Student with microscope

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research can be a transformative experience for a young scientist.  Students who participate in research make the challenging transition from studying knowledge in the classroom to generating new knowledge in the lab.  The Aptowicz Research Group strives to create research opportunities for physics majors at West Chester University, mentor them as they grow as experimentalists, and support them as they prepare for the next stage of their career after West Chester.    

There are two research thrusts that provide opportunities for undergraduate research: aerosol characterization and soft matter physics.    


Pollen Spores

Aerosol Characterization

The need to accurately characterize aerosol particles spans multiple disciplines from occupational health to climate modeling. We are developing a deeper understanding of how a laser light, scattered from an individual aerosol particle, can be used characterize the morphological features of the particle.

This work has been supported by: West Chester University, the US Army Research Office, and Lawerence Livermore National Laboratory.


Thin film

Soft Matter Physics

Soft matter physics delves into the fascinating properties of materials that occupy the space between traditional solids and liquids. Soft matter encompasses a diverse array of substances, including polymers, colloids, liquid crystals, foams, gels, and biological tissues, each exhibiting unique behaviors that challenge our understanding of classical physics.  Using video microscopy, we explore the intricate interplay between microscopic constituents and macroscopic phenomena.

This work has been supported by: West Chester University, the Research Corporation, and the Nation Science Foundation.