Bradley Nicks

 Bradley Nicks
Mentor: Dr. Mark Meisel
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"Physics has always my area of interest, and I sought to use what I had learned in classes to conduct actual science. Additionally, research has vastly expanded my experimental skills and prepared me for a career as a physicist."





Research Interests

  • Particle Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physic
  • Fusion Energy

Academic Awards

  • National Merit Scholarship
  • CCMS Fellowship


  • Society of Physics Students


  • Summer Lab Assistant

Hobbies and Interests

  • Pushing Computers to their Limits
  • Learning Russian
  • Bike-Riding
  • Reading

Research Description

Measurement of Light-Induced Spin Transitions in Hofmann-like Heterostructures with Quartz Tuning Forks
"Using quartz tuning forks, I will test the magnetic behavior of spin-crossover materials such as Hofmann-like heterostructures or Prussian Blue Analog thin films. Once loaded onto a fork, the materials will be tested at low temperature under vacuum conditions in a Displex cryostat. My research will focus on the sharp transitions between the low-spin and high-spin states of Hofmann heterostructures that have been observed for these materials upon exposure to light at low temperatures. The spin transitions manifest themselves as changes in magnetic susceptibility with respect to temperature, and thus quartz tuning forks are well-suited for this application. During the cooling process, the forks will also be exposed to light, and the resultant dramatic shifts in the magnetization of the forks will be tracked in the same method as was used previously, offering a new perspective on this interesting phenomenon.