Charles Collett

Assistant Professor, Physics
Trumbower Science Building

image of faculty member


B.S., Haverford College
M.A., Northwestern University
Ph.D., Northwestern University

Teaching Interests

I am a physicist because of my teachers. I chose physics because I was excited by so many of the topics we studied and the ability to describe the world around us. These feelings were driven and encouraged by engaged, enthusiastic professors and mentors who communicated their love of physics through their work. I aspire to uphold those same ideals in my teaching, sharing my curiosity about the world around us with students who have a wide variety of backgrounds and interests.

I emphasize group work and cohort-building in my classes. Physics is a collaborative enterprise and I try to model that.


Research, Scholarship or Creative/Artistic Interests

I work with a class of materials called molecular nanomagnets, where each molecule in a sample acts as a quantum magnet. These systems can be described using simple models and I do both theoretical and experimental work to probe, characterize and manipulate the magnetic state using a technique called electron spin resonance. A main goal of my research is to design and exploit interactions between these molecules in order to create the basic building blocks of a quantum computer.

Most of my experiments take place at only a few degrees above absolute zero and I will be developing a low-temperature physics lab here at Muhlenberg. My work involves building a lot of my own electronics and equipment, writing code to collect and analyze data and create quantum simulations and sample preparation and manipulation.


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