Student Research

Students in Laser Lab

The faculty of Simpson College consider student research to be a vitally important component of a complete undergraduate experience.


Research at Simpson College may take several forms. Short projects (normally completed within one semester) might involve constructing some instrument or apparatus or a quantum mechanical calculation. Examples include: building an external cavity diode laser system, measuring lifetimes of laser-induced excited states in rubidium vapor, calculating collision rates in a bi-atomic gas.

Students may also get involved with faculty in deeper ongoing research over several semesters. Currently our physics faculty are doing research in the areas of Atomic and Laser Spectroscopy (D. Olsgaard) and Computational Nano-science and Self-assembly (A. Santos).

Many of our students apply for summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) where they work alongside professors and graduate students at large universities or national labs. These programs typically include room and board and a $4000-5000 stipend.

Brooke Faulkner spent two summers working at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado working on applications of carbon nanotubes to improve solar cell efficiency.

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