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Alumni Celebration 2018
Shovit up very early to capture "super blue blood moon" images
Alum Linda Spilker continues to inspire as Cassini mission comes to a close
Professor Steven Pollock schools us on peer instruction
2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for LIGO gravitational-wave detection
Department hosts campus Eclipse 2017 event
Shovit and Bobby return to the Honda Center for the Duck's Annual Education Event
Your donation makes a difference and helps us grow

- Your donation makes a difference and helps us grow

Alumni Celebration 2018

Shovit up very early to capture "super blue blood moon" images

Alum Linda Spilker continues to inspire as Cassini mission comes to a close

Professor Steven Pollock schools us on peer instruction

2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for LIGO gravitational-wave detection

Department hosts campus Eclipse 2017 event

Shovit and Bobby return to the Honda Center for the Duck's Annual Education Event

Your donation makes a difference and helps us grow

Your donation makes a difference and helps us grow

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Alumni Spotlight

What some of our recent alumni are doing

GWPAC Center

Gravitational-Wave Center

        Visit our GWPAC website

 

 

Student Spotlight

What some of our students have been up to lately

 

Gina Passante

About me

I joined the Physics Department at CSUF in 2015 after a post-doc at the University of Washington with the Physics Education Group. I'm originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) and did my BSc in Physics at the local University of Winnipeg.  I was then awarded a Commonwealth scholarship to study Part III Maths at the University of Cambridge.  (This is Part III of the Mathematics Tripos.  It is roughly equivalent to a course-based masters program in North America.)  I then traveled back to Canada and did my PhD at the University of Waterloo studying quantum computing.  

Sometime during my PhD I learned that there were researchers in Physics Departments studying how people learn physics.  After reading a little bit about the field I was hooked!  It was then that I decided to transition to Physics Education Research for my postdoc.  After completing my graduate degree I moved to the University of Washington to work with (and learn from) the Physics Education Group.  Fortunately I was able to put my knowledge of quantum systems to good use as I worked to help develop Tutorials for quantum mechanics.  Please see my Research Interests to learn more about this work and what I am currently working on!  


Research Interests

My research focuses on student understand of more advanced topics in a physics degree. In particular, I am most interested in how people learn quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is one of the most predictively powerful theories in physics - and yet it can be very counter-intuitive as it describes the behavior of very small, isolated systems that do not act accoring to the laws of Newtonian physics. Below are a couple of the research interests that I have at the moment. All of these projects have the opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research projects. Email me at (gpassante at fullerton dot edu) if you are interested in learning more.

Tutorials:

At the University of Washington I was part of a project to develop curricular materials that help students learn some of the most difficult concepts. These materials are called Tutorials in Physics: Quantum Mechanics. While at the University of Washington we validated the effectiveness of these materials at improving student conceptual understanding using written pre- and post-tests, as well as individual student interviews.  We are infestigating why some of the materials are very effective, while others less so by analyzing student interactions while working through the tutorials in authentic classroom settings.  

Analogies, Images, and the Classical/Quantum Connection:

It is common when teaching and learning new material to utilze images and analogies to well-understood topics or phenomena. In quantum mechanics these methods have the complication that all of the images and analogies we construct are embedded in the classical world (that open the laws of Newtonian physics). There is a need to investigate in what ways these classical analogies enhanse student learning and in what ways, if any, they hinder it.  

Combining Research-based Instructional Tools:

There are many different research groups working on different instructional tools and stragegies to improve learning in physics classes. This is also true within quantum mechancis.  I am working with other researchers to incorporate several research-based tools together into a unifed curriculum to improve student understanding.  The idea is that each tool has different strengths, and by combining them we will be able to improve student learning by more than we would have been able to with any one tool.

Math in the Quantum Classroom:

Quantum mechanics relies on mathematics to help describe the phenomena.  This math is often new and can become the most difficult part of a quantum mechanics course.  I am interested in further investigating how students are able to integrate the new mathematics and new physics together in the quantum context. 

Harvey Blend

Harvey Blend

Professor of Physics, Emeritus

B.S. University of Texas; M.S., Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles.

Roger Dittmann

Roger Dittmann

Roger Dittmann

Professor of Physics, Emeritus

B.A. University of California, Santa Barbara; M.S. University of Delaware; Ph.D. University of Southern California.

Kolf Jayaweera

Kolf Jayaweera

Kolf Jayaweera

Dean, School of Natural Science and Mathematics, Emeritus

B.S., University of Sri Lanka
Diploma, Imperial College, London
Ph.D., University of London

 

Fred Johnson

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Fred Johnson

Professor of Physics, Emeritus

B.S. City College of New York; M.S., Ph.D. Columbia University.

Roger Nanes

Roger Nanes
MH-652
657-278-2188

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Roger Nanes

Emeritus Professor of Physics

Former Department Chair 2001-2006

Physics Education Research

Mark Perakh

Mark Perakh

Professor of Physics, Emeritus

Mark Shapiro

Mark Shapiro
657-278-3366

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Mark Shapiro

Professor of Physics, Emeritus

Louis Shen

Louis Shen

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Louis Shen

Professor of Physics, Emeritus

B.A. International Christian University, Tokyo; M.A., Ph.D. Washington University (St. Louis).

Dorothy Woolum

657-278-3366

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Dorothy Woolum

Professor of Physics, Emeritus

 

In Memoriam

Raymond V. Adams

Raymond V. Adams

Raymond V. Adams

Professor of Physics, Emeritus (deceased 2/7/2007)

B.S. Kansas State University, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology

Charles C. Carter

Charles C. Carter

Lecturer in Physics, Emeritus (deceased)

Ph.D. Rockefeller University

Ed Cooperman

Ed Cooperman

Professor of Physics, Emeritus (deceased)

B.S. Lehigh University, Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University

Ronald J. Crowley

Ronald J. Crowley

Professor of Physics, Emeritus (deceased 11/7/2009)

BS, MS, Ph.D. University of Southern California

Department Office

Veronica Traub

Veronica Traub
MH-611
657-278-3366

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Veronica Traub

Student Affairs

Lynn Washatka

Lynn Washatka
MH-613
657-278-4827

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Lynn Washatka

Administrative Coordinator

 

Technical Support

Shovit Bhari

Shovit Bhari
MH-650
657-278-2148

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Shovit Bhari

Staff Physicist

Robert (Bobby) Wright

Robert (Bobby) Wright
MH690
(657) 278 3246

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Robert (Bobby) Wright

 

Machine Shop NSM/ECS

Jonathan Woodland

Jonathan Woodland

Jonathan Woodland

Machinist & Director

Full-Time Faculty

Wylie Ahmed

Wylie Ahmed
MH-665A
657-278-2188

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Wylie Ahmed

Assistant Professor of Physics

Biological Physics and Soft Matter

Kwang-Ping "Patricia" Cheng

Kwang-Ping
MH-608
657-278-2551

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Kwang-Ping "Patricia" Cheng

Professor of Physics

Observational Astronomy and Astrophysics

Greg Childers

Greg Childers
MH-670
657-278-2159

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Greg Childers

Associate Professor of Physics

Undergraduate Program Coordinator

Atomic and Molecular Electron-Reaction Science; Large-Integer Factoring Algorithms

Jim Feagin

Jim Feagin
MH-611
657-278-4827

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Jim Feagin

Professor of Physics

Few-Body AMO Collision Science

Heidi Fearn

Heidi Fearn
MH-659
657-278-2767

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Heidi Fearn

Professor of Physics

Theoretical Quantum Optics, General Relativity, Quantum Field Theory including Strings.

Leigh Hargreaves

Leigh Hargreaves
MH-654
657-278-2261

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Leigh Hargreaves

Assistant Professor of Physics

Assessment Coordinator

Atomic and Molecular Electron-Reaction Science

 

Murtadha Khakoo

Murtadha Khakoo
MH-665C
657-278-2247

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Murtadha Khakoo

Professor of Physics

Former Department Chair 2006-2009

Atomic and Molecular Electron-Reaction Science

Geoffrey Lovelace

Geoffrey Lovelace
MH-601B
657-278-7501

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Geoffrey Lovelace

Assistant Professor of Physics

Gravitational Physics

Michael Loverude

Michael Loverude
MH-688
657-278-2270

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Michael Loverude

Professor of Physics

Department Vice Chair and Catalyst Center Director

Physics Education Research

Gina Passante

Gina Passante
MH 629B
(657) 278 7403

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Gina Passante

Assistant Professor of Physics

Jocelyn Read

Jocelyn Read
MH-601A
657-278-3366

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Jocelyn Read

Assistant Professor of Physics

Gravitational-wave Astrophysics

Joshua Smith

Joshua Smith
MH-601C
657-278-3716

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Joshua Smith

Associate Professor of Physics

Dan Black Director or Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy, Gravitational-Wave Physics and Astronomy Center

Gravitational-Wave Astronomy with LIGO

Ionel Tifrea

Ionel Tifrea
MH-665B
657-278-2769

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Ionel Tifrea

Interim Department Chair, Professor of Physics

Masters Program Coordinator

Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics

Keith Wanser

Keith Wanser
MH-661
657-278-2189

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Keith Wanser

Professor of Physics

Fiber- and Quantum-Optical Science, Condensed Matter Physics

 

Part-Time Faculty

Brett Clark

Brett Clark

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Brett Clark

Alexander Gauf

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Alexander Gauf

Walter Christensen

Walter Christensen

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Walter Christensen

Sarah Virji

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Sarah Virji

Mike Dubuque

Mike Dubuque
MH-656C
657-278-3600

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Mike Dubuque

Lecturer

Gary Kleiban

MH-605
657-278-3366

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Gary Kleiban

Lecturer

Linda Leonard

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Linda Leonard

Joseph Oliva

Joseph Oliva
MH-654
657-278-3600

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Joseph Oliva

Lecturer

Jack Phan

Jack Phan

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Jack Phan

Tom Pongetti

Tom Pongetti
MH-612
657-278-3366

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Tom Pongetti

Lecturer

Steven Silverman

Steven Silverman

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Steven Silverman

Robert Utter

Robert Utter
MH-612B
657-278-3366

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Robert Utter

Lecturer

Veronica Lockett-Ruiz

MH-612B

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Veronica Lockett-Ruiz

 

Adjunct Faculty

Stephen Goode

Stephen Goode
MH-182I
657-278-2538

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Stephen Goode

Professor of Mathematics

Education

  • B.Sc., University of London
  • M.Math, Ph.D., University of Waterloo

Jim Woodward

Jim Woodward
H-810l, Lab: MH-601
657-278-3167/657-278-3596

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Jim Woodward

Professor of History; Adjunct Professor of Physics

Education

 

Teaching Assistants

Adrian Avila-Alvarez

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Adrian Avila-Alvarez

Wesley Baxter

Wesley Baxter

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Wesley Baxter

Jeffrey Bidler

Jeffrey Bidler

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Jeffrey Bidler

Dominic Martinez Ta

Dominic Martinez Ta

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Dominic Martinez Ta

Mikayla Mays

Mikayla Mays

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Mikayla Mays

Kristen Rigsby

Kristen Rigsby

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Kristen Rigsby

Luis Rios

Luis Rios

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Luis Rios

Christopher Romo

Dakota Rose

Dakota Rose

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Dakota Rose

Amauri Tapia

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Amauri Tapia

Erik Tarbell

Erik Tarbell

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Erik Tarbell

Marlene Vega

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Marlene Vega

Zong Yu Wang

Zong Yu Wang

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Zong Yu Wang