As a Loyola student, you have the opportunity to work alongside our talented professors to partner in collaborative research. Learn more about some recent research and projects currently underway.
Experiments using light quanta – photons – have proven to be very effective probes of a large range of phenomena, including quantum entanglement. This phenomenon has long fascinated scientists, and exemplifies the mystery and ‘weirdness’ of quantum physics. It also points the way towards the possibility in the future of extremely powerful quantum computers.
In the Quantum Optics Lab in the Physics Department at Loyola University we are in the process of setting up an experiment to explore quantum entanglement, in particular by testing something known as Bell’s theorem.
Students are involved in all aspects of the work, from putting together and aligning optical components, to building electronics, to using computers to acquire, analyze and model the data.
Dr. Jeremy Thibodeaux and senior mathematics student Michael Hennessey have derived a system of differential equations that model certain blood cell and particle populations in the body when it is infected with Dengue virus. The model aims to capture the relevant physiological processes to provide researchers a tool to develop more effective antiviral drugs and treatments in the fight against Dengue Fever.
Both theoretically and observationally cosmology has growning in stature over the last decade or so. Still several puzzling questions remain: How did it all start, did our universe emerge from a singularity? Was there a beginning of time, or can one trace time all the way back to –infinity? What about dark matter and dark energy, what are they made of?
Dr. Biswas research tries to address these questions. His current projects involve cyclic cosmological models and the dark energy puzzle.
Gravitational physics, both theory (Dr. Brans and Dr. Biswas) and experiments (Dr. McHugh), has been a major focus of research in the physics department.
Physics Professor Emeritus Carl Brans research of relativity is closely related to Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Its presently known inadequacies have led to speculation on various alternatives to the standard Einstein equations. Dr. Biswas' research mostly focuses on investigating the consistency and viability of such alternative models of gravity. He is especially interested in cosmological applications of string theory inspired gravity models. Martin McHugh has worked on the experimental search for gravitational waves – most recently as part of the large international collaboration known as LIGO. While his more recent research interest involves quantum optics, he is also working on a project about the history of physics, which includes a biography of Robert H. Dicke.
The participation of most undergraduates generally starts with learning the necessary mathematical tools to enter and make contributions to this field. This includes learning special and general theory of relativity, tensor calculus, and partial differential equations. The students can then get involved in research in areas such as dark energy, inflationary cosmology, experimental tests of gravity, etc.
Chemistry students have the opportunity to study the secondary structure of large biomolecules using circular dichroism spectroscopy under the direction of Chemistry Professor William Walkenhorst. Dr. Walkenhorst and his research students also investigate antimicrobial peptides in collaboration with scientists at Tulane.
Dr. Karen Rosenbecker has an article “Just Desserts: Reversals of Fortune, Feces, Flatus, and Food in Aristophanes’ Wealth” that will appear in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, vol. 108, spring 2015.
Dr. Karen Rosenbecker and Mr. Brian Sullivan have had their article “‘Greeking Out’: Creating Digital Tutorials and Support Materials for Beginners” published in the journal Teaching Classical Languages (5.2, spring, 2014).
Karen Rosenbecker, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies and Brian Sullivan, On-Line Learning Librarian, created Screen Cap Video Tutorials for “From Alpha to Omega: A Beginning Course in Classical Greek”, a series of animated tutorial modules to accompany the text. The video tutorials are keyed to the fourth edition of From Alpha to Omega and are being promoted by Focus/Pullins Publishers as part of their new expanded support materials for the text. View a sample tutorial
Samantha Urso (2014) wrote her departmental honors thesis, "An Examination and Analysis of the Hellenistic Ceramics from Prastio Mesorotsos", calling upon her experience in field archaeology from the excavation she participated in on the island of Cyprus during the summers of 2012 and 2013.