Research and Resources

Overview of Research

From subatomic particles to galaxy clusters, the research interests of our faculty members are diverse and wide-ranging.

The Department of Physics has internationally recognized research efforts in virtually all major subfields of physics and astronomy. Our faculty are active members of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the American Chemical Society.

Research Interests

Physics Labs and Facilities

Reynolds Observatory

Campus Location: Near the Potsdam Airport
Faculty: Benjamin Roulston

Description: Clarkson's Reynolds Observatory is home to two telescopes. The 12-inch telescope is used for both bright star spectroscopy and narrow-field-of-view imaging. The smaller 5-inch telescope, which has a field of view slightly larger than the full moon, is used for wide-field-of-view imaging. The precision telescope mount enables long exposures necessary for observing deep-sky objects. Current projects include studying the time variability of various types of binary stars using both spectroscopy and photometry, as well as photometric studies of nebula in the search for emissions caused by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Physics Team Design Lab

Campus Location: Science Center 262
Faculty: Michael Ramsdell 

Description: The Physics Team Design Lab provides first-year STEM students with advanced group projects designed around a challenging real-world laboratory design experience. Approximately 10% of the class is typically enrolled. Students usually work in groups of four throughout the semester to develop a model that can accurately predict the motion of a toy car traveling along an arbitrarily shaped track (Physics I) and the motion of an electric train powered by an arbitrary voltage source (Physics II). During the final week of the semester, groups compete to test the predictive capability of their models during a series of challenge sessions.

Laboratory for Electroanalytical Characterization of Materials

Campus Location: Science Center 170A
Faculty: Dipankar Roy

Description: This research lab is equipped with a broad range of modern instruments and facilities for quantitative electroanalytical characterizations of a broad range of functional materials and devices based on these materials. Research conducted in the lab is focused primarily on novel materials for electrochemical energy storage/conversion and semiconductor device fabrication. Electrochemical characterization techniques are frequently coupled with optical methods, such as surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy, as well as with CAMP-based analytical facilities of electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The Electroanalytical Characterization Lab provides comprehensive hands-on research opportunities to graduate and undergraduate students at Clarkson University.

Professor Gracheva’s Computational Laboratory

Campus Location: CAMP-CB2210
Faculty: Maria Gracheva

Description: This computational laboratory is equipped with several multicore workstations adapted for high performance computational work with the use of MPI (parallel computing) in a Linux environment. We develop physical computational models with both custom codes and commercial software. The research conducted on these workstations mostly deals with problems related to biotechnology and nanotechnology, such as the identification and characterization of biomolecules with nanopore-based solid-state devices, including DNA sequencing and nanoparticle’s characterization. Other projects include filtering, manipulation and separation of biomolecules and nanoparticles in general. Graduate and undergraduate students working in our lab learn about modern supercomputing, gain access to national computational resources through our lab and work at the cutting edge of computational nanotechnology, biophysics and computational modeling and simulation.

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