Physics Research Programs
The Department of Physics at Saint Joseph’s University has developed a research-oriented culture for both its faculty and students. It is expected that most students will experience some sort of research activity over their four-year development in the discipline of physics. The ability to put into practice what is learned in the classroom is paramount to the growth of a young scientist. In the research laboratory, the student will learn to ask appropriate questions, design and perform experiments to answer those questions, analyze data using computational methods and draw appropriate conclusions. Students will also be exposed to the interfaces of physics where physics meets biology and chemistry.
Undergraduates can participate in research in three different ways:
- Take research for academic credit: Within the major, students must take three physics electives and one or more of these may be used to perform scientific research under the guidance of our physics faculty.
- Do research as a Summer Scholar: The Summer Scholars program at Saint Joseph's University provides support for currently enrolled undergraduate students to engage in faculty-mentored research and other scholarly endeavors during the summer months. In exchange for the support provided, Summer Scholars agree to write about their work and present it at an annual dinner, as well as the Celebration of Student Achievement held in the spring.
- Volunteer in a research laboratory at Saint Joseph's.
Faculty Research Areas
Faculty members in the physics department have engaged in significant research in a wide range of physics topics. See their research interests below.
- Piotr Habdas, Ph.D.: His primary area of research is the physics of soft condensed matter, particularly non-Newtonian liquids. His other research interests include fluid dynamics and the physics of granular materials.
- Douglas A. Kurtze, Ph.D.: Dr. Kurtze's research is in statistical physics, the theory of pattern formation, and, most recently, oceanography. He has published papers on the formation of patterns in solidification, crystallization, flame fronts, and fluid flow, as well as on traffic jams, washboard roads, and the formation of ridges on windblown sand. He is currently working on some general aspects of pattern formation, and on the dynamics of the thermohaline circulation in the Atlantic Ocean and its effects on climate.
Mark Scafonas, Ph.D.: Research interests include changes in mid-latitude atmospheric dynamics due to anthropogenic climate change.
Research Experience for High School Students
This program provides an opportunity for rising high school seniors, who are planning to apply to a physics college program, to engage in faculty-mentored research during the summer months.
The Research Experience for High School Students is an intense, 5-week scientific research program at Saint Joseph’s University. The program provides a full immersion in a research lab at the Department of Physics at Saint Joseph’s University. Students volunteer in a research lab and engage in an independent research project under the mentorship of a research faculty member in the Department of Physics.
Important 2021 Application and Program Dates
- March 28, 2021: Application deadline
- April 25, 2021: Notification of decision
- May 24, 2021 through June 25, 2021: Tentative program dates
Students will engage in activity under the direction of a Department of Physics faculty member, during part of the summer of 2021. The student must be present during the whole program. Specific hours of experience will be determined by the faculty member.
Please submit the following documents as attachments to an email sent to Piotr Habdas at email@example.com:
- Letter of interest
- A transcript
- A recommendation letter
John P. McNulty Scholars Program
The John P. McNulty Scholars Program provides full- and partial-tuition scholarships and a supportive environment to help young women succeed as leaders in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field. Program alumnae have gone on to pursue advanced degrees in biology, food science, mechanical engineering, materials chemistry and neuroscience at institutions including Cornell University, Georgetown University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Illinois and Johns Hopkins University.
First-year female or female-identifying students who are majoring in a STEM program — including physics — are invited to apply. You do not need to be admitted to Saint Joseph's University before applying to the program.