Faculty Profile

Brett Pearson

(he/him/his)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. In 2019 Professor Pearson co-authored the book "Time-Resolved Spectroscopy: An Experimental Perspective."


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

2024-2025 Academic Year

Fall 2024

PHYS 213 Analog & Digital Electronics
Circuit design and the analysis of electronic devices. 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, and completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, MATH 171 or permission of instructor.

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.