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Department of

Physics

Michael Anderson, PhD

Adjunct Professor

Michael Anderson has been at USD since 2009; he is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor.

Education

Anderson graduated from UCLA with a B.S. degree in Physics. He obtained M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from UCSD.

Scholarly and Creative Work

Anderson's research has focused on waves in pure ion plasmas and pure electron plasmas. Specifically, he has investigated the effects of finite particle number and finite geometry on longitudinal electrostatic waves in these plasmas. Compared with electron-ion plasmas, plasmas consisting of a single species of charged particle are relatively easy to confine. In addition, single-species plasmas can be cooled to the strongly collisional and even strongly coupled regimes without the possibility of recombination.

Teaching Interests

Anderson teaches lecture and laboratory courses in mechanics, thermodynamics, and electricity and magnetism for biological and physical science majors. He also teaches Physics and Society, a one-semester survey course that examines the physics underlying a variety of global issues--alternative energy schemes, nuclear proliferation, spectrum property rights, and the accumulation of space junk are a few examples.

Anderson has helped revise the introductory laboratory curriculum to promote brainstorming and original experimental design. He has recently incorporated "clickers" into his lectures, which enable real-time assessment of student understanding and facilitate peer-assisted learning.