Research experience is a matter of physics

Honors senior Austin Riedl, a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire physics and mathematics major from Neenah, gathered with students from across the nation this past summer to immerse himself in physics research at the University of Minnesota's School of Physics and Astronomy.

The research is funded by the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates summer program, which supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any NSF-funded area and provides students with the opportunity to engage in research at prestigious colleges and universities. 

For 10 weeks, Riedl focused on experimental condensed matter physics, which seeks to understand the physical properties of condensed phases of matter such as liquids and solids, through hands-on experiments, data collection and weekly physics seminars and courses. Riedl had access to the university's new world-class experimental research facilities in the new Physics and Nanotechnology building.

"During this program, I further developed the research skills I have acquired through my research here at UW-Eau Claire," Riedl said. "Additionally, I got to apply and build upon the knowledge I have acquired from my classes in a formal research setting." 

At the end of the program, Riedl presented his research results in oral and written reports at the School of Physics and in a science and engineering expo. The expo included students from all other REU programs within the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering as well as Twin Cities industry professionals.