Teaching and Research Interests
Wolfgang Christian is the chair and Brown Professor of Physics at Davidson College where he has taught since 1983 and is a fellow of the American Physical Society. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from North Carolina State University at Raleigh. Dr. Christian is the author or co-author of nine books including: Open Source Physics: A Userís Guide with Examples (Addison Wesley 2006), An Introduction to Computer Simulation Methods : Applications to Physical System (Addison Wesley 2006), Physlet Quantum Physics (Prentice Hall 2005), Physlet Physics (Prentice Hall 2004), Physlets: Teaching Physics with Interactive Curricular Material (Prentice Hall, 2001), Just-in-Time Teaching (Prentice Hall, 1999), and Waves and Optics: Volume 9 of the Computational Physics Upper Level Software, CUPS, series (Wiley, 1995). He has been books editor of the APS journal Computers in Physics.  He is past chair of the American Physical Society Forum on Education and is a member of the Committee on Undergraduate Education of the American Association of Physics Teachers.  He was the chair of the first APS Excellence in Physics Education Award Selection Committee.

Dr. Christian's research interest is in the area of computational physics and instructional software design and he has led dozens of national faculty development workshops in this area.  This interest builds on the successful establishment of the Davidson Physics Computation Center (PCC) and the hosting of the Computational Physics for Upper Level Courses conference at Davidson College.  He and his students have won numerous software awards in the annual Computers in Physics and the Computers in Science and Engineering software competition. Dr. Christian is currently working on multi-media physics curricular development using the World Wide Web and on open source program development using the Java programming language.  He is the co-chair of the 2008 Gordon Research Conference on Physics Research and Education.

Dr. Christian's other research interest is laser spectroscopy. He has experience constructing lasers, spectrophotometers, vacuum systems and microcomputer circuits. He built a 20 W CO2 laser and a N2 pumped dye laser with his students. Dr. Christian and Dr. Merl Schuh (Chemistry) obtained over $250,000 in external funding that enabled them to establish a research grade laser laboratory. This has resulted in a number of student and faculty research projects. Additional College funding has enabled us to equip the laboratory with a second Nd/YAG pumped dye laser, spectrometer, high speed data acquisition, and WEX (wavelength extender crystal module) for ultraviolet work.