Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Physics

News

  • Blackhole Illuminating black holes

    Summer research students John Scarpaci ’17 and Ryan Dill ’15 work with Professor Dipankar Maitra to understand how flashes of light spanning the electromagnetic spectrum are emitted from disks around black holes and neutron stars.

  • pendulum2 Chaotic light show

    What happens when you put an LED on the end of a double-hinged pendulum? Professor Maitra wanted to know.

  • dvgroup Hot spring break

    The Field Geology seminar heads to Death Valley for a spring break of rocks, canyons, dunes, and fossils.

  • Dipankar Maitra Assistant Physics Professor Wheaton welcomes six new tenure-track professors

    Assistant professor of physics and astronomy Dipankar Maitra is welcomed by the Wheaton community.

  • Ganymede_geology_mosaic_globe Mapping Ganymede

    Geology Professor Geoffrey Collins led a team of researchers, including Wheaton students, in producing the first global geologic map of Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon.

  • Laser_2014 Finding heavy metal

    Professor John Collins and his collaborator Ivan Karbovnyk from the Ukraine have been awarded a grant from CRDF Global to study nanomaterials that could help to detect harmful heavy metals in the environment.

    Professor John Collins of Wheaton College and his collaborator, Professor Ivan Karbovnyk of the Ivano-Frankivsk National University of Lviv, Ukraine, have been awarded a grant from CRDF Global for the following proposal: "Study and Application of Functional Engineered Nanomaterials for Environmental Risks Evaluation and Protection (SAFENANOTEC)" The research invloves the study of optical and electrical properties of nanomaterials (metallic nanostructured films and carbon/boron nanotubes) for applications to the detection of harmful heavy metals in the environment and to the development of novel radiation detectors.  This grant was awarded through the 2013 U.S.-Ukraine Joint Research Grant Competition, which is designed to support joint U.S. and Ukrainian research teams engaged in research focused on minimizing environmental impacts of energy production in Ukraine. The $46,500 grant sponsors this research for one year.
  • 300_Eaton-Malcolm-e1381777593422-122x122 Out of Wheaton, into the world of work

    Malcolm Eaton ’13 begins his career as an engineer for the Navy.

  • Linzi_Wu_poster_small Building a better laser

    Linzi Wu ’15 and Professor Xuesheng Chen work to make lasers cheaper, smaller, and more powerful.

    Linzi Wu '15 has been researching how to make lasers cheaper, smaller, and more powerful by using ceramic materials instead of crystals.

    Working with Professor Xuesheng Chen, she measured the optical properties of transparent ceramics doped with various concentrations of Neodymium ions to find out which concentrations produced the most efficient absorption and emission of infrared light. Linzi (pictured here) presented her findings at the 2013 Wheaton Academic Festival, and will present her work at the New England section of the American Physical Society in the fall.

  • Water balloon featured image The Water Balloon Challenge

    Watch Wheaton College’s introductory physics class leave their lab and put theory to the test.

    On a beautiful October morning at Wheaton College, an introductory physics class left their lab behind and stepped outside. They aimed to impress (and soak!) their professor while investigating kinetic and potential energy:

    Psst... If you want more "water balloon goodness" here's last year's experiment:

  • Pouring liquid nitrogen Cold as ice

    A new study by Prof. Geoffrey Collins and colleagues in the Journal of Geophysical Research shows that water ice gets much harder at very cold temperatures.

    A NASA grant to Prof. Geoffrey Collins to study erosion on Saturn's moon Titan turned into a research project about the hardness of water ice at very low temperatures. Collins and his collaborators at San Francisco State University recently published the results of their study in the Journal of Geophysical Research. The experiments tested the strength of ice in tension, and the energy required to propagate cracks through ice. Similar experiments had previously been done down to temperatures of -50 C, but the new experiments used cooling with liquid nitrogen to explore the behavior down to -170 C, which is more relevant to the surfaces of moons in the outer solar system. As the ice became colder, it also became harder to break, so it is expected that ice in the outer solar system should be harder than ice in glaciers on Earth.