The pursuit of research is one of the major goals of physics graduate education. Thesis advisors are selected from those faculty involved in the research areas of interest to the student. The research activities in the UNH Physics Department are centered on a few focused fields:
- Biophysics and Medical Imaging
- Condensed Matter:
- Atomic Clusters
- Reduced Dimensionality
- Thin Films
- Experimental Nuclear and Nucleon Physics
- Nuclear and High Energy Theory
- String Theory
- Physics Education
- Space Physics:
- Cosmic Rays
- Experimental Space Plasmas
- High Energy Astrophysics
- Solar-Terrestrial Theory
- Theoretical Space Plasmas
In addition to these physics research fields, the research activities of the Space Physics groups are tied, through the Space Science Center, into the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space (EOS). This combination offers the presence of research personnel with a broad range of expertise in these fields under one roof. For the interested student, this opens the possibility of working on subjects that have ties to both Physics and Earth Sciences. Examples of fields covered in the Institute are chemistry and transport of trace gases in the Earth's atmosphere and the interaction between the atmosphere and the oceans. Thesis work in collaboration with the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Departments also is possible. Projects in the Materials Science Program are available through faculty working on Condensed Matter Physics. Projects centered around the development of new sensor techniques for the measurement of fields, particles and radiation in space are available through Space Science Center faculty members.
Choosing a Research Group and Thesis Advisor
First year graduate students should take the one credit course called Introduction to Research in Physics. Faculty members will give talks about their current projects in this course to give students a broad overview of the research done in the department.
The next step in the selection process is to have detailed discussions with physics faculty members about their research programs, research interests, and potential research assistantship openings. Research assistantship openings are contingent upon external funding of the relevant research group. The Physics Department Graduate Student Advisor can help by suggesting programs and introducing students to faculty members with suitable interests. Students should make every effort to begin work with a group during the summer between their first and second years as a trial run for thesis selection. Based on their summer experience, students should either continue work with this group or pursue other options.