Physics/Astronomy

Website: http://physics.appstate.edu/

Connection to Sustainability: Physics - Understanding the physics of energy, how things work and how to improve applied systems; Astronomy - understanding climate and its dependencies on planet-wide scales.

Teaching: Atmospheres of Planets; Atmospheric Physics; Environmental Physics; The Physical Principles of Energy & Sustainability; Microcontrollers; Sensors and Transducers; First Year Seminar on Cooking and Energy.

Research: Developing instrumentation for sustainability related projects including sun sensors for solar cells and other environmental sensors; Nanotribology - research on how energy dissipated via friction and wear in our machines, devices, and appliances could dramatically affect our energy consumption; Aerosol research - representing the first long-term, continuous, comprehensive dataset of key aerosol optical, chemical, and microphysical properties in the southeastern US; Plasma propoerties research - plasmas impact advanced photovoltaic device production and have potential to lead to obtaining higher efficiency in jet fuel combustion; Organic semiconductors - using organic semiconductors for low cost solar cells; Photovoltaics & Organic Photovoltaics - studying the role of materials defects in solar cell conversion efficiency and developing and optimizing organic transistors and photovoltaics in producing high-efficiency organic electronics.

Student Engagement and Outreach Activities: Educational outreach includes partnerships with Discovery Place science museum and local schools in Western North Carolina to bring nanoscience technology to K-12 students and the general public; ASU student internships with Discovery Place; Student involvement in sustainability related research.