Faculty Profile

Brett Pearson

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy (2007)

Contact Information


Tome Scientific Building Room 221


Professor Pearson’s research interests center on using ultrafast laser pulses to measure and control molecular systems, with a particular focus on applications in non-linear microscopy and spectroscopy. The optics lab in the department has an ultrafast laser oscillator and pulse shaper, and students have assisted with both the development of the laser system and the ensuing experiments.


  • B.A., Grinnell College, 1997
  • M.S., University of Michigan, 2003
  • Ph.D., 2004

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

PHYS 213 Analog & Digital Electronics
Circuit design and the analysis of electronic devises. Modern digital and analog circuit elements, including diodes, transistors, op amps, and various integrated circuits, are used in amplifiers, power supplies, and logic circuits. Class and laboratory work are integrated during class time totaling up to seven hours per week. Students design and build projects at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: 132 or 142 or permission of instructor. This course fulfills either the Lab Sciences (Division III) distribution requirement or QR graduation requirement.

PHYS 361 Light and Matter
Topics to be selected from areas such as atomic, nuclear, plasma, or solid state physics, or modern optics and acoustics, or advanced electronics. Prerequisite: 211 and 212. One-half or one course credit.

Spring 2016

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. This course fulfills either the Lab Sciences (Division III) distribution requirement or QR graduation requirement.

PHYS 392 Physics Seminar
This course revolves around student reports and discussions on several topics in contemporary physics. Emphasis is on the development of bibliographic skill, seminar presentation and report writing techniques as well as increasing the breadth and depth of the student's knowledge of recent research. Preparation for senior research and life after Dickinson will also be topics of discussion. Prerequisite: Physics major junior status. One-half course credit.