Physics News

Thomas Wilson discovers a novel terahertz (THz) sound-light transducer

The discovery of a novel terahertz (THz) sound-light transducer by Thomas Wilson has been recently cited as being among the most prominent examples of recent intensive research that has explored the connection between the physics of coherent phonon excitation and nonequilibrium dynamics in electronic systems. See: A. Apostolakis, A. G. Balanov, F. V. Kusmartsev, and K.N. Alekseev, “Beyond the ordinary acoustoelectric effect: superluminal phenomena in the acoustic realm and phonon-mediated Bloch gain”, Physical Review B, 106, 04313 (2022), and T. E. Wilson, “Evidence for terahertz acoustic phonon parametric oscillator based on acousto-optic degenerate four-wave mixing in a silicon doping superlattice”, Physical Review B 98, 220304 Rapid Communication (2018). Wilson’s work has also been cited as being one of only two existing reports of THz-driven coherent acoustic phonons by using momentum and/or energy conversion of THz radiation. See: A. Levchuk, B. Wilk, G. Vaudel and V. Juve et. al., “Coherent acoustic phonons generated by ultrashort terahertz pulses in nanofilms of metals and topological insulators”, Physical Review B, 101, 180102 Rapid Communication, 2020.

Gentec-EO 2022 Laser Lab Donation

The Department of Physics at Marshall University was one of the twelve winners of the Gentec-Electro Optics Laser Lab Awards contest. We have won a QE25LP-S-MB-INT detector pyroelectric laser energy detector that is valued at more than $2000. We have no doubt that this energy detector will contribute to the learning process of our students and foster new research and industrial opportunities.
The instrument, a high damage thresholds laser energy detector calibrated to NIST standards with an intuitive user interface, was donated by Gentec Electro-Optics, Inc.

This laser energy measurement system will be used in the research of Professor Thomas Wilson.
Dr. Wilson’s research group focuses on the further development of a novel terahertz acoustic laser. The acoustic laser is based upon Professor Wilson’s recent observation of a nonlinear light-sound parametric oscillation occurring in terahertz optical laser-pumped synthetic silicon crystals.
Wilson’s custom nanosecond-pulsed THz laser is comprised of a Gentec DD-250 TEA CO2 laser and a Spectra-Physics GCR-150 frequency-doubled YAG laser. The donated Gentec-EO QE25LP-S-MB-INT detector will be used to monitor the output pulse energies of these lasers.

Paid Summer Physics Internships for High School Students – Summer 2021

Marshall University Physics Department Outreach Internship Program provides WV high school students with an opportunity to conduct hands-on research under mentorship of physics professors. The goal of the program is to give the high school students the introduction to scientific research and the chance to discover their interests.

The following projects are available for summer 2022:

  1. “Physics Playground in Python” – Virtual Only (June 1 – June 28). Dates are flexible. You may sign up for 1-4 weeks worth of sessions.
  2. One Week Projects (July 14 – August 14)
    • Industrial
    • Commercial
    • Delicate
    • Practical.
  3. “Rejection and flow rate measurements of molecular dyes on functionalized porous polycarbonate membranes for water purification” (June 6 – July 15)
    • 1-week Project, June 6 – 10
    • 2-week Project, June 13 – 24
    • 3-week Project, June 27 – July 15

The program has a stipend of $100 per student per week. A student could apply for one or several weeks, depending on their interests and the availabilities. The number of seats is limited.

The deadline of the application is June 1st. No application fee is required.

Physics Department Convocation and SIGMA PI SIGMA Induction

The Physics Department would like to invite all students and faculty to attend the Physics Convocation and Sigma Pi Sigma Induction Day, which will be held on Friday April 8,2022 4pm-5pm in S 277. It is the annual activity of the Physics Department to recognize the student achievement, so all physics majors are to attend. Friends and family are welcome as well!
Refreshments will be served.
The schedule of the Convocation will be the following:

  1. Awards
    • Outstanding Undergraduate awards
    • Academic Achievement awards
  2. Scholarships
    • Alva and Dixon Callihan JMS,
    • Dr. Thomas J. and Mary A. Manakil Memorial Scholarship
    • Dixon Callihan, Donald C Martin & Ralph Hron.
  3. SIGMA SI SIGMA Induction
  4. Physics Majors Research Talks
  5. Physics Faculty Research Lightning Talks

We look forward to seeing you there!

Paid Summer Physics Internships for High School Students – Summer 2021

The Physics Department here at Marshall University is happy announce that there are paid summer Physics internships available for High School Students for the summer of 2021. Some are hands-on and some are virtual. The link below has more information and the names of available projects. Please share this opportunity with students that are interested. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you or your students need more information or have questions.

The Marshall University Physics Department Outreach Internship Program provides WV high school students with an opportunity to conduct hands-on research under mentorship of physics professors. The goal of the program is to give the high school students the introduction to scientific research and the chance to discover their interests. The program has a stipend of $100 per student per week. The number of seats is limited. Interested students should fill in the application form in the below link and send to Ms. Traci Curry, the Physics Department secretary, at ASAP. The deadline of the application is June 10, 2021. No application fee is required. No lodging is provided or supported.

The “1-week Projects” are with Dr. Foltz ( ) and “4-week Physics Playground in Python” will be run by Dr. Maria Hamilton ( Reaching out to them directly to find out the flexibility in order of projects and more details is likely the fastest way to receive accurate information.

Additionally, should students have any questions related to what the field of physics is, majoring in physics here at Marshall University, or interested in pursuing a career in physics, please reach out to any member of our department and we will be glad to help answer questions and guide students in the correct direction. Please reach out if you have questions, we are happy to help.

Information about the Summer Physics internships for High School Students and Application Form


The Marshall University Physics Department

Physics Department Spring 2021 Colloquium Talk Series

Dr. Maria C. Babiuc-Hamilton – 03/18/2021
“Numerical Experiments on Neutron Stars Collision”
You can see the talk by following link:


SPS speaker series:”Faces of Physics”

faces-of-physicsPlease support our current SPS students by logging onto their Faces of Physics virtual speakers’ series. Through this event, SPS is hosting speakers every month during the 20-21 academic year. Links to past speaker talks and links to future YouTube live streamed talks can be found our SPS web page. The third speaker in the series will present on January 20th at 7pm (Dr. Bryan Kent Wallace — Fisk University). Our fourth speaker will be Dr. Abel Mendez — Planetary Habitability Laboratory at University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo on February 16th at 7pm and our fifth speaker will be Dr. Kandice Tanner — Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute on March 17th at 7pm.


Dr. Sean P. McBride was invited for a Guest Editor of Micromachines – 012/08/2020

Dear Colleagues,

With an ever-increasing global population comes an increased demand for economical sources of freshwater needed to sustain life. With only a few percent of all water on Earth being freshwater, and with only a fraction of a single percent of Earth’s available freshwater being accessible, having access to freshwater is a global problem. Additionally, the pollution of freshwater sources in areas where freshwater scarcity is already an issue compounds this problem. In recent years, the scientific community has witnessed new innovative filtration technologies developed from layers of porous self-assembled monolayers of gold nanoparticle membranes, monolayers of aligned carbon nanotubes, and porous graphene sheets, with many other systems spanning this wide range. All these recent novel advances in filtration membranes and separation technologies are working towards the same common goal, purifying one of our most vital resources on Earth, water.

Collectively, this Special Issue of Micromachines seeks to highlight recent research using nanoparticles, functionalized nanoparticles, self-assembled nanoparticles or nanostructures, or novel functionalized or nonfunctionalized nanoporous materials for water filtration, or alternatively for contaminant concentration in water for increased contaminant detection. Full research papers and review papers are welcome for systems that highlight successful contaminant removal from water using such nanomaterials. Papers presenting systems that demonstrate a controllable wide range of selectivity for specific contaminants are especially welcome; this contaminant selectivity can either be passively inherent to the filters, controlled during filter fabrication, or actively controlled during filtration.

Everyone at Micromachines is looking forward to receiving your submissions!

Prof. Dr. Sean P. McBride
Guest Editor

Water_Purification_Technologies is a link of his article.


SPS earned an Outstanding SPS Chapter award for the 2019-2020 academic year! – 012/08/2020

Congratulations to the 2019-2020 Society of Physics students!

They have earned an Outstanding SPS Chapter award for the 2019-2020 academic year! A Society of Physics Students Outstanding Chapter award is the highest level of distinction given to SPS chapters and is received by less than 15% of top chapters annually, with just 96 of 844 chapters so honored this 2020 year. Previously they have been honored as being nationally recognized as a Distinguished University Chapter for each academic year from 2017-2019.

To the students, thank you to all those past and present that have made this possible in the 2019-2020 academic year!

Here is a link of the Marshall University News.


Previous Department News

Department News 2019-2020

Department News 2018-2019

Department News 2017-2018

If you have any news such as publications, awards, departmental news, or anything else you want to share,
please email Dr. Sean McBride (

Contact Dr. Sachiko McBride ( if you have trouble accessing the Physics Department website or experience errors. Questions about the content can be addressed to Dr. Sean McBride (