University of Vermont

Society of Physics Students

Astronomy and Astrophysics at UVM SPS

Astronomy, perhaps one of the most beautiful sub-fields of physics, is concerned with the study of celestial bodies, ranging from the planets and stars to galaxies and nebulae. Dating back to ancient priests who studied the night sky to try and learn more about the divine, astronomy is perhaps one of the oldest of the sciences. Indeed, many of the ancient megaliths that dot world, such as Stonehenge, are believed to have been used for astronomical measurements. Such a love of the universe above and around us is continued at universities around the world, who offer many courses specially designed to further this prehistoric science.

At the University of Vermont, astronomical studies are headed by Prof. Joanna Rankin, an observational radio astronomer. Dr. Rankin has been studying special kinds of stars called pulsars, which are rapidly rotating neutron stars that emit electromagnetic radiation like intergalactic lighthouses. Over the last few years, many students have completed honors thesis in this exciting discipline of physics.

Below, you will find some of the SPS members currently engaged in astronomical research.



  • Daniel J. Orfeo, Physical Models of Pulsars

    Adviser: Dr. Joanna Rankin

    More coming soon





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  • Last modified August 20 2013 06:35 PM