Department of Physics

Paul Nakroshis Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physics

Office Location

252 Science Building

Faculty Office Hours Fall 2018

Tu:10:15-11:00 , Wed: 1:00 - 2:00 and by arrangement



Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D.Physics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1993
  • B.S. Physics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1986



B.S. Physics, University of Illinois, 1986

Ph.D. Experimental Gravitational Physics, Univ. of Massachusetts, 1993

Biography: I graduated with a B.S. in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1986, then did my Doctoral work in Experimental Gravitational Physics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, performing an experiment to test Einstein's weak equivalence principle. After graduating in 1993, I had a two year NDF Postdoctoral Fellowship at Clark University in Worcester, MA working on Physics Education, after which point I taught high school physics at Souhegan High School in Amherst, NH. I've been at USM since 1997.  In addition to teaching, I pursue interesting experiments that involve undergraduates. I've worked on granular materials, Brownian motion, and have created a Computational Physics course (the only one in the Maine that I know of). Currently, I'm going back to my graduate school roots and am building an extremely sensitive torsion pendulum magnetometer.  In addition to physics, I am slowly working my way through J.S. Bach's keyboard works, am a photograper, and have become freshly bitten by a bug to see how far I can run without stopping; just for fun. 

Research Interests

I'll work on any interesting research project that grabs my interest and can involve undergraduates in research. So, perhaps table-top physics is the best way to describe what I do. My graduate work involved looking for a weak composition-dependent gravitational force, while at USM, I've done work on video microscopy of Brownian motion, granular physics, image recognition, and currently, I'm returning to my graduate school training by building a sensitive torsion pendulum to measure small shifts in the earth's magnetic field. I'm also interested in Computational Physics, and designed and teach Computational Physics (Physics 261). 

Recent Publications

  1. The Headlight Effect, from the Wolfram Demonstrations Project, October 2007,Link

  2. Measuring Boltzmann's constant using video microscopy of  Brownian motion, American Journal of Physics, 71 (6) June 2003 .pdf (235 kB)

  3. Statistics of continuous motion force events in a driven 2D granular array,   .pdf (284 kB)