Research - Physics and Astronomy Skip Navigation

Research in Physics and Astronomy

Our students conduct high-level research alongside our faculty, utilizing the advanced instrumentation and facilities available on the Colgate campus.
A student adjusts equipment for a laboratory study using lasers.

Facilities

Ho Science CenterThe Department of Physics and Astronomy is located in the Ho Science Center (campus map). The center is designed to enhance the sciences, encourage multidisciplinary fields of study, teach students collaborative learning, and recognize the importance of community outreach.

Our faculty maintain state-of-the-art laboratory facilities in which they and their students collaborate on a wide variety of research in the fields of physics and astronomy. Ho is also home to the Ho Tung Visualization Lab.

More information about the Ho Science Center

Foggy Bottom Observatory Foggy Bottom Observatory (FBO) is located directly on the Colgate campus (campus map). It's hilltop location and Colgate's rural setting allow researchers clear views of night sky with minimal light pollution. Our faculty and student researchers in many respects find the FBO to be a home away from home.

Astronomy Research and FBO Information

Ho Tung Visualization LabAn incredible complement to the Foggy Bottom Observatory, the Ho Tung visualization lab allows our students to study planets, stars, constellations, and other astronomical objects no matter what the weather is. The state-of-the-art 55-seat digital theater Ho Science Center features a digital projector that allows us to project 3D animations and shows made in an immersive dome environment.

More information about the visualization lab

Astronomy Research - Summer 2012

Lauren Bearden '14
Trends in the Short Term SSI Variability over 100 Carrington Rotations from the UV through the IR
Advisors: Odele Coddington, Erik Richard, Martin Snow
Location: Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Boulder, CO

Margaret Dievendorf '13
Analysis of Meteorites
Advisor: Jonathan Levine

Michael Fusco '13
Hubble STIS Data: A Spectroscopic Census of Hd-32297
Advisor: Seth Redfield
Location: Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium at Wesleyan University

Katie Iadanza '13
Photometric Analysis of the Transiting Exoplanet TrES-1b
Advisor: Thomas J. Balonek

Alyssa Sokol '14
Sidereal Period Determination of Koronis Family Asteroid (1635) Bohrmann
Advisor: Stephen Slivan
Location: Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium at Wellesley College, 

Carolyn Thayer [Wellesley College '14]
Optical Variability of the BL Lac object BL Lacertae
Advisor: Thomas J. Balonek

Lily Zucker [Wesleyan University '14]
Optical Microvariability of the BL Lac object BL Lacertae
Advisor: Thomas J. Balonek

Visualization Lab Research - Summer 2012

Sarah Byer '15
Creating Astronomy Modules and Ho Tung Visualization Laboratory Content
Advisor: Thomas J. Balonek
Location: Colgate campus
 
Ben Diamond '13
Alan Dowling '15
Ian Dwyer '14


Students observe an image of the earth from space while seated in the Ho Tung Visualization Lab

Physics Research - Summer 2012

Betty Anderson '14
The Effects of Network Topology on the Synchronization of Synaptically Coupled Entorhinal Cortex Stellate Cells
Advisor: Patrick Crotty

Matthew Brunetti '13
Synchronization in Josephson Junction Arrays
Advisor: Ken Segall
 
Carrie Burgess '14
Polarization Pattern Produced by Iridescent Shells
Advisor: Rebecca Metzler

Jennifer Calzarette '14
A Comparison of Exoskeletons: Modern and Fossil Barnacles
Advisor: Rebecca Metzler

Flora Cheng '14
Location: Off-campus

Mary Rose Devine '14
The effects of channel noise on the the synchronization of synaptically coupled entorhinal cortex stellate cells
Advisor: Patrick Crotty

Ryan Freeman '13
Experiments in Fluxon Dynamics
Advisor: Ken Segall

Robera Geleta '14
Measuring THz resonant frequency in carbon nanotubes
Advisor: Beth Parks

Siyang Guo '13
Relating Parameters of Josephson-Junction Neuron to Biologically-Realistic Neuron Model
Advisor: Patrick Crotty

Shreeya Khadka '14
Location: Off-campus

James (Cedric) Mayer '15
Measuring Insulation With A Thermocouple Circuit
Advisor: Beth Parks

Kevin McCullough '14
Generating and Detecting Images Using Spatial Light Modulation
Advisor: Kiko Galvez

Brett Rojec '14
Study of Polarization Patterns Created by the Combination of Polarized Laser Poincare Beams
Advisor: Kiko Galvez

Daniel Schussheim '14
A MATLAB Investigation of the Incidence of Broadband Behavior in Pulsed Lasers with Application to Resonance Ionization Mass Spectrometry
Advisor: Jonathan Levine

Michael Senatore '14
Investigation into Quantum Entanglement and Qubit Creation and Utilization
Advisor: Kiko Galvez

Danielle Solomon '13
Location: Off-campus

Peter Williams '13
Interaction of a Breather and Vortex in a Josephson Ladder
Advisor: Ken Segall

Tanya Zakowich '14
Strength and Structure of Lake Tanganyika Snail Shells
Advisor: Rebecca Metzler

Recent Student Presentations and Posters

Undergraduate presenters in bold; Undergraduate co-authors *

Experimental Investigation of CO_2 Solubility in Primitive Martian Basalts Similar to Yamato 980459 and Implications for Martian Atmospheric Evolution
  • Douglas R. Schaub, B. D. Stanley, M. M. Hirschmann
  • Poster paper at 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2012)
  • Paper #2265
  • Abstract

Time Series Analysis of the Quasar PKS 1749+096
  • Michael T. Lam '11, Thomas J. Balonek
  • Poster paper at American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #217, Seattle, WA, 2011 January
  • Paper #142.10; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol. 43, (2011).
  • Abstract

Twenty-Year Optical Variability of The Blazar PKS 1749+096: Exponential Outbursts?
  • Thomas J. Balonek, Michael T. Lam '11, Phillip A. Patrick*, Erin L. Scott*, Alyssa J. Kaercher*, Justin Rupert Timothy Taber*, Paul Hegel*, Yung Hsien (Caroline) Ng Tam*, Auralee Morin*, Kristen Levandowski*, Emily L. Graber*, Trevor S. Quirk*
  • Poster paper at American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #217, Seattle, WA, 2011 January
  • Paper #142.09; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol. 43, (2011).
  • Abstract

Dectection of Anomalous Accretion-like Outbursts from the DQ Tau Yound Binary System
  • Michael S. Petersen '10
  • Oral paper at Astronomical Society of New York, Hamilton, NY, 2010 April.

Anomalous Accretion Event Observed in the DQ Tau System
  • Michael S. Petersen '10, Jeff S. Bary
  • Poster paper at American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #215, Washington, DC, 2010 January
  • Paper #429.21; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol. 42, p.353.
  • Abstract

Limits on O VII Emission from Local and Halo Sources of the ROSAT 1/4-keV Diffuse Background
  • Margaret Swaney '11, R. Fujimoto, T. Hagihara, D. McCammon, K. Mitsuda, Y. Takei, Q. D. Wang, Y. Yao, T. Yoshino
  • Poster paper at American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #215, Washington, DC, 2010 January
  • Paper #415.24; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol. 42, p.264 (2010).
  • Abstract

Reduction of Interstellar Medium Scattering Effects in Millisecond Pulsar Timing
  • Michael Lam '11, P. Demorest
  • Poster paper at American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #215, Washington, DC, 2010 January
  • Paper #453.24; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol. 42, p.466 (2010).
  • Abstract