The Department of Physical Sciences is home to several degree programs:Bachelor of Science in Astronomy & AstrophysicsBachelor of Science in Engineering PhysicsBachelor of Science in Space PhysicsMaster of Science in Engineering Physics; and Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Physics.

The programs offer a unique balance of engineering and physics curriculum, so students can focus on the scientific challenges and planning associated with mission design and space exploration, along with engineering fundamentals.

These programs prepare students to make positive scientific and technological contributions to our increasingly complex society. This highly research-oriented department has one of the oldest and largest Engineering Physics programs in the nation. Students are involved in all the research, which includes grants funded by NASA, the National Security Agency (NSA), and other agencies.

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Submissions from 2018

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Momentum Flux Spectra of a Mountain Wave Event Over New Zealand, Katrina Bossert, David C. Fritts, Christopher J. Heale, Stephen D. Eckermann, John M. C. Plane, Jonathan B. Snively, Bifford P. Williams, Iain M. Reid, Damian J. Murphy, Andrew J. Spargo, and Andrew D. MacKinnon

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Modulation of Low-Altitude Ionospheric Upflow by Linear and Nonlinear Atmospheric Gravity Waves, M. R. Burleigh, C. J. Heale, M. D. Zettergren, and J. B. Snively

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Three-Dimensional Hybrid Simulation of Viscous-Like Processes at Saturn's Magnetosphere Boundary, P. A. Delamere, B. Burkholder, and X. Ma

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Dust Production and Depletion in Evolved Planetary Systems, J. Farihi, Ted von Hippel, Rik van Lieshout, P.W. Cauley, Erik Dennihy, and Et al.

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Precise Ages of Field Stars from White Dwarf Companions, M. Fouesneau, H-W. Rix, T. von Hippel, D. W. Hogg, and H. Tian

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Localization Effects on the Dissipation of Gravity Wave Packets in the Upper Mesophere and Lower Thermosphere, C. J. Heale, R. L. Walterscheid, and J. B. Snively

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Breaking the Habit: The Peculiar 2016 Eruption of the Unique Recurrent Nova M31N 2008-12a, M. Henze, T. D. Oswalt, M. J. Darnley, S. C. Williams, M. Kato, and et al.

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A Bayesian Analysis of the Ages of Four Open Clusters, Elizabeth Jeffery, Ted von Hippel, David A. van Dyk, David C. Stenning, Elliot Robinson, Nathan Sten, and William H. Jefferys

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Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward, A. Masson and K. Nykyri

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Book Review: Spectral Atlas for Amateur Astronomers: A Guide to the Spectra of Astronomical Objects and Terrestrial Light Sources, T. D. Oswalt

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Orbital Characteristics of the Subdwarf-B and F V Star Binary EC 20117-4014 (=V4640 Sgr), T. Otani, T. D. Oswalt, A. E. Lynas-Gray, D. Kilkenny, C. Koen, M. Amaral, and R. Jordan

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Unexpected Occurrence of Mesospheric Frontal Gravity Wave Events Over the South Pole (90 degrees S), P.-D. Pautet, M. J. Taylor, J. B. Snively, and C. Solorio

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Bayesian Hierarchical Modelling of Initial-Final Mass Relations Across Star Clusters, Shijing Si, David A. van Dyk, Ted von Hippel, Elliot Robinson, Elizabeth Jeffery, and David C. Stenning

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Bayesian Analysis of Two Stellar Populations in Galactic Globular Clusters I: Statistical and Computational Methods, David Stenning, Ted von Hippel, Rachel Wagner-Kaiser, Elliot Robinson, David van Dyk, Ata Sarajedini, and Nathan Stein

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Thermal Removal of Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere: Energy Requirements and Scaling Issues, Ted von Hippel

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Bayesian Analysis of Two Stellar Populations in Galactic Globular Clusters II: NGC 5024, NGC 5272, and NGC 6352, Rachel Wagner-Kaiser, Ted von Hippel, David Stenning, Elliot Robinson, Ata Sarajedini, David van Dyk, Nathan Stein, and William H. Jefferys

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Asymmetric Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability at Jupiter's Magnetopause Boundary: Implications for Corotation-Dominated Systems, B. Zhang, P. A. Delamere, X. Ma, B. Burkholder, M. Wiltberger, J. G. Lyon, V. G. Merkin, and K. A. Sorathia

Submissions from 2017

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Secondary Gravity Wave Generation Over New Zealand During the DEEPWAVE Campaign, Katrina Bossert, Christopher G. Kruse, Christopher J. Heale, David C. Fritts, Bifford P. Williams, Jonathan B. Snively, Pierre-Dominique Pautet, and Michael J. Taylor

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Local Time Asymmetry of Saturn's Magnetosheath Flows, B. Burkholder, P. A. Delamere, X. Ma, M. F. Thomsen, R. J. Wilson, and F. Bagenal

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Temperature Variations in the Dayside Magnetosheath and Their Dependence on Ion-Scale Magnetic Structures: THEMIS Statistics and Measurements by MMS, A. P. Dimmock, A. Osmane, T. I. Pulkkinen, K. Nykyri, and E. Kilpua

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Magnetospherically-Trapped Dust and a Possible Model for the Unusual Transits at WD1145+017, J. Farihi, Ted von Hippel, and J. E. Pringle

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First Performance Results of a New Field-Widened Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometer for Geocoronal Hα Research, D. D. Gardner, E. J. Mierkiewicz, F. L. Roesler, J. M. Harlander, K. P. Jaehnig, S. M. Nossal, and L. M. Haffner

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Constraining Balmer Alpha Fine Structure Excitation Measured in Geocoronal Hydrogen Observations, D. D. Gardner, E. J. Mierkiewicz, F. L. Roesler, S. M. Nossal, and L. M. Haffner

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Multi-Site Simultaneous Time-Resolved Photometry with a Low Cost Electro-Optics System, F. Gasdia, Aroh Barjatya, and Sergei Bilardi

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First Na Lidar Measurements of Turbulence Heat Flux, Thermal Diffusivity, and Energy Dissipation Rate in the Mesopause Region, Yafang Guo, Alan Z. Liu, and Chester S. Gardner

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Numerical Modeling of a Multiscale Gravity Wave Event and Its Airglow Signatures over Mount Cook, New Zealand, During the DEEPWAVE Campaign, C. J. Heale, K. Bossert, J. B. Snively, D. C. Fritts, P. -D. Pautet, and M. J. Taylor

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On the Dawn-Dusk Asymmetry of the Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability Between 2007 and 2013, Z. W. Henry, K. Nykyri, T. W. Moore, A. P. Dimmock, and X. Ma

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Local Time Dependence of Turbulent Magnetic Fields in Saturn's Magnetodisc, V. Kaminker, P. A. Delamere, C. S. Ng, T. Dennis, A. Otto, and X. Ma

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The Remote Observatories of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA), William C. Keel, Terry D. Oswalt, Peter Mack, Gary Henson, Todd Hillwig, and et al.

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The Ages of the Thin Disk, Thick Disk, and the Halo from Nearby White Dwarfs, Mukremin Kilic, Ted von Hippel, Jeffrey A. Munn, Hugh C. Harris, James W. Liebert, and et al.

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Stellar Stream Candidates in the Solar Neighborhood Found in the LAMOST DR3 and TGAS, X. L. Liang, J. K. Zhao, T. D. Oswalt, Y. Q. Chen, L. Zhang, and G. Zhao

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IMF Dependence of Energetic Oxygen and Hydrogen Ion Distributions in the Near-Earth Magnetosphere, H. Luo, E. A. Kronberg, K. Nykyri, K. J. Trattner, P. W. Daly, G. X. Chen, A. M. Du, and Y. S. Ge

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Utilizing the O-C Method to Determine Third-Body Existence in Eclipsing Binary Systems, Patrice Majewski, Tomomi Otani, and Terry D. Oswalt

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Plasma Transport Driven by the Three-Dimensional Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability, Xuanye Ma, Peter Delamere, Antonius Otto, and Brandon Burkholder

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Ion-Scale Wave Properties and Enhanced Ion Heating Across the Low-Latitude Boundary Layer During Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability, T. W. Moore, K. Nykyri, and A. P. Dimmock

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Influence of Velocity Fluctuations on the Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability and Its Associated Mass Transport, Katariina Nykyri, Xuanye Ma, Andrew Dimmock, Claire Foullon, Antonius Otto, and Adnane Osmane

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Book Review: Chandra's Cosmos: Dark Matter, Black Holes, and Other Wonders Revealed by NASA's Premier X-Ray Observatory, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: From the Realm of the Nebulae to Populations of Galaxies: Dialogues on a Century of Research, Astrophysics and Space Science Library, 435, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: Shoot the Moon: A Complete Guide to Lunar Imaging, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: Visually Observing Comets, T. D. Oswalt

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Testing the Stellar Rotation vs. Age Paradigm Using Wide Binaries in the Kepler & K2 Fields, T. D. Oswalt, T. Otani, A. Stone-Martinez, P. Majewski, and D. Buzasi

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Gyrochronology of Wide Binaries in the Kepler K2 Campaign 5 Field, Terry D. Oswalt, Derek Buzasi, and Tomomi Otani

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Search for Binaries in the Kepler K2 Fields Using Pulsation Timing Method, Tomomi Otani and Terry Oswalt

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An Additional Pulsating Mode (7.35 mHz) and Pulsations Timing Variations of PG 1613+426, Tomomi Otani, Terry D. Oswalt, Patrice Majewski, Riley Jordan, Marc Amaral, and Adam Moss

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O-C Analysis of the Pulsating Subdwarf B Star PG 1219 + 534, Tomomi Otani, Terry Oswalt, Alexander Stone-Martinez, Dana Singh, Kenneth Sampson, Aliyah Khan, Austin Seepersad, Caila DeAbreu, Adam Moss, and Claudia Morello

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Synthetic Jet Actuator-Based Aircraft Tracking Using a Continuous Robust Nonlinear Control Strategy, N. Ramos-Pedroza, W. MacKunis, and M. Reyhanoglu

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A Hierarchical Model for the Ages of Galactic Halo White Dwarfs, Shijing Si, Ted von Hippel, David A. van Dyk, Elliot Robinson, Aaron Webster, and et al.

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Nonlinear Gravity Wave Forcing as a Source of Acoustic Waves in the Mesosphere, Thermosphere, and Ionosphere, J. B. Snively

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Gyrochronology of Wide Binaries in the Kepler K2 Fields, Alexander Stone-Martinez, Gustavo Villarroel, Patrice Majewski, Tomomi Otani, Terry Oswalt, and Andrew McNaughton

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Spatial and Temporal Variability in MLT Turbulence Inferred from in situ and Ground-Based Observations During the WADIS-1 Sounding Rocket Campaign, B. Strelnikov, A. Szewczyk, I. Strelnikova, R. Latteck, G. Baumgarten, Aroh Barjatya, and et.al

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Index of Refraction from the Near-Ultraviolet to the Near-Infrared from a Single Crystal Microwave-Assisted CVD Diamond, Giorgio Turri, Scott Webster, Ying Chen, Benjamin Wickham, Andrew Bennett, and Michael Bass

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The ACS Survey of Galactic Globular Clusters XIV: Bayesian Single-Population Analysis of 69 Globular Clusters, R. Wagner-Kaiser, Ted von Hippel, A. Sarajedini, D. C. Stenning, D. A. van Dyck, and et al.

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Nonlinear Ionospheric Responses to Large-Amplitude Infrasonic-Acoustic Waves Generated by Undersea Earthquakes, M. D. Zettergren, J. B. Snively, A. Komjathy, and O. P. Verkhoglyadova

Submissions from 2016

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Plasma Density Analysis of CubeSat Wakes in the Earth’s Ionosphere, Robert M. Albarran II and Aroh Barjatya

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Observation and Modeling of Gravity Wave Propagation through Reflection and Critical Layers above Andes Lidar Observatory at Cerro Pachón, Chile, Bing Cao, Christopher J. Heale, Yafang Guo, Alan Z. Liu, and Jonathan B. Snively

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Intermittency of Gravity Wave Momentum Flux in the Mesopause Region Observed with an All-Sky Airglow Imager, Bing Cao and Alan Z. Liu

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New Halo White Dwarf Candidates in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Kyra Dame, A. Gianninas, Mukremin Kilic, Jeffrey A. Munn, Warren R. Brown, Kurtis A. Williams, Ted von Hippel, and Hugh C. Harris

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The Dawn–Dusk Asymmetry of Ion Density in the Dayside Magnetosheath and its Annual Variability Measured by THEMIS, Andrew P. Dimmock, Tuija I. Pulkkinen, Adnane Osmane, and Katariina Nykyri

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Measuring the Seeds of Ion Outflow: Auroral Sounding Rocket Observations of Low-Altitude Ion Heating and Circulation, P. A. Fernandes, K. A. Lynch, M. Zettergren, D. L. Hampton, T. A. Bekkeng, and et al.

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The White Dwarf Luminosity Function, Enrique Garcia-Berro and Terry D. Oswalt

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Chemical Transport of Neutral Atmospheric Constituents by Waves and Turbulence: Theory and Observations, Chester S. Gardner and Alan Liu

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On Safety Assessment of Novel Approach to Robust UAV Flight Control in Gusty Environments, Vladimir Golubev, Petr Kazarin, William MacKunis, Sherry Borener, and Derek Hufty

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Southern Hemisphere Summer Mesopause Responses to El Niño–Southern Oscillation, Tao LI, Natalia Calvo, Jia Yue, James Russell III, and Alan Liu

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First Measurement of Horizontal Wind and Temperature in the Lower Thermosphere (105–140 km) with a Na Lidar at Andes Lidar Observatory, Alan Liu; Yafang Guo; Fabia A. Vargas; and Gary Swenson,

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Plasma Transport Driven by the Rayleigh-Taylor Instability, X. Ma, P. A. Delamere, and A. Otto

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Magnetic Reconnection With a Fast Perpendicular Sheared Flow, Xuanye Ma, Antonius Otto, and Peter A. Delamere

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Book Review: How Do You Find an Exoplanet?, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: Moons of the Solar System: From Giant Ganymede to Dainty Dactyl, T. D. Oswalt

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Book Review: The International Atlas of Mars Exploration: From Spirit to Curiosity: V.2: 2004 to 2014, T. D. Oswalt

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Completeness of the Nearby White Dwarf Sample: Let Us Count the Ways, Terry D. Oswalt, Jay Holberg, and Edward M. Sion

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Evidence of the Excitation of a Ring-Like Gravity Wave in the Mesosphere over the Andes Lidar Observatory, Fabio Vargas; Gary Swenson,; Alan Liu; and Dominique Pautet

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Bayesian Analysis of Two Stellar Populations in Galactic Globular Clusters – III. Analysis of 30 Clusters, R. Wagner-Kaiser, D. C. Stenning, A Sarajedini, Ted von Hippel, D. A. van Dyk, E. Robinson, and W. H. Jefferys

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Current Sheet Flapping Motions in the Tailwind Flow of Magnetic Reconnection, Mingyu Wu, Quanming Lu, Martin Volwerk, Zoltán Vörös, Xuanye Ma, and Shui Wang

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Evidence of Dispersion and Refraction of a Spectrally Broad Gravity Wave Packet in the Mesopause Region Observed by the Na Lidar and Mesospheric Temperature Mapper Above Logan, Utah, T. Yuan, C. J. Heale, J. B. Snively, X. Cai, P.- D. Pautet, C. Fish, Y. Zhao, M. J. Taylor, W. R. Pendleton Jr., V. Wickwar, and N. J. Mitchell

Submissions from 2015

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Magnetic Flux Circulation in the Rotationally Driven Giant Magnetospheres, P. A. Delamere, A. Otto, X. Ma, F. Bagenal, and R. J. Wilson

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A Statistical Study Into the Spatial Distribution and Dawn-Dusk Asymmetry of Dayside Magnetosheath Ion Temperatures as a Function of Upstream Solar Wind Conditions, A. P. Dimmock, K. Nykyri, H. Karimabadi, A. Osmane, and T. I. Pulkkinen

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A Statistical Study of the Dawn-Dusk Asymmetry of Ion Temperature Anistrophy and Mirror Mode Occurrence in the Terrestrial Dayside Magnetosheath Using THEMIS Data, A. P. Dimmock, A. Osmane, T. I. Pulkkinen, and K. Nykyri

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Self-Accleration and Instability of Gravity Wave Packets: 1. Effects of Temporal Localization, David C. Fritts, Brian Laughman, Thomas S. Lund, and Jonathan B. Snively

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Gravity Wave Propagation Through a Vertically and Horizontally Inhomogeneous Background Wind, C. J. Heale and J. B. Snively

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The Life Cycle of Instability Features Measured from the Andes Lidar Observatory Over Cerro Pachon on 24 March 2012, J. H. Hecht; K. Wan; Lynette Gelinas; David Fritts; R. L. Walterscheid; R. J. Rudy; Alan Liu; Steven J. Franke; Fabio Vargas; P. -D. Pautet; Michael Taylor; and Gary Swenson,

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A Full-Wave Model For a Binary Gas Thermosphere: Effects of Thermal Conductivity and Viscosity, Michael P. Hickey Ph.D., R. L. Walterscheid, and G. Schubert

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Bayesian Investigation of Isochrone Consistency Using the Old Open Cluster Ngc 188, Shane Hills, Ted von Hippel, Stéphane Courteau, and Aaron M. Geller

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Observational Evidence of Quasi-27-Day Oscillation Propagating from the Lower Atmosphere to the Mesosphere over 20° N, K.M. Huang, Alan Liu, S.D. Zhang, F. Yi, and C.M. Huang

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Asymmetric Kelvin-Helmholtz Propagation at Saturn's Dayside Magnetopause, X. Ma, B. Stauffer, P. A. Delamere, and A. Otto

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The Impact of Solar Wind ULF Bz Fluctuations on Geomagnetic Activity for Viscous Timescales During Strongly Northward and Southward IMF, A. Osmane, A. P. Dimmock, R. Naderpour, T. I. Pulkkinen, and K. Nykyri

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Book Review: The Scientific Exploration of Venus, T. D. Oswalt

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Solar Wind Energy Input to the Magnetosheath and at the Magnetopause, T. I. Pulkkinen, A. P. Dimmock, A. Osmane, and K. Nykyri

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A Sliding Mode LCO Regulation Strategy for Dual-Parallel Underactuated UAV Systems Using Synthetic Jet Actuators, N. Ramos-Pedroza, W. MacKunis, and M. Reyhanoglu

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Interpreting Ulysses Data Using Inverse Scattering Theory: Oblique Alfvén Waves, Mark Anthony Reynolds, Henry R. Wheeler IV, and R.L. Hamilton

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Observer-Based Sliding Mode Control of Rijke-Type Combustion Instability, Jaime Rubio-Hervas, Mahmut Reyhanoglu, and William MacKunis

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Impact of Declining Proposal Success Rates on Scientific Productivity, Ted Von Hippel; Priscilla Cushman; Todd Hoeksema; Chryssa Kouveliotou; James Lowenthal; Bradley Peterson; and Keivan G. Stassun,

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To Apply or Not to Apply: A Survey Analysis of Grant Writing Costs and Benefits, Ted von Hippel and Courtney von Hippel

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Lower Thermospheric Response to Atmospheric Gravity Waves Induced By the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami, Yonghui Yu, Zhiyu Yan, and Michael P. Hickey Ph.D.

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Dynamics of Density Cavities Generated by Frictional Heating: Formation, Distortion, and Instability, M. D. Zettergren, J. L. Semeter, and H. Dahlgren

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Ionospheric Response to Infrasonic-Acoustic Waves Generated by Natural Hazard Events, M. D. Zettergren and J. B. Snively

Submissions from 2014

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Development of High-Purity Optical Grade Single-Crystal CVD Diamond for Intracavity Cooling, Andrew M. Bennett, Benjamin J. Wickham, Harpreet K. Dhillon, Ying Chen, Scott Webster, Giorgio Turri, and Michael Bass

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A Statistical Study of Magnetic Field Fluctuations in the Dayside Magnetosheath and Their Dependence on Upstream Solar Wind Conditions, A. P. Dimmock, K. Nykyri, and T. I. Pulkkinen

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On UAV Robust Nonlinear Control in Presence of Parametric Uncertainties, Vladimir V. Golubev and William MacKunis

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Numerical Simulation of the Long-Range Propagation of Gravity Wave Packets at High Latitudes, C. J. Heale, J. B. Snively, and M. P. Hickey

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Thermospheric Dissipation of Upward Propagating Gravity Wave Packets, C. J. Heale, J. B. Snively, M. P. Hickey, and C. J. Ali