physics-dept physlets research astrophotography

I am a Professor and Chair of Physics at Davidson College.  .  Spring '19 I am teaching electromagnetism, PHY 350, and Fall '19 I am teaching quantum mechanics, PHY 360, and physics 130.   My research interests are theoretical physics and physics education research and development. 

My research interests in theoretical  physics lie in the mathematical and computational formulations of quantum mechanics (SUSY QM, evolution of wave packets, quasi-probability distributions in phase space, and applications of sum rules) and abelian and non-abelian quantum field theories (QED and QCD).  Most recent theoretical works (students in red) include:

  • "The infinite well and Dirac delta function potentials as pedagogical, mathematical and physical models in quantum mechanics," M. Belloni and R. W. Robinett, Physics Reports, Vol. 540 (2) pp. 25-122 (10 July 2014). .

  • "The biharmonic oscillator and asymmetric linear potentials: From classical trajectories to momentum-space probability densities in the extreme quantum limit," L. J. Ruckle, M. Belloni, and R. W. Robinett, Eur. J. Phys, 33 1505 (2012).

  • "Less than perfect quantum wavefunctions in momentum-space: How Φ(p) senses disturbances in the force," M. Belloni and R. W. Robinett, Am. J. Phys., 79 (1) pp. 94-102(2011).

  • "New identities from quantum-mechanical sum rules of parity-related potentials " O. A. Ayorinde, K. Chisholm, M. Belloni and R. W. Robinett, J. Phys. A: Mathematical and Theoretical 43 235202, 22 pp, (2010).

  • "Constraints on Airy function zeros from quantum-mechanical sum rules," M. Belloni and R. W. Robinett, J. Phys. A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 42 075203, 11pp, (2009).

  • "Quantum mechanical sum rules for two model systems," M. Belloni and R. W. Robinett, Am. J. Phys. 76, 798-806 (2008).

  • "Time Development in Quantum Mechanics Using a Reduced Hilbert Space Approach."  M. Belloni and W. Christian. Am. J. Phys. 76, 385-392 (2008).

Ten students have worked with me on quantum mechanics research projects since I arrived at Davidson, some were supported by a Research Corporation grant.  During the '05-'06 academic year, Laura Gilbert (Physics with Honors '06) worked with me doing research in support of her Honor's thesis in physics. Click on the following link for a complete listing of what my students have done (talks, posters, papers, awards, etc.), and for a complete listing of what other students have done, visit the Department's student research site.

My research interests in physics education research and development lie in the development and testing of interactive curricular materials (using Physlets© and Open Source Physics programs) for use in a wide variety of physics courses (from introductory physics to advanced quantum mechanics).  As part of this research, I have authored or co-authored over 1000 computer-based interactive exercises, co-authored numerous articles,  and co-authored seven books.  This work is supported during '02  - '05 and '05 - '08 by grants from the National Science Foundation.

I am currently the Section Representative of the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), a member of the AAPT's Committee on Undergraduate Education, and a member of the ComPADRE Quantum Physics Editorial Board.

I have been the Books Department Editor for Computing in Science and Engineering and Chair of the AAPT's Committee on Educational Technologies.

More information about me:

In 2009 received the Hubisz Award from the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers for outstanding service to the section.

Received the 2009 Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching from the American Association of Physics Teachers for being "well known as an author, public speaker, researcher, workshop leader, motivator of students, award-winning professor, and an innovator in the use of technology for teaching ."

As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the American Institute of Physics posted the top five articles from Computing in Science and Engineering. The paper, "Physlets for Quantum Mechanics," M. Belloni and W. Christian, Comp. Sci. Eng. 5, 90-96 (2003), was deemed "Best Education Article" and it was stated that "this article meets the ideal framed by the mission of CiSE as a publication."   Available at:

Co-author of, "Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Mechanics," with Chandralekha Singh and Wolfgang Christian in the August 2006 issue of Physics Today.

Received a 2006 Award for Distinguished Service (also called a Distinguished Service Citation) from the American Association of Physics Teachers for my "many and innovative contributions to physics teaching and for service to the physics community at large."

Co-author of eight books: Multi-Representational Mechanics and Multi-Representational Electromagnetics (in Hebrew: גרסה עברית דר' דוד פונדק,  דר' סעיד מחאג'נה, מר שאדי עסקלה המכללה האקדמית להנדסה אורט בראודה), Physik mit Physlets, Fizika s Fizleti: Interaktivne predstavitve in raziskave za uvod v fiziko, Physlet Quantum Physics: An Interactive Introduction, Fislets: Enseanza de la Fisica con Material Interactivo, Physlet Physics: Interactive Illustrations, Explorations, and Problems for Introductory Physics and Physlets: Teaching Physics with Interactive Curricular Material .

Received grants from the National Science Foundation's CCLI-EMD program (DUE-0442581 and DUE-0126439) for the proposals, "OPTIC: Open Physics Technology for Interactive Curriculum" and "Open-Source Physics EducatioN (OPEN)".  I am co-PI on these grants with Wolfgang Christian as lead PI.

Received a Research Corporation, Cottrell College Science Award (CC5470) for the proposal, Using Supersymmetric Quantum Mechanics to Construct and Investigate New Exactly Solvable PT-Symmetric Periodic Potentials.  We have extended this investigation to study wave packet revivals. 

Received Summer 2001,  Summer 2002, Summer 2003, and Summer 2005 Associated Colleges of the South Teaching with Technology Fellowships with Larry Cain and Wolfgang Christian to integrate JiTT and Physlets into intermediate and advanced quantum mechanics courses.  The materials we developed are available here.   We recently (May 2004) contributed an invited paper to the ACS journal Transformations.  The paper is available here.  I gave a talk on this work at the 2001 Rochester AAPT meeting:  QM Talk.

Received a MERLOT Classics Award and a MERLOT Editor's Choice Award from MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching).  Wolfgang Christian and I received the awards for our work on Physlets.

My spring 2001 Physics 120 class and Physlets were featured in the Syllabus column of the February 16, 2001 Chronicle of Higher Education.

Spent the 1997-1998 academic year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Completed my Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics at the University of Connecticut during the summer of 1997.  My thesis research is in the area of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD).  For a quick tutorial on QCD, look here: QCD.   While I was at UCONN, I was an instructor in the KAST (Kids are Scientists, Too) Program. I taught physics and astronomy to 4-6th and 7-9th graders.


© Copyright 2014 Mario Belloni.
All Physlet exercises are © Copyright 2014 Mario Belloni and/or Wolfgang Christian. 
Physlets are a registered trademark of Wolfgang Christian.

Last modified by Dr. Mario Belloni 1/11/14
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