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Faculty Profile

Lars English

Professor of Physics (2003)

Contact Information

Tome Scientific Building Room 219


Dr. English has published more than 40 peer-reviewed research articles exploring “the nonlinear dynamics of complex systems.” His research interests broadly fall within the field of nonlinear and statistical physics. In recent years, topics have included: Intrinsic Localized Modes in Nonlinear Lattices, Spontaneous Synchronization of Oscillator Arrays, Pattern Formation, Instability, Bifurcation, Symmetry Breaking, Self-Organization Solitons, Skyrmions, and Chimera states. He has studied (both experimentally and numerically) systems as varied as: nonlinear electrical transmission lines, chains of coupled pendula , networks of neuronal oscillators, spin lattices, and networks of electrical self-oscillators. In all of these systems, nonlinearity and lattice/network geometry play important roles, as they enable and guide processes of patterns formation. Broadly speaking, the aim is to experimentally characterize emergent patterns, study their onset and boundaries in parameter space, and to formulate mathematical models which allow a numerical and/or analytical exploration. Ideas from the field of dynamical systems (such as fixed points, stability, bifurcation, hysteresis, chaos) are essential in this endeavor. Other interests include the Calculus of Variations, magnetism and spin resonance, microwave spectroscopy, medical imagining techniques, and issues within the philosophy of science.


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

2023-2024 Academic Year

Fall 2023

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 392 Junior 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.

Spring 2024

PHYS 212 Intro Relativistic/Quant Phys
Completion of both PHYS 211 and PHYS 212 fulfills the WID Requirement.

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.