Brian P. Beecken
Started at Bethel in 1988
Education: M.S. University of Minnesota; Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Research interests: Dr. Beecken received his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Minnesota and then spent two years on the engineering technical staff at Texas Instruments. One of his research interests is modeling the charging of dielectrics on spacecraft, and he has collaborated with both NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Air Force Research Lab in Boston and Albuquerque. Other research interests are optical detectors, including work on infrared detector limitations at Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee and photon counters, IR cameras, and a dual-band IR spectrometer at the Air Force Research Lab in New Mexico. At JPL, he created and verified statistical models for noise in focal plane arrays.
His analysis has assisted in the development of a test facility at Eglin Air Force Base, and he has collaborated on computer models with NASA's Langley Research Center. He has published a dozen papers and given dozens of technical presentations throughout the country. Dr. Beecken has received the Bethel Excellence in Scholarship Award. His research has been externally supported by five NASA fellowships, two grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, one grant from Calspan Corp., one NASA grant, four AFOSR fellowships, four American Society for Engineering Education fellowships, and is currently supported by a two-year grant from the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Thomas R. Greenlee
Started at Bethel in 1979
Education: M.S. California Institute of Technology; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
Research interests: Dr. Greenlee received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the California Institute of Technology. His doctoral dissertation was in experimental atomic spectroscopy applied to the determination of the solar abundance of manganese. Since coming to Bethel he has had grants from 3M for laser interferometry to measure roughness of surfaces and temperatures of gases. In 1993 and 1994, Dr. Greenlee was awarded a summer research fellowship in temperature measurement by infrared pyrometry at NASA--Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. His other professional interests are connections between science and Christianity and chaos theory. He is Associate Director of NASA's Minnesota Space Grant Consortium and served three years on the Editorial Board of Physics Resource Letters of the American Journal of Physics and six years as secretary of the Minnesota Area Association of Physics Teachers. In 2005 Dr. Greenlee also gave three presentations at Wuhan University in China on relativity, quantum mechanics, and possible implications for Christianity.
Started at Bethel in 2006
Education: Ph.D., University of New Mexico (with distinction)
Research interests: Dr. Hoyt received his Ph.D. with distinction in optical science from the University of New Mexico in 2003. His dissertation comprised some of the first observations of laser cooling in solids, for which he was awarded a $10,000 prize by the Optical Society of America and New Focus, Inc. He earned an award for outstanding laboratory mentorship of undergraduates in PURSUE, a NASA-funded program that encourages under-represented people in science. After completing his Ph.D., Chad won a post-doctoral fellowship from the National Research Council (part of the National Academies) to carry out research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, CO. Together with his team, he performed groundbreaking experiments on a new optical atomic clock based on laser-cooled and -trapped ytterbium atoms. His research interests include atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics, and this work is carried out in Bethel's new AMO lab with undergraduate physics and engineering majors. Dr. Hoyt has helped develop and lead advanced lab-based courses in Optics and Lasers. Open-ended student projects in these courses have included nonlinear optics (Z-scan measurements and frequency doubling), atomic and molecular spectroscopy, laser cooling and trapping, building HeNe lasers, holographic and interferometric measurements, and precision measurements with physical optics. He has recently worked with talented Bethel students to cool and trap lithium atoms in a magneto-optical trap (MOT). Dr. Hoyt has been or currently is a reviewer for six different international physics journals and for National Science Foundation grant proposals. He already is a two-time recipient of Bethel's prestigious Edgren Scholar award. Dr. Hoyt currently has a 2012 NSF EIR grant: Fiber Laser Frequency Combs for the Advanced Lab, funded for $230,000.
Started at Bethel in 2011
Education: B.S., Bethel University; M.S., University of Minnesota; Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Research interests: Dr. Nathan Lindquist is returning to Bethel after receiving his PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. During his PhD and postdoctoral studies, he researched interdisciplinary applied optics and nanotechnology with fellowship support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In particular, metallic nano-structures made from gold or silver can display unusual optical properties not found in natural materials. This is due to the abundance of electrons in these metals, which are free to wiggle and propagate as "plasmon" waves. These man-made "meta-materials" have found a wide variety of unique applications. Dr. Lindquist's research experience includes areas such as nanostructured solar cells, nano-optical bio-sensors, nano-optical data storage and devices, plasmon-enhanced spectroscopy, and novel nano-fabrication techniques. His research has led to many international conference presentations and more than twenty refereed publications during the last five years, including in the prestigious journal Science. As an author or co-author, his work has been highlighted in the Nature journals, on the Discovery Channel website, and in various science and technology news sites including MIT's Technology Review and the Institute of Physics Nanotech Web. In his labs at Bethel, he tinkers with lasers, microscopes and molecules, and continues research in nanotechnology, optical biosensing, microfluidics, and "lab-on-a-chip" technologies.
Keith R. Stein
Started at Bethel in 2001
Education: M.S. University of Minnesota; Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Research interests: Dr. Stein is a graduate of the Bethel Physics department. After receiving his M.S. in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Minnesota, he accepted a position at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center in Massachusetts where his research focused on computational modeling of parachute fluid-structure interactions. As an Army researcher, he was awarded the Department of the Army Research and Development Award and received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Minnesota. He spent the 2000-2001 academic year at Rice University as a visiting scholar and has been an active member of the Team for Advanced Flow Simulation and Modeling (T*AFSM). Dr. Stein is involved in research in the area of computational modeling of parachutes and large displacement fluid-structure interactions, including collaboration with the University of Minnesota Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics on simulations of Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) parachute system dynamics. Current research interests focus on student-faculty studies on supersonic flows and shock waves. Dr. Stein serves on the advisory board of the International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids and has received the Bethel Excellence in Scholarship Award.
Richard W. Peterson
Senior staff physicist and University Professor Emeritus
Started at Bethel in 1980
Education: Ph.D., Michigan State University
Research interests: Dick Peterson received his Ph.D. in physics at Michigan State University, followed by postdoctoral and summer positions in optical plasma diagnostics in the Physics Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Since coming to Bethel University, he has worked with students in continuing to develop new methods of performing highly transient interferometric and holographic measurements. He was awarded the American Physical Society's (APS) Prize for outstanding research at an undergraduate school in the U.S. and was elected a Fellow of the APS. During 2005–2007 he served as national President/Past President of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and has also served 4 years as a Director on the AIP Governing Board. In 2010 the Optical Society of America (OSA) recognized him with Senior Member status for outstanding professional work and service in optics and photonics. He especially enjoys the development of new apparatus for interactive physics demonstrations and laboratories and loves to share these demonstrations with young and old. He was appointed the first University Professor at Bethel University for his research, teaching, and physics community service. Following an NSF grant to Bethel, he currently served as a Program Director in the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) in Arlington, VA concurrent with a Senior Staff Physicist appointment at Bethel. In 2011 he was elected to the Minnesota Science Hall of Fame.