Faculty Profile

Lars English

Professor of Physics (2003)

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

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

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.

PHYS 311 Dynamics & Chaos
An advanced treatment of classical mechanics using vector calculus and the calculus of variations, as well as an introduction to the analysis of chaotic systems. Topics will include: the dynamics of systems of particles and conservation laws; linear and nonlinear oscillators; iterative maps and the route to chaos; central force motion; rigid body motion; non-inertial reference frames and fictitious forces; Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of dynamics. The course will also focus heavily on analytical and problem-solving techniques. Prerequisite: 211 and 282 or permission of the instructor.

PHYS 550 Independent Research

PHYS 550 Independent Research

PHYS 550 Independent Research

Spring 2019

PHYS 215 Medical Imaging
This course will examine the physical principles that allow physicians to look inside the human body and will investigate how these principles are implemented in practice. This course will cover the following topics: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), medical ultrasound, Positron Emission Tomography (PET), lasers in medicine, and medical X-rays. For each imaging technique, practical medical considerations such as contrast, resolution, cost, scope, and possible health risks will be discussed.Prerequisite: 141 and 142 (or 131 and 132) and MATH 170

PHYS 492 Adv Laboratory Capstone II
In this capstone experience, students will work in groups to study several advanced physics topics in detail. Potential topics include muon decay, microwave diffraction, the speed of light, pulsed nuclear magnetic resonance, and the Hall effect. The course emphasizes collaborative research, investigative techniques, oral and written communication.Prerequisite: Physics major senior status. The physics major requires either the two-semester sequence of 491 & 492 OR two semesters of PHYS 550.