The Physics Department is active in the field of Atmospheric and Space Science, in close association with the interdisciplinary Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences (CASS), the Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL), and the Space Weather Center. We also has active collaborations with other groups in the US and around the world.
Atmospheric and space sciences involve many areas of physics, in addition to such disciplines as engineering, chemistry, statistics, and meteorology. At USU, these groups enjoy a strong cooperative relationship and, as a result, the atmospheric and space sciences program has flourished for many years.
Once the departmental requirements have been met, students may select courses from the offerings of the associated departments suited for their particular interests and needs while they gain research experience on challenging problems in atmospheric and space sciences.
Opportunities are available for students in both experimental and theoretical modeling projects.
The former include participation in instrument development and data analysis related to rocket and satellite projects and related to incoherent-scatter and coherent radars, lidars, optical instruments, and magnetometers. Many of the ground-based observations occur at CASS’s Atmospheric Lidar Observatory, Rayleigh-Scatter Lidar, Sodium Lidar, and Atmospheric Imaging Lab.
The latter projects involve theoretical modeling of physical processes occurring in the mesosphere, thermosphere, and the near-earth plasma environment.
(Faculty: Fejer, Schunk, Sojka, Taylor, Wickwar