Elegant Connections in Physics

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Join Ed Neuenschwander, professor of physics at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma, to explore connections in physics and the larger world.

Summer

2015

Elegant Connections in Physics

Lift and Circulation

No matter how much physics you know, it’s still amazing to see a 380,000 lb. airplane fly

By:

Dwight E. Neuenschwander, Southern Nazarene University

Photo by Ed Neuenschwander.

No matter how much physics you know, it’s still amazing to see a 380,000 lb. airplane fly. Whenever I fly commercially, I request a window seat. The view of the landscape from on high is more interesting than any movie. The airplane’s wings are fascinating to watch too—not only for what you see with your eyes, but also for what you see in your mind, thanks to physics.

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Dr. Ed Neuenschwander. Dr. Dwight E. (“Ed”) Neuenschwander was born in New Mexico, grew up in Kansas and Colorado, and graduated from the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo in 1976 with a degree in physics and math. He did some graduate work at Kansas State University in Manhattan and eventually finished a PhD in physics at Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe in 1983. Dwight taught at ASU and Northern Michigan University in Marquette, and has been a professor of physics at Southern Nazarene University (near Oklahoma City) for 25 years.

A former director of SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma (1995-97), he edited SPS publications for 15 years and continues writing the “Elegant Connections in Physics” column for The SPS Observer and Radiations, the official publication of Sigma Pi Sigma. He has served on the SPS Council since 1991, coached the US Physics Team that competes in the International Physics Olympiad, and authored books for undergraduate physicists, including titles on Noether’s theorem (2011, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press) and tensor calculus (in press).

Dwight enjoys mountain and desert solitude and starry nights; motorcycle trips and old cars; the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings; books, art museums, and trying to operate a tenor sax. He and his wife Rhonda have two sons and three wonderful grandchildren.