Physics 494, Autumn 2009
Seminar: Current Problems in Physics

Sample Topics
Here are some ideas for research topics. You are also encouraged to look for interesting topics in magazines like Scientific American and Sky and Telescope. Also, ask faculty and friends what interests them. If you're having trouble finding a topic, please come see me; I'm sure we can find something for you.

Extrasolar planet search
Long baseline interferometry
Evidence for dark matter
Evidence for dark energy
Microwave background radiation
Large-scale structure in the universe
Evidence for supermassive black holes
Detection of gravitational radiation

Atomic Physics
Quantum cryptography
Bose-Einstein condensates in the lab
Atom interferometers
Ultra slow light
Search for electric dipole moments

Nanopore DNA sequencing
Folding of complex biological molecules

Condensed Matter Physics
Nanostructures; how to make them
High-temperature superconductors
Squeezed-state amplifiers
Fractional quantum Hall effect
Scanning tunnelling/atomic force microscopes
Fabricating superconducting magnets

Elementary Particle Physics
Seaerch for the Higgs particle
Search for evidence of supersymmetry
Building the Large Hadron Collider
The International Linear Collider program
Search for proton decay
Search for magnetic monopoles
Evidence for neutrino oscillations
The SNO project
The SuperKamiokande project
Neutrinoless double beta decay

Environmental Physics
Evidence for global warming
Prediction of earthquakes

Gravitational Physics
The LIGO interferometer
The planned LISA interferrometer
Evidence for gravitational radiation

Nuclear Physics
Evidence for the quark-gluon plasma
Radioactive nuclear beam facilities
Nuclear reactions in the Sun
Nuclear reactions in a supernova