Faculty Profile

Robert Boyle

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy (1981)

Contact Information

boyle@dickinson.edu

Tome Scientific Building Room 218
717.245.1415

Bio

Major research interests involve infrared astronomy, studies of old stellar systems, and variable stars. His teaching activities include introductory physics, introductory astronomy, theoretical physics, and a variety of other topics in physics and astrophysics.

Education

  • B.A., Princeton University, 1971
  • M.Phil., Yale University, 1976
  • Ph.D., 1981

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

PHYS 131 Introductory Physics
An introduction to basic physics topics using the workshop method. This method combines inquiry-based cooperative learning with the comprehensive use of computer tools for data acquisition, data analysis and mathematical modeling. Kinematics, Newton's Laws of motion, conservation laws, rotational motion, and oscillations are studied during the first semester. Additional topics in chaos or nuclear radiation are introduced. Basic calculus concepts are used throughout the course. Recommended for physical science, mathematics, and pre-engineering students and for biology majors preparing for graduate study. Three two-hour sessions per week. Because of the similarity in course content, students will not receive graduation credit for both 131 and 141. Prerequisite: Completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, MATH 151 or 170.

Spring 2017

PHYS 132 Introductory Physics
An introduction to basic physics topics using the workshop method. This method combines inquiry-based cooperative learning with the comprehensive use of computer tools for data acquisition, data analysis and mathematical modeling. Topics in thermodynamics, electricity, electronics and magnetism are covered. Additional topics in chaos or nuclear radiation are introduced. Basic calculus concepts are used throughout the course. Recommended for physical science, mathematics, and pre-engineering students and for biology majors preparing for graduate study. Three two-hour sessions per week. (Students enrolled in Physics 132 who have completed Mathematics 170 are encouraged to continue their mathematics preparation while taking physics by enrolling in Mathematics 171.) Because of the similarity in course content, students will not receive graduation credit for both 132 and 142. Prerequisite: 131 and completion of, or concurrent enrollment in MATH 170.

PHYS 406 Advanced Astrophysics
A project-based course in selected areas of astrophysics. Topics selected from areas of astronomy and astrophysics that require a background in dynamics and electromagnetism. Topics may include celestial mechanics and orbit determination, numerical simulation of many-body systems, galactic dynamics, spectroscopy and electrodynamics of the interstellar medium, or general relativity and cosmology. Prerequisite: 311, 312 or permission of instructor.