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James Physics student
James Physics student


Eau Claire, WI


Dual Degree Program (Physics and Mechanical Engineering)




Physics group at UW - Eau Claire (Society of Physics Students)

What are you doing in the featured picture? 

Dr. Lockhart and I are shining a laser into an oil jet. The laser follows the jet in a way that is similar to a fiber optic cable. Under the right conditions, the oil jet will rebound off a bath of the same oil. Using the physics department’s camera, we are photographing the bounce.

Have you done research?

Yes, My project “Bouncing Liquid Jets” involves studying the phenomenon that occurs when viscous oil is poured into a bath of the same oil. Under the right circumstances, the incoming jet will rebound off the bath back into the air in a parabolic trajectory. In the experimental setup, canola oil is pumped into a long vertical tube. By varying the oil level and output nozzle size, the speed and angle of the jet can be controlled. This allows the production of mostly stable bounces with little outside interference. Using a high speed camera, the bounce has been photographed and viewed at up to 600fps.

Recently we have been able to trap a laser beam in the bounce allowing for pictures with excellent contrast.

See one below!


What is your favorite course?

Phys 332 - University Physics III.
The study of fluids, heat, thermodynamics, relativity, and an introduction to modern physics.

"Being in the physics department is great. There is always something interesting happening. Dr. Pierson might be shooting rockets off the library roof, the contraption contest may be in full swing, and there are always physics majors in the seminar room deliberating over homework problems or anything else they find interesting."

What have been some of your favorite experiences in your classes?

Shooting pop bottle rockets with Dr. Pierson (physics).
Making a hologram in Optics lab (physics)
Writing a program to simulate natural selection in CS163 (computer science)

What skills or techniques in have you learned at 

UW - Eau Claire?

Both physics and math have taught me patience, perseverance, and the ability to analyze a problems.

What do you hope to accomplish in the future?

After college, I am hoping to attend grad school and pursue a masters in engineering. After that I will begin working at an engineering firm. Eventually, I hope to start consulting independently.

Favorite place to eat in Eau - Claire?   

My favorite place to eat is at Jeff and Jim’s Pizza. It isn’t actually on campus but you can walk to it and the food is definitely worth it.

What are your favorite 

UW - Eau Claire events?

Viennese Ball, contraption contest (physics department)

What do you do in your free time?

When I have free time during the summer, I enjoy outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and disc golfing. During the winter months, I act as a mentor to a high school robotics team. In a six-week period, we design, build, and test a 120 lb. robot. When the spring comes, we take our robot to a national competition.

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.