Research

In addition to teaching, the Faculty in the Department of Physics are actively engaged in the search for new knowledge and novel applications of physics. Researchers in the Department work in topics ranging from the very small (quantum systems) to the very large (space weather, astrophysics, and cosmology), from the highly theoretical (geometric algebra, many-body physics) to the very practical (photonics, vacuum physics technology, and instrumentation), and from pure hardcore physics (condensed matter physics, general relativity, and mathematical physics) to highly interdisciplinary topics (atmospheric physics, climate physics, and materials science). Listed below are the research groups in the Department:

Earth System Physics:
     •  Air Quality Group
               •  CambalizaLagrosasSimpas
     •  Physics of the Climate and Weather Group
               •  Estoque, Narisma, Olaguera, Villarin
     •  Geophysics Group
               •  Maquiling
     •  Space Weather Group
               •  Bennett, McNamara, Sugon

Materials Science:
     •  Auxetic Materials Group
               •  Chan
     •  Materials Characterization Group
               •  Chan
     •  Thin Films and Plasma Processing Group
               •  Culaba, Delos Santos, Jallorina, Mahinay

Photonics:
     •  Photonics Group
               •  Batiller, Cease, Guerrero, Indias

Physics Education:
     •  Physics Education Group
               •  Cambaliza, Chan, Culaba, Dailisan, Jallorina, Lagrosas, Maquiling

Theoretical and Computational Physics:
     •  Geometric Algebra Group
               •  McNamara, Sugon
     •  Gravitation Group
               •  Garcia

 
Some Selected Publications:

2011

Monitoring the Presence of Cu2O and CuO During Thermal Oxidation of Copper Thin Film via In Situ Measurement of Transmittance

By Culaba, Ivan B.

Jennifer T. Damasco Ty1, 2*, Marianne Lorene L. Macailing1, Ivan B. Culaba2 and Roland V. Sarmago1, “Monitoring the Presence of Cu2O and CuO During Thermal Oxidation of Copper Thin Film via In Situ Measurement of Transmittance,” SPP 2011-104.

The formation of Cu2O and CuO from thermally oxidizing a copper thin film deposited on a glass substrate is monitored by looking at the transmittance when a 633 nm laser light is incident on the copper thin film during oxidation. Transmittance increases initially and then plateaus for samples oxidized at a maximum temperature of 204°C, indicating the formation of Cu2O. Transmittance increases initially and then gradually declines for samples oxidized at a maximum temperature of 378°C, indicating the formation of CuO. The films have been characterized using SEM, EDX, and UV/Vis analysis.

(national conference)

Characterization of Ten-year TRMM Rainfall Measurements over the Philippines

By Lagrosas, Nofel D.

Cornelius Csar Jude H. Salinas1 and Nofel Lagrosas1,2, “Characterization of Ten-year TRMM Rainfall Measurements over the Philippines,” SPP 2011-176.

Ten-year precipitation data derived from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) is presented in this paper. The utilization of TRMM 3B42 data provide a description of the rainfall/precipitation features of the Philippine archipelago (0N-20N, 110E-130E). The monthly spatio-temporal characteristics of rainfall in the Philippines are also presented. The results show spatial variation of dry and wet seasons in the Philippines.

(poster, national conference)

Modeling of Particulate Matter (PM2.5) measurements from the Manila Observatory using Aerosol Optical Depth Derived from the Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR)

By Lagrosas, Nofel D.

Irwin Angelo M. Amago1* and Nofel Lagrosas1, 2, “Modeling of Particulate Matter (PM2.5) measurements from the Manila Observatory using Aerosol Optical Depth Derived from the Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR),” SPP 2011-175.

This paper seeks to identify the modeling approach that best relates particulate matter (PM2.5) to aerosol optical depth (AOD) data from the Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR). Among all the approaches employed in the study, the multivariate regression method using fractional MISR AOD data as predictors yielded the lowest error at 17.4% and the highest correlation with the actual values having R2=0.8154 and RMSE = 6.72

Modeling local climate extremes in central Philippines

By Narisma, Gemma Teresa T.

Faye Abigail T. Cruz1*, Gemma Teresa T. Narisma1, 2 and Julie Mae B. Dado1, “Modeling local climate extremes in central Philippines,” SPP 2011-172 Abstract The climate extremes of selected areas in central Philippines are simulated using a regional climate model. Model results are validated with observed data from station and gridded reanalyses using different metrics. While the observed seasonal variability in mean temperature and rainfall are reproduced in the model, magnitudes are slightly underestimated. Probability density functions indicate the model’s tendency to overestimate temperature extremes. Recent trends in the extremes indices show fewer hot days and fewer cool nights at the selected sites.

(poster, national conference)

Reflectance measurements and optical simulation of spectral filters in Philippine beetle

By Guerrero, Raphael A.

Erika B. Aranas* and Raphael A. Guerrero, “Reflectance measurements and optical simulation of spectral filters in Philippine beetle,” SPP 2011-013.

Interesting photonic assemblies in nature are continuously discovered and characterized because of their ingenuity and sophistication which often inspire biomimicry. The natural optical filter found in a Philippine beetle is characterized via reflectance experiments and modeled as a multilayer stack of air and chitin planes. Geometric parameters are predicted via Bloch’s theorem, and reflected spectra are simulated using ray transfer matrices. Results are consistent with the observed iridescent behavior of the insect.

(poster, national conference)

Fluidic actuation of a binary optical element

By Guerrero, Raphael A.

Johanna Mae M. Indias1*, Sarah Jaye C. Oliva2 and Raphael A. Guerrero3, “Fluidic actuation of a binary optical element,” SPP 2011-052.

Characterization of a fluid-controlled elastomeric grating is presented. Using a HeNe laser beam (λ = 632.8nm), changes in diffraction angle and beam profile are measured and observed as gradual volumetric increments of water are introduced into a fluidic chamber. A diffraction angle range of 17 degrees was achieved with the addition of 1.0 mL of water.

(poster, national conference)

Impact of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) on Student Achievement in Secondary Physics Course

By

M.L. Bergantin and J.T. Barretto, “Impact of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) on Student Achievement in Secondary Physics Course”

This paper examines the effectiveness of problem based learning in developing the problem solving skills of students. A pre-test post test control group was adopted for the study. Statistical tests on two hypotheses involving problem solving skills developed using traditional and PBL-based instruction were performed. Results showed that there is no significant difference on the problem solving skills developed using PBL and traditional methods. © 2011 Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas

(poster, national conference)

An alternative approach for quantifying climate regulation by ecosystems

By Narisma, Gemma Teresa T.

Paul C West, Gemma T Narisma, Carol C Barford, Christopher J Kucharik, and Jonathan A Foley. 2011. An alternative approach for quantifying climate regulation by ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9: 126–133. doi:10.1890/090015 Concepts and Questions An alternative approach for quantifying climate regulation by ecosystems Paul C West1,2*, Gemma T Narisma1,3, Carol C Barford1, Christopher J Kucharik1,4, and Jonathan A Foley5

Ecosystems provide multiple benefits to people, including climate regulation. Previous efforts to quantify this ecosystem service have been either largely conceptual or based on complex atmospheric models. Here, we review previous research on this topic and propose a new and simple analytical approach for estimating the physical regulation of climate by ecosystems. The proposed metric estimates how land-cover change affects the loading of heat and moisture into the atmosphere, while also accounting for the relative contribution of wind-transported heat and moisture. Although feedback dynamics between land, atmosphere, and oceans are not modeled, the metric compares well with previous studies for several regions. We find that ecosystems have the strongest influence on surface climatic conditions in the boreal and tropical regions, where temperature and moisture changes could substantially offset or magnify greenhouse-forced changes. This approach can be extended to estimate the effects of changing land cover on local, physical climate processes that are relevant to society.

1Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI; current address: Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN

2The Nature Conservancy, Madison, WI

3Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines

4Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

5Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN