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Physics Department

 

 

Dennis E. Kuhl, Ph.D.

Research Interests:

  • 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 College.