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Scientists

The content for each unit was developed under the leadership of a leading science academic noted for his or her work in physics. Each of the 11 videos in Physics for the 21st Century features interviews with two expert scientists in the field. Transcripts have been edited for clarity. The Facilitator's Guide was produced under the leadership of prominent physics teacher educators. The overall structure and direction for the course was established and reviewed by the content developer with the help of the course coordinator.

Course Developer

Portrait of Christopher Stubbs
Christopher Stubbs
Christopher Stubbs is an experimental physicist working at the interface between particle physics, cosmology, and gravitation. His interests include experimental tests of the foundations of gravitational physics, searches for dark matter, and observational cosmology. Read full bio

Course Coordinator

Portrait of Claire Cramer
Claire Cramer
Claire Cramer is a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Maryland. Her work centers on developing novel techniques for using lasers to improve the precision of astronomical measurements, with applications to dark energy surveys, finding and characterizing extrasolar planets, and mapping dark matter within our galaxy. Read full bio

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Content Developers

Portrait of Robert H. Austin
Robert H. Austin
Robert H. Austin is a researcher in the Department of Physics at Princeton University, which probes the biological limits of evolving organisms under stress. His research focuses primarily on the use of microarrays and nanotechnology to further our physical understanding of biological... Read full bio
Portrait of Peter Fisher
Peter Fisher
Peter Fisher is a professor of physics and the division head of Particle and Nuclear Experimental Physics at MIT. His main activities are the experimental detection of dark matter using a new kind of detector with directional sensitivity ... Read full bio
Portrait of Blayne Heckel
Blayne Heckel
Blayne Heckel is professor of physics and chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Washington. His research interests focus on tests of fundamental symmetries: torsion balance tests of spatial isotropy, the equivalence principle, and the gravitational inverse square law, and searching ... Read full bio
Portrait of Shamit Kachru
Shamit Kachru
Shamit Kachru is a professor of physics at Stanford University. His research interests include string theory and quantum field theory, and their applications in cosmology, condensed matter physics, and elementary particle theory. Read full bio
Portrait of David E. Kaplan
David E. Kaplan
David E. Kaplan is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University. His primary research interests are in theoretical particle physics with a particular focus on electroweak superconductivity and potentially related physics, such as supersymmetry, new fundamental forces, extra dimensions, and dark matter. Read full bio
Portrait of Robert P. Kirshner
Robert P. Kirshner
Robert P. Kirshner is Clowes Professor of Science at Harvard University. Kirshner is an author of over 250 research papers dealing with supernovae and observational cosmology. His work with the "High-Z Supernova Team" on the acceleration of the universe was dubbed the... Read full bio
Portrait of Daniel Kleppner
Daniel Kleppner
Daniel Kleppner is the Lester Wolfe Professor of Physics, Emeritus at MIT. He is the founding director of the MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms, funded by the National Science Foundation. He is the coauthor of two textbooks and the recipient of the Oersted Medal of the National Association of Physics Teachers and of the National Medal of Science. Read full bio
Portrait of Lene Hau
Lene Hau
Lene Vestergaard Hau is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics at Harvard University. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty in 1999, she was a member of the scientific staff at the Rowland Institute for Science at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. Read full bio
Portrait of David Pines
David Pines
David Pines is the founder and co-director of the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter (http://icam-i2cam.org), a global distributed institute with over 60 branches worldwide, dedicated to promoting research and education in emergent behavior in matter and society. He is also a Distinguished Professor of Physics at UC Davis ... Read full bio
Portrait of William P. Reinhardt
William P. Reinhardt
William P. Reinhardt is a professor of chemistry and adjunct professor of physics at the University of Washington. His research is in two main areas: (1) modeling the structure and dynamics of the newest state of matter, the gaseous Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC); and, (2) development of ... Read full bio
Portrait of Natalie Roe
Natalie Roe
Natalie Roe is a senior scientist in the physics division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and former chair of the APS Division of Particles and Fields. Roe has worked on a variety of particle physics experiments at CERN, Fermilab, and SLAC. Read full bio

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Featured Scientists

Portrait of Eric Adelberger
Eric Adelberger (Unit 3)
Eric Adelberger is emeritus professor of physics and adjunct professor of astronomy at the University of Washington. His research interests lie in the area of high-precision experimental physics: gravitation, nuclear astrophysics, and fundamental symmetries. Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Ayana Arce
Ayana Arce (Unit 2)
Ayana Arce is an assistant professor at Duke University and a former Chamberlain Postdoctoral Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She concentrates on experimental techniques to identify and measure the properties of heavy unstable ... Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Paul Chaikin
Paul Chaikin (Unit 8)
Paul Chaikin, a specialist in condensed matter physics, joined New York University in fall 2004 as a professor in the Department of Physics. He earned his B.S. in physics at the California Institute of Technology (1966) and a Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Pennsylvania (1971). Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Piers Coleman
Piers Coleman (Unit 8)
Piers Coleman is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University. His research is concerned with the fundamentally new classes of collective condensed matter behavior that emerge in complex materials. Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Doug Finkbeiner
Doug Finkbeiner (Unit 10)
Doug Finkbeiner is assistant professor of astronomy at Harvard University. As a postdoctoral student at Princeton, he studied the Galactic microwave emission in the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) data, finding signs of the long-suspected spinning dust emission. Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Bonnie Fleming
Bonnie Fleming (Unit 1)
Bonnie Fleming is the Horace D. Taft Associate Professor of Physics at Yale University. She earned her Ph.D. in physics at Columbia University in 2002. She heads the Yale High Energy Neutrino Physics Group, an experimental group focusing on new physics in the neutrino sector. Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Rick Gaitskell
Rick Gaitskell (Unit 10)
Rick Gaitskell is a professor of physics and head of the particle astrophysics group, at Brown University. He and his group are focused on directly detecting the rare interactions between dark matter in the form of WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles) and ordinary matter by employing a novel detector ... Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Lene Hau
Lene Hau (Unit 7)
Lene Vestergaard Hau is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics at Harvard University. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty in 1999, she was a member of the scientific staff at the Rowland Institute for Science at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Jenny Hoffman
Jenny Hoffman (Unit 6)
Jenny Hoffman is an assistant professor of physics at Harvard University. Her research uses several scanning probe microscopes to study novel materials in which electrons interact strongly, leading to exotic behaviors such as high temperature superconductivity. Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Deborah S. Jin
Deborah S. Jin (Unit 6)
Deborah S. Jin is a physicist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Professor Adjoint, Department of Physics at the University of Colorado, and a fellow of the Joint Institute for Laboratory Physics (JILA), a NIST joint laboratory with the University of Colorado. Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Robert P. Kirshner
Robert P. Kirshner (Unit 11)
Robert P. Kirshner is Clowes Professor of Science at Harvard University. Kirshner is an author of over 250 research papers dealing with supernovae and observational cosmology. His work with the "High-Z Supernova Team" on the acceleration of the universe was dubbed the... Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Mark C. Kruse
Mark C. Kruse (Unit 1)
Mark C. Kruse is an associate professor at Duke University and specializes in experimental high energy physics. He is primarily interested in searches for the Higgs boson, production of vector boson pairs, and model-independent analysis techniques for new particle searches. Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Paul Kwiat
Paul Kwiat (Unit 7)
Paul G. Kwiat is the Bardeen Chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A fellow of both the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America, he has done pioneering research on the phenomena of quantum interrogation, quantum erasure, and ... Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Juan Maldacena
Juan Maldacena (Unit 4)
Juan Maldacena is a theoretical physicist and professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. His work focuses on string theory, quantum gravity, and quantum field theory that concentrates on black holes. He is best known for developing a concrete realization of the holographic principle that argues that gravitational physics ... Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Vinothan N. Manoharan
Vinothan N. Manoharan (Unit 9)
Vinothan N. Manoharan is an associate professor of chemical engineering and physics at Harvard University. His research focuses on understanding how systems containing many particles suspended in a liquid—such as nanoparticles, proteins, or cells—organize themselves into ordered structures like crystals, viruses, and ... Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Nergis Mavalvala
Nergis Mavalvala (Unit 3)
Nergis Mavalvala has been on the physics faculty at MIT since 2002. Her research focuses on detection of gravitational waves using laser interferometry. She has been involved with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) since her ... Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Harald Paganetti
Harald Paganetti (Unit 9)
Harald Paganetti, Ph.D. is an associate professor of radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Physics Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Radiation Oncology. Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Srini Rajagopalan
Srini Rajagopalan (Unit 2)
Srini Rajagopalan, a high energy physicist from Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in New York, is currently working on the ATLAS experiment at the LHC, CERN. After earning his Ph.D. from Northwestern University and a post-doctoral appointment at State University of New York at Stony Brook ... Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of David Spergel
David Spergel (Unit 11)
Dr. David Spergel is an American theoretical astrophysicist and Princeton University professor known for his work on the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) mission. Professor Spergel is a MacArthur Fellow. Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of S.-H. Henry Tye
S.-H. Henry Tye (Unit 4)
S.-H. Henry Tye is the Horace White Professor of Physics at Cornell University. He is a particle theorist working in quantum field theory, string theory, and cosmology. His recent research interest includes the interplay between string theory and the inflationary universe. Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of David J. Wineland
David J. Wineland (Unit 5)
David J. Wineland received a bachelor's degree from Berkeley in 1965 and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1970. After a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Washington he joined the National Bureau of Standards, presently renamed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), at Boulder, Colorado ... Read full bio | Read interview transcript
Portrait of Martin Zwierlein
Martin Zwierlein (Unit 5)
Martin Zwierlein joined the Department of Physics at MIT as an assistant professor in the fall of 2007. He studied physics at the University of Bonn and at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he received his undergraduate and a Masters degree in theoretical physics in 2002. Read full bio | Read interview transcript

Facilitator's Guide Authors

Portrait of Stephanie Chasteen
Stephanie Chasteen
Stephanie Chasteen is a science teaching fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder, funded through the Science Education Initiative, and owns and operates an independent science education consulting business. Her primary interests are in creating effective teacher professional development programs and in engaging the public in scientific inquiry. Read full bio
Portrait of Noah Finkelstein
Noah Finkelstein
Noah Finkelstein is currently an associate professor of Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder and conducts research in physics education. He received a Bachelor's degree in mathematics from Yale University and his Ph.D. for work in applied physics from Princeton University. Read full bio