Our professors have a wide range of individual research interests that augment the hands-on approach you will experience in our programs. Their research areas range from astronomy to nanomaterials and devices.

Two of our professors, Thom Robertson and Tom Jordan, are working on the detection of low mass stars using spectroscopic and photometric techniques. Spectroscopic observations have been obtained at the National Observatories at Kitt Peak in Arizona and at Cerro Tololo in Chile. Photometric observations are made at the National Undergraduate Research Observatory (NURO) in Flagstaff, Arizona, using the 0.8 m telescope of the Lowell Observatory and in our Observatory.

These photometric observations are made using sophisticated charge coupled device (CCD) cameras with broad- and intermediate-band filters. Such observations are used to identify and determine temperatures, luminosity classes, and distances for red dwarf stars using photometric parallaxes.

Another professor, Ron Kaitchuck, is an expert in the study of accretion disks around cataclysmic variable (CV) stars. In his research, he uses photometric and spectroscopic data from NURO, Ball State, the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite, and a variety of other sources. The results of his research help to describe the structure and evolution of accretion disks in these close binary systems.

The great part about faculty research projects is that they have involved students seeking bachelor’s degrees as well as grad students.