Department News

Five New Members Inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics Honor Society)

Posted by Physics
Sigma Pi Sigma Spring 2014

On April 8, 2014 five new members were inducted in Sigma Pi Sigma, the Physics Honor Society. To be inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma, students need to attain high standards of general scholarship and outstanding achievements in physics. Criteria for induction in the Wheaton Sigma Pi Sigma Chapter include not only numerical standards for grade and class rank, but also a record of active participation in, and service to the department, through research and teaching assistant positions, as well as being active in the Society of Physics Students. 

This year's inductees, Alex Armstrong, David Martin, Michael Morken and James Tarka, all demonstrated this high level of commitment to physics by their involvement in summer research, high standards of scholarship, and excellent performance as teaching assistants in the department. In addition, also Dr. Robert Bishop was inducted as a member of Sigma Pi Sigma.

Wheaton College is home to one of the oldest chapters of Sigma Pi Sigma. Only ten years after the first chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma was founded in 1921 at Davidson College, the Wheaton College Chapter was chartered as the Upsilon (20th) Chapter. Since the beginning in 1931, 324 people have been inducted into the Wheaton College chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma. This represents many generations of experience and wisdom that can be brought to bear on matters of physics and common interest to all members.

Open Positions for Guest Instructors (Fall 2014)

Posted by Physics

The Physics Department at Wheaton College seeks instructors to teach introductory level lab sections for the Fall 2014 semester. Instructors are sought for both the algebra-based and calculus-based courses covering primarily Newtonian mechanics. A Masters or PhD  degree in physics or a closely related field is required. Previous physics teaching experience is desirable. Job duties include being present at all lab sessions, interacting with students during lab on a one-on-one level, occasionally delivering a mini-lecture, overseeing an undergraduate student teaching assistant, and attending lab practice sessions once a week with other instructors and student teaching assistants.
Wheaton College is an evangelical Christian liberal arts college whose faculty and staff affirm a Statement of Faith and adhere to lifestyle expectations. The College complies with federal and state guidelines of nondiscrimination in employment. Women and minority applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.  A letter of interest and a CV should be sent to Dr. Darren Craig, Chair of Physics, 501 College Ave., Wheaton, IL  60187 or emailed to darren.craig@wheaton.edu. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled.

Science Symposium 2014 - Nuclear Energy: Realizing the Promise

Posted by Physics
Science Symposium - Power Plant

The Physics Department presents the annual Science Symposium entitled “Nuclear Energy: Realizing the Promise.” The symposium will be held March 26-27, 2014 in the Meyer Science Center on the campus of Wheaton College.

Global energy consumption is expected to increase in the 21st century due to increasing population and demand from industrialized and developing countries. Yet, most of the world’s energy is derived from fossil fuels which are non-renewable and contribute to global warming. Nuclear energy, like other energy sources, has a number of advantages and disadvantages but will likely be a part of the overall energy solution. Current research is addressing issues such as nuclear safety and radioactive waste and advanced reactor designs may offer significant promise for dealing with these concerns. In this year’s symposium, nuclear engineering experts will examine the future of nuclear energy and explore what might be done to bring innovative nuclear technologies from promise to reality.

For more information, go to the symposium website.

Mindy Cartolano (Physics '13) and Dr. Darren Craig Publish Paper in Physics of Plasmas

Posted by Physics

Mindy Cartolano at the MSTMindy Cartolano (Physics ’13) and Dr. Darren Craig received word that the paper they recently submitted to Physics of Plasmas has been accepted for publication. The paper entitled “Statistical analysis of variations in impurity ion heating at reconnection events in the Madison Symmetric Torus” summarizes research that Mindy did for her honor’s thesis at Wheaton. The published study describes observations of ion heating during reconnection in a large plasma experiment at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Reconnection is a process that converts magnetic energy to thermal or kinetic energy in plasmas. This process is active in laboratory plasmas and throughout the universe in places like the earth’s magnetosphere and the solar corona.

Mindy is currently pursuing a PhD in physics at the University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign. Read more about Dr. Craig's research here.

Partime Position Available

Posted by Physics

The Physics Department at Wheaton College is looking for an instructor to teach one introductory level lab section for the Spring 2014 semester. The course is the second semester of an algebra‐based general physics course and covers electricity and magnetism, optics, and some modern physics. A Bachelor’s degree in physics or engineering is required and a Masters or PhD in physics or engineering is strongly preferred. Experience teaching physics for pre‐health professions students is desirable. Job duties include being present at all lab sessions (Tuesday mornings, 7:30 – 10:30 AM), interacting with students during lab on a one‐on‐one level and occasionally in a mini‐lecture format, overseeing an undergraduate student teaching assistant, and attending lab practice sessions once a week with other instructors and student teaching assistants (time TBD).

Wheaton College is an evangelical Christian liberal arts college whose faculty and staff affirm a Statement of Faith and adhere to lifestyle expectations. The College complies with federal and state guidelines of nondiscrimination in employment. Women and minority applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. A letter of interest and a CV should be sent to Dr. Darren Craig, Chair of Physics, 501 College Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187 or emailed to darren.craig@wheaton.edu. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.