- Along with student researchers, I have been constructing a Surface Science
Laboratory at Marietta College. Surface processes are ubiquitous, and
understanding them contributes to our basic understanding of condensed
matter physics and plays a vital role for many industries. We concentrate
on questions dealing with the growth of thin metal films and the physical
processes that occur at their surfaces, such as interactions with foreign
species adsorbed to the surface. The research involves thin film
growth techniques, infrared optics, ultrahigh vacuum technology, and
computer data acquisition. I am hopeful that a future direction for
this work could include the study of alkali metal adsorbates on thin
copper films. There are interesting open questions dealing with ionization
in such a systems. This research is inspired by the work of my thesis
advisor Professor Roger G.
Tobin, a wonderful scientist who is now at Tufts University.
As of Fall 2007, three students have done senior capstone research in my laboratory: Eric Reed ('03), Charles Flanagan ('06), and Meredith Rogers ('07).
- While not currently active in physics education research, I have a background in this area in collaboration with Professor Ronald K. Thornton,
director of the Center
for Science and Mathematics Teaching at Tufts University. His specialization deals with the identification of problems in physics learning,
the development of (primarily computer-based) tools to overcome those problems, and the evaluation
of those tools. An example of this work is the RealTime Physics Mechanics
laboratory sequence utilizing computer data acquisition to teach concepts
of mechanics. We have adopted this for first semester physics at Marietta