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PY 420 Physics - Capstone: Physics Capstone

This research guide is intended to aide Capstone students in finding information to complete their projects.


Bose-Einstein condensate research. Photograph. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 7 Oct 2019.
Bose-Einstein condensate research. Apparatus in a physics laboratory, producing helium gas which will be used to create a Bose- Einstein condensate (BEC). This is a particular state of matter that can arise at very low temperatures. Atoms are trapped using laser beams and magnets, and supercooled to a few fractions of a degree above absolute zero. At these temperatures, the atoms all have the same quantum energy state, and are indistinguishable from each other. They coalesce, behaving as if they were one single 'super atom.' Only bosonic particles, or particles with integer spin such as helium atoms, can form Bose- Einstein condensates. Photographed at the Laboratoire Kastler Brossel at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris, France.


This is a one semester course for physics majors in which they will revisit the fundamentals of the main subfields of physics and will complete a research project in physics or astronomy. The group project, in an area chosen by the instructor, may be experimental, theoretical, observational, computational, or pedagogical in character and will result in a final report.

Use page tabs at the top to navigate finding different types of resources.

If you have questions regarding this guide or library materials, contact Col. Janet Holly, Research and Instruction Librarian.

2020 Capstone Topics

Cadets will be exploring the following topics in physics:

  • Physics of Viruses
  • Ballistics and Bulletproof Vests
  • Graphene
  • Optical Tweezers

VMI Research and Instruction Librarian

Col. Janet Holly's picture
Col. Janet Holly
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Preston Library
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA 24450