CASPER Research Experiences for Undergraduates
CASPER offers outstanding undergraduate students an opportunity for active research participation with Baylor University faculty in the Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics & Engineering Research.
CASPER consists of seven independent groups that conducts theoretical, numerical, and experimental in work across various research fields. A sampling of some of the current research topics under investigation is provided below. A more detailed description can be found under Current Research Topics
Dusty (Complex) Plasmas (Experimental & Theoretical)
Sample Research Topics in Dusty Plasma
Visualizing Micron / Nanometer Matter
How do small systems consisting of micron to nanometer sized particles (~1000 particles or less) self-organize and stabilize in gravity and microgravity? How are the dynamics changed in non-equilibrium systems? What occurs when the system is driven through the addition of energy? How can dusty plasmas be used to study the physics of complex liquids and soft matter systems where both defects and nonlocal effects are present?
How does cosmic dust in plasma aggregate to start the protoplanetary formation process? How can the structure of these dusty systems be inferred from the observed structure of meteoritic rocks (for example, chondrule dust rims)? How is the dust on the moon or other airless bodies charged / transported and what problems does this create for upcoming manned / unmanned missions?
Dust Diagnostics & Control
How can we use the motion of dust particles to inform us concerning the physics of the electrons and ions in the plasma, which we can’t see? How can we design dust detectors for space missions to learn more about cosmic dust and to protect satellites and space missions?