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UC Berkeley Physics & Astronomy

Physics Research

Program Details

Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics at UC Berkeley

The physics department offers a 10-week research program on the UC Berkeley campus, in a wide range of areas: Astrophysics, Atomic/Molecular/Optical, Biophysics, Condensed Matter, Nuclear Physics, Particle Physics, and Plasma and Nonlinear Physics. A list of available projects can be found here, and more details on the REU program in general can be found here. The Astronomy Department has two additional projects available in galaxy evolution. 

What is it?

Our program is appropriate for students who have completed at least two years of undergraduate physics training. Each student will be matched with a faculty advisor and, typically, become a member of a group that includes Berkeley undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs.  Many of the projects will offer opportunities for hands-on experimentation.  While the main activity will be research, students will also participate in twice weekly meetings:  on Monday morning the students will gather with program organizers for a check-in, while the week will conclude with a Friday research seminar presented by a Berkeley faculty member. 

All students will have an opportunity to take a newly designed machine shop course, conducted by student machine shop staff and emphasizing best practices in safety.  Optional short-courses in mathematical physics and Python will be offered, through “boot-camp” courses conducted by volunteer postdocs, based in part on online modules created for this purpose.

Student requirements include: 

  • research participation
  • weekly meeting attendance
  • oral presentation of their research 
  • a technical paper describing their research
  • a poster suitable for presentation at an APS meeting 

In addition to the weekly seminar, there will be occasional field trips to area facilities. Electronic versions of the talks, research papers, and posters will be archived on the REU web site.

Program support for 2021 is anticipated to include the following:

  • $6000 stipend for the 10-week program
  • Paid housing in a campus dormitory
  • Pre-paid meal card covers the majority of food expenses
  • An average of $800 to reimburse round-trip traveling costs, depending on the distance traveled
  • Coverage of the University Service Fees:  Students will have a CalCard providing access to university libraries and recreational facilities, a Berkeley email account, access to associated bConnected products such as an interactive calendar, etc

Berkeley Astronomy

Summer research in galaxy evolution at UC Berkeley

The Berkeley Astronomy Department has two REU positions in the summer of 2021 on galaxy evolution in the group of prof. Mariska Kriek. The students will work together with prof. Kriek and her group on observational data of distant galaxies. Available projects range from understanding the stellar populations and metal content in these galaxies, to characterizing their environments, and studying the actively accreting black holes in these galaxies. The students will be integrated in the astronomy department, attend weekly meetings for all summer undergraduate researchers, and will present their research in the form of a poster at the end of the summer, during our annual astronomy poster session.

Program Details

Quantum Gravity at the Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics

Students will be provided with $6000 of stipend for a 10-week program and housing. There is additional funding for travel to and from Berkeley.

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be given the opportunity to attend the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting the following January and present their research. Funding for this meeting will be provided.

Who Should Apply?

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by the beginning of the program. They must be enrolled in one of the CAMPARE participating institutions at the time of their application. Participants should not have graduated from their 4-year institution before the beginning of the summer internship. Community college students in the process of transferring to a 4-year institution are eligible to apply.

All applicants must have completed a minimum of one full year of college-level physics by the start of the program.

When and How to Apply

 Accepted applicants will be notified in March. The research program runs Monday, June 7th to Friday, August 13th 2021 (10 weeks). Participants must be available during the entire 10-week period of the program.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants DUE-1741863, AST-1636646, and AST-1836019.