NSF-Supported "Research Experiences for Undergraduates" (REU) Summer Program for Undergraduate Physics Majors

Summer 2014

Apply online!  The deadline for applications is March 7, 2014.  For other questions about your application or the program in general, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions or contact us at

Undergraduate physics and engineering majors currently in their sophomore or junior year are invited to apply to the Lehigh University Summer Undergraduate Research Participation Program in Physics.  This year the Department of Physics at Lehigh University has againLehigh University Physics - Student in REU program been selected by the National Science Foundation as a "Research Experiences for Undergraduates" (REU) site.  In addition, a number of Sherman Fairchild Scholarships for research in solid state studies and electrical engineering are also available.  The Lehigh REU program is intended for students who plan to pursue graduate study in physics or related fields.  Participants will receive $550 per week for a 10 week program in one of a variety of current research areas at Lehigh.  The work will be supervised by Lehigh faculty and will begin around May 27, 2014.  Free housing is also available to participants.  

Current research activities available to participants

Astrophysics.  Current research involves theoretical and observational studies of stars and planets.  Particular areas of interest in stellar astrophysics are young open clusters, binary stars, X-ray binaries and pulsars, the formation of disks in Be stars, and the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars.  Research on planets involves the discovery and characterization of exoplanets orbiting bright stars, and the search for extraterrestrial biosignatures.  Profs. DeLeo, McCluskey, McSwain, Pepper.

Atomic, Molecular, and Plasma Physics.  Study of fundamental atom-atom interactions including velocity-changing collisions and diffusion, energy pooling collisions and fine-structure changing collisions.  High-resolution spectroscopy of bound-bound and bound-free molecular transitions (including photodissociation).  Molecular hyperfine structure. Collisional and collisionless phenomena of non-ideal plasmas.  Study of energy, particle, and momentum transport in magnetically confined controlled fusion plasma experiments using integrated predictive modeling computer codes.  Profs. Hickman, Huennekens, Kim, Kritz.

Biophysics.  Experimental and theoretical studies of cellular biomechanics.  Optical tweezers, light scattering, and optical microscopy of colloids, polymers, and biomaterials.  Properties of self-assembling systems, in colloidal and biophysical systems.  Mathematical modeling of the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton during cell division and cell Lehigh University Physics - Students rafting on a rivermotion.  Experimental study of nanotube-cell interactions.  Modeling of interactions of proteins, water, and nanotubes.  Profs. Gunton, Ou-Yang, Rotkin, Vavylonis.

Condensed Matter Physics.  Investigation of optical and electronic properties of defects in semiconductors and insulators using Raman and IR spectroscopy, luminescence spectroscopy, quantum transport, and a broad range of theoretical methods.  Spectroscopy of charge carrier photoexcitation and charge transport dynamics in polar and molecular crystals.  Theory of thermal transport and optical effects in nanotubes.  Charge transport, thermal, AFM, and optical characterization of nanomaterials.  Raman and neutron scattering studies of phase transitions and phonons in disordered ferroelectrics and glasses.  Profs. Biaggio, Dierolf, Fowler, Licini, Rotkin, Stavola, Toulouse.  (Applicants interested in this area will also automatically be considered for Sherman Fairchild Summer Scholarships.)

Electrical Engineering and Nano-Science.  BIOMEMS; including cell-based sensors and biomechanics of cells. Physical electronics of image sensors and flat panel displays.  Theory of carbon based nanoelectronics.  Profs. Hatalis, Rotkin, and Tatic-Lucic.  (Applicants interested in this area will also automatically be considered for Sherman Fairchild Summer Scholarships.)

Materials Science.  Defect energetics and dynamics in solids, kinetics of phase transitions, development of computer simulation methodologies, and Lehigh University Physics - Student in REU programmechanical properties of metals and ceramic oxides.  Numerous opportunities also exist in a wide variety of interdisciplinary research projects involving glass through Lehigh's International Materials Institute for New Functionality in Glass.  Possible topics include biofunctional glasses; glassy nano composites and meta materials; novel photoinduced phenomena; nano lithography; ionic, optical and photonic glasses.  Profs. Biaggio, Dierolf, Heffner, Jain, Rickman.

Photonics and Nonlinear Optics.  Linear and nonlinear optical properties of organic molecules, molecular assemblies, and crystals.  Optical nonlinearities and nonlinear effects in fibers.  Characterization and development of integrated optical devices: lasers, amplifiers, and nonlinear optical devices.  Profs. Biaggio, Dierolf, Toulouse.

Statistical Physics.  Non-equilibrium fluctuations in gases. Chaotic transitions and 1/f dynamics. Nano-crystallites in randomly close-packed media.  Nonlinear dynamics of granular avalanches and flows. Hydrodynamic instabilities at fluid-fluid interfaces.  Prof. Kim.


Apply on or before March 7, 2014.

Awards will be announced beginning in late February and continuing through early April.

Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ's) concerning eligibility or the application process (including questions about transcripts and letters of recommendation) can be found here.  If your question is not answered there, or if you have any other questions concerning the REU program please contact:

REU Coordinator
Department of Physics
16 Memorial Drive East
Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA 18015
e-mail address: