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

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

PHYS 109 Astronomy w/Lab
Introduction to the modern concepts of the physical nature of the astronomical universe. Historical development of astronomical ideas and origin and evolution of the solar system. A terminal laboratory course for non-science students. Three hours classroom, one two-hour laboratory a week. This course will not count toward major requirements in physics.This course fulfills either the Lab Sciences (Division III) distribution requirement or QR 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. This course fulfills either the Lab Sciences (Division III) distribution requirement or QR graduation requirement.

PHYS 311 Dynamics & Chaos
A project-oriented study of advanced classical mechanics using vector calculus and including an introduction to the analysis of chaotic systems. Topics might include particle dynamics in one, two and three dimensions; harmonic oscillators and chaos theory; central force motion; collisions and conservation laws; rigid body motion; and rotating coordinate systems. Possible examples of projects include projectile motion with air resistance; motion of a chaotic pendulum; and motion in a non-inertial reference frame. Prerequisite: 211 and 282 or permission of the instructor. This course fulfills the QR graduation requirement. Normally offered every other year.