Professor - Physics
William J. Lannan Endowed Chair of Physics and Professor of Physics, Mathematics, and Engineering. Dr. Szpilka received his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Cornell University. His research focused on theories of structural and magnetic ordering in alloys and magnetic solids; other current interests include electronics, thermodynamics, and statistical physics. He enjoys hiking, bicycling, and cooking, and serves as a reader and catechist at the Cathedral of St. Helena.
Courses taught: Engineering Physics I & II (Mechanics, Electricity & Magnetism), Electronics & Circuit Analysis I & II, Thermodynamics, Modern Physics, Complex Analysis, Partial Differential Equations, Mathematical Optimization.
Regarding being appointed the William J. Lannan Endowed Chair of Physics:
With support from the Lannan Endowed Chair of Physics, the physics faculty at Carroll College have been able to realize our dream of establishing a full four-year physics major, graduating our first seniors in 2015. These first graduates are now pursuing activities ranging from teaching, to graduate study in physics, to law school. As we continue to develop this program, funding from the endowed chair has been of critical importance in such crucial aspects as developing advanced laboratory exercises, attending conferences on physics curriculum development, and bringing nationally recognized physicists to campus (such as Dr. Stephen Barr for Carroll’s first Faith and Reason symposium in the spring of 2015).
Current work supported by the endowed chair includes development of single-photon interference experiments, which will provide our students with dramatic evidence of counter-intuitive quantum-mechanical phenomena, and serve as a platform for novel student research projects and advanced laboratory experiments. As we build up the laboratory components of our new physics major, the endowed chair is giving us the ability to invest in high-quality equipment and tap into the expertise of physicists around the country to learn how to use it for effective teaching and student research.