Physics and Astronomy Research at UT-Martin
Although the primary focus of the physics faculty at UT-Martin is teaching, some research opportunities exist for students. Please feel free to contact any of the following professors about possible collaboration with their research.
Computer Modeling of Time Series Phenomenon
Dr. Cahit Erkal
My research interest include: nonlinear dynamics and chaos, time series analysis, mathematical physics and simulations, and physics education. The followings describe my recent research activities:
1) My latest work is about relativistic corrections for simple pendulum. I am currently working on a specific problem to demonstrate two dimensional curved-space which will help undergraduates understand space-time curvature.
2) Time series analysis of climate data with Mark Simpson of Geography department at UT-Martin.
3) Time series and nonlinear dynamics: An application to exchange rates to improve forecasting with Prof. Aydin Cecen of Central Michigan University.
4) Investigating the road to chaos through manifold structure of Duffing's Equation.
Link to Research Page
Computer Modeling of Starspots
Dr. Lionel Crews
Due to rapid rotation from the influence of a companion star and deep convection zones from an extended envelope, some stars exhibit measurable photometric variability from spots on their surface as they rotate. By analyzing these variations using computer simulations, properties of the so-called "starspots" can be determined. While many techniques have been used to do such modeling, I am using a relatively new technique called Matrix Light Curve Inversion (MLI). It is my goal to develop an overall understanding of the evolutionary behavior of starspots by studying a large number of spotted variable stars. This work is done in collaboration with Dr. Robert Harmon of Ohio Wesleyan University.
Computer Modeling of Bok Globules
Dr. Lionel Crews
Bok Globules are sites of potential star and planet formation. Since they are precursors, they exhibit pre-existing conditions for stellar and planetary composition, density, mass, and size. Studying them in detail will allow constraints for the modeling of planet and star formation to be set. To this end, I am studying several Bok Globules imaged in the Infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in an attempt to determine the extinction profile of gas and dust within the cloud. This work is done in collaboration with Dr. Tracy Huard of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Improvements in Physics Education (K-12 and higher education)
Dr. Tahira Arshed
A plan is in the beginning stages to establish a near-campus astronomical observatory, primarily to be used for public viewings and student research. Opportunities may present themselves in the near-future for interested engineering students to assist in the development of the observatory. Please contact Dr. Lionel Crews ( email@example.com ) for information.