Dr. Martin Madsen is an Associate Professor of Physics at Wabash College. Like many Wabash professors who engage in research, Madsen incorporates junior and senior Physics majors into his research into many experimental topics, including a chaotic double-pendulum, dynamic holography, and optical tweezers. Madsen’s much lauded “Mythbusters” research into everyday questions allows non-Physics majors or minors to glimpse into the research life of a Physics professor. Madsen also serves as the advisor to Wabash Society of Physics Students, which plans community events as well as allows students to explore questions of physical science. Madsen’s work as an experimental physicist explores the questions of atomic physics, coulomb crystals, and graphene ion traps.
Madsen lives in Crawfordsville with his wife Jessica and their three children, Alia, Tanner, and Elena. He enjoys continuing his love of Legos with his children and often plays Wii video games with his family. Madsen bikes to Wabash for work every day no matter the weather and works to minimize his carbon footprint with his family by gardening, food preservation, and supporting his wife’s spinning and weaving.
Madsen earned his B.S. in Honors Physics from Purdue University in 2001 and earned his Master’s Degree (2004) and Ph.D. (2006) in Physics from the University of Michigan.
August 2006: Ph.D. in Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Advisor: Chris Monroe, Physics
Thesis Title: “Advanced Ion Trap Development and Ultrafast Laser-Ion
August 2004: Masters of Science in Physics, University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI
May 2001: Bachelors of Science in Honors Physics, Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN
Graduated with Highest Distinction
Physics 381/382 Advanced Laboratory
Physics 310 Classical Mechanics
Physics 111 General Physics 1
Physics 112 General Physics 2
Physics 105 Adventures in Physics: How Things Work
“Doing research in the Advanced Lab: a hybrid approach,” an invited talk presented at the 2013 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Summer Meeting, Portland, OR, in the ALPHA Labs in the Classroom section on July 17, 2013.
“Wait- what if we look at this idea?,” an invited talk presented at the Denison University Physics Department Colloquium on March 29, 2013.
“Physics Myth Busting: A lab-centered physics course for non-science students,” talk presented at the Physics Department Colloquium, Wabash College, September 2010.
“Physics Myth Busting: A lab-centered physics course for non-science students,” talk presented at the 2011 Big Bash Reunion, Wabash College, June 2011.
“Atomic Ytterbium Beam Experiments at an Undergraduate Physics Laboratory,” poster presented at the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (DAMOP), Houston, TX, May 2010.
“Compact Halo Ion Traps,” revised poster presented at the Midwest Cold Atomic Workshop, Chicago, IL, November 2009.
“Measuring the Molecular Polarizability of Air,” poster presented at the 2009 AAPT/APS Advanced Lab Workshop, Ann Arbor, MI, July 2009.
“Research Model for Advanced Lab,” poster presented at the 2009 AAPT/APS Advanced Lab Workshop, Ann Arbor, MI, July 2009.
“Compact Halo Ion Traps,” poster presented at the Gordon Conference for Atomic Physics, Tilton, NH, July 2009.
“Halo Ion Traps,” invited talk presented at the national New Laser Scientists Conference in Rochester, NY, October 23, 2008.
“Energy: A model interdepartmental, integrated lab/lecture course for non-majors,” invited talk presented at the Biannual Conference on Chemical Education, Bloomington, IN, July 29, 2008.
(* denotes undergraduate co-authors)
Madsen, M.J and Skowronski, A.D.*, “Brownian Motion of a Trapped Microsphere Ion” American Journal of Physics (2014) in press.
2013-2014: New Directions Initiative grant from the Great Lakes Colleges Association for flipping the Physics 111 classroom and using digital media
2012: New Directions Initiative grant from the Great Lakes Colleges Association for the measurement of noise in graphene
2012-13: McLain-McTurnan-Arnold Research Scholar, Wabash College.
2001-2003: Rackham Fellowship, University of Michigan
2002: Peter Franken Award, Department of Physics, University of Michigan. “Awarded to a first or second year graduate student who has done outstanding work in Physics.”
2000, 2001: Richard W. King Memorial Award, Department of Physics, Purdue University. “In recognition of past achievements and future promise as a student of physics.”
1988: Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America
MAJORS & MINORS
- ACCOUNTING (DUAL-DEGREE)
- COMPUTER SCIENCE (MINOR)
- EDUCATION STUDIES (MINOR)
- ENGINEERING (DUAL-DEGREE)
- GENDER STUDIES (MINOR)
- INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (MINOR)
- MODERN LANGUAGES
- MULTICULTURAL AMER. STUDIES (MINOR)
- PRE-MEDICINE (PRE-PROFESSIONAL)
- POLITICAL SCIENCE