1. Diffractive optics for small satellites. Diffractive optics offer savings in weight and volume that allow large optics to be deployed on small satellites. This research thread focuses on addressing chromatic aberration inherent to this class of optic with the goal of improving image quality.
2. Nonlinear dynamics of gas lasers near threshold. The power emitted by some gas lasers near threshold fluctuates erratically. Analysis techniques from nonlinear dynamics are employed to understand properties of the gas and the interaction of the medium with the laser modes.
3. Ionospheric dynamics and modeling. Understanding the behavior of the ionosphere is important to understand how space weather can affect satellite operations. Lots of ionospheric data is generated from stations around the world and we are applying techniques to generate data driven models of the dynamics of electron density profiles. Correlating the dynamics to other measured indicators can lead to improved predictive models for space weather applications.
4. Physics Education. I am interested in developing and applying novel techniques to increase student learning in the classroom and lab. Specific areas of interest include ways to visualize and physically model mathematical processes and results, integrating demonstrations and observations into learning experiences, and methods of improving student preparation for class.