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Assistant Professor
Joseph Smith headshot
Office #
Rickey 142
Ph.D.-Physics, The Ohio State University (2020); MS-Physics, The Ohio State University (2017); BA-Physics/Mathematics, The College of Wooster (2015)
Year Appointed
Courses - Fall
  • Quantum Mechanics I
  • College Physics I
  • General Physics I Lab
Courses - Spring
  • College Physics II
  • General Physics II Lab
  • Mathematical Methods of Physics

Dr. Joseph Smith is a computational physicist specializing in the simulation of intense laser-matter interactions. He routinely runs simulations utilizing hundreds to thousands of processors at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) and top systems around the country. Recent projects include the optimization of laser-ion acceleration, simulations of laser-driven fusion, code development to model laser-induced damage of optical components, and scientific code comparisons. He is also involved in physics education research and the development/evaluation of new instructional tools such as virtual reality.

In 2022, Dr. Smith was selected as a Career Mentoring Fellow with the American Physical Society, and in 2024, he was bestowed with the “Doc Brown Young Investigator Award” by the Eastern Great Lakes section of the American Physical Society. 


B. M. Knight, C. M. Gautam, C. R. Stoner, B. V. Egner, J. R. Smith, C. M. Orban, J. J. Manfredi, K. D. Frische, M. L. Dexter, E. A. Chowdhury, A. K. Patnaik. “Detailed Characterization of a kHz-Rate Laser-Driven Fusion at a Thin Liquid Sheet with a Neutron Detection Suite” High Power Laser Science and Engineering 2024.

M. Shcherbakov, G. Sartorello, S. Zhang, J. Bocanegra, M. Bosch, M. Tripepi, N. Talisa, A. AlShafey, J. Smith, S. Londo, F. Légaré, E. Chowdhury, G. Shvets. “Nanoscale Reshaping of Resonant Dielectric Microstructures by Light-Driven Explosions” Nature Communications 2023.

J. R. Smith, B. Snapp, S. Madar, J. R. Brown, J. Fowler, M. Andersen, C. D. Porter, C. Orban “A Smartphone-Based Virtual Reality Plotting System for STEM Education” PRIMUS, 2022.

J. R. Smith, C. Orban, N. Rahman, B. McHugh, R. Oropeza, E. A. Chowdhury “A Particle-In-Cell Code Comparison for Ion Acceleration: EPOCH, LSP, and WarpX” Physics of Plasmas, 2021.

N. Rahman, J. R. Smith, G. Ngirmang, C. Orban “Particle-in-Cell Modeling of a Potential Demonstration Experiment for Double Pulse Enhanced Target Normal Sheath Acceleration” Physics of Plasmas, 2021.

J. R. Smith, C. Orban, J. T. Morrison, K. M. George, G. K. Ngirmang, E. A. Chowdhury, and W. M. Roquemore. “Optimizing Laser-Plasma Interactions for Ion Acceleration using Particle-in-Cell Simulations and Evolutionary Algorithms.” New Journal of Physics, 2020.

G. K. Ngirmang, J. T. Morrison, K. M. George, J. R. Smith, K. D. Frische, C. Orban, E. A. Chowdhury, W. M. Roquemore, “Evidence of Radial Weibel Instability in Relativistic Intensity Laser-Plasma Interactions Inside a Submicron Thick Liquid Target.” Scientific Reports, 2020.

C. D. Porter, J. R. H. Smith, E. M Stagar, A. Simmons, M. Nieberding, C. M. Orban, J. Brown, A. Ayers, “Using Virtual Reality in Electrostatics Instruction: The Impact of Training” Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020.