People

Faculty

Katherine Aidala

Chair and Associate Professor of Physics, Chair of Engineering

Katherine Aidala employs creative techniques with the atomic force microscope to study a wide range of nanoscale devices and materials, with applications in solar energy, data storage, and biotechnology.  Her work has been supported by grants from the NSF and she received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2010.  Beyond the standard physics curriculum, she teaches Gender in Science and Science in the Media, and regularly gives talks on the under-representation of women in science.

Image of Kathy Aidala

Neal B. Abraham

Five College Professor of Physics and Executive Director, Five Colleges

Neal Abraham has studied nonlinear dynamics and chaos in lasers and other optical systems experimentally, theoretically, and computationally.  His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and several European Universities.  He particularly enjoys teaching about optics and waves, quantum mechanics and statistical physics.  He supports innovations in undergraduate science education, research experiences for undergraduates and science facilities; He is a strong advocate for women in science and diversity.  He currently serves full-time as the Executive Director of the Five College Consortium, and teaches one course at Mount Holyoke each spring.

Alexi Arango

Assistant Professor of Physics

Alexi Arango’s research focuses on advancing renewable energy by employing new semiconductors in the production of solar cells. His lab studies how quantum dots, molecular dyes, metal oxides, and other novel semiconductors can be incorporated into third generation solar cells that are both highly efficient and less expensive to manufacture than conventional solar cells employing silicon.

Alexi C Arango    Assistant Professor of Physics

Anat Burger

Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics
Anat Burger

Kerstin Nordstrom

Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Physics

Kerstin Nordstrom researches complex fluid flows. Such fluids are commonplace in both nature and industry, yet are still poorly understood, sometimes exhibiting bizarre behavior. A well-known example is cornstarch in water (“oobleck”), which pours easily from a container, but is impervious to someone jumping on its surface. Her lab studies a variety of such systems, including avalanching sand, flowing colloids in microfluidic devices, and suspensions of algae. She is also a strong advocate for diversity in science and public outreach.

Kerstin Nordstrom

Mark Peterson

Professor of Physics and Mathematics on the Alumnae Foundation

Mark Peterson is a physics theorist who teaches in both the physics and mathematics departments. His research includes modelling fluid dynamics in biophysical settings, innovative mathematical methods for elasticity theory, and the history of physics and mathematics, especially the life and work of Galileo.

Mark Peterson, Physics

Spencer Smith

Assistant Professor of Physics
Spencer Smith Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics

Staff

Sarah Byrne

Department Coordinator for Physics

Teresa Herd

Laboratory Director of Physics

Leonard McEachern

Technician/Physics

Anand Sarella

Postdoctoral Researcher