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Harry Ellis
Professor of Physics

Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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Experimental Research on Atomic Clusters

Dr. Anne J. Cox

Sam working on vacuum chamber

Student and faculty collaborative work in experimental physics research uses the vacuum system seen in the photo to study the properties of groups of atoms (2-100 atoms) called clusters. Undergraduate students helped build the apparatus, working on everything from electronic circuitry to plumbing for water cooling lines. In general, cluster science research helps students to better understand the connection between individual atoms and bulk materials (e.g., how many aluminum atoms does it take for a group of them to act like a piece of aluminum that you can see without any type of microscope?). In the past ten years, fifteen students (from freshman to senior thesis students) have worked in the lab and the work has included some senior thesis projects as well as student poster presentations at professional conferences.

Student Research Associates:

2005: Graham Vittorni (’07), Jacob Brock (’07)

2003-04: Nicolas Crotty (’05), Jamaica Lee Fredericks (’04)

2002-03: Aaron O’Connell (’05), Rebecca Harbaugh (’04)

2000-01: Jamaica Lee Fredericks (‘04)

1999-00: Samantha Moore (‘00), Senior thesis, Poster AVS (American Vacuum Society)-Student Section

1998-99: Samantha Moore (‘00)

1997-98: Brian Evans (‘98), Senior thesis, Poster AVS-Student Section and NCUR (National Conference of Undergraduate Research), Ben Gilbertson (‘98), Senior thesis, Poster AVS-Student Section and NCUR, Samantha Moore (‘00), Steve Kottmann (‘01)

1996-97: Brian Evans (‘98), Ben Gilbertson (‘98)

1995-96: Patricia Alexander (‘99), Brian Evans (‘98), Chris McLean (‘97), Richard Wilson (‘99)

Grant support:

  • Cottrell Science Award, Research Corporation, 1998. Funding for student stipends and equipment.

Contact Dr. Anne J. Cox

Physics Majors

Physics majors are problem-solvers who can create and manipulate quantitative models of real-world systems. When these skills are combined with other fruits of a high-quality liberal arts education, the physics graduate is well equipped to become a true innovator in our world.

The James Center

Center for Molecular and Life Sciences

Equipped with the latest in eco-conscious innovations, educational technology and scientific instrumentation, the James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences will advance our efforts to prepare tomorrow’s leaders in the sciences, and will quickly become the hub of the Natural Sciences at Eckerd College. Discover the James Center.