Washington and Jefferson College Department of Physics

Dr. MICHAEL S. PETTERSEN

Associate Professor and Chair

MSP

AAPT 2005 talk with sources for free software

Courses

Fall 2014

PHY 101 Introductory Physics I
PHY 441 Senior Research I

Intersession 2015

TBA

Spring 2015

TBA

How to find me

Office: Swanson 100D
Lab: Swanson 102
Phone: (724) 223-6147
FAX: (724) 223-5271
E-mail:

Students are always welcome in my office. If you don't find me there, check my lab. If you want to make sure that I'm not in class or running some errand, feel free to call or send an e-mail.

What I'm interested in

My specialty is low temperature physics -- I think it's cool stuff. I am presently studying solid surfaces, and how their properties depend on temperature, particularly near wetting and roughening transitions. Understanding the properties of surfaces is important to many industrial products and processes, ranging from computer chip manufacture to detergent chemistry and oil extraction. Some of this work is supported by an instrumentation grant from the NSF; other work is performed in collaboration with the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.

My latest hobby is building a harpsichord, which has inspired me to develop a lab course in musical acoustics for non-majors, PHY 149.


Education

Ph.D., Physics
Thesis: Phase Transitions of Methane Films 
Adsorbed on Graphite Studied by NMR
Advisor: David L. Goodstein
California Institute of Technology 1988
A.B. Summa cum Laude, Physics Harvard University 1980

Experience

Professor and chair
Associate Professor and chair
Washington & Jefferson College
2009-present
2003-2009
Visiting professor
École Normale Supérieure
Fall, 2002
Associate Professor
Assistant Professor
Otterbein College
1998-2002
1993-1998
Post-doctoral Research
École Normale Supérieure
1992-1993
Post-doctoral Research
Ohio State University
1988-1992
Graduate Research
California Institute of Technology
1980-1988

Publications

  1. "Observation of a First Order Triple-Point Dewetting Transition in Methane Adsorbed on Graphite," M. J. Lysek, M. S. Pettersen and D. L. Goodstein, Phys. Letters A 115, 340 (1986).
  2. "The Multilayer Melting Transition in Methane Adsorbed on Graphite," M. S. Pettersen, M. J. Lysek and D. L. Goodstein, Surface Science 175, 141 (1986).
  3. "Wetting and Melting in a Methane/Graphite System," M. S. Pettersen, M. J. Lysek and D. L. Goodstein, Langmuir 5, 563 (1989).
  4. "Melting in Multilayer Adsorbed Films," M. S. Pettersen, M. J. Lysek and D. L. Goodstein, Phys. Rev. B 40, 4938 (1989).
  5. "NMR Study of Thick Films of Methane on Graphite," M. S. Pettersen and D. L. Goodstein, Surf. Sci. 209, 455 (1989).
  6. "Investigation of the Liquid 3He to 3He-4He Interface Using Spin Waves," D. O. Edwards, A. Heff, S. Kumar and M. S. Pettersen, Spin Polarized Quantum Systems, Proc. of the June 1988 Turin Symposium, S. Stringari, ed. (World Scientific: Singapore, 1989), p. 133.
  7. "Quantum Kinks and the Growth Resistance of Atomically rough 4He Crystals," D. O. Edwards, S. Mukherjee and M. S. Pettersen, Phys. Rev. Lett. 64, 902 (1990).
  8. "Orientation Dependence of the Kapitza Resistance Between Liquid and HCP 4He," M. S. Pettersen and D. O. Edwards, Physica B 165&166, 807 (1990).
  9. "The Inertia of the 4He Crystal Surface and the Calculation of the Phonon Transmission," D. O. Edwards, M. S. Pettersen and H. Baddar, Excitations in 2D and 3D Quantum Fluids, A. F. G. Wyatt and H. J. Lauter, eds. (Plenum Press: New York, 1991), p. 361.
  10. "Lectures on the Properties of Liquid and Solid 3He-4He Mixtures at Low Temperatures," D. O. Edwards and M. S. Pettersen, J. Low Temp. Phys. 87, 473 (1991).
  11. "The Solubility of 4He in 3He Below 0.1 K," M. S. Pettersen, D. O. Edwards and T. G. Culman, J. Low Temp. Phys. 89, 473 (1992).
  12. "The Fermi Liquid Theory of 4He in 3He," D. O. Edwards, M. S. Pettersen and T. G. Culman, J. Low Temp. Phys. 89, 831 (1992).
  13. "Prediction of Reentrant Wetting of 3He-4He Mixtures on Cesium," M. S. Pettersen and W. F. Saam, J. Low Temp. Phys. 90, 159 (1993).
  14. "Nucleation of Bubbles in Liquid Helium," H. J. Maris, S. C. Hall, S. Balibar and M. S. Pettersen, J. Low Temp. Phys. 93, 1069 (1993).
  15. "Experimental Observation of Cavitation in Superfluid Helium-4," M. S. Pettersen, C. Naud, S. Balibar and H. J. Maris, Physica B 194-6, 575 (1994).
  16. "The Andreev Reflection of Rotons at the Free Surface of Liquid 4He," H. Baddar, D. O. Edwards, T. M. Levin and M. S. Pettersen, Physica B 194-6, 513 (1994).
  17. "Experimental Investigation of Cavitation in Superfluid Helium-4," M. S. Pettersen, S. Balibar, and H. J. Maris, Phys. Rev. B 49, 12062 (1994).
  18. "Wetting of 3He-4He mixtures on Cesium and Other Alkali Metals," M. S. Pettersen and W. F. Saam, Phys. Rev. B 51, 15369 (1995).
  19. "Wetting of 3He-4He mixtures on Alkali Metal Substrates," W. F. Saam and M. S. Pettersen, J. Low Temp. Physics 101, 355 (1995).
  20. "Experimental Observation of Exploding Electron Bubbles," J. Classen, C. K. Su, S. C. Hall, M. S. Pettersen and H. J. Maris, Czech. J. Phys. 46, 363 (1996).
  21. "Temperature Dependence of the Surface Tension between Liquid Helium-4 and Cesium," M. S. Pettersen, J. Low Temp. Phys. 110, 691 (1998).
  22. "Wetting Phenomena in 3He-4He Mixtures on Weak and Superweak Substrates," W. F. Saam and M. S. Pettersen, J. Low Temp. Phys. 110, 697 (1998).
  23. "Surfactants for Exploring the Liquid-Solid Surface Free Energy," M. S. Pettersen, J. Low Temp. Phys. 117, 67 (1999).
  24. "Observation of Direct-Current Induced Step Bending Patterns on Si(001)," J.-F.  Nielsen, J.  P.  Pelz and M.  S.  Pettersen, Surface Review and Letters 7, 577 (2000).
  25. "Anisotropy of Mass Transport on Si(001) Surfaces Heated with Direct Current," J.-F.  Nielsen, M.  S.  Pettersen and J.  P.  Pelz, Surf. Sci. 480, 84 (2001).
  26. "Wetting in Binary Fluid Mixtures: Recent Results in H2/He on Cesium," M. S. Pettersen, E. Rolley, C. Guthmann and M. Poujade, J. Low Temp. Phys. 134, 281 (2004).
  27. "The Hydraulic Jump in Liquid Helium," E. Rolley , C. Guthmann , M. S. Pettersen, and C. Chevallier, AIP Conference Proceedings 850 (24th International Conference on Low Temperature Physics), 141 (2006).
  28. "The Hydraulic Jump and Ripples in Liquid Helium," E. Rolley, C. Guthmann, and M. S. Pettersen, Physica B 394, 46 (2007).
  29. "Prewetting of Liquid Hydrogen on Rough Cesium Substrates," E. Rolley, C. Guthmann and M. S. Pettersen, Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 016101 (2009).
  30. "Models of Prewetting," M. S. Pettersen, J. Low Temp. Phys. 157, 137 (2009).
  31. "Capillary Rise and Condensation in a Cone as an Example of a Spinodal Point," M. S. Pettersen, E. Rolley, and J. Treiner, Am. J. Phys. 79, 831 (2011).
  32. "Thermally Activated Wetting Dynamics in the Presence of Surface Roughness," K. Davitt, M. S. Pettersen and E. Rolley, Langmuir 29, 6884 (2013).

Copyright © 1997 M. S. Pettersen
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