2007 UMass Distinguished Teaching
2007 NSM College Outstanding Teaching Award 2010
RFYE Student Choice Award 2012
RFYE Student Choice Award
1981-82 CDF-- The CDF (Collider
Detector at Fermilab) experiment is a proton-antiproton collider
experiment that studied weak W and Z bosons in the 1980's and is
famous for the top quark discovery in the 1990's. It's best-known
current research is the search for the Higgs boson. My
contribution as a graduate student was in design studies for the
muon system before the detector was built.
MarkIII -- The MarkIII experiment at SLAC was an
electron-positron collider for charm physics at the Psi charmonium
resonances. My graduate thesis on this experiment was a
measurement of D meson branching fractions.
UA2 -- The UA2 (Underground Area 2) experiment at CERN
was famous as the co-discoverer (with, you guessed it, UA1) of the
W and Z bosons in 1983. I joined the collaboration as a CERN
scientific associate and later took a CERN staff appointment to
contribute to the first precision measurements of W and Z
SLD -- The SLD experiment at SLAC was the first high
energy electron-positron linear collider. It used the Stanford
2-mile linear accelerator to produce Z bosons for high precision
studies. My work on this experiment involved development of an
energy spectrometer for beam energy measurements and B meson
studies. My graduate student, Cheng-Ju Stephen Lin, wrote his
Ph.D. thesis on a search for Bs mixing.
E791 -- The E791 experiment at Fermilab was a fixed
target charm hadroproduction experiment for studying weakly
decaying charmed mesons and baryons. One of its claims to fame was
the largest dataset of its time, about equal to the information
content of the Library of Congress, which was stored on video
cassette tape. My work on this experiment was in reconstruction
software and a search for D meson mixing.
BaBar -- BaBar at SLAC was one of two B factories that
made high statistics measurements of B mesons, especially CP
violation measurements. My work on this experiment involved
supervising undergraduate projects on calorimeter reconstruction
software, neural net data selection techniques, and Ds
meson branching fractions.
2003-2008 VERITAS-- The VERITAS
collaboration is an outgrowth of the very successful Whipple
collaboration, which has been known for studies of very high
energy gamma ray showers since the 1980's. The VERITAS project is
a four-telescope array, which started data taking in October 2004.
My work on this experiment was in software development for
database and repository systems, and in neural net algorithms for
gamma ray selection.
sciphile.org Since 2012,
I’ve been developing a website (http://sciphile.org)
to help teachers and parents teach science. The site hosts a
growing library of bite-sized science demonstrations,
experiments, activities and lessons designed to help teach a
variety of science topics, inspire a range of pasttimes, or simply
entertain your inner geek.
Our materials are freely available for educational or
personal use. The site is jointly developed and refereed by
science specialists and educators. The goal is to develop lesson
plans around the kinds of online materials, active-learning
activities, and cutting-edge topics that field specialists know
about, and package them in a highly indexed, searchable, and
reviewable way, so that non-specialists can easily discover and
use thems. Think wikipedia for science teachers. Please feel
free to browse the library, download and test materials, rate the
lessons, comment, share and contribute.
I am currently (and for quite a while now) writing a lay book on
quantum mechanics, which uses examples from modern technology to
explain the fundamentals of quantum theory and connect to the
experience of modern audiences. For instance, the field of quantum cryptography
demonstrates the nature of “superposition” (the ability to take
on two conflicting qualities at the same time) and uses this
feature of quantum systems to generate unbreakable cryptographic
measurements determine certain characteristics of
physical systems without any apparent contact with them, thereby
illustrating some of the peculiarities of quantum observation. Quantum tunneling provides
one of the clearest examples of quantum uncertainty and
demonstrates how it is an inescapable feature of quantum
systems. The quantum
teleporter, designed in 1993 and demonstrated in the
lab in 1997, illustrates the nature of quantum entanglement.
Experiments with quantum
erasers, which reverse the effects of measurement
disturbance, offer a unique insight into the nature of
computing employs almost all of the subtle features of
quantum mechanics and has motivated much of our modern thinking
about the behavior of quantum states. Sadly, most of these
examples are fully described only in advanced texts. This is a
lost opportunity for teaching lay audiences that I try to
redress in my book. Preface
1 available online.
Dr. Frankenstein's Lego
In 2010 and 2011 I
directed a program for 9-14 year olds in Lego robotics at The Philadelphia School.
In this program, children are introduced to the rudiments of
robotic design and programming using the Lego Mindstorms™ system.
Kids work in teams designing, constructing and programming robots
to perform a variety of activities such as fetching a ball,
following a track on the floor, navigating a maze, playing tag,
reading and playing music, and drawing pictures. Future design
challenges may also include parking a car (video),
playing a piano (video),
solving Rubik’s cube (video),
and taking over the world (still in development). more
Work with me
Senior Thesis on Quantum Tunneling
Quantum tunneling is
the process by which a quantum particle can pass through a
seemingly unpenetrable barrier and explains (at least in
part) how nuclear alpha decay works, how the sun fuses
hydrogen into helium, how certain types of diodes work, field
emission of electrons (important in flash memory), and much of the
heat loss in VLSI computer chips. I'm looking for a physics or
computer engineering major to work on a senior thesis project (or
independent study project) to produce a visual simulation of
quantum tunneling. In recent years, such simulations of
quantum tunneling have appeared in many places (see for example
Project at UC Boulder). I wish to expand on these fine
programs to study the energy/momentum structure of the transmitted
and scattered wave packets, the effective tunneling time, the role
of dispersion, and to identify the characteristics of trapped wave
packets that remain in the tunneling region for an extended period
of time. Knowledge of Java programming and Mathematica a must. Web
design experience a plus. Work time is adjustable between 5 and 10
hours/week for one or two semesters.
problem with cats: lessons in quantum collapse"
UMass HEP seminar, Mar 2011. Presentation (ppt)
Colloquium on the EPR experiment and Bell's theorem at Clark
University, Feb 2010. Abstract
UMass HEP seminar, Feb 2010. Abstract
Many Weirdnesses Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics"
Joint Physics & Philosophy colloquium on the many-worlds
interpretation of quantum mechanics at Bryn Mawr College, Sep
and Presentation (ppt)
Made (Relatively) Simple"
Lecture in concert with the E=FAC2celebrations of
the 30th anniversary of the Fine Arts Center, May 2006. Abstract
and Presentation (Keynote 3.0)