Faculty and Staff - Department of Physics and Astronomy Skip Navigation

Faculty and Staff - Physics and Astronomy

Our faculty and staff are enthusiastic and accessible. Please reach out with any questions or interests you have in our department!

In the Media

Enrique Galvez, was recently featured in a segment on Scientific American about Quantum Entanglement. VIEW NOW

Faculty and Staff Listing

Joe Amato
Professor of Physics, Emeritus
jamato@colgate.edu

Tony Aveni
Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy and Anthropology and Native American Studies, Emeritus
P: 315-228-7214
aaveni@colgate.edu

Thomas Balonek
Professor of Physics and Astronomy
407 Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-7767
tbalonek@colgate.edu

Jeff Bary
Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy
409 Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-7693
jbary@colgate.edu

Hans Benze
Teaching and Research Support Specialist
115 Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-7654
hbenze@colgate.edu

Patrick Crotty
Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy; Chair, Department of Physics & Astronomy
411 Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-6617
pcrotty@colgate.edu

Kiko Galvez
Charles A. Dana Professor of Physics and Astronomy
314 Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-7205
egalvez@colgate.edu

Charlie Holbrow
Charles A. Dana Professor of Physics, Emeritus
cholbrow@colgate.edu

Cosmin Ilie
Lecturer
304B Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-6184
cilie@colgate.edu

Diane Janney
Administrative Assistant
331 Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-7226
djanney@colgate.edu

Behzad Khajavi
Graduate Research Student; Research Affiliate
Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-6069
bkhajavi@colgate.edu

Jonathan Levine
Associate Professor of Physics
132 Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-6632
jlevine@colgate.edu

Rebecca Metzler
Associate Professor of Physics
230 Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-6025
rmetzler@colgate.edu

Beth Parks
Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy
315 Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-7208
meparks@colgate.edu

John Roller
Laboratory Instructor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy
Ho Science Center
jroller@colgate.edu

Ken Segall
Professor of Physics
317 Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-6597
ksegall@colgate.edu

Walter Tangarife Garcia
Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics
410 Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-6084
wtangarife@colgate.edu

Linda Tseng
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Physics
334 Ho Science Center
P: 315-228-7095
ltseng@colgate.edu

Research Areas

Astronomy
This work is done under the direction of professors Thomas Balonek and Jeff Bary. It involves experimental research in a few areas:
  • Quasar variability
  • Astronomical techniques
  • Formation of stars and planetary systems
  • Astrophysics
  • Spectroscopy


Atomic and Optical Physics
This work is done under the direction of Professor Enrique J. Galvez. It involves experimental research in a few areas:
  • Atomic physics with Rydberg atoms
  • Optical physics
  • Physics education
  • Photon quantum mechanics


Biophysics
Professor Rebecca Metzler studies biological materials, focusing on biominerals. She and her students:
  • Study the relationship among hardness, composition, and structure in biominerals.
  • Examine biomineral microstructures on diverse scales.
  • Investigate optical properties of biominerals.


Computational Neuroscience
Professor Patrick Crotty uses computational and theoretical methods to study the behavior of individual neurons and large-scale neural networks. The goal is to apply techniques from physics and mathematics to understand the brain.

Condensed Matter Physics
Professor Beth Parks studies condensed matter physics. Two major recent projects include:
  • Using terahertz spectroscopy to learn about the properties of single-molecule magnets
  • Studying the conductivity of carbon nanotubes.


Cosmology and Particle Physics
Professors Patrick Crotty, Walter Tangarife, and Cosmin Ilie study theoretical aspects of the early Universe and fundamental interactions. Current research topics include:
  • Production of supermassive dark matter particles
  • Indirect detection strategies for dark matter
  • Thermal history of the universe
  • Dissipative dark matter
  • Black holes, entanglement, and emergent spacetime
Nonlinear Dynamics of Superconducting Circuits
Professor Ken Segall studies neuromorphic computing. He and his research students:
  • Investigate networks of non-linear oscillators.
  • Perform numerical simulations of superconducting networks.
  • Look for novel emergent behaviors in complex systems.
  • Collect data at cryogenic temperatures.
  • Design and build low-noise electronic instrumentation.


Physics Education
Members of the department have been involved in the following educational projects:
  • Modernizing the introductory physics sequence
  • Creating new laboratories for the introductory physics courses
  • Designing new undergraduate experiments on photon quantum mechanics


Planetary Physics
Professor Jonathan Levine is interested in the timing of events and processes in Solar System history. He and his students:
  • Are helping to develop a rock-dating experiment for spaceflight.
  • Study meteorites in the lab.
  • Computationally model laser-atom interactions.


Sustainability and the Environment
Professors Beth Parks and Linda Tseng research issues of environmental concern, including:
  • Wastewater treatment quality.
  • Emerging contaminants in environmental water.
  • Health impacts of coastal water quality.
  • Design of inexpensive solar-cell tracking mechanism.
  • Air pollution in Uganda.
  • Development of a tool to measure building insulation.