Research Experience for Undergraduates


The Physics & Astronomy Department has created an 8-10 weeks Undergraduate Summer Research program explicitly for department students to be held June 14-August 20, 2021. Please download and fill out the application here. The application deadline is March 19, 2021. Faculty will define a number of available research projects.

In addition to the printed application, you are asked to provide:

  • A one-page statement about yourself and your academic and research goals, your motivations, and your interest in doing physics/astronomy research. You can also optionally provide reasons for your research preferences.
  • Your unofficial transcript.
  • A resume/CV that includes coursework, lab skills, and coding proficiencies.
  • A letter of recommendation (sent separately to queval@physics.ucla.edu) from faculty.
Place all these documents including the application form in a folder and compress them in a single zip file.

Programs for 2021

Astronomy
Faculty: R. Michael Rich

Available projects: Astronomy - Galactic and Extragalactic (can employ 2 students)

  • Study of binary stars and interesting binary star candidates from the Zwicky Transient Factory using a remotely operated telescope; collaboration with Dr. Sebastien Lepine (Georgia State) and/or Dr. Shri Kulkarni (Caltech)
  • Robotic operations of remotely operated telescope
  • A search for circumgalactic low level H-alpha emission in nearby galaxies


Neurophysics
Faculty: Katsushi Arisaka

Project: We are investigating the physics principle of our visual perception of the external 3D space in the frequency-time domain. The student is expected to combine the visual stimulation by a Virtual Reality headset with brain wave detection by an EEG headset and eye motion tracking by a high-speed camera. Then we will measure the reaction time for various stimulations.


Nuclear Physics
Faculty: Huan Z. Huang/Gang Wang

Project: Study of Heavy Quark Interaction with QCD Matter: QCD partonic matter at extremely high temperature and energy density has been created in Au+Au collisions at Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). We will study heavy quark (Charm and Bottom) interactions with the QCD matter in central Au+Au collisions. Heavy quarks are produced mostly through the gluon-gluon fusion process during the initial impact of the colliding nuclei. After the initial production heavy quarks may scatter off partons in the QCD matter and suffer energy losses while traversing the QCD matter via gluon radiation or elastic scattering. We will investigate experimentally signatures of these heavy quark interactions with the QCD matter.


Solid State
Faculty: HongWen Jiang

Project: Semiconductor Quantum Dot Qubits. Semiconductor quantum dots are a leading approach for the implementation of solid-state based qubits for quantum computation. In this project, the summer student will join the researchers in the group to perform quantum processing tomography of a novel quantum dot qubit that is encoded by two valley states in silicon.


Questions? Contact the Undergraduate office: Françoise Queval, Student Affairs Officer, 1-707A PAB, 310-825-2453.