Research and Teaching

Most Dordt physics majors work as laboratory or teaching assistants. They combine student employment with on-the-job training in research and teaching as they learn to run labs and help sessions for introductory-level courses.

Research skill development is an important theme throughout our physics course sequence. This learning starts in the introductory physics lab by doing experimental analysis and keeping a lab notebook. It continues into upper-level courses, where students do both guided and independent projects to further develop their ability to think independently and critically about experimental analysis and design.

Physics majors have opportunities to do summer research with faculty mentors, either on or off campus. Often these projects lead to national conference presentations or published journal articles. Some examples of recent student research activity include:

  • A research internship at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 
  • NASA-funded research on the dynamics and transport of air within the polar vortices of the stratosphere 
  • Studying laser light scattering through stretched polymer films
  • Investigation of the radiation dose on CT imaging-based measures of lung tissue mechanics
  • Analysis of chest impacts with and without chest protectors to understand the link between impacts and Commotio Cordis
  • Experimental modeling of various viscous fluids inside a cylinder rolling down a ramp