casimir Effect for a Lorentz-Violating Scalar Field"   
KMarcelino and EGarzon Ganem  2019 "Measuring and Modeling the Optical Absorptions in Thulium-Doped Materials"  
KSullivan  Lowe  S2017 and S2018  "High-Speed Atomic Force Microscopy of Carbon Nanotube Porins in Supported Lipid Bilayers"  Conducted at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and at Loyola."Carbon nanotube porin diffusion in mixed composition supported lipid bilayers," Scientific Reports - Nature, vol. 10, no. 1. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-68059-2. 
JLopez Lowe S2017 "Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Carbon Nanotubes in Lipid-Cholesterol Bilayers" Poster award at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Article cited under KSullivan.
ZMetzler Erdas 2017 Magnetic effects on neutrino masses “Magnetic field effects on neutrino oscillations,” Int. J. Mod. Phys. A34, 1950121 (2019)
DSpatz Erdas 2016 "The Spherical Casimir Effect for a Massive Scalar Field"  
AH Jones S2016 Quantum chemistry  
JL and MD Lowe S2016 Molecular dynamics simulations on proteins  
BR Lowe S2015 Atomic force microscopy  
MK Derry S2013 and S2014 "Techniques to measure the work function of clean metals"  AAPT Chesapeake Section Fall 2014 "Best Student Talk" with Eli Worth
EW Derry S2014 "Contact potential difference to measure the work function"  AAPT Chesapeake Section Fall 2014 "Best Student Talk" with Megan Kern
GW Ganem S2014 "Modeling the energy levels of a laser with temperature dependence"  
AK Erdas S2014 "Spherical Casimir effect"  
SM Army Research Lab S2013 and S2014    
SM Lowe Fall 2013 "Brownian motion of a hard disk gas" 2014 Loyola Undergrad Student Research and Scholarship, poster award
SM and CK Lowe Fall 2013 "Measurement of the NA in an optical fiber"  
CK Lowe Fall 2013 "Phase transitions in small clusters"  
OO Erdas Summer 2013 "Elliptic integrals in classical mechanics"  
KS REU: Lehigh Univ Summer 2013    
KS Erdas S2011 and S2012

"The Finite Temperature Casimir Effect for Scalar Fields in an External Magnetic Field"


AAPT Chesapeake Section Fall 2011 Meeting

National Conference on Undergraduate Research March 2012, "Chosen from more than 3,500 submissions, your abstract demonstrates a unique contribution to your field of study and we are pleased to offer you the opportunity to present your work to your peers, faculty, and staff from around the world"


"Finite temperature Casimir effect for charged massless scalars in a magnetic field," Phys. Rev. D 88.10 (2013): 105007.

"Finite temperature Casimir effect for charged massive scalars in a  magnetic field," Int'l J. Modern Phys A (2014) 29:17.

AAPT Chesapeake Section "Best Student Talk" Award

American Physical Society's 2014 Apker Award

2013 Goldwater Fellowship Winner and 2012 Goldwater Fellowship Honorable Mention

AK Ganem Summer 2012    
DK and MD Bozzolo   Nanowires "Atomistic modeling of the formation and stability of Ni and V nanowires on a stepped Rh(553) substrate," Int'l J. Nanoscience (2010) 9, 413-422.
DK Jones Spring 2012 Electronic Structure Calculations of Small Collections of Metal Atoms   
YK Lowe S2011 & AY11-12 "Mixing of Two Fluids in a Channel"  
SW Lowe Summer 2011 "Structural Analysis of the Effect of Sugar on the Protein AraC"  
RK  Jones Fall 2011  Computations on Nano Particle Alloys  
RK REU: George Mason U. Summer 2010 Varying the initial conditions of polycrystalline grain growth simulations  Talk at conference
PLP REU: Harvard-Smithsonian Summer 2010 “Using GPUs for Next-Generation Radio Telescopes" Article in Parallel Computing (in review)
AZ Derry Summer 2010 Designing a retarding potential electron lens for use in an energy dispersive spectrometer  
AO Ganem Summer 2010 Synthesis and characterization of infrared optical materials  
RJ Derry Summer 2010 Improving the reliability and accuracy of work function difference measurements using a vibrating capacitor device  
MD Lowe Summer 2010 “Experiments and Computations of Horizontal Soap Films”  
AZ Derry and Bozzolo Spring 2010 Use of a quantum approximate calculational tool to study alloy nanowires  
LOB Derry Spring 2010 Relationships between the technological advances and business economics of photovoltaics (solar cells)  
MP Derry Spring 2010 Nonlinear dynamics and chaos in the human menstrual cycle  
DG Lowe and
Schleif (JHU)
Summer 2009, Spring 2010  “A Computational Study to Determine the Structural Differences Between the Wild Type and a Mutant of the Protein AraC” First place, 12th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, Group I Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UMBC Oct. 2009
PLP Christian (Albrechts U.) Summer 2009 Simulations of dusty plasmas Poster, APS Plasma Physics, Nov. 2009
JD Jones  Summer 2009 Search for kinetic energy density functionals  
LB Lowe and Bailey Summer 2009 “A Soap Film Apparatus to Study Two-Dimensional Hydrodynamic Phenomena” "A soap film apparatus to study two-dim hydrodynamic phenomena," Proceedings of the ASEE Mid-Atlantic Section conference, 2009.
MM Bailey (ES)
and Lowe
Summer 2008 Soap film tunnel  
KR Bailey (ES)
and Lowe
Summer 2008 Biodiesel production  
PL Lowe and
Schleif (JHU)
Summer 2008 The use of CHARMM in analyzing tetracycline repressor (TetR) First place, UMBC 11th Undergrad. Res. Symp., Poster Sess. II, Grp O, Oct. 2008
JD internship Summer 2007, 2008 NSTec, Associate Scientist  
CE Derry Summer 2007, 2008 Studying the surface of a AgAu Alloy and a NiPd Overlayer system, experimental and computational  
DH Ganem Summer 2006, 2007 Crystal growth and IR optical spectroscopy  
RH Space Telescope Science Institute Summer 2006    
CG Space Telescope Science Institute Summer 2006    
ET internship 2005-2006 Verizon Federal Network Systems National Security Agency Scholarship
RH Lowe and
Livas (LEOS)
Summer 2005 “Gaussian beam optics”  
CG Erdas and Lowe Summer and Fall 2005  “Calculating the solar neutrino flux using the Tsallis distribution for a non-ideal plasma” First place talks, CSAAPT mtg, paper in J. Wash. Acad Sciences

(grad student)

Derry 2003 and earlier Structure/composition of silver/gold alloy surfaces studied with LEED  
ML Ganem Summer 2003, 2004 Low-phonon energy laser material research  
QP Jones Summer 2003 "Computational Simulation of Metal Surfaces"  
EF Lowe and
Rivers (biology)
Summer and Fall 2004 for credit "Application of a Multiplexed, Bead-Based Method to the Identification of Parasitic Wasps" Second place UMBC Undergrad Res Symp; First place Loyola Research
MM Lowe and
Peyrot (sociology)
Summer and Fall 2003 for credit "Fluorescence Detection of Solid Phase PCR on Microspheres;" "Risk and Acceptability of Bioremediation Options" First place in UMBC 6th Ann. Undergrad. Res. Symp., Poster Sess. 2, Grp G
EK Derry 2001 Structure/composition of silver/gold alloy surfaces studied with LEED  
LG Lowe 2001 Molecular biology work for bead-based, flow cytometric detection method  
JC Ganem Summer 2000  Low-phonon energy laser material research Phys. Rev. B
JW Derry and Jones Summer 2000 "Computational Physics: From Surface Structure to Surface Waves; from Atoms to Ocean"  
EvdS Lowe and
Din (biology)
1999-2000 Molecular biology work for bead-based, flow cytometric detection method  
SE Lowe and Delcher
(computer science)
1999-2003 for credit Various experimental and computational projects involving determination of oligonucleotide probes FEMS, Nucleic Acids Research
CS Lowe AY 1999-2000
for credit
Molecular biology work for bead-based, flow cytometric detection method FEMS
BM Ganem Summer 1999 Low-phonon energy laser material research  
JR Ganem Summer 1999 Low-phonon energy laser material research  
SW Derry 1999 Structure/composition of silver/gold alloy surfaces studied with LEED  
KS Lowe and
Robb (UMBI)
AY 1998-1999 for credit Molecular biology work for bead-based, flow cytometric detection method FEMS  
PS Ganem Summer 1997, 1998 Low-phonon energy laser material research Phys. Rev. B
DH and ML Ganem     "Optically-pumped mid-IR phosphor using Tm3+-sensitized Pr3+-doped KPb2Cl5," J. Opti. Soc Am. B, 27 (2010) 2384-2392.
FS and SE Derry     "Segregation and interlayer relaxation at the NiPd(111) surface," J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A (2011) 29, 011015-1 through 4.