PH403 THESIS, The writing-intensive course (WIC) for physics majors.

Possible Projects for 2017/2018 are at this link.

Overview: All Physics majors are required to complete a senior thesis. The thesis can be based on experimental work in a laboratory, computational work using workstations or supercomputers, or theoretical work with paper and pencil. The ability to conduct research and to disseminate the results is the hallmark of a scientist. Research results need validation, so they are shared with the community to be criticized, verified, and expanded upon. The written form is the most important because it is a permanent record, and allows other researchers to carefully examine the details of the work. It is therefore our philosophy to connect the senior research project and thesis with the University’s WIC requirement. Each year, a WIC Culture of Writing award is made. The senior thesis also serves to fulfill the Honors College thesis requirement, and the "Undergraduate Research Fellow" transcript notation. Students participate in a departmental mini-conference at the end of spring term to give oral presentations of their work.
Some of the students who presented their thesis work in June 2016


Presentation on June 12, 2008

Freshman, sophomore year: Look for research opportunities, begin research if possible; attend informational presentation in Paradigms class on last Thursday of fall term (Th 12-2 pm in Weniger 304), attend senior presentations at the mini-conference in finals week of Spring term

Junior year: Research projects underway, attend informational presentation in Paradigms class on last Thursday of fall term (Th 12-2 pm in Weniger 304), attend senior presentations at the mini-conference in finals week of Spring term.

Senior year (or final year of 5-year program): Continue research, enroll in Ph403 for 1 unit in each of Fall, Winter, Spring. Complete thesis, give oral presentation in finals week of spring term.

Research: Research projects are usually under the supervision of a Physics Department faculty member, but physics-related research projects with faculty supervisors from other departments are common. In either case, register for PH401 (Research). Off-campus internships or REU projects (Research Experience for Undergraduates) are excellent avenues for conducting research. If you exercise this option, arrange to have a faculty member be a local mentor. Students should begin their research early, using freshman and sophomore years to find research opportunities. Visit faculty members in their offices, browse their websites, talk to other students in the department, look at lists of former projects, attend presentations in the department to find out what type of research would be interesting to you. Find out about internships and summer research opportunities on and off campus. Organize meetings through SPS to educate yourselves about possibilities, invite faculty to speak about their work. You will gain the most from your research experience if it is sustained over a longer period, but you should plan to be working on a project no later than the winter of your junior year. The phsyics major program is currently in transition to a requirement of 3 units of PH401 (Research) for students entering in Spring 2017 and later. Previously, research projects had to be done, but students were not required to register for PH401.  In the new mode, other courses have been removed from the major and replaced with required PH401 to make time for research.  You may continue to work in a research lab, with your advisor's consent, after you have completed the required PH401 credits.  A typical timeline for PH401 is 1 unit in the Spring of the Junior year and 1 unit in each of Fall and Winter of the Senior year.

Previous senior thesis projects are listed below.
OSU thesis WIC guidelines
Possible Projects for 2017/2018

NSF REU sites 
OSU Undergraduate Research Research opportunities, funding, events
College of Science SURE-Science awards (summer research $$)

Thesis: PH403 (Thesis) concerns the writing aspect of the research, and students enroll in 1 unit of PH403 in each of Fall, Winter and Spring of the senior year. You will need permission from the Physics office to register. These three total credits satisfy the OSU Writing Intensive Course (WIC) requirement of the OSU Baccalaureate Core requirement. (Engineering Physics majors satisfy the WIC requirement through their approved senior design project in their specific field of study in the College of Engineering). Students meet weekly as a group to write, critique, and revise their writing. They also discuss and write about issues relating to ethics, types of science writing, and logical presentation of ideas. In Winter and Spring, activities focus on the thesis itself, including significant time devoted to the writing and revision of the thesis. Steady progress and continual peer and advisor review are expected throughout. A typical thesis is about fifteen to twenty pages, or about 3,000 to 5,000 words. The goal is to have the thesis ready by week 6 of Spring term. This means that research should be substantially complete by the end of Winter term of the senior year.

Mini-Conference: After the written thesis is complete, class time is devoted to preparing 10-minute oral presentations, the standard at physics conferences. In the final week of Spring term, there is a mini-conference where students give oral presentations on their projects to the department.

Questions? Talk to the PH403 instructor or head advisor. Scroll to the end of the page for answers to common questions about the WIC and the senior thesis.

Mini-conference schedule, abstracts and biographies
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Aneeq Ahmed

Modelling Gravitationally Coupled Modes of Protstellar Star-Disk Systems

Ryan Bailey-Crandell

ISFET Characterization and Assessment of Thermal Instability

Andrew Baldwin

Spatial and temporal damping of fluid perturbation at a distance

Cozzi, Math
Hazel Betz

Repair of a Scanning Tunneling Microscope and Retesting for the Formation of Pyramidal Structures Formed on Sputtered Germanium (110)

Chiang, REU UC Davis
Cody Bibler

Biodegradation of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine via anaerobic & aerobic bacteria isolates

Craig, Vet. Med.
Mirek Brandt

The Impact of Crystal Morphology on the Opto-Electronic Properties of Amorphous and Organic Crystalline Materials

Keenan Cabrera

Charge-asymmetry dependence of kaon elliptic flow in Au+Au collisions at √sNN = 27 GeV from STAR

Schellman, REU UCLA
Elliot Capek

Simulating dynein’s powerstroke using Brownian dynamics

Jared Cayton

Developing a Mouse EEG (Electroencephalograph) Signal Simulator and a Preamplifier to Reduce Noise during Sleep EEG Data Acquisition

Karan Cheema

Projected temperature and precipitation changes for Corvallis and Los Angeles for the 2030-2059 period using the Hadley Center’s regional climate model (HadRM3P)

Shell, CEOAS
Zackery Dempsey

Fourier analysis of smartphone call quality

Brian Devlin


Matthew Dickie

Conductivity Mapping of Graphene using Terahertz Spectroscopy

Michael Forkner

Thermoelectric properties of the heterostructural alloy Sn1-xCaxSe

Graham Founds

A Study of Charging Behaviors in Organic Semiconductors using Optical Trapping

Ian Founds

Solution method and error evolution of student responses to chain rule problems within a thermodynamics course

Kaylen Groberg


Jesse Hanson (Honors College)

Stability of accretion disks in binary black hole systems and their effects on merger parameters

Isaac Hodges (Honors College)


Alexander Jacoby

Qualitative Comparison of Algorithms for Tracking Cell Trajectories

Tallon Korn

Project BoxSand:Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining

Noah Langlie (Honors College)


Dascaliuc, Math
Tymothy Mangan (Honors College)

Implementation of a test stand for scintillator development

Danielson, REU LANL
James May

Optical Characterization of Heterostructural Alloys Sn1-xCax[S,Se]

Zachary McKay

Fabrication and Characterization of Nanoscale Devices made from Molybdenum Disulfide with Viscoelastic Dry Transfer

Ikaika Mckeague-Mcfadden


Jeremy Meinke (WIC Culture of Writing in Physics Award)

Single-Molecule Analysis of a Novel Kinesin Motor Protein

Gabriel Nowack

Testing, Development, and First Results of a Method for Measurement of the Isotropy of the One-Way Speed of Light

Wojtsekhowski, REU JLAB
Allyson Peterson

Student Interaction with Online Pre-Lecture Videos and how it Influences Grades

Garrett Plunkett

Electrical Transport Measurements Show Intrinsic Doping and Hysteresis in Graphene p-n Junction Devices

Alexander Quinn


Willis Rogers

Gravitational Coupling of Uniformly Rotating Computationally Resolved Stars in Protostellar Star-Disk Systems

Anton Schuster

Solar Induced Fluorescence: A More Affordable and More Accurate Proxy for Plant Stress

Higgins, CBEE
Jeffrey Shuford

Monte Carlo: Triga Nuclear Reactor

Richard Wallace

Optical Manipulation and Time-Resolved Charge Measurement of Microparticles Coated in Organic Semiconductor

Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in Fall 2015, Winter and Spring 2016
Mini-conference schedule, abstracts and biographies
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Griffin Alberti

Exploring Frequency Responses of Custom Spider Web Geometries using Physical and Computational Models

Hatton, MIME
Katie Banowetz (WIC Culture of Writing in Physics honorable mention) Quantifying the effects of acoustic coupling on Advanced LIGO Schofield, REU U. Oregon
Connor Bice Simulating Synchrotron Optical Flashes in the Reverse Shock of a Gamma Ray Burst Lazzati
Bret Brandner Implementation of a comparative method for measuring fluorescence quantum yield of novel compounds in solution Graham
James Compeau High-field Terahertz Spectroscopy of Optically Excited Gallium Arsenside Lee
Rafid Chowdhury TBA Jansen
Michael Goldtrap Mapping Mathematical Tools to Physical Models: An Evaluation of the ACER Framework Manogue
Samuel Grimm Crystal morphology and dimensionality determine the electronic response in novel semiconducting materials Graham
Nicholas Groves Look Ma, no beads:  Analyzing traction force characteristics of migratory adenocarcinoma in heterogeneous type 1 collagen through bead-free confocal microscopy Sun
Job Guidos 3D Soft-Body Collisions in a Gravitational Field Lazzati
Scott Kelley TBA Giebultowicz
Sam Kowash (Honors College; WIC Culture of Writing in Physics Award) The lag–luminosity correlation in time-resolved episodes of long gamma-ray bursts Lazzati
Evan Peters (Honors College; WIC Culture of Writing in Physics honorable mention) Data driven study of neutron response in MINERvA using quasielastic neutrino scattering Schellman
Alexander Peterson The thermal conductivity and diffusivity of thin films using time domain thermoreflectance experiments Graham
Jeremy Rath Organic semiconductors: incorporating xylindein into (opto)electronic devices Ostroverkhova
Christopher Rosenow (Fall 2016) Computational Modeling of Magnetic Materials in 3-Dimensions Jansen
Joshua Stahly Electrical Transport Measurements on the Alloy Sn1-xCaxSe Tate
Gregg Stevens Characterizing a coupled photodiode-led system for neuro-sensing applications Minot
Brenden Vischer Free Energy Decomposition of the Critical Square-Well Liquid Using a Renormalization Group Method Roundy
Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in Fall 2014, Winter and Spring 2015
Mini-conference schedule, abstracts and biographies
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
L Roy Bonner (Honors College) A magnetotelluric investigation of shallow conductivity sources beneath the Cascadia Volcanic Arc Schultz, CEOAS
Jacob Busche (Honors College) Optical Tweezers-Based Probe of Charge Transfer in Organic Semiconductors at Microscopic Scales Ostroverkhova
Lisa Fletcher Nucleation of Iron Dust from Type II Supernovae Lazzati
David Delaney A study of the graphite-diamond energy ground states and the phase transition pressure using density functional theory Roundy
Mitchel Elliott (2016) Solving for the ground state energy of a noninteracting electron gas using the density operator Jansen
Scott Hutchings Observation of the Third Harmonic Sinusoidal Voltage Response of a Small Incandescent Lightbulb Tate
David Konyndyk Design of an Optical Medium for the Simulation of Neutron Transport in Reactor Component Materials Klein
Patrick Kreitzberg Monte Carlo Simulations for a Soft Sphere Fluid Roundy
Daniel Tzu-Yang Lin A Novel Method of Detecting Lines on a Noisy Image Sun
Dalton McCuen Complex Index of Refraction of Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes in Strong Terahertz Fields Lee
Samuel McLain Leapfrog Integration as an Accurate and Uncomplicated Alternative for N-Body Simulations in Computational Astronomy Giebultowicz
Abigail Merkel Designing and Implementing a Portable Interface System for Field-Effect Transistor Biosensors Minot
Joshua Montegna Determining the Effective Entropy of a Visual Hash System Roundy
Joshua Mutch Temperature Dependence of Cu3-x(Sb1-yMy)S4 (M = Sn,Ge) Resistivity and Thermopower Tate
Bao Nguyen Computational Modeling of Photon Scattering In Gamma Ray Bursts Using Monte Carlo Techniques Lazzati
Rachael Nolan (2016) TBA Brookes
Blythe Nourie Computational Analysis of Spin Systems in Lattice Using the Heisenberg Model Jansen
Seamus O'Callaghan Single Molecule Studies of the Bidirectional Movement of Yeast Kinesin-5/Cin8 Qiu
Connor O'Driscoll Hyperspectral Fluorescence and 2-Photon Surface Imaging of “Graphene-like” Dichalcogenides Graham
Michael Perlin (Honors College; WIC Culture of Writing in Physics Award) Optimizing Monte Carlo simulation of the square-well fluid Roundy
Alexander Poff Hall Effect in Semiconducting Thin Films Tate
Mitchell Senger Framework for Computational Modeling of Cellular Diffusion Systems Sun
Samuel Stephenson Hyperspectral Absorption and Fluorescence Surface Imaging Microscope Graham
Jayde Templin (2016) Experimental Apparatus for Measuring Heat Memory of Drosophila Melanogaster Utilizing Thermal Electric Devices Giebultowicz
Cameron Thayer-Freeman Comparison of a Persistent Random Walk to MDA-MB-231 Cancer Cell Chemo taxis through a 2.5D Collagen Matrix Sun
Austin Valeske (Honors College) Determining Free Energies of Hard Sphere Fluids via Monte Carlo Simulation Roundy
Blake Wells Bandgap measurements of nonspecular materials using a bifurcated fiber optic method of diffuse reflectance McIntyre
Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in Fall 2013, Winter and Spring 2014
Mini-conference schedule, abstracts and biographies
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Daniel Gluck High-Resolution Spectroscopy and Abundance Analysis of Very Metal Poor Red-Giant Stars Rhee
Michael Goldtrap (Spring 2016) Mapping Mathematical Tools to Physical Models: An Evaluation of the ACER Framework Manogue
Patrick Gollmann Fouling Prevention by Electrically Charged Thin Film Composite Forward Osmotic Membranes; Farr/Sun
Bradley Hermens Adaptive Choronagraphy Using a Digital Micromirror Array Hetherington
Arlyn Hodson TBA van Zee
Alec Holmes First principles study of finite temperature phase stability in (Cu,Ag,Au)In2 and Al2Cu alloys Schneider
Aaron Kratzer A Comparison of Material Characterization Techniques: Spectroscopic Ellipsometry and Reflection Spectroscopy on Zinc Sulfide Tate/McIntyre
MacKenzie Lenz Nonlinear Terahertz Spectroscopy of Vanadium Oxide Lee
Samuel Loomis TBA Roundy
Paho Lurie-Gregg The contact value approximation to the pair distribution function for an inhomogeneous hard sphere fluid Roundy
Cord Meados Force Measurements measured from Reflection in an Optical Tweezer McIntyre
Abigail Merkel (S15) Designing and Implementing a portable interface system for field-effect transistor biosensors Minot
Jordan Pommerenck Characterization of super-low frequency electromagnetic fields produced by an undersea transmission cable in a homogeneous fluid Yokochi, CBEE
Christoffer Poulsen TBA Hetherington
Cole Schoonmaker TBA Schneider
Grant Sherer (Honors College) Examining Upper-Division Thermodynamics Using the Actor Oriented Transfer Framework Manogue
Harsukh Singh The Effect of Inhomogenous Surface Temperature Distribution on Collagen Growth Sun
Rodney Snyder (Honors College) Electrical and Thermal Properties of Silicon and Tetrahedrite Tate
Daniel Speer (2016) Room temperature Seebeck measurements of silicon wafers and thin-film tetrahedrite derivatives Cu10-xAgxZn2Sb3S13 on silicon substrates Tate
Dustin Swanson Effects of impurities and contact resistance in graphene field effect transistors Minot
Mattson Thieme Low temperature microscopy of organic optoelectronic materials Ostroverkhova
Kyle Thomas Fibroblast Morphology During Trypsinization Sun
Heather Wilson (WIC Culture of Writing in Physics Award) Real-time monitoring of chemical reactions with carbon nanotube field-effect transistors Minot
Rene Zeto Testing the model for Min D protein oscillations in Escherichia coli Roundy
Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in Fall 2012, Winter and Spring 2013
Mini-conference schedule, abstracts and biographies
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Alex Abelson I-V characteristics of micron-scale plasma devices Northrup-Grummin REU
Maxwell Atkins (S14) Radio Telescope Resonator Design for Observation of the 21 cm Line Hetherington
Novela Auparay Room-temperature Seebeck coefficients of metals and semiconductors Tate
William Bramblett Solar Radiation in the 70-cm band measured through a Yagi-Uda Antenna Hetherington
Morgan Brethower Implementing the Autocorrelation Transform for Nanosecond-Scale Optical Pulse Resolution Hetherington
Chaelim Reed Coffman Reflection from Graphene Minot
Nicholas Coyle Raman spectroscopy of graphene Minot
John Elliot Design and Implemenation of Next Generation Digital Scientific Instrumentation Hetherington
Thomas Ferron Measuring Low Intensity Light Reflections of High Temperature CO2 Adsorbed on SiO2 Near Brewster's Angle Hetherington
David Froman (S14) Analysis of Nullification Methods of Hysteresis in Carbon Nanotube Field Effect Transistors Roundy
Ky Hale Solar Radiation in the 70-cm band measured through a Yagi-Uda Antenna Hetherington
Louise Henderson (S14) Calculating Crystal Properties of Bismuth Telluride Using Wien 2k Tate
Casey Hines Practical Implementation of a Physical Vapor Deposition System in a Research Environment Tate
Benjamin Howorth Detecting ZnS films on Si substrates using X-ray diffraction Tate
Caleb Joiner (Honors College) TBA Minot
Maia Manock (S15) How to Model Spin Waves in a One-Dimensional Solid Jansen
Bethany Matthews (Honors College) Building a basic computational model of impurity and surface states in a 1-dimensional solid Jansen
Afina Neunzert Exploration of charge-transfer exciton formation in organic semiconductors through transient photoconductivity measurements Ostroverkhova
Benjamin Norford Acoustic Backscatter Surveys over Methane Vents along the Cascadia Continental Margin Trehu, CEOS
Kyle Peters Optical Tweezer Trapping of Colloidal Polystyrene and Silica Microspheres Ostroverkhova
Justin Schepige (Honors College) A weathering balloon program at Western Oregon University Schoenfeld, WOU
Kathleen Stevens Prudell (2014) Determining Thickness of Zinc Sulfide Thin Films Through Optical Spectroscopy McIntyre
Eric Stringer A weathering balloon program at Western Oregon University Schoenfeld, WOU
Andy Svesko (Honors College) A Detailed Introduction to String Theory Stetz
Sean van Hatten Calibrating an aerolab 375 sting balance for wind tunnel testing Albertani, MIME
Jenna Wardini A Guide to Graphene Growth and Characterization Minot
Joshua White TBA Roundy
River Wiedle (Honors College) Thermal conductivity measurements via the 3ω method Tate
Thomas Windom SPR: Surface Polarization Reflection of Few-Monolayer Adsorbates on SiO2 Hetherington
Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in Fall 2011, Winter and Spring 2012
Mini-conference schedule, abstracts and biographies
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Marcus Cappiello Effects on the Corpus Callosum of Ferrets Due to Restriction of Visual Input During the Prenatal Stage and Optimization of Diffusion Tensor Imaging Protocol Kroenke, OHSU
Brian Devlin TBA Krane
Billy Geerhart Melting Curve of a Lennard-Jones 12-6 System Determined by Coexistence Point Simulations Schneider
Shawn Gilliam Use of a Digital Micromirror Array as a Configurable Mask in Optical Astronomy Hetherington
Jacob Goodwin The Pressure Transmission Through an Air-filled Rubber Shell Bay, MIME
Jonathan Greene Effects of van der Waals interactions on surface polarization reflection Hetherington
Christopher Jones Discrete time quantum walk with two-step memory Kovchegov/Dimcovic
Mason Keck (Honors College) X-ray Spectroscopy in Astrophysics and Neutron Capture Cross Section Measurements Krane
Timothy Mathews Temperature effects on Fowler-Nordheim tunneling regime in a 2N7000 (n-channel enhanced MOSFET) Hetherington
Teal Pershing Solar granulation imaging techniques using optical Fourier analysis Hetherington
James Montgomery Radiotelescope at OSU Hetherington
Nicholas Petersen Measuring neutron absorption cross sections and epithermal resonance integrals of natural platinum via neutron activation analysis Krane
Samuel Settelmeyer (Honors college) Student motivation, introductory calculus-based physics (PH 211) and project based learning, Oh my! Demaree
Tyler Turner Developing techniques to measure single molecule conductance: Design considerations, complications, and instrumentation Hetherington
Jaryd Ulbricht Design and implementation of apparatus to create calibration curves for use in laser induced fluorescence experiments Narayanan, MIME
Murray Wade Creating a Thermodynamics simulation using the Ising model: A microcanonical Monte Carlo approach Roundy
Colby Whitaker Noise reduction of OSU's radio telescope Hetherington
Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in Fall 2010, Winter and Spring 2011
Mini-conference schedule, abstracts and biographies
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Sean Caudle Simulated radial compression of carbon nanotubes Schneider
Lee Collins (Honors College) Monte Carlo simulations of structure and melting transitions of small Ag clusters Schneider
Howard Dearmon Neutron capture cross sections of Cd Krane
Alison Gicking Neutron capture cross sections of Se Krane
Jessica Gifford (Honors College) Gravitational wave detection with the laser interferometer space antenna and
Optical trapping and fluorescence spectroscopy of nanoparticle sensors in microfluidic devices
David Mack Optical and electrical properties of thin film BaSnO3 Tate
Kris Paul Propagation of error in estimating redshift from photometric data NASA Ames internship/Hetherington
Rachel Waite Seebeck effect in chalcogenides Tate
Jesse Weller TBA TBA
Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in Winter and Spring 2010
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Pat Bice Magnetic treatment device for stimulating magnetoreceptors in Chinook salmon Bellinger/Giebultowicz
Steven Brinkley Measuring acoustic response functions with white noise Roundy
Steven Bussell A dual polarized waveguide for observations at 4 GHz Hetherington
Chris Carlsen Persistent interlayer coupling by an antiferromagnetic spacer above its Néel temperature (a Monte Carlo study) Giebultowicz
Matthew Cibula Generation of high-energy terahertz radiation through optical rectification using tilted pulse fronts in LiNbO3 Lee
Alex Dauenauer Neutron capture cross sections, resonance integrals and half-lives of barium isotopes Krane
Daniel Gruss (Honors College) Applied computing techniques for holographic optical tweezers McIntyre
Tom Hathaway Winter 2011 Ostroverkhova
Jeff Holmes Digital signal processing enhancement to the OSU single-dish radio telescope network (Spring 2011) Hetherington
Shaun Kibby Three-meter dish radio telescope service life extension program (SLEP)(Spring 2011) Hetherington
Howard Hui Instrument design for measuring the polarization of the cosmic microwave background Internship JPL
Michael Nielsen Measuring acoustic response functions with white noise Roundy
Cory Pollard OSU MASLWR Secondary Systems Control Algorithm (Winter 2011) Nuclear Rad Center/Jansen
Keith Schaefer Winter 2011 Ostroverkhova
Colin Shear (Honors College) Thin Film Bi-based Perovskites for High Energy Density Capacitor Applications Gibbons
Andrew Stickel Interactions of narrow band multi-cycle THz pulse with microcavity quantum well Lee
Sol Torrel Neutron Capture Cross Sections and Half-lives of Cerium Isotopes Krane
Kyle Williams Winter 2011 Ostroverkhova
Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in Winter and Spring 2009
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Troy Ansell Observations at 1.4205 GHz Hetherington
Alex Brummer 3x3 Octonionic Hermitian Matrices with Non-Real Eigenvalues Dray
Abel Condrea GPS Autonomous Precision Aerial Delivery System
Evan deBlander (Honors College) Characterization of BaCuSF Thin Films Grown in Excess Copper by Pulsed Laser Deposition Tate
John Hart A Further Investigation of 1,4-cyclohexanedione via Gas Phase Electron Diffraction
Ramsi Hawkins Utilizing the Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE) Model to Develop an Undergraduate Laboratory Exploring Bulk and Quantum Resistivity Minot/Demaree
Chris Homes-Parker (Honors College) A Search for Low Temperature Thermoelectric Materials Hetherington
Jonathan Hunt Simulated Radial Compression of Carbon Nanotubes Schneider
Jeff Macklem The Art of LABView: Running a Spectrometer for Thin Films and Powders McIntyre
Scott Marler Analysis of an Electrostatics Activity for Introductory Calculus-Based Physics Demaree
Sean McDonough TBA
Michael Paul Reflection Imaging of Carbon Nanotube Transistor Chips Minot
Colin Podelnyk Validation by Single Molecule Fluorescent Resonant Energy Transfer Minot
Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in Winter and Spring 2008
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Patrick Bice Spring 2010 Bellinger/Giebultowicz
Doug Francisco TBA Hetherington
Scott Griffiths (Honors College) Seasonal and Solar Cycle Variations in High Probability Reconnection Regions on the Dayside Magnetopause Jansen
Daniel Harada Noise mechanisms in carbon nanotube biosensors Minot
David Hasenjaeger Random Anisotropy model of a lattice structure
Caleb Joiner TBA
Alden Jurling Impedance Spectroscopy of Thin Film Dielectric Materials Tate
Henry Priest Empirical Annotation of the Brachypodium Transcriptome
Daniel Schwartz Optimum Feed Design for a 1.4 GHz Radio Telescope Hetherington
Ken Takahashi Neutron Capture Cross Sections and Resonance Integrals of Cadmium Isotopes Krane
Drew Watson (Honors College) The Impact of Guiding Questions and Rubrics in the Scientific Writing of Middle-Division Physics Students Manogue


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in Winter and Spring 2007
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Tyler Backman Thermodynamic Analysis of the Biodiesel Cycle
Scott Clark Protein Statistics Landau
Zachary Haines Light Propagation in a Photonic Crystal
Doug Jacobson Domain Structures and Hysteresis Curves of Ferromagnetic Systems Landau/Giebultowicz
Kim Johnson (Honors College) The Effects of air mass origin on cumulus clouds in the Caribbean Twohy (COAS)
Joseph Kinney Room Temperature Excitons in BaCuChF Tate
Nicholas Kuhta Electrodynamics of the Planar Negative Index Lens Podolskiy
Ken Lett Modeling the anisotropic superlens Podolskiy
David Mack Fall 2011 Tate
William Martin Simulating the reaction-diffusion equation in space and time
Nick Meredith Computing Occupation Times with Integral Equations
Gabriel Mitchell Light scattering from large particles Landau
Rozy Nystrom Radio Telescope II Hetherington
Joshua Russell Radio Telescope I Hetherington
Ken Takahashi TBA
Curtis Taylor Transverse Flux Permanent Magnet Linear Generator


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 2006
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Timothy Anna Nuclear Spin Relaxation Rate Study of P-Type Transparent conductive Oxide CuSc02:Mg Warren
Connelly Barnes (Honors College) ThermoSolver: An Integrated Educational Thermodynamics Software Program Landau
Mark Blanding Optical Tweezers McIntyre
Phil Carter Parallel Computing on the physics Beowulf cluster Landau
Matthew Christensen Seminar in COAS
Micah Eastman Neutron Capture Cross Sections of Tellurium Isotopes Krane
Doug Fettig (Honors College) The Effect of Transverse Shifts in the LIGO Interferometer McIntyre
Nathan Paul Inductively Coupled Plasma
Joe Peterson Autocorrelation Ostroverkhova
Zack Peterson Optical and electrical behavior of 200-nm diameter Au particles deposited on polythiophene and undoped polythiophene thin films Ostroverkhova
Christopher Somes Instabilities of the Thermolhaline Ocean Circulation and its Effect on the Pacific Ocean Oxygen Minimum Zone
Joshua Stager Creating the Paradigm Portfolio Manogue
JC Sanders (Honors College) Near Earth Object Collisional Mitigation Via Intense Neutron and Photon Sources: a Study in Asteroid Interdiction and Energy Coupling Jansen
Chris Smith (Honors College) Experiments into Plasma Physics Jansen
Brent Valle Measurements of autocorrelation for femtosecond pulses Lee
Ben Weston Simulating Optical Interfaces Podolskiy


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 2005
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Jason Gieske Design Optimization and Theoretical Analysis of a Linear Reluctance Mass Accelerator
Susan Guyler Optical Measurements of P-Type Thin Film Semiconductors Tate
Ae Kim THz wave propagation in one-dimensional photonic crystals Lee
Adam Rand Frequency Modulation Spectroscopy: Fast measurement of resonance and linewidth McIntyre
Gary Schwab Dynamics of Absorption Using the Techniques of Surface Polarization Reflectance Hetherington
Jeremy Sylvester Neutron Activation Analysis of Sn Isotopes Krane
Juan Vanegas Scientific Visualization with OpenDx: Uses and Applications in Physics Landau
Andrew Walker Surface Absorption Studies of Benzene Via SPR Hetherington


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 2004
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Robert Casperson Measuring the Neutron Capture Cross Section of 148Gd Krane
Werner Hager (Honors College) Using Angular Correlation to Determine Decay Behavior in Nuclei through the Analysis of Coincidence Sum Peaks Krane
Briony Horgan Investigating grain boundaries in BaCuS1xSexF Using Impedance Spectroscopy Tate
Abraham Korn (Honors College) Time Periodic Sand Ripples at the Oregon Coast Siemens


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 2003
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Dara Easley(Honors College) Room Temperature Seebeck Measurements on CuSc1-x Mgx02+y Transparent Conductive Thin Films Tate
Modesto Godinez Photonic crystals for broadband signal from 0.5 THz to 2.5 THz Lee
Levi Kilcher Optical Spectroscopy of Transparent Conducting Oxides from the UV to near-IR and a Method for Determining the Refractive Index of Transparent Thin Films Tate/McIntyre


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 2002
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Scott Bain (Honors College) Wavelength Dependence of the Scattering of Small Particles by Sunlight Griffiths
Rachel Bartlett Neutron Activation Analysis of 195mPt and 117mSn Krane
Martin Held Fractography of a Nd:YAG single crystal UW REU/Tate
Michael Joyer (Honors College) Deformation Reduction in Intermetallic NiAl Microlaminations Warnes
Derek Tucker (Honors College) Optical Characterization of Transparent Conductive Thin Films Tate/McIntyre


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 2001
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Ross Brody Band Gap of Analysis of Doped and Undoped CuCrO2 Thin Films Tate
Skye Dorsett Measurement of the Thermal Neutron Absorption Cross-section of 194Hg and 194Au Krane
Christopher Duncan Measurements of Neutron Activation in Palladium Isotope 102 Krane
Jeremy Wolf Measurement of the Thermal Neutron Absorption Cross Section of 160Tb Krane


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 2000
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Miriam Lambert (Honors College) The Neutron Capture Cross Section of 208Pb Krane
Diedrich Schmidt P –Type Electrical Conduction in Transparent Conducting Oxides Tate


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 1999
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Nathan Bezayiff Circuit to Observe Quantum Conductance Tate


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 1998
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Brandon van Leer Analysis of YBa2Cu3O7 Films by X-Ray Diffraction Tate
Joseph Neal Integrated Laboratory Experiences in Physics Education Tate


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 1997
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Eric Bixby (Honors College) Light Transmittance Properties of Biological Tissues of the Red-sided Garter Snake, Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis, Between 450 and 850 Nanometers McIntyre
Scott Broughton Octonions Manogue


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 1996
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Brian Brisbine Casimir Effect Manogue


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 1995
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Andrew Fowler Current Dependence of Resistivity of YBaCuO in Zero Magnetic Field Tate


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 1994
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Milton Cornwall-Brady Klein Paradox Manogue
Amy J. Spofford An Analysis of the Current-Voltage Characteristics of YBa2Cu3O7 in the Vortex State Tate


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 1993
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Jeffrey Arasmith An Introduction to Superconductors for Undergraduate Research Assistants Tate


Participants in the PH403 Thesis Course in 1992
Name Title of Presentation Advisor
Anupama Bhat The Temperature and Magnetic Field Dependence of the Activation Energy in YBa2Cu3O7 in the Flux Creep Region Tate

How do I find an advisor?
Browse the department's research page to find out what the faculty do. Look at the thesis topics of previous students. Approach professors and ask them if they have a project for you. If you are uncertain about how to do this, ask a professor whom you know better, or talk to the PH403 instructor.

Common questions about the PH403 WIC and the senior thesis
When should research begin?
The sooner, the better! The research for your senior thesis should begin ahead of the start of the WIC, in the spring or summer of the academic year before the WIC, and absolutely no later than the first day of the fall quarter for graduation in the spring of that year.
Should research be completed before the WIC?
No, most students have been working for a term or two, or a summer when they start the WIC, but still have work to do to get results. If you start research in the Fall in which you begin the WIC, you will have to devote a considerable amount of time to research in that term. Some students who have participated in an REU or internship or who have been working in a lab for more than a year may have completed their research by the time they start the WIC.
Do I sign up for PH401 (Research) or PH403 (Thesis)?
PH403 and PH401 are different. PH403 is the writing course that is offered to the entire senior cohort for 1 unit each in Fall, Winter & Spring (1 unit each). Do not register for PH403 for any other reason. When conducting research at OSU, it is good practice to register for PH401 (Research). Research must be performed to enter the WIC, but PH401 is not technically required to appear on your transcript for graduation audit because some students perform their research outside of OSU Physics (with departmental consent of course).
If I plan to stay a fifth year, when should I take the WIC?
You can take the WIC in the 4th or 5th year. Choose the year in which you can devote the most attention to your thesis. Your research should begin ahead of the term in which you begin the WIC.
If I plan to graduate mid-year, when should I take the WIC?
You should take the WIC in the last full academic year that you are at OSU.
If I decide to delay graduation after starting the WIC, should I continue to take the WIC?
Talk to the PH403 course instructor and the research advisor about details. Most students who chose such a delay continue to take the WIC and work on research. They write a good basis for the thesis, and receive an incomplete for the course in the Spring. That "I" grade is removed when they turn in the final thesis.
If I forget to take PH403 in the Fall, can I still take it in Winter and Spring and graduate in the Spring?
Are any exceptions possible?
As in most of life, exceptions may be possible if you are responsible, professional and plan ahead. You will need to present an alternative plan that will fulfill all the university requirements for the WIC. We have had very few exceptions to the rule. If there are serious unforeseen circumstances, please discuss them with us at the earliest possible opportunity.
Who is "us", i.e. to whom should I talk if I have questions?
The PH403 course instructor is Janet Tate, Weniger 485
The UG Advisor is Henri Jansen, Weniger 403