Faculty Profile

Lars English

Associate Professor of Physics (2003), Department Chair

Contact Information


Tome Scientific Building Room 219


Professor English's research interests focus on the dynamics of nonlinear lattices and networks. Physical systems under investigation range from the microscopic (magnetic crystals / spin lattices) to the macroscopic (coupled pendulum arrays). Driven electrical lattices - comprised of inductors and diodes - have been a recent experimental focus; here we study the spontaneous emergence of highly localized voltage-patterns. A recent numerical project modeled learning in a neural network.


  • B.S., Denison University, 1996
  • M.S., Cornell University, 1999
  • Ph.D., 2003

2014-2015 Academic Year

Fall 2014

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.

SCIE 101 Explorations in Science w/Lab
A series of activity-based courses in which two topics will be introduced each semester that encompass a range of physical phenomena. Scientific concepts are introduced to provide a basis for understanding of phenomena such as rainbows, cloud formation, global warming, the development of scientific theories, and electrical brain activity. The main emphasis of the course will be on the processes of scientific investigation, with students developing hands-on projects throughout each semester. This course can be taken one or more times for laboratory science credit provided that new topics are covered in each course. The course will meet for a total of six hours each week in a laboratory setting.

PHYS 102 Meteorology
The physical basis of modern meteorology: characteristics of atmospheric motions, clouds, and weather systems; methods of weather observation and forecasting; meteorological aspects of air pollution. Does not count toward a physics major. This course fulfills the QR graduation requirement. (See also PHYS 202.) Because of the similarity in course content, students will not receive graduation credit for both 102 and 202.

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. This course fulfills either the DIV III lab science distribution requirement or QR graduation requirement.