Faculty Profile

Windsor Morgan

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy (1994)

Contact Information

morgan@dickinson.edu

Tome Scientific Building Room 220
717.245.1386

Bio

His major area of research is the spectral evolution of X-ray-emitting active galactic nuclei. He also studies new statistical methods of studying astronomical surveys, the formation of hydrocarbons in the early solar system, and the nature of x-ray binary star systems. He is also interested in astronomy education research.

Education

  • A.B., Harvard College, 1986
  • Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 1995

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

ASTR 109 Mysteries of the Solar System
This course explores questions that are as old as humanity; you will step into the shoes of ancient astronomers to ponder the workings of the night sky and Solar System. Why do the stars move the way they do? Why do some bright objects wander the night sky? Can we know what these objects are and where they came from? We will develop practical and critical thinking skills that are crucial to the art of discovery, focusing on the historical use of naked eye and telescopic observations, as well as the use of present day space probes and the electromagnetic spectrum. Our journey will take us to the planets and some fascinating moons. Three hours classroom, one two-hour laboratory a week. This course counts toward the astronomy minor.

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 550 Independent Research

Spring 2019

ASTR 110 Stars, Galaxies, and Beyond!
Modern astronomy encompasses a wide range of fascinating topics, from cutting-edge techniques used to detect and survey exosolar planets, to advances in astrophysics that reveal tantalizing glimpses into the nature of space and the beginning and possible end of our universe as a whole. This course will look at the tools and physics that astronomers utilize, as well as the electromagnetic spectrum to explore and expand our understanding of the Universe. Students will apply fundamental ideas from physics to the Sun, as well as distant objects, both within and outside our own Galaxy. Three hours classroom, one two-hour laboratory a week. This course may count toward the astronomy minor.

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.

PHYS 293 Ethical Issues in Phys/Astro
Scientific research impacts us throughout our lives. Because research is a human endeavor, we will be affected by the choices we or others make to perform the activity – in both good and bad ways. This course is designed to explore these issues, especially in regards to how physics and astronomy research is performed. We will focus on the standards of the physics and astronomy communities on how research is done. These standards are expressed in statements about Responsible Conduct of Research (such as data acquisition, health and safety in research, mentoring, conflict of interest, and issues of bias). In addition, we will discuss concerns seemingly external to the research, including questions such as how does this research affect the community? Why are we doing this research? How can we deal with unforeseen consequences? Furthermore, we will look at ethics in physics and astronomy outside research, including in education and in business. This exploration will be done in a discussion format with case studies that will be presented in class, as well as from readings dealing with the philosophical and scientific aspects of ethics.Prerequisite: PHYS major and/or ASTR minor.