Upcoming and Recent Events

  • Physics Jeopardy

    Physics-themed Jeopardy game with students and professors! Pizza and soda provided.

    McCardell Bicentennial Hall 220

    Closed to the Public

  • Objects of Wonder: Makings from across the Middlebury campus

    Objects of Wonder
    In the upcoming exhibition Objects of Wonder, students, faculty, staff, and alumni offer an intersection of research, art, history, and academia. These objects are curious snapshots-sneak peeks at the varied interests and endeavors present across this campus. Free and open to the public. Johnson Exhibition Gallery, Johnson Memorial Building room 208.

    Johnson Gallery/Crit (208)

    Open to the Public

Recent and Past News

Summer 2023

Welcome to our new colleague

Dr. McKinley Brumback will be joining the physics department faculty during the summer of 2023.

Research Interests

Dr. Brumback’s research focuses on the behavior of gas that is falling onto neutron stars: the ultra-dense cores that some stars leave behind after a supernova explosion. Neutron stars sustain magnetic fields trillions of times stronger than Earth’s magnetic field and are the perfect laboratory with which to study the behavior of matter in extreme environments. Dr. Brumback uses observations from X-ray satellites to investigate how the magnetic field in these systems traps and funnels hot gas onto the neutron star surface and how these gas flows change with time.

Summer 2022

Physics student Jacob Thompson presents a poster at the annual meeting of the APS Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics. Pictured with poster co-author Prof. Paul Hess. - Jun. 2022

Spring 2021

Mar. 15 2021 - Physics students Asher Lantz and Gebre Dagnew present at the APS March Meeting

Fall 2020

Oct. 1, 2020 – Crocker, Durst, Combelles, Spritzer, and Cave, “MRI: Acquisition of a Confocal Microscope for Multidisciplinary Resesarch and Teaching at an Undergraduate Liberal Arts College,” NSF MRI Grant

Sept. 15, 2020 – Michael Durst, “Volumetric Temporal Focusing Microscopy for Fluorescence-Guided Surgery,” NIH R15 AREA Grant

Sept. 14, 2020 – Physics students Sydnie Hom, Kazuto Nishimori, and Ruben Vargas present at Frontiers in Optics Conference

Aug. 15, 2020 – Anne Goodsell and Paul Hess, “MRI: Acquisition of Coupled Wavemeters for Precise Excitation of Charged and Neutral Particles,” NSF MRI Grant

Spring 2020

Jun. 4, 2020 - Physics students Thi Hoang, Bing Ibrahim, and Sasha Clarick are co-authors on poster at the annual meeting of the APS Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics

Fall 2019

Physics Majors Present Research at Astronomy Conference

Summer 2019

Eilat Glikman Receives NASA-Funded Research Grant

Spring 2019

Anne Goodsell receives the 2019 Marjorie Lamberti Faculty Appreciation Award

Goodsell Lab featured in Middlebury Campus: “A peek into the ‘coolest atoms in Vermont.’”

Rich Wolfson receives grant from Sloan Foundation

Middlebury Increases its Academic Computing Power

Sadie Coffin ‘19 and Diego Garcia ‘20 Present Findings at National Astronomy Conference

Fall 2018

Noah Graham Receives NSF Grant

Physics Major Roo Weed ‘18.5 Brings Ancient Coins to Light at College Museum

Vermont Academy of Science and Engineering to Hold Annual Meeting at Middlebury

Student Astronomers Diego Garcia ’20, Diego Espino ’19, Sadie Coffin ’19, and Karla Núñez ’19 Present Research at KNAC Symposium

Spring 2018

Student team wins Department of Energy “Race To Zero” Competition.  Congratulations physics students Zach Berzolla ‘18, Alex Browne ‘18, Bennett Dougherty ‘18, Amanda Kirkeby ‘19, and Max Lutzius ‘20!

Physics students Emma Moskovitz ‘18 and Anthony Turcios ‘20 are featured with Prof. Michael Durst for their research on biomedical optics.

Physics student Leo McElroy ‘18 has been named a Thomas J. Watson fellow.

Physics student Zach Berzolla ‘18 leads his team to the finals in the US Department of Energy’s Race to Zero design competition.

Read about Zach Berzolla’s winter term course in which students designed an elementary school powered by renewable energy here.

Winter 2018

Prof. Eilat Glikman is featured in the new PBS NOVA program “Black Hole Apocalypse.” “Take a mind-blowing voyage to the most powerful and mysterious objects in the universe.  More information can be found here.

Fall 2017

Prof. Emeritus Frank Winkler awarded new NSF grant.

Prof. Durst was featured in the Middlebury News article, “New Faculty Forum Offers an ‘Intellectual Feast’ during Fall Family Weekend.

Prof. Michael Durst has received a small grant from the National Institutes of Health and the Vermont Genetics Network.

Summer 2017

Welcome to our new colleague: Dr. Chris Herdman will be joining the physics department faculty during the summer of 2017.

Research Interests: My primary research interests lie at the intersection of condensed matter physics and quantum information science: I study quantum phases of matter (e.g. superfluids, superconductors, and Bose-Einstein condensates) from a quantum information perspective—for example, to understand how quantum matter might be used as the basis of a quantum computer. To these ends, I develop and use computational algorithms as theoretical tools to study quantum information properties (e.g. quantum entanglement) of strongly interacting quantum many-body systems.

Welcome to our new colleague: Dr. Paul Hess will be joining the physics department faculty during the summer of 2017.

Research Interests: My research focuses on studying the quantum mechanical properties of tiny crystals made of a few atomic or molecular ions, which are assembled, trapped and levitated in a vacuum chamber using electric forces. By imaging and manipulating these trapped ions with laser light, we can study their usefulness as the building blocks of a future quantum computer.

Spring 2017

Students Collaborate with Prof. Goodsell on Research Published in Physics Journal

Prof. Emeritus Frank Winkler receives NASA funding.

Prof. Eilat Glikman has been awarded a NASA grant to study “Spectral Energy Distributions of Red Quasars.”

Prof. Eilat Glikman has been named a Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation.

Ancient Astronomy course highlighted in J-term Scenes: Measuring the Earth as the Ancients Did.

Prof. Noah Graham has been named a Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation.

Prof. Frank Winkler has been awarded a NASA grant to study “What Makes Radio-detected and Optically-detected Supernova Remnants in NGC6946 Different.”

Fall 2016

Prof. Eilat Glikman has been awarded a NASA grant to study “Testing the Triggering Mechanism for Luminous, Radio-Quiet Red Quasars in the Clearing Phase: A Comparison to Radio-Loud Red Quasars.”

Summer 2016

Kate Brutlag Follette (‘04) is featured in Middlebury Magazine for her discovery of an expolanet in the process of formation.

Prof. Michael Durst has received a grant renewal from the National Institutes of Health and the Vermont Genetics Network.

Frank Winkler receives NASA grant for collaborative research.

Spring 2016

Jing He ‘17 was named a Goldwater Scholar.

Prof. Eilat Glikman receives a NASA grant to study “Probing Accretion and Obscuration in Luminous Red Quasars.”

Prof. Frank Winkler receives two NASA grants.

Fall 2015

Prof. Rich Wolfson explains the Paris Climate Agreement.

Prof. Michael Durst has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the Vermont Genetics Network for work on High-Speed 3D Multiphoton Fluorescence Imaging with Temporal Focusing Microscopy.

Prof. Eilat Glikman has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for work on New Insights from a Systematic Approach to Quasar Variability.

Summer 2015

Prof. Noah Graham has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for work on Casimir Forces From Scattering Theory.

Evan Williams (‘08) applies his skills as a physics major to brewing at the Flying Lion.

Physics students present their research at the 2015 Summer Research Symposium.

Prof. Eilat Glikman and Madeline Mailly (‘14) use the Hubble Space Telescope to confirm that the origin of quasars is due to the merging of galaxies.

Spring 2015

Prof. Anne Goodsell has been awarded the 2015 Gladstone Award Honoring Excellence in Teaching.

Prof. Noah Graham has been awarded the 2015 Perkins Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Fall 2014

Welcome to our new colleague: Dr. Michael Durst will be joining the physics department faculty during the summer of 2014.

Research: My biomedical optics research involves looking deep within the body without making an incision. This is similar to ultrasound imaging, except I am interested in using light instead of sound. Light provides superior resolution, allowing you to see details on the cellular level. How can you see through the body? If you have ever looked at a flashlight pressed under your hand, you have witnessed light traveling through thick tissue. Biomedical imaging entails using lasers, nonlinear optics, and other clever tools to extract images from beneath the surface of biological tissue. With applications in cancer research, nanoparticle characterization, fiber optic endoscopes, and in vivo imaging, these efforts together will provide access to a wide array of unlabeled biological structures. By combining concepts in condensed matter physics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, optics, and biology, this area of research is ideal for undergraduate learning and an enrichment of their understanding of physics.

Background: I currently serve as a visiting assistant professor of physics at Bates College. Previously, I was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. I did my graduate research in nonlinear biomedical optics at the School of Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University (Ph.D. in applied physics, 2009). My passion for optics began as an undergraduate at Georgetown University (B.S. in physics, 2003), and I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm with the students at Middlebury College.

Spring 2013

Welcome to our new colleague: Dr. Eilat Glikman will be joining the physics department faculty during the summer of 2013.

Research and Background: I study quasars and their role in the formation and evolution of galaxies. To do this I explore Active Galactic Nuclei demographics by data-mining large multi-wavelength sky surveys and conducting follow up observations. My focus is on dust-reddened quasars, an elusive population that represents a transitional phase in the evolution of active galaxies. I also study quasars at high redshifts to understand black hole growth in the early Universe.

I conducted my thesis work at Columbia University followed by postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology. After that, I was an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics.