Chemical Physics


As an interdisciplinary concentration, faculty members in both the chemistry and physics departments at Hamilton collaborate to offer chemical physics courses. The core faculty have expertise in computational physical chemistry, structural biochemistry, and laser spectroscopy.

Gordon Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Physics

Areas of Expertise: neutron spin filters and angular correlations in neutron decay.
Gordon Jones earned his master's and doctorate in nuclear physics from Princeton University. His research interests include using neutrons to study fundamental symmetries and polarizing neutrons for use in materials science. More >>

His research interests include using neutrons to study fundamental symmetries and polarizing neutrons for use in materials science. On the fundamental side, Jones studies time reversal symmetry and weak interactions in nuclei. On the applied side, Jones builds devices used to understand magnetic materials such as the read heads in computer hard drives.

His published papers appear in a range of journals including Physical Review C, Journal of Applied Crystalography, and Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

Prior to coming to Hamilton in 1999, Jones worked as a NRC Post-Doc, NIST, and a visiting scientist at Indiana University. 

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Ann Silversmith, Ph.D., Professor of Physics

Areas of Expertise: laser spectroscopy of rare earths in insulating solids and developing new laser materials useful in the solid state laser industry.
In 1989, Silversmith joined the Hamilton College faculty after completing a Ph.D. at the Australian National University and doing post-doctoral work at the IBM Almaden Research Center. More >>

Silversmith introduced laser spectroscopy, an aspect of physics easily accessible to students, to the Hamilton Physics Department and has supervised more than 30 research students. Two of her student collaborators were named finalists for the Apker Award, given annually by the American Physical Society for excellence in undergraduate research.

Silversmith specializes in developing new laser materials that would be useful in the solid state laser industry and is currently investigating the spectroscopy of rare earth doped sol-gel glasses. Her research has been funded by the Research Corporation and National Science Foundation. Silversmith's recent papers have appeared in the Journal of Noncrystallized Solids and the Journal of Luminescence.

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Adam Van Wynsberghe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Areas of Expertise: physical chemistry, biophysical chemistry and theoretical chemistry.
Adam W. Van Wynsberghe joined Hamilton in 2009 after two years at the University of California-San Diego where he was a NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellow. More >>

He received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2001 and was a NSF pre-doctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he completed his Ph.D. in biophysics in 2007. 

Van Wynsberghe's research interests center around the use of theoretical and computational techniques to study biophysical problems from both basic and applied perspectives. Currently, he is investigating the nature of protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions, the origins and roles of conformational changes and dynamics in biomolecular systems, and the dynamical aspects of enzyme catalysis.

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