About Jeff Phillips

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So far Jeff Phillips has created 190 entries.

Tenure Track Assistant Professor in Astronomy and Astrophysics

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor to begin in August 2018. We welcome applications from observers and theorists across the full range of specialties in astronomy and astrophysics. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in physics, astronomy, or a closely related discipline by August 2018. Applicants are expected to demonstrate a strong commitment to excellence in teaching and the ability to teach introductory and advanced undergraduate courses in physics and astronomy. The successful candidate will demonstrate a commitment to contribute, teach, and engage in a multicultural environment with a diverse student body. Previous teaching experience and evidence of independent scholarship is preferred.

The successful candidate will establish a research program involving undergraduate students. Astrophysical research areas of current faculty include star formation, the ISM, H II regions, massive stars, black holes, relativity, and astronomy education. The Department offers a wide range of courses in astronomy and astrophysics, including a new lab course in observational astronomy or computational astrophysics. Cal Poly Pomona is the lead institution for two programs aimed at increasing diversity in astronomy and physics, CAMPARE ( and Cal-Bridge ( The department also hosts the Milky Way Project citizen science initiative, one of the original 10 Zooniverse projects ( The department has a large, active, and diverse student body with close faculty–student interactions and a history of success in obtaining funding from NSF and other external sources.

More information can be found at or by contacting the search chair, Dr. Matt Povich (

CSULB Colloquium- Sept 25

California State University, Long Beach
Monday, September 25, 2017 11:15am in PH1-223
(Refreshments served at 10:45am in HSCI-224)

Neutron Stars – Challenges and Opportunities
Prof. Thomas Klähn
California State University Long Beach

During the last decades numerous theoretical investigations, laboratory experiments as well as astronomical observations have been conducted to constrain thermodynamic properties and chemical composition of stellar matter relevant to the description of compact stars, core collapse supernovae and neutron star mergers. These systems are of particular interest as they provide conditions where matter reaches densities several times the saturation density of nuclear matter, viz. the density of an atomic nucleus. This raises the unique possibility that, given sufficiently large density or temperature, the postulated transition from nuclear to quark matter degrees of freedom can be realized in nature. By this fact, the study of dense astrophysical objects, in particular neutron stars, is an invaluable complement to the ongoing search for the quark-gluon plasma in terrestrial high energy collision experiments. New techniques such as gravitational wave astronomy or the recently launched NICER mission promise exciting new data and future insights. The intrinsic connection between the macroscopic structure and evolution of such astrophysical objects and the underlying fundamental interactions between the constituent particles at the microscopic level makes the study of neutron stars and related systems difficult and at the same time very rewarding. It challenges our understanding of nature on both scales. In my presentation, I will discuss mainly the connection between neutron star phenomenology and the underlying equation of state which reflects our current understanding of (not only) the strong interaction.

Assistant/Associate Professor in Physics

The Department of Mathematics and Physics at Azusa Pacific University invites applications for a full-time faculty position in physics.  Applicants with the ability to teach courses in optics, astronomy, computational physics, engineering, statistics, or applied mathematics may be given special consideration.

The successful candidate will teach upper- and lower-division lecture and lab courses in physics, general education science, and possibly in related disciplines, such as engineering; conduct research involving undergraduate students; participate in mentoring and academic advising of undergraduate students; and participate in department and university affairs.

Azusa Pacific University is a Christ-centered, multicultural community that values and seeks faculty who are committed to diversity and engage others in ways that honor our rich cultural mosaic and biblical foundation. Candidates must align with Azusa Pacific University’s Christian identity. Faculty members are expected to sign a Statement of Faith (available at and to integrate the Christian faith in teaching and scholarship.

To apply, see detailed version of this announcement. Review of applications will begin immediately, and the position will remain open until filled.

Announcing the Fall Meeting

SCAAPT will hold it’s Fall Meeting November 4, 2017 at Saddleback College.  Please mark your calendars!  We’ll be updating our website (and sending out emails) with details shortly.

In the mean time, start planning a 15-minute talk or a 5-min Show & Tell that you can share with other physics teachers. We need your help to make the meeting a successful one.

Tenure-track position in biophysics

The Department of Physics at Loyola Marymount University seeks a tenure track Assistant Professor of Physics in the field of Biophysics (experimental, theoretical, or computational), starting Fall 2018. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in Physics at the time of employment.

The successful candidate will help spearhead the department’s initiative to expand its curriculum by developing an undergraduate Biophysics program, as well as enhance interdisciplinary connections within the College of Science and Engineering. In addition, he/she will be expected to develop a research program in Biophysics that can involve undergraduate student participation. The successful candidate will also teach undergraduate physics courses at all levels, as well as contribute to the University Core through first year seminars or courses for non-majors. LMU faculty are expected to contribute to service at the Department, College, and University levels.

Please submit a CV, list of publications, description of research interests, and statement of teaching philosophy, online at The applicant will also arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to (subject line: “Tenure Track search”). For full consideration, completed applications should be received by December 1st 2017

CSULB Colloquium- Sept 18

California State University, Long Beach
Monday, September 18, 2017 11:15am in PH1-223
(Refreshments served at 10:45am in HSCI-224)
Constraining Planet Formation with Directly Imaged Exoplanets
Prof. Quinn Konopacky
Physics in the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences at UC San Diego

In the past decade, several new jovian exoplanets at wide separations have been revealed using ground based telescopes equipped with adaptive optics systems. These planets, with masses between ~2-14 MJup, remain a puzzle for both major planet formation models – core accretion and gravitational instability. At the same time, they offer a powerful tool in the hunt for observational constraints of formation, as they can be characterized with both imaging and spectroscopy. I will describe our recent efforts to push beyond the discovery phase into the realm of detailed characterization of these planetary systems. Using the Keck adaptive optics instrument suite, we have been targeting the HR 8799 multiplanet system. Astrometric monitoring with imaging over the course of a decade has allowed for orbital constraints in HR 8799 based on a self-consistent data set. This has allowed us to minimize systematic uncertainties and determine that the planets are likely co-planar and have low eccentricities. Spectroscopic observations of HR 8799b and c have yielded the best-ever spectra for any exoplanet. Using these observations, we have measured the C/O ratio in these planets, which can be used as a diagnostic of formation. Finally, I will discuss a new discovery with the Gemini Planet Imager of a substellar companion to a debris disk host star, HR 2562.  This object seems to have the mass of a brown dwarf (~30 MJup), but orbits within a cleared inner hole in the debris disk. Future observations of the planet and disk could point to evidence of a “planet-like” formation process for this companion in spite of its high mass.

Teaching Colloquia

LMU’s Center for Teaching Excellence is sponsoring a visit by Nobel Laureate and distinguished educational researcher Carl Wieman.  To be assured of seating, please RSVP to:

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Life Science Auditorium
Loyola Marymount University
4:00 – 5:30 pm

Advances in research on learning and teaching and their relevance to the evaluation of teaching

While there has been enormous progress in the knowledge and research methods in academic disciplines over the past 500 years, the teaching has remained largely medieval. This is starting to change, as there has been great progress in research on teaching and learning in the past few decades. When the insights from this research have been implemented in university classrooms, dramatic improvements in learning have been seen when compared to traditional lecture instruction, particularly on tests that capture how well the student is able to make decisions like an expert in the subject. Although the classroom studies have mostly been carried out in science and engineering, they are based on fundamental cognitive psychology/learning science principles that apply quite generally. This research makes a strong case that the extent of use of effective research-based teaching methods is a much better predictor of student learning and success than other methods for evaluating teaching. I will briefly review these advances in research on teaching and learning, and then discuss practical means to characterize teaching practices used in individual courses, followed by an open discussion.


Carl Wieman received the Nobel Prize in physics in 2001 for creating an incredible new state of matter, the Bose- Einstein condensate. He was named US Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation in 2004. Carl used his Nobel Prize money to create the popular PHET website, which provides numerous simulations in […]

Tenure Track Position

The Physics and Astronomy Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position in experimental biophysics, broadly construed including biophotonics, biomaterials, and closely-related areas of material science and condensed matter physics, to begin in August 2018.  The successful candidate will be expected to teach both introductory and advanced undergraduate courses in physics, as well as engage in publishable research involving undergraduate students.  Applicants must obtain a Ph.D. in Physics, Biophysics, or a closely-related field by August 2018.  Previous college teaching experience (at least at the teaching assistant level) and the ability to establish an independent research program are required.  The successful candidates will be expected to contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and/or service, and be committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment. The application deadline is November 27, 2017.

Further information about the position and application process can be found on the CPP department website.  In case of questions, please contact Dr. Hector Mireles, Chair, at or Ertan Salik, Search Committee Chair, at


AAPT Winter Meeting Abstracts due

AAPT is now accepting abstracts for the 2018 AAPT Winter Meeting, which will be January 6-9 at Town and Country San Diego.

Hurry! Abstracts will be accepted until September 13.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to give a give a talk or present a poster at the premiere physics educator’s conference in North America.Why Submit an Abstract?

Discuss new innovative teaching methods with your colleagues
Network with other physicists from around the world and have some fun
Showcase your research, exchange ideas and swap best practices
Become an active meeting participant, while increasing you and your institution’s visibility
Enhance your CV by having your abstract published in the meeting program

Submit an Abstract: Please click here to submit an abstract.


Given that this meeting is in SoCal, everybody should plan on attending and presenting at this wonderful meeting. The 2018 AAPT Winter Meeting will provide an excellent opportunity for members, colleagues, and future physicists (don’t forget to encourage your students to attend!) from around the world to learn new physics education techniques.

California Science Educators Needed

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and Evaluation Systems group of Pearson are currently seeking California science educators to participate in a Science Standard Setting Conference for the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) program. Each standard setting panel is scheduled to meet for one-day, in Sacramento, California. The fields and dates are listed below:

Multiple Subjects Subtest II (Science), Monday, October 2, 2017
 Science Subtest II: Physics, Monday, October 2, 2017
Science Subtest II: Chemistry, Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Science Subtest II: Life Sciences, Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Science Subtest II: Earth and Space Sciences, Thursday, October 5, 2017
Science Subtest I: General Science, Friday, October 6, 2017

The purpose of the conference is for panel members to make recommendations that will be used, in part, by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) in setting the passing standard, for each field, in support of the updated California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET).

If you are interested in participating, please complete an application here for consideration. Please click here to nominate other educators.



Public school educators who are:

certified in California, and
currently practicing (or have practiced within the last school year) in one or more of the fields listed above.

College faculty who are:

teacher preparation personnel (including education faculty and arts and sciences faculty),
practicing (or have practiced within the last school year) in one or more of the fields listed above, and
preparing teacher candidates in an approved California teacher preparation program.

Benefits of Participation Include:

Receive substitute reimbursement for their school (public school educators only),
Have the opportunity to make a difference in California teacher development and performance,
Have the opportunity for professional growth and collaboration with educators in their field,
Be reimbursed for their travel and meal expenses, and
Be provided with hotel accommodations, if necessary.

For more information, you may visit our website at

If you have any questions or need further […]