Jim Schroeder, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Physics
Jim Schroeder grew up in Wisconsin playing soccer, going camping, and playing bass in school orchestras and jazz bands. He fell in love with physics thanks to an outstanding high school physics teacher. While studying physics as an undergraduate at Wheaton, he was a four-year member of the symphony orchestra and a live announcer for men’s and women’s soccer on WETN radio. After graduating from Wheaton, he taught high school math and physics at Chicago Hope Academy. He attended the University of Iowa for his Ph.D. studies, and for his dissertation, he performed experiments using UCLA’s Large Plasma Device (LAPD) studying the interaction of Alfven waves with electrons. After returning to Wheaton as a faculty member, he stayed involved with LAPD experiments, and he started a new collaboration with the Naval Research Lab in Washington, DC. He is also building a plasma experiment at Wheaton College. Dr. Schroeder loves teaching and researching with undergraduate students, and he is energized by the breadth of conversations in the Wheaton College community.
The University of Iowa
Ph.D., Physics, 2017
Thesis: Exploring the Alfvén-Wave Acceleration of Auroral Electrons in the Laboratory
B.S., Summa Cum Laude, Physics, 2009
American Physical Society – Division of Plasma Physics, Topical Group in Plasma Astrophysics
American Astronomical Society – Laboratory Astrophysics Division
Electrons surfing on Alfven waves – Nature Portfolio Astronomy Community
Press Conference: Stars & Clusters - 238th meeting of the American Astronomical Society
Wheaton Professor Discovers the Force Behind the Northern Lights - Wheaton College Press Release
What causes the northern lights? Scientists finally know for sure - NPR
We finally know what sparks the Northern Lights - Popular Science
The mysterious origin of the northern lights has been proven - CNN
Poollicht is nu volledig verklaard - NRC, Netherlands
Making heaven in a lab: Scientists solve aurora mystery - Daily Maverick, South Africa
Physicists have finally proven how aurora borealis, northern lights, occur - KCBS Radio, San Francisco
Physics Faculty Awarded NASA Grant - Wheaton College
A step toward deciphering auroras - Physics Today
Almost 200 additional news stories covering Dr. Schroeder’s work on the aurora.
Contributed Talk - The Alfven-wave acceleration of auroral electrons: laboratory measurement, theory, and simulation
238th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, Hosted online - June, 2021
Invited Seminar - Studying the Alfven wave acceleration of auroral electrons in the laboratory using field-particle correlations
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Heliophysics Seminar, Hosted online - September, 2020
Invited Tutorial - Alfven wave turbulence and wave particle interaction
American Physical Society - Division of Plasma Physics - Student Day, Fort Lauderdale, FL - October, 2019
Invited Talk - Progress toward laboratory measurements of the acceleration of auroral electrons by Alfven waves
NSF/DOE review of UCLA’s user facility the Large Plasma Device, Hosted online - March, 2019
Invited Talk - Using field-particle correlations to study wave-particle interactions in the LAPD
International Congress of Plasma Physics, Vancouver, BC - June, 2018
Invited Talk - A study of auroral electron acceleration in the LAPD
International Union of Radio Science - Commission H, Boulder, CO - January, 2018
Invited Talk - Measurement of electron acceleration by inertial Alfvén waves in the LAPD
International Workshop on the Interrelationship between Plasma Experiments in the Laboratory and in Space (IPELS), San Diego, CA - June, 2017
Invited Talk - Electron oscillations associated with inertial Alfvén waves
International Union of Radio Science - Commission H, Boulder, CO - January, 2017
Poster Presentation - Progress towards a laboratory test of Alfvénic electron acceleration
American Physical Society - Division of Plasma Physics, San Jose, CA - October, 2016
Invited Talk - Clear with a chance of electron precipitation
Grinnell College Physics Seminar, Grinnell, IA - February, 2017
Invited Talk - Laboratory measurements of linear electron acceleration by inertial Alfvén waves
American Physical Society - Division of Plasma Physics, Savannah, GA - November, 2015
Departmental Seminar - Laboratory investigation of Alfvén wave- particle interactions in the magnetosphere
University of Iowa - Plasma Physics Seminar, Iowa City, IA - May, 2016
Poster - Measurements of the linear kinetic plasma response to inertial Alfvén waves
American Physical Society - Division of Plasma Physics, New Orleans, LA - October 2014
Invited Talk - Experimental measurements of the electron distribution function using whistler wave absorption
Radio Frequency Power in Plasmas, Lake Arrowhead, CA - April, 2015
Talk - Study of auroral electron acceleration in the laboratory
University of Iowa - Plasma Physics Seminar, Iowa City, IA - February 2014
Poster - Study of auroral electron acceleration in the laboratory
American Physical Society - Division of Plasma Physics, Denver, CO - November 2013
Poster - Kinetic signatures of inertial Alfvén waves: theory and laboratory experiments
École de Physique des Houches - Turbulence, Magnetic Fields and Self Organization in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas, Les Houches, France - April 2015
Poster - Experimental measurement of the nonlinear interaction be- tween counterpropagating Alfven waves in the LAPD
American Physical Society - Division of Plasma Physics, Providence, RI - November 2012
Poster - Study of eects of external drive on MRX reconnection
American Physical Society- Division of Plasma Physics, Dallas, TX - November 2008
Talk - Analysis of magnetic elds in Alfven wave collisions
International Workshop on the Interrelationship Between Plasma Experiments in the Laboratory and in Space (IPELS), Nagano, Japan - July 2013
J. W. R. Schroeder, G. G. Howes, C. A. Kletzing, F. Skiff, T. A. Carter, S. Vincena, and S. Dorfman, Laboratory measurements of the physics of auroral electron acceleration by Alfven waves, Nature Communications 12: 3103 (2021).
J. W. R. Schroeder, F. Skiff, G. G. Howes, C. A. Kletzing, T. A. Carter, and S. Dorfman, Linear theory and measurements of electron oscillations in an inertial Alfven wave, Physics of Plasmas 24: 032902 (2017).
J. W. R. Schroeder, F. Skiff, C. A. Kletzing, G. G. Howes, T. A. Carter, and S. Dorfman, Direct measurement of electron sloshing of an inertial Alfven wave, Geophysical Research Letters 43: 4701-4707 (2016).
J. Drake, G. G. Howes, J. D. Rhudy, S. K. Terry, T. A. Carter, C. A. Kletzing, J. W. R. Schroeder, and F. Skiff, Measurements of the nonlinear beat wave produced by the interaction of counterpropagating Alfvén waves, Physics of Plasmas 23: 022305 (2016).
J. W. R. Schroeder, F. Skiff, G. G. Howes, C. A. Kletzing, T. A. Carter, and S. Dorfman, Alfvénic oscillations of the electron distribution function: Linear theory and experimental measurements, American Institute of Physics Conference Series 1689: 030001 (2015).
J. Drake, J. W. R. Schroeder, B. C. Shanken, G. G. Howes, F. Skiff, C. A. Kletzing, T. A. Carter, and S. D. Dorfman, Analysis of magnetic fields in inertial Alfvén wave collisions, Transactions of Plasma Science IEEE 42: 10 (2014).
G. Howes, K. D. Nielson, D. J. Drake, J. W. R. Schroeder, F. Skiff, C. A. Kletzing, and T. A. Carter, Alfvén Wave Collisions, The Fundamental Building Block of Plasma Turbulence. III. Theory for Experimental Design, Physics of Plasmas 20: 072304 (2013).
J. Drake, J. W. R. Schroeder, G. G. Howes, C. A. Kletzing, F. Skiff, T. A. Carter, and D. W. Auerbach, Alfvén Wave Collisions,The Fundamental Building Block of Plasma Turbulence. IV. Laboratory Experiment, Physics of Plasmas 20: 072901 (2013).