UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Physics Department faculty specialize in a wide variety of research topics. A few examples include: Laser physics (Lowell McCann); liquid crystals (Eileen Korenic); ed tech, electronics, and standardized student assessment (Matt Vonk); astrophysics (Glenn Spiczak, Suruj Seunarine); faculty development, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL), academic risk-taking (Arriety Lowell); and gender issues in science (Rellen Hardtke).
Our students and faculty are working to better understand some of the most energetic events in the universe. The Physics Department is involved with two astrophysics projects at the South Pole, IceCube and the South Pole Neutron Monitors. IceCube is a massive telescope that searches for the highest energy neutrinos produced in the universe while the Neutron Monitors observe low energy cosmic rays that are produced in our galaxy and nearby in the sun.
Physics professor Suruj Seunarine (shown) travels to the South Pole annually with an undergraduate student to conduct research. Students can join the astrophysics research group and conduct research as early as their first year at UWRF.
Summer 2019 student interns helped to create online science labs for education. From left: Amal Mohamed and Andraya Rosario - measuring mouse respiration with a C02 meter, Vic Fischer - making a more ideal inductor by cooling it in liquid nitrogen, Carl Bohacek - finding the mass of gasses, Matt Vonk - respiration of plants, Aiden Jacobs - chemical buffers, Lisa Fisher - fruit fly genetics, and Payton Weber-Rolfes - determining gas densities by seeing which soap bubbles float.
A team of physics students mentored by Dr. Spiczak created an autonomous vehicle for the 2018 National Robotics Challenge in Marion, OH.
A photo of the Orion Nebula from our own observatory.
(Photo courtesy of Dr. Vonk)