Honors in Physics

Candidates receiving honors in Physics will be expected to pursue a more rigorous and extensive program than those merely concentrating in the subject. 

  • Candidates typically earn the Sc.B. degree, though in special circumstances an A.B. degree will be acceptable. 
  • All Sc.B. candidates are eligible for honors consideration without any special application procedure. During the student's eighth semester, the Physics concentration and honors advisors will review the student's grades in all mathematics and physics courses and compute a GPA. If this GPA is judged sufficiently outstanding (typically 3.25 or better), successful completion of the senior thesis is then the remaining requirement, including an oral presentation at the end of the eighth semester. This presentation will be evaluated by the thesis advisor, and the Physics concentration and honors advisors.  If it is deemed satisfactory, the student will be awarded honors at graduation.
  • Outstanding theses may be nominated for publication by The Wayland Press of Brown University.

The Physics Honors Coordinator for AY2017-18 is Professor Jim Valles.

Senior Thesis Information & Recent Theses

Students preparing senior theses must enroll in PHYS1990 for the semester in which they will complete their thesis.  Students who wish to obtain credit for thesis related research work in the fall should enroll in PH1980 (an override code from the advisor will be needed).

Senior theses are due to be handed into the Department Honors Coordinator and the Senior Thesis Advisor 10 days before the beginning of reading period in a student’s final semester.  The final version of a student’s thesis is due no later than midnight of the last day of reading period.  Like other papers, theses will be vetted using TurnItIn or similar software.  Students wishing to be considered for honors must give a Senior thesis presentation no later than the last day of reading period.  These presentations typically last a half hour comprised of a 20 minute talk and 10 minute question and discussion period.  

Student Research Topic Advisor



Blunt, Sarah

"Orbits for the Impatient: A Bayesian Rejection Sampling Method for Quickly Fitting the Orbits of Long-Period Exoplanets"

Prof. Dell'Antonio & E. Nielsen (SETI Institute) & Prof. Macintosh (Stanford)

Brauer, Kaley

"Force-Explicit Machine Learning Schemes and Interactive Visualization for Atomic Simulations"

Prof. Marston & Prof. Peterson (Engineering)

Butcher, Amy

"Laser Terahertz Emission Near-field Microscopy"

Prof. Middleman

Harris, Evan

"PSF Anisotropy and Cluster Mass Estimation in Weak Gravitational Lensing"

Prof. Dell'Antonio

Lynch, Connor

"Photomultiplier Tube (PMT) Testing for the LZ (LUX-ZEPLIN) Dark Matter Experiment under intense LED-light exposure and modulation"

Prof. Gaitskell

Movsheva, Anna

"Anyons and Dualities in 2+1 Dimensions"

Prof. Jevicki

Nelson, Jovan

"Using Jet Images and Deep Neural Networks to Identify Particles in High Luminosity"

Prof. Narain

Oliver, Richard

"Force-Free Electrodynamics near the Horizon of an Extremal Kerr Black Hole"

Prof. Lowe

L.J. Remillard

"Stirling coolers, their Vibrations, and Astronomy"

Prof. Dell'Antonio 

Rivlis, Raz

"Monte Carlo Simulations of Liquid Crystal Decorated Nanoparticles"

Prof. Pelcovits

Romines, Carl

"Weak Gravitational Lensing"

Prof. Dell'Antonio

Rosenberg, Eliott

"Cooling in a Dissipative Dark Sector"

Prof. Fan

Seymour, Devon

"Monte Carlo Simulations of Polonium Drift from Radon Progeny in an Electrostatic Counter"

Prof. Gaitskell

Tennis, Jessica

"Thermodynamics and Kinetics of DOTA-Based Ligands"

Prof. Dell'Antonio & Prof. Robinson (Chemistry)

Zamora, Alvaro

"Finding Young and Hypervelocity Stars in the Outer Halo of the Galaxy" 

Prof. Dell'Antonio


Adams, Dominic

"Computational Simulation of Pawder NMR Spectra"

Professor Mitrovic

Altman, Lauren

"Scattering Amplitudes of On-Shell Plabic Graphs resulting in Elliptic Integrals"

Professor Spradlin

Berglund, Kallan

"Investigation of Firewalls in Black Holes"

Professor  Lowe

Cooper-Troendle, London

"Inflation and the Growth of Density Perturbations in the Early Universe"

Professor Koushiappas

Dallas, Sam

"Modeling Galaxy Color Variations for Cosmological Simulations"

Professor Dell'Antonio

Flexman, Connor

"Detection of Liquid Xenon Surface Waves by Light Modulation in the LUX Dark Matter Experiment"

Professor Gaitskell

Ghoush, Soumya

"Reconstructing Pixel-Resolution Spectra of Galaxies using Hubble Data"

Professor Dell'Antonio

Givans, Jahmour

"Particle Detection in Schwarzschild Anti-de Sitter Spacetime"

Professor  Lowe

Levine, Alexander J.

"Effects of a Capacitvely-Coupled Ground Plane on Nanohoneycomb Thin Films near the Insulator-Superconductor Transition"

Professor Valles

Nishimura-Gasparian, Kei

"Swimming in Style: Stokes Flow Induced by a Swimmer in a Liquid Crystal"

Professor Powers

Scheer, Michael

"Spins in the Rough: Finding Carbon-13 Nuclear Spins near a Nitrogen-Vacancy Center in Diamond"

Professor Zia

Snider, Charles

"Group Theory Applications in Chern-Simons Theory"

Profeseor Jevicki

Storey-Fisher, Kate

"Defining Dark Matter Halo Mass in Cosmological Simulations"

Professor Dell'Antonio

Tarshish, Nathaniel

"Monte Carlo Simulations of Liquid Crystal Defects and Mixtures"

Professor Pelcovits

Van der List, Joseph

"Searching for a heavy Partner to the Top Quark"

Professor Narain

Watson-Daniels, Jamelle

"Evaluating Plasmonic Photocatalytic Activity of Materials"

Professor Xu





Bonadonna, Christopher

“Simulating Planet Formation around M-Type Dwarf Stars” 

Professor Dell'Antonio

Commons, Jeffrey

“Charge Density Waves in Metal-Intercalated Topological Insulator Nanoribbons”

Professor Valles & Professor Kosti (Department of Chemistry)

Genecov, Max

“Fiat LZ: Teflon Design and Simulation in the Next Generation of Dark Matter Detection” 

Professor Gaitskell

Kolus, Hannah

“Investigating the Relationship between Langmuir Turbulence and Ocean Mixed Layer Entrainment in Large Eddies”

rofessor Pelcovits & Professor Fox-Kemper (Brown DEEPS)

Kulshreshtha, Abishek

“Classification of Topological Insulators”

Professor Feldman

Meehan, Alexander

“Is It Irrational to Believe Orthodox Quantum Mechanics?” 

Professor Feldman & Professor Emery (Department of Philosophy)

Moskowitz, Alexander

“Searching for Self-Interacting Dark Matter through Galaxy Cluster Collisions” 

Professor Dell'Antonio

Nally, Richard

“Computing Inclusive QCD Cross-Sections through AdS/CFT” 

Professor Tan

Park, Hojin

“Reconstructing AdS Space” 

Professor Jevicki

Parker, Daniel

“Cluster Algebra Structures in Scattering Amplitudes in N = 4 Super Yang-Mills Theory”

Professor Volovich

Plummer, Abigail

“Numerical and Statistical Simulation of an Idealized Model Tachocline” 

Professor Marston

Pike, Sean

“Two-Point Shear Correlations as Probes of Large-Scale Structure in the CFHTLS Wide Fields” 

Professor Dell'Antonio

Scherlis, Adam

“Triangulations, Polylogarithms and Grassmannian Cluster Algebras in Particle Physics”

Professor Spradlin

Underriner, Scott

“Scales of Dark Matter Clustering in High Redshift Galaxies” 

Professor Dell'Antonio

Previous Senior Theses