You are here
Dr. Dwight E. Neuenschwander
Worth Seagondollar Service Award
Dr. Dwight E. Neuenschwander
Southern Nazarene University
Dwight (Ed) Neuenschwander has provided exemplary leadership and scholarship to the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma, serving on the National Council from 1991 to 2016, including roles as Zone Councilor, SPS Director, Member at Large of the Executive Committee, and many years of service as Editor for The SPS Observer and Radiations magazines, and author of the wonderful "Elegant Connections in Physics" series of articles, in addition to contributions great and small too numerous to cite here.
Dr. Dwight E. (“Ed”) Neuenschwander was born in Roswell, New Mexico in 1952, grew up in Kansas and Colorado, and, in 1976, graduated from the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo with a double major in physics and mathematics. His love of physics grew out of his love for literature: both have story lines, where each scene or concept connects to others. Graduate studies took him to Kansas State University in Manhattan, and he completed a PhD in physics at Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe in 1983. Neuenschwander taught a while longer at ASU, then at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, followed by Southern Nazarene University (near Oklahoma City) where he has been a professor of physics for 30 years. For undergraduate research projects, his students typically conduct theoretical studies using Noether’s theorem in diverse applications that relate symmetries to conservation laws.
A former director of SPS and Sigma Pi Sigma (1995-97), he edited SPS publications for 15 years, and for 20 years wrote the “Elegant Connections in Physics” column for The SPS Observer and Radiations, and continues the column in the latter. He served on the SPS Council from 1991 to 2016 in the roles of Zone Councilor, director, and AIP’s At-Large representative. Fond personal memories of Worth Seagondollar include the privilege of working with Dr. Seagondollar in planning the 1996 Sigma Pi Sigma “Diamond Jubilee” Congress, and during the 2004 Congress hearing Dr. Seagondollar recall his experiences in the Manhattan Project. Neuenschwander subsequentlyhad the honor of transcribing Seagondollar’s recollections into print.
Dr. Neuenschwander has also coached the US Physics Team that competes in the International Physics Olympiad, has edited the newsletter of the APS Forum on History of Physics, is an APS Fellow, and has authored books for undergraduate physicists, including titles with Johns Hopkins University Press on Noether’s theorem (2011, 2nd ed. 2017) and tensor calculus (2015). Two decades of correspondence between Freeman Dyson and the students in Neuenschwander’s “Science, Technology, and Society” general education course are described in Dear Professor Dyson (World Scientific, 2016).
Dr. Neuenschwander enjoys the solitude of mountains and deserts, starry skies, motorcycle trips on back roads, vintage cars, and playing the alto sax. He is grateful for books, art museums, music ranging from the Beatles’ Abbey Road to Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil, and especially for his family. He and his wife Rhonda are blessed with two sons, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren.