Honors & Senior Theses

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 AY 2016-17 is Prof. Marcus Spradlin.

Senior Thesis Information and Recent Theses

Senior thesis talks are given over multiple days during reading period in the last week in April. Theses are submitted to the Department Honors Coordinator and the Senior Thesis Advisor in mid-April, about 10 days before presentations begin, with the final version due by midnight on the final day of presentations.


Research Topic



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"

Prof. Mitrovic

Altman, Lauren

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

Prof. Spradlin

Berglund, Kallan

"Investigation of Firewalls in Black Holes"

Prof.  Lowe

Cooper-Troendle, London

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

Prof. Koushiappas

Dallas, Sam

"Modeling Galaxy Color Variations for Cosmological Simulations"

Prof. Dell'Antonio

Flexman, Connor

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

Prof. Gaitskell

Ghoush, Soumya

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

Prof. Dell'Antonio

Givans, Jahmour

"Particle Detection in Schwarzschild Anti-de Sitter Spacetime"

Prof. Lowe

Levine, Alexander J.

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

Prof. Valles

Nishimura-Gasparian, Kei

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

Prof. Powers

Scheer, Michael

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

Prof. Zia

Snider, Charles

"Group Theory Applications in Chern-Simons Theory"

Prof. Jevicki

Storey-Fisher, Kate

"Defining Dark Matter Halo Mass in Cosmological Simulations"

Prof. Dell'Antonio

Tarshish, Nathaniel

"Monte Carlo Simulations of Liquid Crystal Defects and Mixtures"

Prof. Pelcovits

Van der List, Joseph

"Searching for a heavy Partner to the Top Quark"

Prof. Narain

Watson-Daniels, Jamelle

"Evaluating Plasmonic Photocatalytic Activity of Materials"

Prof. Xu





Bonadonna, Christopher

“Simulating Planet Formation around M-Type Dwarf Stars” 

Prof. Dell'Antonio

Commons, Jeffrey

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

Prof. Valles & Prof. Kosti (Brown Chem)

Genecov, Max

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

Prof. Gaitskell

Kolus, Hannah

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

Prof. Pelcovits & Prof. Fox-Kemper (Brown DEEPS)

Kulshreshtha, Abishek

“Classification of Topological Insulators”

Prof. Feldman

Meehan, Alexander

“Is It Irrational to Believe Orthodox Quantum Mechanics?” 

Prof. Feldman & Prof. Emery (Brown Philosophy)

Moskowitz, Alexander

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

Prof. Dell'Antonio

Nally, Richard

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

Prof. Tan

Park, Hojin

“Reconstructing AdS Space” 

Prof. Jevicki

Parker, Daniel

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

Prof. Volovich

Plummer, Abigail

“Numerical and Statistical Simulation of an Idealized Model Tachocline” 

Prof. Marston

Pike, Sean

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

Prof. Dell'Antonio

Scherlis, Adam

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

Prof. Spradlin

Underriner, Scott

“Scales of Dark Matter Clustering in High Redshift Galaxies” 

Prof. Dell'Antonio


Armstrong, Andrew

"The Effect of Orthogonal Transfer on Atmospherically Induced Point Spread Function Correlations"

Prof. Dell'Antonio

Barry, Bradley

"Simulating Local Spin Texture Induced by Spin-Orbit Interaction and Exotic Orbital Orders in the Mott insulator Ba2NaOsO6 - Exploring Utility as a Qubit"

Prof. Mitrovic

Cramer, Avilash

"A Method for Improving the Resolution of X-Ray Imaging by Collimation of Scintillating Nanoparticles"

Profs. Valles & T. Morse (Brown Engn)

English, Michael-Patrick

"Spectral Energy Distributions of Compact Microwave Sources in Galactic HII Regions"

 Prof. Tucker

Filsinger, Gabriel

"A Theoretical and Experimental Exploration of Magnetic Properties of Amorphous-Fe and bcc-Fe Nanoparticles"

Profs. S. Sun (Brown Chem) & Ling

 Gilbert, Emily

"Measuring Weak Gravitational Lensing by Abell 992 Using the One Degree Imager"

 Prof. Dell'Antonio

 Jiang, Chnming

 "Studies of the Viscosity Dependence of the Galvanotactic Response of Paramecia"

 Prof. Valles

 Lee, Jaeyoon

"Weak Confinement of DNA in a Shallow Free Energy Landscape"

 Prof. Stein

 Lyubich, Eva

"Quasi-Biennial Modulation of the Stratospheric Surf Zone"

Profs. Marston & L. Gray (Oxford Physics)

Poh, Wei Jie Jason

"Constraining the Past History of Dark Matter Density at the Galactic Solar Radius"

 Prof. Koushiappas

Rozansky, Robert

"The Physics of Filling a Nanoscale Tube"

 Prof. Stein

 Shipp, Nora

"Fermi Unidentified Sources: Dark Matter or Astrophysics"

 Prof. Koushiappas

Siegelman, Mika

"Modeling Ocean Dynamics at Waikiki Beach"

Profs. B. Fox-Kemper (Brown GeoSci) & M. Merrifield (U. Hawaii)


Albright, Stephen

"Consequences of Slip on Electrokinetic Currents in Nanochannels"

Prof. Derek Stein

Berg, Alexander

"Thin-Film Gap-Sample Experiments"

Prof. Jim Valles

Carpenter, Caitlin

"Effects of Spatial Compactifcation on the Hagedorn Temperature and the Thermo-Tachyon"

Prof. Chung-I Tan

Chanayammuri, Urmila

"Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies of the Milky Way: Identification in Sloan Digital Sky Survey and Significance in Dark Matter Detection"

Prof. Savvas Koushiappas

DiPetrillo, Karri

"DNA Translocation Dynamics through Asymmetric Solid-State Nanopores"

Prof. Derek Stein

Eggers, Lucas

"Toward Entropic Trapping of DNA in Solid-State Nanopores"

Prof. Derek Stein

Frees, Adam

"Solutions of Higher Spin Gravity and Connections to Integrable Systems"

Prof. Antal Jevicki

Golden-Marx, Emmet

"Measuring Star Formation Rates in Nearby Galaxies using Their Far Infrared Continua"

Prof. Ian Dell'Antonio

Golden-Marx, Jesse

"Searching for Classical Novae in the M81 Galaxy Group As a Proxy for the Fraction of Stars That Have Escaped Their Host Galaxies"

Prof. Ian Dell'Antonio

Hill, Cameron

"Measuring Weak Lensing of Galaxy Clusters with the One Degree Imager (ODI)"

Prof. Ian Dell'Antonio

Langer, Marc

"Statistical Physics of the Anyonic Fabry-Perot Interferometer"

Prof. Dima Feldman

Moon, Wooyoung

"Density Functional Theory Calculations of the Stability of Charged Molecular Clusters Emitted by a Nanopore Ion Source"

Prof. Derek Stein

Nagamine, Tasha

"Optical Modulation of Microcircuits in Deep Brain Structures of Behaving Rodents"

Prof. Arto Nurmikko

Pfundheller, Austin

"Searching for High-Luminosity, Sun-Like Stars in the Galactic Halo"

Prof. Ian Dell'Antonio

Poole, William

"Playing Polymer Ping Pong: Simulating the Out-of-Equilibrium Dynamics of Driven Polymer Translocations Through a Nanopore"

Prof. Derek Stein

Powell, Charles

"Density Functional Modelling of Actinide Complexes"

Prof. Brad Marston

Ramamurti, Adith

"Quantization of Symmetric Spaces"

Prof. Antal Jevicki

Sedor, Geoffrey

"Searching for Gigantic Black Holes"

Prof. Ian Dell'Antonio

Shasha, Carolyn

"Comparing Filamentous Virus Lengths Using a Solid-State Nanopore"

Prof. Derek Stein

Shi, Xiangjun

"Why Do I Study Physics?"  (A science communication animation project)

Prof. Chung-I Tan

Stark, Alejo

"Is There an AGN in the Bright, Strongly Lensed, High Redshift Galaxy RCSGA 032727-1326?"

Prof. Savvas Koushiappas

Van Krieken, Cole

"Changes in Fluid Viscosity and Its Effect on the Avoiding Reaction in Paramecia"

Prof. Jim Valles

Weinberger, Nathan

Study of the Effect of CO2 Lasers Radiation on Electron Bubbles in Liquid Helium

Prof. Humphrey Maris

Winoker, Zachary

"Inducing Knotted Defect Structures in Nematic Liquid Crystals via Boundary Conditions"

Prof. Robert Pelcovits


Adams, Arthur

“Measurements of the Mass of the Top Quark Using the Lepton+Jets Decay Channel”

Prof. Ulrich Heintz

Alexander, Kate

“Quantifying the Effects of Noise Peaks on Two-Point Correlation Functions in Ground-Based Lensing Data”

Prof. Ian Dell’ Antonio

Bensson, James

“Quantum Computing with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance”

Prof. Vesna Mitrovic

Bodington, Natalie

“Rectification Behavior of Junctions of Hubbard-Chains Using the  Density-Matrix Renormalization Group”

Prof. Brad Marston

Cho, Minjae

Integrability Structure of Giant Magnons in Anti deSitter Space”

Prof. Antal Jevicki

Coogan, Adam

“Search for the RS Graviton in 2.2  TeV Data at CMS”

Prof. Meenakshi Narain

Dodelson, Matthew 

dS/CFT and the Wavefunction of the Universe”

Prof. Antal Jevicki

Hicks, William 

"U(1) Charges in Weakly-Coupled Free-Fermionic Heterotic String Models”

Prof. David Lowe

Huynh, Clarence

“SN2011fe: A Standard Candle Examination of M101”

Prof. Ian Dell’ Antonio

Iadecola, Thomas 

Anyonic Fabry-Pérot Interferometry in Quantum Hall Systems”

Prof. Dmitri Feldman

Lazo del Sol, Luis

“Modifying Anodized Aluminum Oxide's Roughness on a Nanometer Scale for Thin-Film Superconductor Experiments"

Prof. Jim Valles

Lester, Ryan

"Bulk Quantum Computing with NMR"

Prof. Vesna Mitrovic

Mickalide, Harry 

“Modelling the Swimming Mechanics of Paramecia through Analysis of Speed versus Viscosity in Three Separate Species”

Prof. Jim Valles

Nagy, Mark 

Nanopore Measurements and Analysis of DNA Fragments”

Prof. Sean Ling

Neubauer, Marianna 

“The Effect of Simple Viscous and Visco-Elastic Media on Bacterial Motility”

Prof. Jay Tang

Provencher, Real Ryan

“Symbology of Integrals in Loop-Level Feynman Diagrams”

Prof. Marcus Spradlin

Wagman, Michael 

“Simulating Turduckened Black Holes with a Discontinuous Galerkin Scheme”

Prof. Jan Hesthaven