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Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Mississippi

Featured Undergraduates: Fall 2020 (II)

Senior BS Major Santosh Bhandari.

Santosh Bhandari is a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Physics.  He is an honors student in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and is doing research in gravity, one of our major research areas, under the guidance of Dr. Luca Bombelli.


In his own words:

“I am a senior majoring in Physics at the University of Mississippi. I came to Ole Miss as an engineering major, but during the Sophomore year, a close friend of mine suggested that I should read “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking and “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan since I shared with her my interest in Physics. Needless to say, I was instantly hooked on their words which opened my eyes to just how intricate and wonderful our nature is, and that is what led to my choosing Physics as my major.  When I did begin my major, I realized just how much I was missing out on; how education could feel like genuine fun instead of a mere stepping stone towards a career.  Currently, I am doing research in causal set theory (an approach to quantum gravity) alongside Dr. Bombelli. I generate algorithms that sprinkle points in a certain region of volume and use causality relations between those points to produce causal sets that can be embedded in the manifold. I study some of the features of the causal set such as its dimensionality and curvature in different spacetimes.  The mechanisms behind this particular subject matter were quite hard for me to grasp initially. However, Dr. Bombelli encouraged me and my efforts and helped immensely with my coding and calculations. Because of the amazing support from the faculty and advisors in the Physics Department here at Ole Miss, I was able to make a smooth transition into my desire field of study. I plan to work on the quantum behavior of gravity in the future.”




We encourage all our students to do research with our faculty and staff. Opportunities for great experiences are open to all our students in all our main research areas: atmospheric physics, condensed matter physics, gravitational physics, high energy physics and physical acoustics. Projects are also available in digital electronics as well as other areas. Students in the B.S. program are required to complete 2 credit hours of the research courses, Physics 463 and/or 464 and students in the B.A. program are encouraged to participate as well.  Many students enjoy research and participate throughout their academic career outside of these courses.  Students may talk to their academic advisors for help getting started or talk directly to the people in the research areas they are interested in.