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P. Frank Winkler

Gamaliel Painter Bicentennial Professor Emeritus of Physics; Res Prof


B.S. California Institute of Technology
Ph.D. Harvard University
Joined the Middlebury College faculty in 1969

I am a professor in the Department of Physics at Middlebury College, where I have been a member of the faculty since 1969.  My current research centers around supernovae, supernova remnants, and the interstellar medium.  Simply put, I am interested in how stars blow up, what is left after they do, and how they enrich the cosmos in heavy elements like oxygen, carbon, silicon, iron, etc.—the elements that play a crucial role in the development of planets and life on them.

I have taught most of the courses in the Physics Curriculum at Middlebury at one time or another, but I am now on Associate Status, teaching only in the Fall Term, when I teach two somewhat different versions of our introductory astronomy course.

A more-or-less complete CV can be found here.


My research is based on observations carried out across the electromagnetic spectrum, primarily optical (using facilities such as Kitt Peak National Observatory, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Gemini and the Hubble Space Telescope), and X-rays (primarily using the Chandra X-ray Observatory).

I am particularly interested in young supernova remnants—ones where we can still find clues about the nature of supernova explosions, the stars that led to them, and the debris that results.

Recent Publications

The Chandra ACIS Survey of M33: X-ray, Optical and Radio Properties of the Supernova Remnants (Long et al. 2010)

Non-Maxwellian Hα Profiles in Tycho's Supernova Remnant

Chandra ACIS Survey of M33 (ChASeM33): The Enigmatic X-Ray Emission from IC131 (Tüllmann et al. 2009)

Spitzer Spectroscopy of the Galactic Supernova Remnant G292.0+1.8: Structure and Composition of the Oxygen-Rich Ejecta (Ghavamian et al. 2009)

The First X-Ray Proper-Motion Measurements of the Forward Shock in the Northeastern Limb of SN 1006 (Katsuda et al. 2009)

Expanding Ejecta in the Oxygen-Rich Supernova Remnant G292.0+1.8: Direct Measurement Through Proper Motions (Winkler et al. 2009)



Every Fall Term, I teach two versions of introductory astronomy:

Physics 0155, "Introduction to the Universe"  is open to all students, regardless of background.  For more details ab

Physics 0165, "Physics in the Universe" is a more analytical version, and is open to students who have taken Phys0109 (Newtonian Physics) or another college-level physics course (e.g., AP physics), and a semester of calculus (e.g., Math0112).

For more information about the Fall 2011 versions of these courses, see:  PHYS0155, Fall 2011 or  PHYS0165, Fall 2011



Course List: 

Department of Physics

McCardell Bicentennial Hall
276 Bicentennial Way
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753