Independent Research Paper

Research in progress for PHYS 2425: University Physics I

Faculty Mentor: Raji Kannampuzha, Ph.D.

The following paper represents research work done by students in University Physics 2425, the first half of a two-semester introductory course in physics. It is a calculus- based physics course, intended primarily for physics, chemistry, math, and engineering majors. Students are introduced to the concept of academic research by learning to ask research-focused questions and then use the library resources to pursue outside research to find answers. For this assignment, students are asked to investigate a physical science, biological science, or technology problem or topic of their choice by searching the academic literature and then writing a research paper. They are asked to include at least one professional journal article in the references, and the provided rubric contains the same requirements of any professional science journal. In addition, students are required to complete two peer reviews of the paper draft. This helps them see other student work and get constructive criticism from their peers before they submit the final paper.

In the following paper, Robert Astle investigates the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the largest infrared observatory ever sent into space. This paper discusses the superior technical capabilities of JWST and compares it to the predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope. The author explores the potential discoveries of JWST, including the formation of galaxies, the evolution of the universe, and dark matter—all of which could significantly contribute to the advancement of physics.

Faculty Mentor

Rajasree Kannampuzha




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