Thomas R. Moses
Professor and Chair of Physics
"I am interested in critical phenomena in liquid crystalline and other soft condensed matter systems. I am currently investigating surface molecular ordering and fluctuations in molecular ordering in liquid crystals near their phase transitions between the disordered liquid (isotropic) and the ordered liquid crystalline (nematic or smectic) states.
With the help of Knox students, I am using a variety of techniques-evanescent-wave ellipsometry, magnetic and electric field-induced birefringence, and light scattering-to probe the molecular ordering near surfaces and fluctuations in bulk samples. The goal of this research is to understand how the length scales and energy scales associated with molecular ordering change in the vicinity of the phase transition."
Years at Knox: 1992 to present
Ph.D., Physics, 1993, University of California, Berkeley.
M.A., Physics, 1990, University of California, Berkeley.
B.S., Physics and Mathematics, Phi Beta Kappa, 1987, Stanford University.
Physics, analytical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and statistical mechanics.
Selected Professional Accomplishments
"Virtual Isotropic-Nematic Transitions in Alkyl Cyanobi-phenyls." Co-authored with Reeves, J. Liquid Crystals 35 (2008): 1395.
"Fluctuations Near a Phase Transition in Liquid Crystals." Co-authored with J. Reeves, and P. Pirondi. American Journal of Physics 75.3 (2007): 220-225.
"Surface Ordering Above the Isotropic-smectic: A Transition at a Silane-treated Substrate." Physical Review E 64 (2001): 010702 (R).
"Magnetic Birefringence in a Liquid Crystal." Coauthored with Brian Durall and Gregory Frankowiak. American Journal of Physics 68.3 (2000): 248.
"Interfacial Ordering in a Liquid Crystal near the Nematic-Isotropic Transition." Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals 319 (1998): 121.
"The Freedericksz Transition in Liquid Crystals: An undergraduate experiment for the advanced laboratory." Co-authored with B. Jensen. American Journal of Physics, 66.1 (1998): 49-56.
"A New Twist for the Conical Pendulum." Co-authored with Natalie Adolphi. Physics Teacher, 1998.
Campus & Community Involvement
Advisor, Knox College Badminton Club.
Member, American Physical Society, Phi Beta Kappa.
Advisor, Pre-Engineering Program.
What Students Say
"Professor Moses is a very dedicated and demanding teacher who cares a great deal about his field. His enthusiasm spills over to the students and makes them want to learn more about physics."
-Greg Frankowiak, Physics Major