We strongly encourage our physics majors to get involved in research during their program. Even if your ultimate goal is not to be a researcher, performing research will teach you many things that you'll never learn from a traditional physics course. However, finding the right research opportunity can be a daunting task. It is important to keep in mind that your effort to get involved in physics research need not be limited to faculty in the physics department. Physics is practiced in many different units at Chicago. The following list provides a good sample of where opportunities can be found:

Units Engaged in Physics-related Research

Department of Physics
Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics
Department of Chemistry
Institute for Molecular Engineering
Enrico Fermi Institute
James Franck Institute
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Institute for Biophysical Dynamics
Center for Data and Computing
Committee on Medical Physics
Geophysical Sciences
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
Argonne National Laboratory
Department of Mathematics

Physics Reading Seminar

Students can ramp up on research skills via a one-quarter long physics reading seminar series. The procedure is:

  1. Students form a group of 5 to 10 with a specific research topic
  2. Students contact the Department Chair at least 1 month before the quarter begins; and
  3. The Department Chair will find a graduate student or a postdoc to supervise the group via weekly meetings

The supervisor will provide readings and assignments as needed. The final deliverable would be a 5 page write-up in two-column LaTeX. Both students and the supervisor will receive certificates from the Department Chair, recognizing their work.

For examples of undergraduate research, see the undergraduate research profiles page.