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Department of Physics

Physics is the scientific study of matter, motion, and energy, and why the natural world behaves in certain ways. In its earliest forms, physics involved simple observation on a normal scale; today, modern physicists are often concerned with the behavior of matter and energy under extreme conditions or on a very large or very small scale.

The Department of Physics strives to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue success in graduate studies or in research and teaching careers.

Thomas P. Kling
Professor of Physics; Department Chair
Science and Mathematics Center, Room 214

Dr. Thomas Kling is a theoretical physicist with interests in gravitational lensing, physics education, and student success in the STEM disciplines.  Dr. Kling completed his undergraduate studies in physics with a minor in philosophy from Loyola University of New Orleans, and received his MS and PhD in physics from the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied classical general relativity under Dr. Ezra (Ted) Newman.  Dr. Kling's principle research studies how general relativity predicts light rays will be bent by gravity and the implications of this lensing for what we can learn about the universe.  In 2013, he received 3.5 nights of telescope time at the Mayall 4-m telescope at Kitt Peak to observe star formation in galaxy clusters, a project on which he is collaborating with Dr. Ian Dell'Antonio from Brown University.

Dr. Kling is principle investigator of the STREAMS grant, a 5-year, $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation held by Bridgewater State University to transform student support and teaching within the College of Science and Mathematics.  His work in promoting student success in science and math has led him to examine student success broadly at Bridgewater as a 2012 faculty fellow in the Office of Teaching and Learning.  He has also served as the coordinator of first year seminars, and he both studies and utilizes how writing pedagogy and inquiry in science classes can improve student success.

Dr. Kling has been at Bridgewater State University since 2003, and was promoted to full professor in 2012.  Tom enjoys working with students on undergraduate research projects related to computational approaches to gravitational lensing.  He regularly teaches introductory, calculus-based physics; first year seminars; and upper level physics classes including computational methods in physics, mathematical methods in physics, classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and general relativity.


BS, Loyola University of New Orleans, Physics
MS, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Physics

Martina Arndt
Professor of Physics; Coordinator for the Center for Advancement of Research and Scholarship (CARS)
Science and Mathematics Center, Room 212

Dr. Martina Arndt has been at BSU since 2000 and is a solar physicist who has traveled the world observing solar eclipses with her main collaborator, Dr. Shadia Habbal (see link below).  She earned her BA in astronomy from Wellesley College and her MS and PhD in physics at the University of New Hampshire.

Dr. Arndt teaches both introductory and upper level physics and astronomy classes as well as interdepartmental courses like the Tools of Sports Science with colleagues in the Movement Arts, Health Promotion and Leisure Studies department.  She has earned two presidential awards for her teaching.  She is also a strong supporter and advocate for informal science education; she helped found an astronomy club at her daughter's elementary school and she has been instrumental in expanding the BSU observing facilities and public outreach.

Dr. Arndt has been Principal Investigator on multiple grants funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  These funds have been used to cover travel to multiple eclipse sites (including Libya, China, Tatakoto, the Marshall Islands, Antigua, and South Africa), graduate and undergraduate course development, and undergraduate research.  Her students have engaged in research projects ranging from solar physics (funded by NSF) to variable stars (funded by the Adrian Tinsley Program) to exoplanets (funded by NASA Space Grants).

In addition to her teaching and research responsibilities, Dr. Arndt served as department chair for six years and faculty associate in the dean's office for the Bartlett College of Science and Mathematics for two years. She is the BSU representative for the Massachusetts NASA Space Grant (see link below).  In fall 2013, she began her three-year term as co-coordinator for the Center for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship (CARS).


BA, Wellesley College Astronomy
MS, PhD, University of New Hampshire Physics

Edward F. Deveney
Professor of Physics
Science and Mathematics Center, Room 218

Dr. Deveney developed the first physics research lab for undergraduates at Bridgewater State University constructing tunable diode lasers for studying fundamental quantum mechanical phenomena in atomic/molecular and optical (AOM) physics. He is a senior advisor for an NSF-funded research program at Yale probing fundamental atomic/nuclear and particle physics. Prior to coming to Bridgewater Dr. Deveney did post doc work with a 2000 US Fermi award winner at a National Lab including experiments at CERN. He has also been involved in medical physiology research at Tufts Vet School. Dr. Deveney emphasizes student mentoring covering theoretical quantum mechanics, experimental AMO physics, computer simulations and electronics.


PhD, University of Connecticut in Storrs Atomic and Molecular Physics

Thayaparan Paramanathan
Assistant Professor of Physics
Science and Mathematics Center, Room 227

Dr. Thayaparan Paramanathan (Dr. Thaya) is a biophysicist with interests in applying physics techniques to explore biological systems at single molecule level.

Education: Dr. Thaya received his PhD in physics from Northeastern University investigating how cancer drugs interact with DNA using optical tweezers under Prof. Mark C. Williams, a Fellow of the American Physical Society and one of the leading researchers in the field of using optical tweezers to study DNA interactions. After graduating from Northeastern, Dr. Thaya did his postdoctoral work at Brandeis University with Prof. Jeff Gelles, who is considered one of the pioneers in single molecule imaging, and Prof. Jane Kondev, who is a world renowned biophysicist. At Brandeis he explored the effect of competitors on dissociation of non-covalently bound biomolecules using TIRF (Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence) Microscopy, another physics technique that is used to observe multiple single molecules at the same time.

Research: Dr. Thaya has published multiple research articles in leading, high impact journals, which have been sited by scholars from 20 different countries. His recent work titled " A general mechanism for competitor-induced dissociation of molecular complexes" is published in Nature Communications. He is in the process of building a Single Molecule Biophysics Lab at Bridgewater State University where he is planning to involve undergraduates in cutting edge biophysics research in collaboration with Williams Lab at Northeastern University and Gelles Lab at Brandeis University.

Teaching: Dr. Thaya has over 5 years of full time experience teaching undergraduate physics at University of Jaffna in Sri Lanka and at Assumption College in Worcester, MA prior to joining Bridgewater State University. He currently teaches calculus-based general physics, Optics, Modern Physics and Electronics.


BSc, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka
MS, PhD, Northeastern University

Jeff Williams
Professor of Physics
Science and Mathematics Center, Room 205

Dr. Jeff Williams enjoys teaching the introductory physics courses and has interest in the fields of energy and physics education. Dr. Williams works with pre- and in-service teachers in improving science teaching at the middle and high school levels. Dr. Williams is principal investigator for the National Science Foundation's Robert Noyce Scholarship Program.  The Noyce Program is a 5-year, $1.45 million grant that provides scholarships and support to recruit talented science students to become K-12 teachers in high-need districts.


PhD, Clark University Solid State Physics

Patty Benson
Administrative Assistant I, Physics
Room 201, Science and Mathematics Center

Patty has spent the past 20 years, trying to keep the physics faculty/staff on course……so far, so good.

Joe Hernandez
Staff Associate for Physics
Science and Mathematics Center, Room 276

Joe Hernandez teaches Elements of Physics as well as instructing many of the labs.


BS, MS, PhD, University at Albany State University of New York 

Jamie Kern
Staff Assistant, Observatory Manager
Room 500, Science and Mathematics Center

Jamie Kern has been a visiting lecturer with Bridgewater since 2008.  In 2011, she was awarded a Bridgewater State University Presidential Award for Distinguished Adjunct Teaching, the first year this award was given.

Jim Munise
Staff Associate, Lab Technician for Physics and Geological Sciences
Room 286, Science and Mathematics Center

Jim Munise has been with the University since the beginning of time for both education and employment. If you need info about ANYTHING, ask Jim !!!

Department Chair
Thomas P. Kling
Administrative Assistant
Patty Benson

The department offers a BS degree in Physics and a minor in the same subject. We are a versatile and growing department making new and exciting strides in curriculum and research. Our students collaborate with faculty on research projects and have a significant impact on their own educational experiences. Our goal is to inspire in them a lifelong fascination with the physical properties of nature and the complexity, simplicity and beauty of natural laws.

Physicists are in demand as teachers, professors, scientists, engineers and in other professions where physics knowledge applies. Roughly one third of our students go on to graduate school, one third become teachers, and one third work in industry.

Department of Physics
Center for Science & Mathematics
Room 201